The only World Champion and Internationally Acclaimed Psychologist, Performance Therapist, author, world wide lecturer specialising in strength & power sports - we prove it, not theorise

Re-Identification....... When it feels like you lost that drive

Re-identification is a process I developed and use with many clients and also myself.

It all came from a session I did with a client who had lost that “fire” when getting ready for an important competition and as we were talking, I was putting myself in the same position and then something happened……………

Most of us who have been competing for a while, have experienced that terrible foot dragging feeling of getting through a pre competition build up and wiling ourselves to get through days of training even though we are really focused. Its an odd situation – you are committed to competing and want to do it but that drive isn’t there we had when we first started in those first couple of years.

There are a number of elements which happen, some of them are too in depth to go into here which in include a shift in values levels etc, but the actual process of adding elements into what was a simple and clear path to competing increase over time. So what does this mean?

Over time, our lives become more complicated with relationships, jobs or business, our priorities change, pressure can increase as you go up the ladder of success in your sport and additional trappings you never had to consider before get latched onto and intertwined with the gaol you want to achieve. Its no longer “I want to win”, “I want to smash this record” or “I want to stuff my opponent into oblivion” – it can become “I don’t want to let all these people who have helped me down”, “I don’t want to look like a twat because everyone will be watching me” or “ I have to win otherwise my sponsors will drop me”. We start to lose the essential drivers (values criteria) we had which gave us that unstoppable push right at the beginning. We forget what is important to us at the root level which makes us motivated to compete and succeed and it gets crushed and suppressed under the other obligations.

When I sat with the client who was a professional footballer, I took him back to a time when football was everything he ever wanted and he was happiest. He recited an event when he 13 years old and standing on the pitch and full of excitement, a feeling of confidence that he deserved to be there, complete focus on the game and that feeling we all get of being encapsulated in a bubble where nothing existed outside it…………………and most of all…………….it was FUN.

He was “re-identifying” with the original values which made football for him what he ultimately wanted to do and his ideal state of mind. Now, obviously things change in our lives but the absolute core values which band together to create what we classify as “motivation” or “happiness” generally tend to stay the same. Some elements will change yes but tapping into and identifying those pure values can make us realise what we have lost or are not fulfilling in order to get that drive back.

This is where the “re-identification process” came from which I now teach my students and have put into a degree course I am lecturing on.

It doesn’t stop there – we now have to DO SOMETHNIG with this information.

So, at that time we do a process which enables us to look objectively at those values and utilise them into our situation now. You might think this a bit odd but it is a process of disassociation allowing you to think objectively and not in the clouded state we can get ourselves into where we cant see anything as emotional state prohibits the view.

So, at that moment I asked the client to step out of the body of the 13 year old and be standing on the pitch beside him as him current self. Now, ask the 13 year old boy what he thinks he should do to regain that fire he used to have. So – what we want to do at this point is to establish, through the mind set of the 13 year old, the criteria and motivation. At which point we got a reply of “stop fannying about, enjoy the bloody game and your mates and remember you love this sport and this is what you are doing it for. Its FUN for ****s sake!”.

This may seem very simplistic but the process of reconnection gives us a tangible path to re-apply those values into our training and competing now and also fire the neurological connections attached to those values.

Remember – this is coming from YOU and those elements you forgot along the way with the sponsors, the day in day out concentration on technique and pressure of success get lost so we need to re-identify with those criteria.

Alright – so we have the dissociated elements and now we have to put them into practical use. So, what do you need to do and remember now to re-identify with them. For my client, changing the way he viewed the management was paramount from “oppressors” to “nobs with good intention” (which is how he thought about the coaches and managers when he was 13) due to resentment and demotivation of how he was viewing them now as well a series of steps to follow pre training in the way he used to when he was 13.

Now, his performance has improved, his motivation has increased and he also has been spotted to go to another Premier League team at the end of his contract in an upwards move. Additionally, any clients who have gone through this process have also increased performance and drive……………as well me as the therapist.

Re-connection and application of those core elements can cut through the mire of baggage we accumulate as life becomes more complicated from when we didn’t have any money and would have done anything to succeed and when it was “simple”. We don’t lose parts of us which were once there, they just get buried and all the neurological connections which are associated and fire with them are still there, they just need to be “re-awakened” and that is also the reason why when we go back to that ultimate time of motivation that we still can get that feeling back and the more often we can access them, the stronger those physiological connections become.

2013 is a year for many of us who want to push the boundaries, can put into practice a huge amount of experience and learning curves to come together and create that ultimate performance. No failure is ever a failure, it is a unique opportunity to use an experience no one else has had to improve and to give you that extra advantage the others who are continuously winning don’t get.