This was the big one for me. A goal for the last 10 years!
I went to see a Chartered Sport Psychologist and with only a very short time frame to work miracles, Helen Davis of Think, Believe, Perform duly did just that. I’m certain that even having taken the step to find help in itself had a positive effect, as it put me back in control. That, plus some very clear methods to deal with the negativity and move forward turned my race prep and the race itself completely around. I didn’t even spend the whole pre-race time in the portaloos!
Read the article about Gill in Tri 24/7.com
Gill Fullen, 2019 World Ironman Champion
We are both hugely grateful to Helen
My twelve-year-old daughter is passionate about competitive swimming but suffered terribly from nerves and a lack of self-belief at meets which resulted in vomiting before each race. After trying several self-help methods and hypnotherapy, we approached Helen for help, and we are incredibly glad we did!! We had an initial consultation where Helen introduced herself, her ideas and her processes. From that first meeting, my daughter had confidence in Helen due to her personal successes in the sport and her understanding as to what was involved in the training and mindset to be successful. She also had an easy to follow, friendly classroom type approach which my daughter understood. Following four one-on-one Skype sessions, my daughter competed without being sick for the first time in 2 1/2 years! This was a momentous occasion and her first reaction was immense pride and a desire to message Helen right away to let her know! She felt that Helen was personally invested and committed to helping her. Not only did her sessions provide her with the tools she needed to overcome her anxiety and sickness, but the additional notes, slides and exercises to review and practise were extremely helpful. After further sessions involving methods to achieve self-confidence when racing, we are both hugely grateful to Helen for all she has done to make Violet’s racing an exciting and positive aspect of the sport. We both highly recommend Helen and her motto, think.believe.perform!!
By Jo Baker, mum to Violet aged 12 years old.
Thank you for all of your work with our team this year.
“Thank you for all of your work with our team this year. you offer us all amazing support and are constantly providing us with strategies to build our confidence and perform better. Meeting with you helps us to address issues, learn about ourselves and become better prepared overall. You are always encouraging and supportive and have helped us so much”
“You are such a fantastic asset to the team, and I valued your advice so, so much, thank you”
“It was good to have someone from outside of the squad who could be impartial and help work through inter-personal issues and team dynamic aspects”
“Helen really helped me when I was struggling a bit with my mental health. Thank you”
“I really appreciated Helen reading the situation so well, knowing when something needed to be said or when to not say anything. … she went the extra mile to talk to everyone and we could all see the impact it had”
“It was really nice to just have her around (at the boat race), it was a very calming presence, especially in the final 45 minutes before boating for the race”
“She created a very friendly space for honest communication about potentially stressful topics- something that was extremely valuable”
“She is always available to chat, even if it is last minute, she always makes time”
“She is a neutral party there to listen and help, not someone who takes sides”
Cambridge University Rowing 2019
I am so pleased I made that call!!
On 26th August, 2019 David Dyer successfully completed a solo English Channel crossing in 11 hours 44 minutes
How long to go?, The cold is getting to me; I’ll only do half of these?, my shoulder is beginning to hurt; I have to get home to mow the lawn!, The forecast predicted sunshine and it’s overcas!, Is it time yet? How can I get out of this?……. excuses, excuses, excuses….. I couldn’t believe what my mind invented and I battled with to avoid those long, arduous hours in the water. I understood that this was my mind trying to protect me from boredom, pain and suffering, but how could I get around these thought patterns? The mental games were miserable and tiring!!
The Answer: Helen Davis at ThinkBelievePerform.
I read an interesting article in ‘Outdoor Swimmer’, written by Helen, dealing with ‘visualisation to improve swimming technique’ and decided to give her a call…..the best phone call I made. We arranged to do a number of Skype sessions over 3 months and what a change; what a result!
We went through specific strategies, processes, plans, resources, challenges, threats, thinking patterns, controllables, un-controllables, visualisations; there was homework to do and actions to discuss; all presented professionally, efficiently, articulately with a relaxed, friendly and understanding approach. These ‘processes’ were rehearsed and practised and became an important part of my training.
The result: Training outcomes improved and dealing with the mental battle became a much easier and structured part of the game! Ultimately, I stood on the beach at Samphire Hoe quietly assured that I had the mental resolve to accomplish this channel crossing and make it a memorable day….. and it was!! I am so pleased I made that call!!
With appropriate training, we have the physical capability to complete our goals and challenges. Helen was brilliant at presenting and developing the tools and processes to deal with the mind games, to accept them when they occur (and they always occur!), to deal with them and then move on! The ‘finish’ will always be there and when you arrive…… that moment feels so, so good!!
L-R: Mackensie Dyer, DAVID, Peter Taylor and Todd Dyer
Without her, I know I would not have carried on
When I first met Helen, I was at an all time low, ready to give up Football, the sport I love. I was full of self-doubt, negativity, anger, lacking in confidence, and my abilities. Our first session, was a huge turning point for me
Over the few months that we met, the strategies she taught me, helped me view things in a different way, both on and off the pitch. She showed me ways to mentally prepare myself before and during matches. This alone helped immensely, helping me to remain focused and in the zone. My negative thought patterns,and reactions to things out of my control were affecting my performance. Changing my mindset, and challenging these thoughts was just the start.
I am still learning, and so thankful, for the knowledge Helen has given me. Without her, I know I would not have carried on. She helped me realise that the player is still in me!
Mia is an Elite Footballer, and has represented England in the U17, U18 and U19s. She currently plays in the WSL Academy League
Honestly, I can’t thank Helen enough
Helen has helped me to achieve in a year where I’ve been plagued by injuries that, on paper at least, should have stopped me even making the start line of many of my big races. She’s helped me develop mental strategies to cope with adversity, pressure and perhaps most importantly has developed my confidence in my own abilities.
Physical fitness is important, but mental strength is even more so, and I credit all my results in 2016 to a new level of mental toughness that I didn’t have before I started working with Helen. I’ve performed well with injuries that should have stopped me racing, and despite inadequate preparation for most races have managed to develop a new level of inner confidence.
Honestly, I can’t thank Helen enough for her help and I know many of my achievements over the past year probably wouldn’t have happened without her input.
Lucy Gossage is an elite triathlete with too many accolades to her name to mention! 2016 saw Lucy come 9th in the World Championships in Kona 8 weeks after breaking her collar bone. In a season plagued by injury she also won Ironman UK and 70.3 Staffordshire.
I have learnt so much from Helen
Despite winning the British Time Trial Championship for two consecutive years (2015 & 2016), along with several other National distance titles, I have continued to suffer from a lack of confidence in my ability. Helen has helped me look objectively at my achievements and the pressure I put on myself, providing me with tools to ensure I go into events not only physically prepared but mentally too.
Hayley Simmonds is a record-breaking cyclist. She is the first woman to break the 19 minute barrier recording the fastest ever ten-mile TT record, is the first woman to go under 50 minutes for 25 miles and is the current British National TT Champion.
Helen has helped me develop and I will use it for the rest of my life.
I had a couple of short seasons with Helen and quickly realised that there was massive potential to improve my marathon running through psychology and she was the person to deliver.
I then booked a number of seasons and was very excited coming up to the first. I practiced every moment I could in using the processes that Helen and I talked about in the sessions.
After a short time I was experiencing a much calmer approach to training along with everyday life. This gave me more energy and a shorter recovery time allowing better quality training. The effective thinking started transforming me as a person and the more I practiced the easier it became. Just small changes in my thinking process made an incredible difference.
This showed through in my running and in fact everyday life. Even with obstacles in front of me I was able to easily deal with them and flow through the day. Running got so much easier with a strong mental toughness in place along with a multitude of tools to use when a situation presented itself.
I am now experiencing a greater self-confidence and a calmer approach to anything I am confronted with. Anyone can benefit from these processes.
There will always be areas to work on psychologically if an athlete has the desire to improve and this is very exciting to me.
I am truly grateful for this knowledge that Helen has helped me developed and will use it for the rest of my life.
Nigel Kenny is an active runner, running marathons, half marathons and 10K races. He is not a member of a club and trains on his own.
Helen is a great speaker and an insightful presenter
BRJ Run and Tri is a popular running and multi-sport club in Huntingdon. In recent years we have organised workshops for our members and the wider sporting community on issues including sports injury and nutrition. Following a recommendation from a club member who had attended a talk by Helen Davis I contacted her to run a workshop on Sports Psychology. Helen proved to be very helpful in sorting out dates and in discussing and planning what might be of interest to our members.
Helen is a great speaker and an insightful presenter. She presented the theoretical aspects of the subject by drawing on experience and on case studies. These illustrations of practical applications of psychological approaches to training and coaching led to providing specific psychological methods which our members could apply to their own activities. Helen described these as part of a psychological toolkit which could assist in the training, preparation and performance in an event.
Members were able to have their questions answered towards the end of the workshop and Helen generated an interesting discussion amongst the 60 or so members in attendance.
Helen was generous with her time as she met with some people individually to discuss their specific issues with them.
The response to Helen’s workshop has been very positive. There have been lots of discussion within the club about the application of some of the psychological methods discussed in the workshop. This has gone beyond our sports and in some cases to a much wider application.
I am delighted that I asked Helen to organise the workshop. I have found her not only professional and very reliable but also very friendly and personable.
I would not hesitate to recommend Helen to other clubs or organisations who consider they could benefit from considering a psychological approach to augment their efforts.