Enabling people to Perform Well

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Sport

Working in high performance sport brings unique challenges and opportunities.

 

Every individual involved in these environments is driven to enhance performance and help individuals and teams reach their athletic potential. They are dynamic, often volatile, high pressure environments, with those involved striving for excellence and hungry for success.

In high performance sport, there is understandably a desire to seek out or develop those individuals capable of performing well under pressure (those moments when there is something to ‘win or lose’), with a growing recognition that talent alone is not enough. Resilience, the ability to positively adapt and successfully cope with significant challenge and adversity, is recognised as core to producing consistent, sustainable, and developmentally appropriate high performance.

Resilience grows as we feel supported and valued, are purposeful in our actions, become confident in our ability, and are adaptable to the challenges or changes we encounter. However, the pursuit of excellence and desire for success pushes people to the edges of their abilities, resulting in pressure and demands that mean we don’t always perform at our best.

Such pressures and demands can result in behaviours and emotions that are challenging to make sense of, or effectively manage, and may over time impact on performance, team functioning, and individual wellbeing. Through our substantial experience of applying specialist psychological knowledge in sport, we believe we can increase awareness and change behaviours to both enhance wellbeing and sustain high performance, whilst limiting the risks of performance breakdown.

We aim to apply psychological knowledge and theory more flexibly and effectively, having a meaningful impact with people in everyday life, enabling them to embrace opportunities to explore their full potential and ultimately Perform Well.

 

Common themes that we work with:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Individual and team performance
  • Leadership development
  • Preparing for the demands of competition and training
  • Developing the athletes of tomorrow
  • Helping high performers to perform well
  • Managing potential barriers to success
  • Talent identification and talent transfer
  • Transitions or change management
  • Strategy development

Changing Minds play a crucial part in the academy recruitment process at our club. They also have a big role in the integration process. Most importantly of all, the Changing Minds staff provide a constant sounding board for ideas, and challenge both players and staff to improve the way we work every day.

Head of recruitment at a Premier League academy

What We Offer

Elephant spotting
Personality profiling
Talent identification
Culture & strategy development
Mental health in sport

Elephant spotting

A powerful methodology and framework that helps to generate shared understanding and allows us to collectively embrace complexity within sporting systems.

Often, we find simplistic or ‘easy’ answers to complex questions in performance systems.

We crave clarity and certainty on the solutions to complex problems or challenges. Whilst recognising those things are important, without a true appreciation of and willingness to explore the complexity of performance systems, they are not enough. In a busy and demanding world, with increasing expectations within talent development or competition environments to deliver results, elephant spotting enables leaders and teams to ‘protect space’ and embrace complexity.

The resultant shared understanding gives us a chance to recognise the true nature of what we are dealing with by ‘spotting the elephant’, identify any barriers to success, and prompt more coordinated solutions and impactful interventions.

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Personality profiling

Helping athletes, coaches, and support staff to better understand their ways of relating to others and how they can maximise their individual and team performance when there is something to be won or lost.

We use both Insights Discovery and Spotlight profiling tools, administered and interpreted by highly qualified practitioner psychologists, to help individuals and teams better understand themselves and to develop a greater appreciation and tolerance of difference when working with others.

In particular, we help people to understand how they and others cope when there is something to win or lose, and learn to manage the pressures of working in high performance settings more effectively.

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Talent (people) identification, development, and retention

Helping to develop your people to continue to meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s sporting system.

We work with our customers to identify and attract those individuals whose characteristics and behaviours enable them to Perform Well in their performance systems. Whether working within performance pathways, academies or at the senior level, we work with the wider performance system to understand how to develop individual and team performance.

Supporting systems to provide suitable opportunities for growth and development, in an environment that is conducive for high performance, we maximises the potential to sustainably perform at the highest level.

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Culture & strategy development

Identifying, communicating, and developing your organisation’s vision, values, and behaviours

“An organisation’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
(Welch, CEO General Electric)

Sporting systems are dynamic and there is always a story to be told or understood. Significant transitions or change are a regular part of this evolving story and can sometimes overwhelm systems and leave leaders not knowing where to begin. We seek to understand an organisation’s individual story, identity, and their unique culture, helping them to communicate their vision and values across the whole organisation.

We identify the changes necessary to create a desired cultural shift and agree the observable behaviours that are likely to help them achieve their shared goals and meet their duty of care obligations

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Mental health in sport

Helping increase mental health awareness and promoting wellbeing is ‘everyone’s business’

Mental health is a core component of a culture of excellence and is a major resource in helping sporting organisations achieve great things, sustainably.

High performance systems have the potential to nourish or malnourish people’s mental health and wellbeing. It is important that all participants better understand their needs, look after themselves, and support each other more effectively in the context of high performance sport.

We help sporting organisations develop mental health awareness as an essential part of a broader pro-active mental health strategy, both promoting positive wellbeing and preventing longer-term mental distress. This is then complemented by an effective support system that can manage mental health difficulties in the context of high performance sport and appropriately respond to acute needs or a ‘mental health crisis’.

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I simply cannot commend the work I have experienced with Changing Minds highly enough.

Head coach of a national hockey team

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Our Framework

Investing in People, Sustaining Performance

The Performing Well framework values wellbeing, people, and relationships, and provides the preparation, possibility, and potential for high performance.

Explore Performing Well

Trusted Statement

Our core clinical and high performance services are provided by highly qualified Practitioner Psychologists, educated to Master’s or Doctoral level, who are registered to practice through the Health and Care Professions Council, and chartered by the British Psychological Society.

We work closely with local authorities to promote the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults at all times. All our staff are enhanced DBS cleared.

We draw on expertise from within the fields of Clinical, Counselling, Forensic, and Sport and Performance Psychology.

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We recognise that everyone is unique, so for a bespoke package of our psychological services tailored to meet your needs, please get in touch...