Joe Shaw:
Each week we'll be presenting another part of Joe's revolutionary coaching programme, that helped guide David Palmer and John White to the top of the game.

The Program is applicable to all sports, and represents an invaluable resource for any coaches who have the foresight,
the inspiration, and the commitment to make it work for them.


The full program,
as originally published,
is available on the
Coaching section of
David Palmer's website.



22-Aug, Week FIVE:


Every Elite Athlete tells you that at Elite level it is "all in the Mind. "We are explaining here why you are not achieving your full potential. We must understand the capacity of our Brain and utilise it. That is why it is essential to accelerate our learning patterns with an understanding of our Brain Wave Zones.

The electrical impulses that the Brains neurons use to communicate are commonly referred to as brainwaves or brainwave frequencies. They are easily measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG). You don't own one so we will teach you how to get into the Brainwave Zones both for relaxation and accelerated learning. Electrodes are taped to the outside of a persons head, leads are plugged into the EEG, then as you perform various mental functions, the associated electrical charges in the Brain are recorded on a Monitor or a Graph.

Every mental state that you experience, every thought or emotion that you have is accompanied by a unique set of electrical impulses in the Brain. So, using EEG, you can monitor the mental activity of every person, OR measure the brain wave frequencies. (Now I must admit to having had a few pupils who would be sorely tested to have ANY brains!!!) These frequencies are expressed in either cycles per second or Hertz (Hz) Numerically these are the same. 10 Cycles per second (CPS) = 10Hz

These brainwave frequencies that relate to different mental states are commonly (or for convenience) grouped into bands. The first band was discovered in 1929, so the Boffins called it the Alpha frequencies. They were in the 7-12 range, or thereabouts. Subsequent discoveries revealed the Beta range of frequencies (13-30) Delta (0.5-3Hz) Theta (3-7) Gamma (30-60) and LAMDA (60-120) Of these only Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta seem to relate to consciousness.

This is your everyday, wide-awake, concentrating thinking state. It goes up from 13/14 to 28/30 as your stress levels rise. You need to be in it to drive the car in traffic, to play football, pass the ball, dodge etc, to make quick decisions. In the Beta State you are not relaxed, and are on edge. Your creativity, emotions and intuition are suppressed.

Alpha waves rise when you are alert yet relaxed. The Beta frequencies will still be there but we can relax them. The beauty of this state is how easy it is to access by means of a range of postures, expressions or thought processes. This is the one we want. It is not as good as the Theta State for accelerated learning, but we are not Einstein. It is about the 7-12/14 range. I will teach you how to easily access it.

Theta waves are about 3-7 Hz. Beautiful zone just before you sleep. Elevated when you have flashes of Inspiration. (Not too many of mine have reached this zone!!!!) Indian Yogis can produce this State at will, get their pulse rates down to extraordinary low figures, and when it is combined with the Alpha Zone -such as during meditation - the Beta frequencies disappear. Really relaxing state. (Personally, I try a Fosters Beer!!!!)

Delta Waves dominate when you are asleep, at the unconscious level. When they make a presence when you are wide-awake, then that is known as Intuition.

In the 1930's the Boffins discovered how to control these brain wave frequencies by using Light / Sound machines. You know how they get you to relax using Baroque Music and Cassette Tapes. We want to make it easier here for you. We will now show you how to get into the Alpha Brain Wave State for relaxed and accelerated learning, and the necessity of Affirmation Cards.

Relax in a certain place, say a favourite chair or an area at your Sport Venue. Your subconscious will associate feelings of Calm Relaxation with that particular place. Lower the lights if at home, or relax just before you sleep. Work it out for yourself. A few drops of Essential Oils particularly Lavender, or Sandalwood does the trick.

Start your relaxation with your face, head and shoulders - place where the tension tends to gather first. Now rotate your shoulders and allow your hands to fall loosely in your lap. Next slightly raise your eyebrows, just a touch, so that you have the hint of a surprised look on your face. This eases the tension in your forehead. Take a deep breath. Then, let your tongue rest lightly against the roof of your mouth, and again take a deep breath. That relaxes your jaw muscles. Finally relax all the muscles in your facial area by adopting the hint of a smile. If you are smiling now, you have started to relax. That is how easy it is to do.

Now that you are in the accelerated learning zone, you need to learn how to utilise it with the use of Affirmations. Affirmations are autosuggestion or a means of self-instruction. As a psychological tool it can be very powerful. An Affirmation is simply a set of words that depend on repetition for their power. Never ever forget that. As these words are repeated over and over they begin to influence your subconscious and become self fulfilling, with the words that you use determining the results that you will achieve.

It sounds simple, it is very simple and it works. It is an enormously powerful tool for change and it is why David and Johnny are at the top of the Rankings.

We will go into the rules of Affirmations next week.






Psychological Profiling
of the four key areas


















Coming in week 6: