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.
Week FIVE continued:
THE RIGHT WAVE LENGTH
Brain waves are a measurement of brain
activity and they vary from 0.5 cycles per second (cps) up to 28 cps. They
are measured by an electro-encephalograph and record how many blips cross
the screen in one second. Scientists have divided these brain waves into
The Delta phase (0.5 - 4 cps) is a comatose, unconscious or deep sleep
phase where the conscious is not in control or giving commands.
The Theta phase (4 - 7 cps) is the inspirational artistic imaginative
The Alpha phase (7 - 14 cps) is the relaxation phase where stress and
anxiety vanish and access is gained to the sub-conscious enabling absolute
concentration and ability to focus on just one item.
The Beta phase (14 - 28 cps) allows seven or eight thoughts simultaneously
and it is an essential phase at times of danger or where many options are
WHAT PHASE SHOULD YOU BE IN
The sports psychologist speaks to a group of athletes who are generally in
the Beta phase, not concentrating and not receptive. He/she gives them
notes to study and they are not interested. They read affirmation cards
while on the wrong wavelength; consequently they do not learn the most
important part of the trade - the psychological requirements of their
The athlete must be in the Alpha phase (7 - 14 cps) to be receptive to
information. It is simplicity itself to enter and to control this phase:
Sit on a chair, hands on your thighs. Practice deep breathing and in 20
seconds you can focus your concentration on just one thought. If you have
more than one thought you are not in the Alpha state.
Concentrate and read the affirmations 3 to 5 times each. No more than five
affirmations each night and morning. For accelerated learning have the
five affirmations on cards or posters on your walls as a constant reminder
of them. When you are in control of these five affirmations - always
starting at what you believe are the easiest - move on to the next five
The psychological requirements are so many and so complicated that they
must be placed in one very important command to the brain. This command is
called the “Cue Word”. The golfer at the tee may say “Smooth” and all of
the psychological and physical requirements come into one thought. He/She
is relaxed and concentrated and the swing is successful. The strike
completed, the athlete moves into the Beta phase with many thoughts
simultaneously until it is necessary to go back into the Alpha phase. John
McEnroe was an accomplished exponent of this technique.
If this futuristic training program is to succeed then entry into the
Alpha phase must be clearly understood by the athlete and it must become a
practised skill. The athlete practices the physical skills of striking the
ball thousands of times but not the mental skills. That is why there is a
98% failure rate.
TRAINING ACTIVITIES DEFINED
All sports training programs contain the psychological, physiological,
tactical and technical areas divided into daily training activities. These
programs must be divided into four more clearly defined areas - the
preparatory phase, the pre-competition phase, the competition phase and
the post competition phase.
Coaches do not strictly adhere to these phases mixing competition without
the athlete being correctly prepared. The athlete must practice entering
the alpha phase during the preparatory training phase until the skill has
been mastered. This is another reason for such a high failure rate.
The athlete must leave for competition overseas with a high performance
coach or facilitator to relieve doubts and anxiety, to ensure good
training conditions and financial security and to ensure a relaxed mental
condition if the athlete is going to perform at his/her full potential.
The coach when travelling with the athlete encourages self-talk which
creates self-esteem that in turn creates self image. By using self talk
habits are created which reside in the sub-conscious mind. The
sub-conscious mind does not know the difference between imagination and
reality. We can make the sub-conscious believe anything that we want it to
as long as we make the statements positive, personal, in the present tense
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS
This then is the secret to success. This confirms the value of affirmation
cards, self talk and positive thinking and the necessity of comprehending
the Alpha state of mind - getting on the right wavelength. When all
physical attributes are equal, it is only the mental preparation that
makes the difference between winning and losing.
It is the implementation of this futuristic program that will ensure that
the athlete is in the “right frame of mind”, “on the right track” and is
taught how to train the brain that enormous improvement will be made
immediately in the athlete’s who are receptive to these ideas.
By placing their goals into the sub-conscious minds they create reality
inside that sub-conscious mind and they expand the comfort zone in which
This futuristic training program will ensure that success comes to the
success conscious while inability to comprehend it will ensure failure
will come to the failure conscious. We must understand with absolute
clarity that it is only the mind’s capacity to believe what is possible
that limits the body’s ability to achieve it.
In training an athlete, our objective is to improve their potential
quotient at an accelerated learning level. Suggestion learning by
affirmations and visualisation techniques work best as the athlete is in
the alpha wave band drifting off to sleep. During sleep, the conscious
mind is not in control. However, just prior to sleep, the mind is in its
most receptive state.
Psychotherapeutic methods such as affirmations and self image through
suggestology enables a faster rate of absorption into the sub-conscious
that triggers off the automatic processes in the brain.
As the body rhythms calm down, the mind becomes more effective. Music of
Baroque style with beats of 40 - 60 per second calm the brain. The athlete
must learn to relax and to breathe correctly in a regulated rhythmical
fashion to assist in the accelerated learning process.
If sitting on a chair, the athlete is upright and places the hands on the
thighs, feet flat on the floor, eyes closed, jaw loose, mouth slightly
open and the tongue touching the gum line of the upper teeth as though
silently pronouncing the letter D.
If lying in bed on your back, your head on a pillow, arms a little bent,
palms down beside your body, legs relaxed not touching each other, feet
pointing slightly to the side with your eyes closed. If your feet are
pointing up you are not relaxed.
Begin a gentle style of belly breathing feeling your abdomen puffing up.
As you breathe out, feel it sink in and exhale twice as long as your
inhale. Do this prior to a match and when listening to affirmation tapes.
Trying to will away nervousness prior to a match only adds more stress to
the tension you already have created and this causes loss of energy. You
cannot be relaxed and anxious at the same time so learn to relax.
Relaxation and visualisation sets up communication links between the body
and the mind. You learn to picture mentally the successful outcome of your
match - you do not tell your mind what you want, you already have it. You
tell your mind to produce it. You teach your conscious mind to command the
subconscious to co-ordinate all of the body’s movements in the most
effective manner without further thought.
BELIEF IN LIMITS CREATES LIMITED BELIEFS.
BELIEF IN LIMITS
CREATES LIMITED BELIEFS.
Coming in week 6:
WHAT DIFFERENCE TO PERFORMANCE DOES A COACH
MAKE AND WHY?