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.



31-Oct, Week FOURTEEN:


Knowledge is not the Problem

The problem is teaching this knowledge so that it is translated into action. Knowledge alone has little impact. World champions rarely make good Coaches, but no one can say that they do not have the knowledge nor the experience. They cannot explain why they were champions, so they cannot pass on that knowledge. They do not do a Coaching apprenticeship, making our mistakes and learning from our experiences. There are enough failed Coaches who were ex World Champions around to confirm that fact.

When we have this knowledge how do we impart it? We must understand how to successfully teach that particular pupil, and how to speak in a specialised manner, as taught by the McQuaig Word Survey. We must learn how the knowledge is received into the Brain, so that we can access it. When teaching David Palmer and John White, it took 3 years before the impact of the knowledge took place. When they reached the top 10 in the rankings, all of the information that they had received suddenly became clear. For 3 years at the Australian Institute of Sport they only achieves 30% in measurements of Positive Self Discipline, Motivation, Control, etc, and were not ranked in the top 70 in the World. They were going nowhere, and as is well known, David was told by the AIS coaches to give up his career.

David and Johnny never lost their ability, only their Confidence and Mental Control. Their belief in their limits created limited people. Leaving that environment at the AIS freed them up for their true potential to be achieved. How did we do that? We accessed the Brain through the Reticulated Activity System, after getting them in the Alpha Brain Wave Zone. It sounds Mumbo Jumbo but it is a very simple and very effective method of teaching. All coaches must understand it. Refer to the Diagram of the R.A.S.


Brain Waves are a measure of brain activity which varies 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. Scientific Boffins have divided these brain waves into four phases.

THE DELTA PHASE: The person is brain dead if there are no blips on the screen. 0.5-4cps and he is comatose, unconscious or deep sleep phase where the Conscious is not in control, nor giving commands.

THE THETA PHASE: The inspirational artistic imaginative. (4-7 cps) The area separating genius from insanity. Einstein could operate in this phase, as can those on Marijuana who believe that they can leap from tall buildings and fly without wings.

THE ALPHA PHASE: The relaxation phase (7-14cps) where stress and anxiety vanish and access is gained to the sub-conscious, enabling absolute concentration, and the ability for focus on one item, so excluding all others.

THE BETA PHASE: Allows 7 or 8 thoughts simultaneously and it is the essential phase that we enter in times of anxiety or danger or where many options are available. Crossing a road in busy traffic, playing football, which option to pass or control the ball who to pass it to, etc. (14-28cps)

Most of the time the pupils are in the beta stage and this makes input of the knowledge into the Brain very difficult and a long process. How do we get into the Alpha Brain Wave Zone. Use one of the Gary Haseltine Cassette Tapes in the program. David Palmer has a set of Affirmation Cards which he uses in conjunction with the Cassette Tapes. We use these methods to facilitate the learning process.


Have four rules:
   1. They must be Personal
   2. Present Tense, Repetitive
   3. Achievable
   4. Must only be read when in Alpha Brain Wave Zone
    (This accelerates the learning process)

The cards are changed as required, with no more than six cards in use at one time. How does the information access and remain in the Brain and become a Belief?


The R.A.S is the only part of the Brain that connects to all parts of the Brain and also the body. It screens all information presented to us before allowing it to enter that part of the Brain that functions at the sub-conscious level. The Conscious Brain only makes a decision: Right or Wrong. Left or Right. Stop or Go. Once that decision is made then the subconscious takes control. Try writing notes on paper as fast as you can, now put the pen into you non favoured hand and try and write as quickly or as well. The information is not in the sub-conscious, nor do you have the Muscle Memory available. It will be a slow and difficult process.

We brainwashed David with information that was false “I am the best Squash Player in the World”. With sufficient repetition he believed it, and played accordingly. If he believes that no can beat him, then no one can beat him. The sub-conscious cannot differentiate between Truth or Fiction and it only responds to what is put into it. This Brain washing is what is used in all Religious Wars and Conflicts. We use it for Athletes to have the opportunity to achieve their full potential, and it works!! YOU have no reason now not to do it. Certainly it takes an experienced Coach to supervise it all, but it can be done. Read all of these Weekly articles to obtain ALL of the information that you desire. If is all available to you. No more excuses.

The Self Image changed in the sub-conscious. Untrue thoughts were true for David. Shaun and I deprogrammed him from an Institutional Mentality to a Programmed Belief by accessing his Sub-Conscious. As stated by Maltz the key to success is to reprogram the self image. “The self image is the key to human personality and human behaviour. Change the self image and you change the personality and behaviour. The self image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. It defines what you can and cannot do. Expand the self image and you expand the individual with new capabilities and turn failure into success.”

I knew that I had succeeded when David rang me about his problems in rising from 10-12 in the rankings to the top positions. I sent him a S.W.O.T Analysis specialising in what he had been taught but had not been practising, particularly in the area of Mental Control and the essential requirements of Measurement and Evaluation (Pay some attention to this fact)

He rang me back a month later and was talk about what “we” (Nicol, Power etc) do when we train. Before it was what “they” do and the new Self Image was in place. He had taken his place in his mind, with the top players, rather than only in the top 10-12. Now he believes that his is the best in the World, as do the other two top players. From the moment that you believe that no one can beat you --- no one can beat you. (You have to put in the work as well)

It is of paramount importance to understand that when imagination and will power come into conflict the imagination without exception always wins. Coaches have great difficulty understanding and accepting that fact.

Mental Training can therefore be defined as a way of reprogramming our Brain to achieve more positive behaviours and outcomes, by capitalising on our natural abilities to reach peak performance. A bad dream is purely an imagined experience. You wake, sweating agitated and with a vastly exaggerated Heart rate. You were asleep, but your mind reacted as though it was a real experience. You are asleep, wake suddenly, hear a noise, you interpret it as a prowler, and you are suddenly wide awake, agitated and petrified. It was only the Dog at the back door, but to your mind, it was a real, not an imagined experience. Your imagination won over your will power, and so it is with training your Brain for success. It will work for you.





Psychological Profiling
of the four key areas











































Coming in week 15:
The Edge -
how to obtain it ...