“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
Teaching men and women to use all of their mind in sport has become an all-consuming passion for Psychotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master, Linda Keen. She’s back in Ireland next weekend to teach her unique blend of mind mastery, and the seminar on Saturday, February 27th is open to people from all sports seeking the competitive mental edge.Two of her ‘students’ of mind mastery include Team Ireland members, Jake Byrne – Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year – and runner-up James Roe and there’s no stopping both of these young drivers now!
Having lived in Ireland for 17 years, Linda was a regular figure on the motorsport scene at Mondello Park writing for Autosport magazine. She still writes a regular column for Track Car Performance magazine, (formerly TrackDriver magazine) and the new issue features her interview with the inspirational Alex Zanardi talking about Paralympic gold medals, Ironman challenges and mental toughness.
The use of a mind coach has been getting plenty of attention in high profile sports, the most recent being British tennis #1, Johanna Konta. Not only did she have the foresight to use a mind coach, instantly elevating the level of her game, but she has also been willing to share publicly the benefits of mental training. And that’s good news; Konta has broken the mould, discussing her mindful present moment approach, resilience and mental toughness, and giving massive credibility to the use of a mind coach in sport. Many sports psychologists see the mental side of sport potentially as high as 85%!
Having previously raced cars for many years, Linda has spent the last 16 years predominantly coaching racing, rally drivers and karters, but more latterly boxers, swimmers and other sports people in the art of using more of the mind. She’s worked with many ‘gentlemen’ drivers who tend to be successful businessmen and can readily understand the correlation between using the mind in business and in racing and they find it relatively easy. While youngsters are more open as they have less accumulated negative programming in their unconscious minds.
The key to all mind coaching is understanding how the mind works and particularly the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
For sportsmen, training the mind provides the vital edge because it’s all about taking control of the mind. This is where Linda’s psychotherapeutic approach an be particularly useful in sorting out the negative thoughts and teaching relaxation techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to let go of them and instead learn to focus on what they want to achieve. Breathing and visualisation techniques also help to keep the mind focused during times of pressure. Linda uses the analogy of taking the mind to the mind gym to train the mental muscle, and those people that put the information into daily use, will undoubtedly stack the odds in their favour and see results.