How To Remain As Cool As Kane
England are set to face Sweden in the Quarter Finals of the World cup this coming Saturday. This is England's first knockout stage win at a major tournament since 2006 and only their second penalty shoot out win in eight attempts.
There seems to be something special about the team this time round and the mind set of the team appears to be in a different place to previous teams and previous tournaments.
As a therapist and mind coach I know the power of the human mind and I'm sure that the team has been working with a similar practitioner to myself to make them feel and react differently when they're one the pitch.
In this week's blog I'll be sharing some tips that I use with my sports professionals that you can adapt to your daily lives to improve your performance and remain calm.
1. Don't think too far ahead.
It's easy to think that we're going to win the world cup now and our chances have vastly improved as the tournament has progressed. However, the success of this team has been, in part, due to the fact that they're only thinking of the next game.
Focusing on the task at hand as opposed to thinking of the next steps that may or may not follow, help you to remain positive and not worry about what might come up after.
Although it's very tempting to look ahead and worry about the future, it's much more efficient of your time to think about what comes next.
2. Don't dwell on the failures
Another factor that has aided this team has been that they've not seemed to panic when things haven't gone to plan. They've either dusted themselves down and dug deep or they've just shrugged it off.
If things aren't going to plan in elements of your life it's very easy to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for yourself or to start a downward spiral beating yourself up about that one thing that didn't go right.
Instead, focus on the positives and learn from the negatives. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the things that don't go right in our lives but, only if we don't dwell on them.
I've also been performing as a comedian for a number of years and a technique used by Sarah Millican served me well. Millican's Law said that if you died at a gig you were allowed to be sad, upset, depressed etc until 11am the next day. After that time you had to drop it and move onto something else.
3. Remember to Breath
Did you watch the penalty shoot out during the England v Columbia game? My heart was in my mouth for most of it but, one thing I noticed was that each of the England players took a deep breath as they stepped up to the penalty spot.
Breathing is an important part of anything we do. Remember if you feel yourself getting upset, angry, sad to tend to your breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing has been proven to reduce anxiety, increase confidence and improve your overall well being.
4. Change your posture
Another thing I've noticed with the England team and Harry Kane in particular is that when the mood has started to dip on the field, that he's pushed his shoulders back and lifted his head.
There may be an NLP technique called 'anchoring' at play here however, you can practice anchoring a state to a physical action yourself. To do this exercise think of a time that you were really happy, perhaps with friends or family and think of how you felt, where you felt those feelings, and how you would describe those feelings and emotions. Build them up in your mind and then press your ring finger and thumb together. Practice building this state up several times and anchoring it to this action. If you practice this enough you'll find it's easier to return to the more you do it.
It's difficult to not be confident if you push your shoulders back and push out your chest. Remember to switch your mood, try switching your posture.
Jason Simmons is a Hypnotist and mind coach, specialising in anxiety, sports performance and trauma.
Jason has been performing for almost a decade and has worked with the likes of Tim Vine, Arthur Smith and Dapper Laughs.
Jason is the author of the forthcoming book: The Hypnosis Hand Book - A spellbindingly good read.