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PODIUM - Spiritual Truths Behind Elite Sports Performance

Denise is the former Scotland National Coach for Netball, and the founder of the business Class Performance – Excellence Within. She has over 30 years of experience in performance sport as an athlete, selector, mentor, performance director, and, more recently, as a national coach. Her highlight was leading the Scottish Thistles, via 46 International CAPS from World Ranking 17th to 12th to qualify for the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow 2014. This podcast series is for sportspeople, male and female, working at all levels, local, performance, and professional. Denise guides sportspeople towards leading a happy, healthy, high-performance, and fulfilling lives. About Denise I loved being at the cutting edge of the intricacies of human performance, but did I know how to get the best out of athletes and coaches, especially during high-pressure situations? After 30 years, I am honest enough to say, 'no,' I did not. How can we know what athletes are up against inside their minds? Players want that feeling of performing their skills automatically and freely, but very few experiences this so-called 'flow' state readily. As coaches, how feasible is it that we can help people to mitigate their head noise such that they produce performances with ease and joy! We talk about resilience and inner strength as an attribute of elite performers, but what if these are just words to describe something that is not so much attainable but innate to all human beings? Interesting questions, which hardly ever get answered, until now! Hence my inspiration to produce this podcast series. As a Human Performance & Wellbeing Consultant, I help people in all fields to engineer sustainable change in every part of their lives, not just sport, relationships, mental health, well-being, career, education, and business. Many people suffer from the content of their mind, overwhelm, lack of confidence, and frustration, examples that lead to stress, and under-achievement. The sad thing is, you believe you have to cope, and put up with low moods, not enjoying life. You know what you want to feel and achieve in life, but rarely get to live and perform from a state of peace, contentment, and fulfillment. Traditionally, there are many modalities, i.e., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CBT) Hypno-therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Positive Psychology, and even Mindfulness, all designed to help people lead high-performance and fulfilling lives. These are all very familiar to me, at best, I experienced short term change, and, at worst, I wouldn't be able to apply the techniques consistently, and before long I'd be back into old habits! Transformative Conversations are tricky to explain because how do you explain how 'insight' works? It's like getting a joke, at some point, a light-bulb moment, and you've got it and your whole perspective changes. That's it! No point in me trying to describe the unexplainable, no words can do that, it just works! The human mind and body are an incredible genius creation. We often end up feeling the victim of circumstances, blaming others for the way we think and feel, but what if this is an innocent misunderstanding of how the human mind works. Are you really at the mercy of others and outside factors for the way you experience life?
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Denise is the former Scotland National Coach for Netball, and the founder of the business Class Performance – Excellence Within. She has over 25 years experience in performance sport as an athlete, selector, mentor, performance director and more recently as a national coach. Her highlight was leading the Scottish Thistles, via 46 International CAPS from World Ranking 17th to 12th to gain qualification for the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow 2014. This podcast series is for sportspeople, male and female, working at all levels, local, performance, and professional. Denise guides sportspeople towards leading a happy, healthy and fulfilling life, offering sustainability to a demanding workforce. She goes beyond traditional techniques and methodologies, designed to manipulate and control your thinking. Instead, she points you towards a profound understanding of the role of the mind to create the human experience, which allows you to transcend unhelpful and unproductive experiences in just one thought. Performance mastery becomes possible as you become less distracted by your personal thinking, and more in tune with the heart and soul of who and what you are at the core, a spiritual being manifesting in a perfect human form.

Oct 14, 2017

What are people looking for when they ask high-performance coaches to help them improve their consistency of performance?  Sportspeople spend hours striving for excellence in their performances. You live in a physical, practical and commercial world of sport, where being on your game can impact your income, profile, selection, rankings and contracts, so why not 'want' your best performances out there every single time? Jamie Smart takes a closer look at your personal preferences for a certain range of consistency and makes a valuable point about the weight and value you may have on it, in terms of your mental health and wellbeing. 

Oct 8, 2017

With all the latest technology in sports science to work on human performance why look in the direction of what's behind it, who and what is the creator? What are the benefits to you as a performer, when we say that the Three Principles are playing out anyway, in all human beings, whether you know, care, or understand them? In Denise's life, since coming to this understanding of how the human mind works to create an experience, there is less worry and suffering. When you see how something works, you can see how it doesn't work. It makes no sense to spend living minutes in your story of blame, and need if it isn't serving you! Jamie Smart shares his inspirations for dedicating his life's work to pointing people towards the psychological paradigm of human experience.

Sep 30, 2017

“The moment you believe that who you are can be augmented by or diminished by the achievement or non-achievement of a goal you have lost sight of the truth.”

A superb quote from Jamie Smart. In this session, he speaks about the practical nature of aims and targets and how people might inadvertently use or interpret them. 

Sep 23, 2017

Some real gems in this show, as Jamie Smart shares, what he is seeing new and fresh right now in September 2017. Our capacity for insight, as human beings are infinite; we live within the potential to have a change of heart. “Realisations happen, they are not our accomplishment, they are arising.” What if you don’t need to ‘chase’ high performance as a doing, what if results are the natural by-product of understanding how the human experience and life works?

Sep 15, 2017

Is it possible to not take the way you feel too seriously in any given situation? Do you have to feel a specific way to provide an excellent performance? Is this so-called ‘optimum performance state’ something athletes should be chasing? Is trying to control the mind sending athletes in the opposite direction towards busy mindedness rather than towards clarity helpful? Jamie Smart, best selling author of Clarity, (Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results) shares his personal transformational stories of feeling nervous, even terrified about performance yet somehow; he is still able to give a quality presentation. Listen here to learn more about this new dimension to the human performance.

Sep 4, 2017

With insight or realisation, use whichever words resonate with you as this is beyond the word, you're able to decide if an experience happened or not? Yes, this session is a little deeper, but it is scientific and practical. Recently, since seeing more about the illusory nature and neutrality of all of our experiences as spiritual yet human beings, Denise shares with you specific examples of the impact this realisation has had in her business and sporting life.

Aug 25, 2017

Many people accept moods as a fact of life, highs and lows, inevitable given the circumstances, but what if this just isn't made of truth? I mean it holds no water whatsoever. What if low moods, which negatively affect your productivity and performance results, has nothing to do with situations at all? What if, whatever your boss or coach says to you, has no power to make you feel the way you do? Who would you be cross with, who could you blame for your moods? Join Denise in this show to take a closer look at the real cause of mood states.

Aug 18, 2017

What is the secret of great athletes, legends, who dominate and capture the hearts of spectators and even whole communities? In this show around the IAAF World Athletic Championship 2017 in London, UK, we take a closer look at two athletes at either end of their careers, Dina Asher-Smith and Usain Bolt - What do they both have in common? Could there be something so profound, and powerful, that has the potential to change the world of elite & professional sport forever?

Aug 11, 2017

You give your pre-season training programme lots of fresh energy and detail. You cover the traditional critical components of elite performance, technical, tactical, physical and social and emotional intelligence most diligently. Then, when you start the season, it doesn't quite look how you had imagined? Why is that? This show talks about why is it sportspeople are now looking in the direction of understanding the human experience profoundly. How does the spiritual nature of the human mind, the divine operating system, create an athlete's behaviour or responses? Why is it, you cannot afford to not look in this direction?

Aug 4, 2017

Is performance in sport bigger than you the person?  If so, who is driving the ship and when might they/it show up to lead the way? At the Open Golf Championship 2017, Royal Birkdale, Southport, England UK, we examine the unusual behaviours in the final round of two competitors both individually desperate for the title. What prevails points us to this deeper intelligence of all things that religious people might call God, the scientists, the source, and the physicists, the quantum field – whatever, your beliefs or preferences, are you, the person really in charge?

Jul 28, 2017

How much influence Coaches have on an athlete's or team's performance is a controversial issue. I too would have fluffed my feathers when the Scotland National Squad did well and beat myself up when they were hopeless! What, I have since discovered, about how the human mind works to create the human experience assures me that, we cannot put a thought in another person's head? What's going on in coaching and talent development? Is it way more natural than you think? Is it that you are drawing out a unique expression of performance rather than inputting anything at all?

Jul 21, 2017

Is involvement in elite sport addictive? How different are you as a high achieving athlete or coach from people who strive for a better feeling in substance abuse? Recently, Denise was invited to give a talk to a group of individuals, at a recovery centre in Spain. In this show, Denise highlights the parallels between the two groups of people, innocently, looking out there in the world of form for inner peace and joy. Human performance in life has a vast range; people who are at times unable to engage, function and self-regulate to those with ultimate ambition, striving for results, status, achievement, and possessions. Are we as human beings all just up against one thing, our relationship to our thinking in the moment?

Jul 14, 2017
The ethereal quality of momentum, what is it? Is it so slippery? Why do some elite teams build it, sustainably and others lose it quickly? The first half of the final match of the LIONS Series 2017, the New Zealand All Blacks gained ground and had more possession than the British and Irish Lions. Quality performance components, ie. repeated precision passing, instinctive space awareness, and a high level of intuitive perception, around what needs to be done to be victorious winners, prevailed. However, the British and Irish Lions found some form in the second half and started to match the opposition yet this did not shake the world-class All Blacks at all. What was going on out there between these highly competitive elite athletes? A mysterious, unity, not just on each side but amongst both teams for each other. Powerful spiritual attributes of humility, respect, love and compassion prevailed on the pitch; it was a display of deep connection and passion for what's possible in sport. 
Jul 7, 2017

What if you could have that holiday feeling most of the time; peace of mind, contentment, fun, clarity and a stream of brilliant ideas? Do you need to wait for your holiday to feel rested? What's that all about, especially as most of us only take six weeks vacation a year? Does this mean we are doomed to live forty-six weeks a year, from a place of stress, overwhelm and frustration? This show is for you if you are playing the 'waiting' game, pushing yourself to the extreme, because you'll soon get to take some rest? Very often, this type of rationale for life ends in disaster, with health issues or illnesses.

Jun 30, 2017

When circumstances seem as if they have the power to make you feel a particular way, i.e. assuming that it is inevitable, you should feel like this given my situation - think again! This week Denise found herself in a slightly uncomfortable feeling, and if she didn't know any better, i.e. not to be concerned with the way she was feeling, it would have had her running for cover, but instead, wisdom showed up, and Denise was able to stay in the game! Often, we engage and give attention to particular thoughts which we then provide additional meaning (via Thought) which causes us to feel paralysed with doubt and hesitation. What if this is all an innocent understanding of not only of how life experience works but also of the nature of experience itself?

Jun 22, 2017

Ever wondered if the level of your mental noise is normal? How often do you beat yourself up, either for not saying what you wanted to say or for saying something that you later regret? How would you grade yourself when it comes to creating effective relationships, whether in sport, business or personal life? Is it always someone else's fault? How many times do you believe they or the situation make you feel frustrated or disappointed? What if, it someone or something else cannot ever be the cause of the way you think and therefore feel, because human experience doesn't work that way? Yes, it is shocking, but nevertheless, it is true, your entire experience is an 'inside job'.

Jun 16, 2017

We know the mind has something to do with Performance, so we inadvertently try to forecast, then manage our mindset, state, or mood, ahead of time. What if our mental activity is not a problem in and of itself?  What if the content of our mind, is understood not to be significant and relevant? What if athletes didn't care or mind what they were thinking moments before or even during a competition? What if your head noise bears no resemblance whatsoever to what is possible in the moment? 

Jun 9, 2017

Dr George Pransky in an interview with Denise Holland taken from our webinar titled 'Achieving Performance Excellence in Elite Sport'. Participants on the webinar, Former National Cricket Coach, Richard Pybus and Performance Coach, Graham Turner, specialising in rehabilitation and recovery, ask George about ways in which to help sportspeople hear this revolutionary understanding of how the human mind works to create the human experience. 

Jun 2, 2017

Dr George Pransky and Denise Holland discuss the so-called Elite/Daily Training Environment (ETE/DTE). What changes are we likely to see when sports coaches look in the direction of the Truth of how human beings experience life, (Inside Out)? A critical area of this discussion is the topic of motivation and the traditional use of interventions, and techniques to raise our levels of engagement. 

May 26, 2017

If an understanding of the Three Principles has impacted your life, it is highly likely that you would like to share it with others. Your life has transformed, more essential communications, improved relationships, increased confidence and higher levels of productivity and effectiveness. So why when it comes to sharing such a wonderful gift with prospective clients, does it feel like a challenge? Dr George Pransky, explains the pitfalls of 'needing' and 'wanting' to share this understanding with others, and how to work with their resistance to effect a more authentic connection.

May 19, 2017

Dr George Pransky from Pransky & Associates is Denise's mentor, he explains what it is behind the genius ability of all athletes, and the fact that an understanding of this is available to everyone. Instead of traditional psychological approaches, i.e., dealing with a specific concern, e.g., coping with pressure, George points you towards relating to your thinking in a different way such that you become your psychologist!

May 12, 2017

The concluding part of the conversation with Glasgow Warrior Adam Ashe, he generously shares how his relationships with family members have positively transformed since gaining an understanding of the real cause of the human experience, i.e., Thought in the moment and nothing else, not what people do or say, situations or circumstance. Adam and Denise both share the point of when they realised that the people around them have wisdom too, and do not require their opinion, especially when they are coming from a place of judgement and personal identity. 

May 5, 2017

At the heart of the human performance, there is a space of 'natural change', a place where change happens effortlessly and spontaneously. In this session, Adam Ashe gets an insight into skills and practises and their relevance to his performance at each moment. Often, athletes with flair and the so-called X-factor are labelled as unique, and given license to run it freely while others must conform to the coaches constructs! What if ALL your athletes have this creative genius? 

Apr 28, 2017

So what is this unstoppable energy some teams display when every single player is 'on their game', and what does that mean - on your game? Adam Ashe used to believe he needed to be in a particular state of mind to be able to perform at his best, then he realised, there is no perfect state to find. Your natural state of Presence is all that is required to be able to perform perfectly well in the moment.

Apr 21, 2017

Professional Rugby Player for the Glasgow Warriors, Adam Ashe talks about his experience after being out injured for a quite a while. His return to form elevated by a profound understanding of how the human mind works.  Unburdened with needing to find the ideal state of mind to perform, he now has an undeniable knowing that he has the capacity inside always to excel, no matter what's going on inside his mind.

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