It has been over a year since I last posted a blog post. The main reason for my early retirement from blogging was that I felt I had got most of the things I wanted to say out. However, the world has changed beyond recognition and I have had a number of requests to resurrect the blog in these unprecedented times. So what have I been doing for over a year? I have continued to coach at grassroots but my penultimate post Me V Me will give you a strong hint of what I was starting back in January 2019. I would like to report that I have been continuing this theme of working on myself to establish good habits to become a better coach and person. I can report on the following progress:
- My physical health has improved considerably as I am maintaining a fitness regime consisting of working out 5 days out of 7 per week. This includes running, cycling which are continuing outside and before the lockdown also included spin classes, cross training, gym weights and core session plus some classes like HIITS and Body Pump.
- No alcohol for 10 months now
- 14 days into developing a daily meditation practice (many false starts on this one!)
- Learning about spirituality
The main outcomes from the above is the way I have been feeling. In the physical form I have lost around a stone and a half but it is more about the feeling of energy and aliveness I have now. I am probably the fittest I have been since I stopped playing football in my early 30’s. I believe I am now fitter at 53 than I was at 33. I am thinking more clearly and the meditation and spiritual work is certainly helping my thinking and outlook in these difficult times. I believe this has boosted my immune system which has been shown to have a clear advantage in fighting COVID 19.
My main aim over this period was developing good habits which would last. I now believe I have developed the physical habit of the 3 key areas (SPM – Spiritual, Physical, Mental). One habit (physical) is consistent and has now been going for nearly 18 months although I need to add other aspects like healthy, clean eating which will enhance this aspect further. I have started working on the other two areas by learning as much as I can and applying them everyday in both work and play. For the ones who have followed this blog, you will know I have talked about the ego many times and I have delved deeper into this area and will talk about this more. I don’t think it is saying too much but the ego is a massive part in getting us into this current mess.
This blog looks through the lens of grassroots football and the lessons learned and applied. This is a bit hard just now as it all closed down and has been for over a month. This is why it is important that we all consistently work on ourselves, and not just sitting back and waiting for it all to return to ‘normal’ My belief is that normal is going to look very different so we must all work on ourselves so we are ready and be the best version of ourselves when the restrictions are lifted. We will need to be in peak condition mentally, physically and spiritually as I believe we face even bigger challenges ahead.
My ambition as a coach has always been to make my players better as both footballers and people so if I can help anyone out there then I am open to trying anything to help you through our current crazy situation. So, as a start, make sure you are getting your exercise daily. Outside is best in nature, even if it is just for a walk. Try meditation if you have never done so. Switch the news and social media off as that just sucks your energy. Focus on the positives and look at what you can be grateful for. The world is being portrayed as a big scary place but don’t give into this fear. The world and the people are still great. Let’s focus on what we can do. My simple model of SPM is what I am working on daily and the beauty of it is you can do it in self-isolation. As everyone keeps saying we are in this together so let’s get out of the fear state and do the things we can do and be positive on this test we have been set.
So, finally, it’s good to be back and sharing some thoughts and hopefully I can explore all the aspects of where we currently are and how we can move forward.