Therapy for Sport
Previously an EPL Premiership Youth Development Football Coach, qualified FA Referee and experienced Performer as a Music Recording Artist, I specialise in psychotherapy, counselling and mentoring for sports people and those involved in performing at any level.
Whether you’re experiencing mental blocks, injury worries or retirement issues, healing the whole individual is paramount if you are to perform at your very best.
I have worked with professional and academy footballers, cricketers, athletes, golfers, show jumpers, swimmers, Team GB gymnasts and fencers, as well as West End, professional and student actors, dancers, musicians and singers, writers, presenters and producers working in TV and Film, and been the Behavioural Therapist and Support Mentor at the Brit School for Performing Arts & Technology in London.
I ran my own nationwide soccer school for 5 years, helping elite youth footballers who had been released by professional academies, and which featured in its own 10-part TV series.
Issues I can help with include:
- Body Image
- Coach/Teacher Issues
- Coping with Pressure
- Eating Problems/Nutrition
- Fear of Failing
- Lack of Improvement
- Low Confidence
- Performance Anxiety
- Setting Goals
Dr Simon Rice, clinical psychologist
"Coaches focus a lot on resilience. At the same time they are having a battle [determining] how to [allow athletes] to be vulnerable. It is an area of contradictory messages."
Kevin Love, basketball player
"Mental health isn’t just an athlete thing. What you do for a living doesn’t have to define who you are. This is an everyone thing. No matter what our circumstances, we’re all carrying around things that hurt — and they can hurt us if we keep them buried inside."
Michael Phelps, swimmer-most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time
"For the longest time, I thought asking for help was a sign of weakness because that’s kind of what society teaches us. That’s especially true from an athlete’s perspective. If we ask for help, then we’re not this big macho athlete that people can look up to. Well, you know what? If someone wants to call me weak for asking for help, that’s their problem. Because I’m saving my own life."
Clarke Carlisle, footballer
"When I was going through my situation, I knew what support mechanisms were out there but I was so poorly that I was totally introverted. That is why these illnesses are so dangerous, because they force you to disengage. That is the total opposite of what you need to do."
Tony Adams, footballer
"I used to smash bottles on my head, [It was a] form of self-abuse. Self-destruction button. Didn’t like myself; big nose, big ears, gangly, fear, insecurity. I looked in the mirror and saw my dad (who died aged 66 in 2002). I had a beard and glasses and looked more like him than me. It was scary."
Hope Solo, footballer
"I hit an all-time low. I didn’t leave the house. I was in a complete depression. It took putting one foot in front of the other every single day to get through it to the point where I made it back on the team and won a gold medal in 2008."
Stephen Weatherly, American football player
"I thought I wasn’t worthy. I thought I wasn’t good enough for anybody else, and so that leads to depression. But I was able to come out on the other side thanks to the love and support of my family."
Josh Richardson, basketball player
"You have to consciously stay on your mental health, because if you don’t, you can look up and you’re depressed or you’re just not in the right state of mind. I’ve seen guys succumb to that. It’s tough to dig yourself out of that hole. I was there, to be honest. I was there this summer for a while. I got a therapist and I’ve been trying to work that out."
Aaron Lennon, footballer
"There are probably still players out there who don’t want to talk about anything to anyone – I know because that is just what I was like – but my message would be to speak to someone because there is a lot of help available and it can really make a difference. The person I spoke to when I was being treated helped me massively within about 10 minutes."
Mardy Fish, tennis player
"It’s OK not to be OK. To show weakness, we’re told in sports, is to deserve shame. But showing weakness, addressing your mental health, is strength."
Serena Williams, tennis player
"I definitely have not been happy, especially when I had surgery on my foot, I was definitely depressed. I cried all the time. I was miserable to be around. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal."
Kevin Love, basketball player
"Mental health is an invisible thing, but it touches all of us at some point or another. It’s part of life."
Tyson Fury, boxer
"If I can come back from it then anybody else can. I’m no special person, just a human being made of blood and bone."
Danny Cipriani, rugby union player
"When I was 22, I was going through severe depression. I was seeing a psychiatrist, and I had to keep turning up, keeping playing as my mum has taught me. I love her for that, because that is how you get over things; one part of it. I decided at a point it was time for me to take my own life. I tried to buy a gun, and I pulled out of it. This went on for two months and I couldn’t do it, because I had some fight in me. What I’m trying to say is it’s okay to be vulnerable, and that it doesn’t matter what people are saying about you. I’ve worried my whole life and we all have moments of weakness. I’ve heard that said hundreds of time but I truly understand it now."