Enda McNulty is Ireland’s leading performance coach. He has worked with some of the biggest names in Irish sport – including Brian O’Driscoll, Leinster Rugby, the Irish Rugby team, golfer Shane Lowry and athlete David Gillick – and his company’s many notable corporate clients include Kellogg’s Europe, AIB Global Corporate Banking, Davy Stockbrokers, Microsoft, Zurich, BDO, Bristol Myers Squibb, and MSD.
Originally from Armagh, Enda played senior football for the county for 14 years. In 2002 he was part of the football team that won the county’s first and only All Ireland and he was an All Star that year. He graduated in psychology from Queen’s University, Belfast and holds a Masters in Sports Science from the University of Ulster. His new book Commit! draws on his personal and professional experience to demonstrates how to harness your strengths so you can live a more purposeful life. He explains how to develop a mindset that will help you to recognise and embrace opportunity, and he explores resilience and mental toughness and how to develop both. Commit! also provides practical guidance on managing physical wellness through the right mix of exercise and nutrition.
Using examples from the wide variety of the people Enda has helped – some well-known, some not so well-known – Commit! blends real world experience with the wealth of personal insight and expertise Enda has built up over the years. It’s the time of year when we are all thinking about ways to improve and what we want to achieve over the next twelve months, so we asked Enda to share some of his tips. This is what he gave us:
Mental Strength – Take action now!
- Write down a list of your biggest strengths in a journal. Really reflect on what you are strongest at. Make sure you know your biggest strengths off by heart.
- Spend fifteen minutes each day mentally rehearsing how you want to perform. Do this before your next big performance. Try to do it just before you drift off to sleep.
- Write out your confidence résumé. Compile a list of all the things you have done in your career/life that give you confidence. Add to this constantly and try to read it once a day.
- Practise using positive affirmations. The next time you exercise or train, see the session as an opportunity to train mentally as well as physically. Keep repeating positive statements in your head, over and over, as you train. Combine it with listening to your favourite music. Monitor how confident and strong you feel before and after.
- Pick a real-life situation and devise a mental rehearsal script. Use any source you can to fine-tune your simulation, making it as close to the real thing as possible. Repeat the visualization ten times a day, fourteen days in a row.
Mindset – Take action now!
- Examine a recent setback. Look at it with a fixed mindset. Now look at it with a growth mindset. What does it teach you about yourself? How can you use that lesson?
- Make a list of all of the people who might be willing to give you feedback on some aspect of your performance. Now call them up and ask them to give you comprehensive feedback.
- Look at some of the hard questions. Pick one aspect of your life. It can be anything – exercise, dealing with a difficult colleague at work, something you’ve identified as a weakness – and decide that this week you will adopt a growth mindset in relation to it.
- Do one thing today that will put you outside your comfort zone. Feel the discomfort – don’t rush back inside. Use the experience to open your mind to possibilities. Think differently about yourself.
- Do one thing each day over the next ninety days that requires a growth mindset. Perhaps take a different route to work. Perhaps write with your left hand. Do a sport or activity that you never did before. Read a book about astrophysics. Go someplace you’ve never been before.
To find out more about how to achieve a growth mindset, you can pick up a copy of Commit! online here!
(c) Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin