Where's Your Head At seminar - brief report

Speakers included John Belton (No17 Personal Training), Anne-Marie Kennedy (SportsYogaIreland), John O'Regan (Irish ultra-runner) and Hazel Findlay (International Professional Climber) Note: compliments to Trish Fox Designs for the artwork

Speakers included John Belton (No17 Personal Training), Anne-Marie Kennedy (SportsYogaIreland), John O'Regan (Irish ultra-runner) and Hazel Findlay (International Professional Climber)

Note: compliments to Trish Fox Designs for the artwork

And it's done! My amazing wife, Naomi of Elements Yoga, with support from Mountaineering Ireland (who kindly allowed use of the venue for use on the day), and numerous other sponsors (supplying various hand-outs and spot prizes) had organised a new (annual? hint hint) seminar on the topic of "mental training techniques for climbing". She had four incredible individuals pre-chosen, and the day, they all lived up the dream she had had for it. Did I mention there were 70+ in attendance - enthusiasm was in there in abundance with a truly amazing group of motivated people from early teens to well, a senior age!

I'll only give a brief overview below to give a taster to those not there - expect to see a proper write-up with more details on Mountaineering Ireland, and Naomi's website. As for the slides,  those who attended will be getting access to various details, but for those who didn't attend, you'll just have to make sure you attend the next one ;)

 

John Belton, No.17 Personal Training

Starting off with John (whom is in the process of opening a new larger facility just south of St. Stephens Green in early February), the event kicked off with a great overview of the components of human performance (slide below), opening quite a few eyes for attendees

John can be found at No17 PT

 

Anne Marie Kennedy, Sports Yoga Ireland

Anne-Marie came to the event and jumped straight onto the topics of "the importance of sport psychology for training, competing and success".

Flowing off the back of John's earlier talk, it nicely dove-tailed in the mental well-being and strategies for achievement, including even two practical activities to coax a few sceptics attitudes to the topic - again, all left hugely impressed. (sample slide below).

Anne-Marie can be found at Sports Yoga Ireland.

 

John O'Regan, Irish International Ultra-runner, Adventurer and Running Coach

Next up following a now-slightly late lunch (both previous speakers could have kept going for the day, we'll be looking to do some more events with them in the future), John O'Regan stepped in with numerous accountants putting a good mental mindset to a very practical use. Straight after food, John's talk given with humour, self-awareness and under-statedness (it was easy to forget he was talking about running events of 250km non-stop....) to explore what is possible. It may not have been discussing climbing, but it was easy to see correlations that could be applied.

John's stories can be found here and he's very active on Twitter.

A photo paints a thousand words - it's not hard to understand the mentality needed to run a marathon at the North Pole.

A photo paints a thousand words - it's not hard to understand the mentality needed to run a marathon at the North Pole.

 

Hazel Finday, International Professional Climber and Founder of Mindful Climbing

Hazel needs little no introduction in the climbing scene (but just in case, a small snippet: E9 on trad, 8c sport, 3 free routes on Yosemite, won the Golden Piton award in 2013, and an avid promotor of mindset in climbing) and finished off the day with a deck that tied perfectly into the three previous speaker's own decks. Touching on the key topics of meditation, fear or failure, what motivates people (I specifically chose the slide below from her slide as anyone who has been reading this blog for a long time will hopefully recognise that this is something I've preached consistently myself), and various solutions to different aspects. Did I mention, it was a perfect end to the day tying the various strands of what makes up human performance (John Belton's), psychology for training and success (Anne Marie's), and the practical examples (John O'Regan's) and specifically mapping it to rock climbing.

Hazel can be found here.

 

Conclusion

All in all, what a day! For those who did attend, hopefully you got as much out of it as I did (and make sure to say hi to Naomi and tell her if see her around :). Looking forward to seeing more of these in the future!

Interesting Books on the Topic

There's a range of books for anyone interested on these areas, I've linked to a sample below - all books in my own library and thus recommended:

The Rock Warrior's Way

Espresso Lessons

With Winning in Mind

Pure Sport

The Champion's Mind

Mind Gym

Manage Your Mind

The Chimp Paradox

 

For Coach's (specifically, the previous are useful to all). *More updates to follow here.

Teach Like a Champion

 

 

For those interested, slides can be found here and here.

Neal McQuaid