• Henrik Hjarsbaek

Why I love mental training

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

When starting your own business it can, in so many ways, be a challenging time. You are constantly encountering little obstacles on the way. Little obstacles that take time away from what is your passion. For me that passion is mental training and the psychological work with athletes.

We all encounter challenges on our journey through life, including me. Sometimes it is easy to feel like you keep running into a brick wall. In these moments, it is important to keep a rational perspective and focus on the positive aspects, instead of nagging issues such as the annoying landlord, a complex piece of legislation or a score of other things that have nothing to do with mental training or the development of my clients.

Luckily, HH Mentality (mentaltræning in Danish) has experienced a positive progress since we started. There is a lot to do and I have had to admit that the work took a lot of my time, if not all of it. Therefore, I have had to take measures to create some balance. For one, we have added more employees, which enables me to focus on the things I love the most - developing athletes, optimizing performance and handling mental challenges.

The work with sport psychology is celebrated with this cake
mental training in a cake :)

Succes through mental training

It has been a good year. My clients have experienced a lot succes, both on and off the field. Some have had their debut on the national team. Some have reached performance levels that they did not think they could. Some have had personal “aha”-moments. All have been extremely fulfilling for me to see.

When I work with athletes, we begin by mapping out the mental challenges that the athlete is experiencing and, based on that, construct a plan for how they can maximize their focus and efforts towards a positive result.

After a couple of months, where they have had time to practice the tools and processes we have worked with, it is always extremely gratifying when we meet again and they are able to look a things from a different perspective. One of my clients had a recurring issue with controlling her temper on the field when things did not go well:

“I have issues with controlling my temper and it hurts my team when I lose it. I get sent off and then I cannot help my teammates on the field. It is frustrating.”

But after a couple of months of mental training, the athlete returned with a very different result:

I succeeded in not letting the irritation of a hard foul get the best of me. I focussed on my responsibilities in the game and had a lot of small successes where I felt more in control of my actions. It is just fantastic that I have more self-control and awareness about why I act as I do.”

Those situations are the absolute best things about being a mental coach. I love working with people and digging deep into their mentality. It is a great source of motivation for me. When they experience succes, I do too. Of course, the proces in itself is gratifying but seeing the effect of the hard work put in by my clients makes it all the more so.

Share the joy of the little things in life

In today’s society, we have a tendency to focus on our failures. Whether you are an athlete, a mental coach, a businessperson, a teacher or an independent contractor, we can all fall into the trap created by our negative thoughts. However, I am of the conviction that we have to celebrate all our successes, no matter the size. So I decided to celebrate HH Mentality’s positive direction with a delicious, and rather impressive, cake.

After a bit of research, I chose a local bakery, Bake My Day, that makes beautiful cakes for every occasion, whether it is wedding cakes or, in my case, a “little” celebratory cake (in danish the traditionel fødselsdagskager).

I settled on a two-layered beauty of a cake big enough to feed 40 people, so the entire office, my colleagues and the office building’s receptionists could experience possibly the best cake of the year.

And it was well-received, with only a few crumbs left on the plate.

It is important, not only for my clients but certainly for me as well, to remain focused on the right things and remember to enjoy all successes, however small or large they may be. Whether it is successes with my clients, hiring new employees, immersing yourself in the newest theories in mental training or experiencing new flavors, we have to take a minute or two to actually enjoy them before we race on to the next project.

So a big thank you to Bake My Day for supplying the delicious treat and putting a smile on the faces of the entire office on this delightful Friday.

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