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How to Kill Fear of Mental Health in 5 Seconds. Hey, I’m Sarah from mostmotion® and I’m here with another video for every sports and fitness coach who wants to do everything they possibly can to help their clients avoid injury, get past the obstacles that are stopping them moving forwards and get the best results they possibly can. So, how do we kill the fear of mental health in five seconds? Well, I can do it in about three, actually, you’re already doing it. So it’s not what you think, though. You’re not already doing it in the way that you think.
Most coaches think about mental health, if they think about it at all, as something like the natural high of exercise. After exercise, obviously, we get that rush of endorphins. And we get that sense of achievement and all that kind of stuff. And yes, that will help mental health, you’ll also get the benefit of having that social interaction with someone. So whether you’re writing them a plan, and you’re sending it by email, getting that email feels like you’re interacting with somebody, or you might be doing it on zoom, you might be doing it in person, it doesn’t really matter how you interact with your people, you will also get a benefit of mental health like that. But there is a third way that most people don’t even consider. And that is silence.
I know it sounds crazy. But I was listening to a podcast by Brene Brown, the other day called Unlocking us. And she was interviewing the Duplass brothers. They are filmmakers, they’ve been very close in their relationship as brothers for a long time and they were talking about the best way to have the most difficult conversations, they were talking about the idea of no eye contact, but doing a physical task at the same time. So the discussion went on, I’ll put the link into the comments below. So you can link to the podcast itself. But they were saying that the best connections in teams especially, are made with all those times where you’re doing a physical task, not necessarily talking to each other. But you’re in a group situation, you’re doing complex tasks for maybe long periods of time with silence, or no eye contact, the hardest way to get somebody to open up is to have them face to face. So you’re across a table or something like that. It’s very confronting for people.
If they’re struggling with mental health issues, like maybe they’re having to go through something in their life, at the time that they are really not comfortable talking about, they just want to do some exercise. This is where fitness coaches, sports coaches are in a brilliant position. And every single person, every single coach has got this skill, because just by putting your session on, that is giving those people the ability to do something practical, and avoid that kind of eye contact with people if they don’t want to have it. So why is this important to you? Well, it’s important because emotional stress is the biggest cause of injury, and that’s super important to you if you want to help your clients get the best results you possibly can and if you want to help them avoid injury, then we cannot avoid the issue of emotional stress. Now, that doesn’t mean to say you have to dive in with a with a conversation about it. Like I said, you’re already doing something about it. But your behaviour can make or break someone in a way.
If you’ve got somebody who’s struggling really badly with with some kind of anxiety about something in their life right now. Maybe they’re about to lose their job, maybe they have lost their job. Maybe they’ve lost somebody close to them, maybe somebody has died. But there’s an issue in their life that you really can’t do anything about, but they are struggling with. Sometimes the best solution is to do absolutely nothing. You know, you don’t need to dive in with those conversations. You don’t need to mention anything at all, and you don’t need to force them to make eye contact with you either. Okay, so let’s give you two different scenarios. All right, I have had many anxiety issues, I sometimes do, everybody does, but when my anxiety when my issues are quite high, I love going swimming to my local triathlon club training and if my anxiety is really bad, then I will put myself at the back of the lane. Usually I’m leading the lane. I’ll put myself back and I’ll just do as little as I possibly can just to feel like I’m doing something, okay, but in the two different types of scenarios with me in your session, okay. You could either focus on my technique problems, you could focus on the fact that I, I’m not in a position where I’m pushing hard enough.
In this situation, I have put myself at the back of the lane lots of times. And every single time somebody in front of me goes, No, no, you’re faster than me, you should be at the front. I like I really don’t want to be at the front today. Just leave me alone. I just want to be here. I just want to plod along at the back and feel like I’m doing something that will make me feel better. No, I don’t want to have to tell people that that’s what’s going on in my head. I just want to get on with the session. Just want to do it. So when you’re pushing people and other people in the in your group will do that, oh, you’re faster than me. You go to the front and they push, push, push, push, push, no. That’s happened to me before I’ve gone to the front of the lane. And within 10 minutes, 15 minutes, I’ve got out and gone home. Because that was overwhelming to me.
Yes, my ability suggests that I should be at the front of the lane, my mental state on that day means that putting me at the back is the best thing to do. As a coach, you can do that. But also you can see this behaviour in other people in your sessions. Okay, you can acknowledge that somebody is having issues that you might not be able to do anything about, you can be compassionate to that person and just say, look, okay, leave them at the back of the lane. Let’s rotate the leader. So every few, I don’t know, every 50 metres whatever, we’re going to swap the leader. Would that work? Of course it would. Is that putting pressure on somebody who feels overwhelmed? No, because they’re doing the session, they’re getting on with it. They’re not at the front and having that pressure all the time. You’re gonna have people like this in your session, it’s not just exclusive to me.
So the second, obviously, that was kind of one scenario, you can push them too hard, you can focus on their technique, you can bombard them with technical language, you can push them to engage with you, or even just smile at you. Like, if I’m feeling really crap, the last thing I want to do is force a smile, and forced to be engaged with somebody. Leave me alone, just let me get on with it. That will be the best thing for me right now. Because I can’t cope with everything else that’s going on, I come to the session, just to get away from it all.
So the second scenario in this situation is you can acknowledge the fact that there might be something going on in my head in my life that doesn’t involve you. And I don’t want it to involve you either. You can be mindful of your language, you can take away the word should, or you should be doing it like this, or you’re not doing it like this properly. You know, don’t focus on the things that I’m not doing well, I don’t want to know. I’ve got enough problems in my head without you adding to them. And simple things like this can really make a difference when somebody is feeling quite fragile. So be mindful of your language.
The second thing is don’t push them to do more than they really want to, okay, there’s a difference between being lazy, and not being able to cope. If there’s a significant pattern of people in your sessions, and they’re consistently just not doing enough, then you might, you know, you can get to know them, you can understand the difference between them just being lazy or not being able to cope. And you can simplify tasks, you can just make it dead dead simple for them to do something like your instructions should be very, very simple, very, very clear. Because the more complicated it is, the more perception of stress that’s adding to somebody who’s already not coping well, with that stress. So you simplify language, simplify the task.
And the last thing that you can do, which is super powerful, is to encourage self exploration. Okay, so let’s use my swimming scenario as an example. If the task was to swim, I don’t know 50 metres, that’s up the lane and back. Then you might ask me to do, I don’t know a specific drill. like trail fingers. So that’s where you trail your fingers along the along the water, and it encourages you to lift your elbow high. Self exploration might be swim 50 metres and investigate all the ways that you can trail your fingers on the water top. Simple. That’s not you telling me what to do. That’s me investigating for myself. And the difference with that, is the stress of being able to do it right or the feeling that I should be doing it right, compared to taking my mind of what’s already in my head and asking me to do something different. With somebody who’s struggling to cope with a stress of their life that is super powerful, because just that investigation idea switches them from their own problems that they’ve been worrying about. And it switches them from having more pressure to deal with, to feeling like they’re doing something different. And they’re taking their mind off something which is huge.
How do you know if somebody is struggling? Well, you can sometimes see it in the behaviours. So for me, I might not be smiling at anybody, I’ll just stay at the back, I won’t really say much. Or you might have them where they’re being extra loud. So sometimes, you know, if somebody isn’t coping, well, then they lash out at people or they’re just super loud compared to how they normally are in the session. But you might not see any of that either. Because one of the best coping strategies for people who are really struggling is to hide it. So, the best thing that you can do is assume that people in your sessions are struggling with something in their lives. If you can add all of those things that we mentioned in this video, be mindful of your language. Don’t push people to do too much. You can gently push them like I said, with a rotating the leader of the lane, that could be helpful. But insisting that somebody does something that they use usually do is not helpful. And then simplifying the tasks and the language that you’re using, and encouraging self exploration. If you do this every session, then everybody in your session is going to benefit not just the people who are struggling. So I hope you enjoyed this video. If you want more insights like this and more different ways of being able to help your people to prevent injury and get the best out of their results. We’ve got a free Facebook group, you can come and join us at injuryhackers.com there’s loads of coaches in the growing community. We’re having some really interesting discussions about this kind of stuff. So make sure you come and join us at injury hackers calm and I’ll see you next time. Thanks for watching