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In Health and Fitness but more commonly within Sports, the Inner Game refers to the mental preparation to undertake the game and win. The Inner Game Mental preparation and rehearsal has become a major part of all sport in recent years. I have several friends that have taken part as Olympic athletes and they talk about how they mentally rehearse what they are going to do before taking part.

For example, in the Skeleton Bob my friend will actually close her eyes and mentally imagine the whole experience including each and every turn. As she does this she will even move her body from right and left with her eyes closed as she go through each turn.

The Outer Game has more to do with the physical skills. It might involve everything from nutrition, exercise routines and the details such as sets and reps. The most famous Body Builder in the world was Arnold Schwarzenegger and he was very well known for being exceptionally good at the Outer Game which involved the physical skills but he was also fantastic at the Inner Game. He would use this Inner Game to his advantage by instilling negative thoughts in the other competitors prior to a show so that he damaged their confidence. So not only did he understand the Inner Game and its value to himself, but also how he could disrupt the performance of another competitor by affecting their Inner Game.

NLP provides a model of change and various tools that can help clients in this Inner Game. By identifying the 'ingredients' of excellent performance i.e. what it is it that top athletes do that is different from less-expert people then systematically introduce these 'ingredients' into their own performance using NLP techniques.

One of the key ways to winning the Inner Game of fitness training is by creating a compelling future. This involves visualising desired goals and successful outcomes very much in the way that I have described above. These images help to propel us toward a dream, goal or an outcome in life. Compelling futures are formed around core values and questions to ask include-

  • "In general, what motivates you?"

  • "What inspires you?"

  • "What moves you to action, or gets you out of bed in the morning?"

Core values are things such as success, praise, recognition, love and acceptance. If we can connect our future plans to these kinds of core values then these goals become even more compelling. We represent these values to ourselves as inner pictures, sounds, words and feelings and these sensory perceptions really influence us strongly on how we think and feel about something. ​

I've worked within the Health and Fitness Industry for many years and I'm a fully qualified International Fitness and Sports Therapist, able to advise on all aspects of Health, Fitness and Nutrition.


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