Mental Skills Academy is Andrew May and Dr Nicola Gates’ comprehensive curriculum based on the latest neuroscience and performance psychology exploring what it takes to perform under pressure and have a healthy, flourishing mind.
Psychological skills, or mental skills are tools for the mind. Just like putting a fitness program together to train the body to be healthy, fit, flexible and strong; we can do exactly the same for your brain. Positive psychology teaches us changing the way we think is like learning a new skill, such as playing the guitar or ice skating: we need to keep practising and have the right coaching and support until we become competent and gain mastery.
With all of the negative media regarding the economy, workplace changes, unemployment, climate change, bushfire season, etc – it is easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic. Attitudes are contagious and Mental Skills Academy will inspire you to reach a new level of performance in your professional and personal life.
Performance psychology traditionally focused on elite sport, performing arts and the military. Now available to mainstream, research indicates optimism is only 25% inheritable and there are a multitude of controllable factors that can increase our levels of optimism and positivity.
Mental Skills Academy teaches you to train and nurture your brain with just as much care and dedication as you look after your body. What we are striving for is a healthy, positive, adaptive mindset that allows us to commit to high pressure Performance Moments with full engagement, and to be open to the growth that new challenges offer.
Mental Skills Academy Will Teach You:
- The difference between physical and psychological resilience and how to build a ‘resilience margin’
- Mental skills training including positive self-talk, reframing and confidence
- Performance psychology techniques including imagery, visualisation, pre-performance routines, relaxation training and goal setting
- The difference between optimism and pessimism and how to be more optimistic
- The most common Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s) and how to identify them
- Why we need to stop giving kids ribbons for coming 10th
- Grit is a construct combining passion and perseverance and can be learned
- How gratitude improves relationships, enhances recovery and boosts self-esteem
- How optimism positively impacts health and wellbeing, relationships and productivity
- How nutrition, exercise, daily movement and sleep impacts brain performance
- How mindfulness is both a state and a skill
- The importance of building laughter, fun and play
- Why play is the gateway to vitality, enhances relationships, boosts learning, keeps us healthy, happy and young at heart.
- The 5 essential components of a Growth Mindset and why it is fundamental to neuroplasticity
- The key to staying calm in high pressure situations is front-loading cognitive skills through mental skills training
- Emotional regulation and staying calm under pressure
- Brain neuroscience and how to shift from the amygdala (emotions and defensiveness) to the cerebral cortex (strategic and focused)
- Dealing with specific challenges
- The importance of role modelling optimism from the top down and how to cultivate an optimistic work culture
- How to achieve in all parts of your life through improved psychological skills training
Dr Nicola Gates is a registered Clinical Neuropsychologist, author and neuroscience researcher. She has over twenty-five years of experience working with individuals, insurers, and corporations assessing and promoting optimal brain health, cognitive function and psychological wellbeing.