Talk on Mental Performance – May 2016

On Friday 13th May, over 50 club members and friends attended a talk from mental performance coach, Andrew Cohen-Wray, at the Discovery Centre, The Royal Latin School. The talk was very entertaining and full of useful tips and advice on how to prepare mentally for a race and tackle your demons.

Here are some notes taken by Ivan at the talk, supplemented by ones from Andy’s slides …

  • Andy invited the audience to ask themselves “What is the purpose of our goal (I.e. running a marathon)?” Is your goal strong enough to cope with the pain during any races whilst your body is screaming in pain!
  • Andy introduced the concept of PACER which stands for:
    • Positive
    • Achievement
    • Context
    • Ecology
    • Resources

More on PACER can be found on…


  • Is what you’re asking yourself representative of your persona?  And what you really want?
  • Learn the difference that makes the difference by listening to other people’s opinions or experiences
  • Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
  • There is no failure…just feedback from your body, your performance and other people
  • Stop comparing yourself to others as each of us is coming from a different journey that eventually meets up in the same place at the same time (the racing day)
  • Seeing is believing. Sometime it is good to visualise the path that takes you to the outcome to believe you can achieve it. Also, try to visualise the outcome – picture the finish line and how you’ll feel when you cross it. Or think about what you’ll be doing later in the day and how you’ll feel having completed your goal.
  • Memory access cues could also trigger pain felt from previous identical scenarios – tell yourself that was then, this is now – and you’ve trained harder, prepared differently etc.
  • Andy suggests repeating these messages in your mind … “be positive, be amongst the competitors and have no fear”.
  • Self talk – voice inside your head. Turn the noise down if you can during any performances. Take any other worries out of your mind during a performance.
  • Age is irrelevant. Be the best you can with what you have got in you!
  • Name your fears. Write them down
  • Perfection does not exist
  • Don’t compare yourself to others neither during training nor during the race. Just learn and compare notes positively with others.

With thanks to Ivan Colombo and Andy Cohen-Wray for supplying the above.