The Darkness inside an Athlete’s Brain

Starting this post I am feeling an uneasy feeling, firstly because I know that getting inside of the brain of a high performance athlete is dangerous; secondly because every person is different, my experiences, my thoughts and my belief system is true to me and is to be taken solely from a personal view and not to be interpreted as the only way that an athlete’s brain works (you are all educated people so you will hopefully get it :P).

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” VINCENT VAN GOGH

Dealing with darkness…what does this mean? In any athlete’s life (any life) you will have to come up against yourself and your brain. Inside your brain will be some interesting things. Inside here will be self doubt, anxiety, procrastination, fear, fear, fear and maybe let us just throw in some crazy mood swings just for fun. You may be on edge, you may be so worked up that you under perform even when you DID EVERYTHING to make sure that you could perform. These experiences will either destroy you or create you but persistence is the key. The brain and psychology is one aspect that I wish athletes studied on par with their degrees to gain their best performance.

So how do we deal with the darkness? Sadly, some athletes and people never do, some people learn to live with it and others learn to conquer it. You have the choice: give up, let it destroy you, or fight, fight through to get to the better days of your athlete life.

“Ride the waves everyone told me, enjoy the journey, they told me, I don’t think they realised how fucking big the waves were going to be” – Aimee Phillips

The next post I am going to document 30 days of me trying to use HEADSPACE (a meditation app). I am a very strong, self aware person but have neglected my meditation practices and I feel that this will add to my game and who I am as a person, most importantly. So the next 30 days I am going to document using the app and if it actually changed anything. See my stories and Facebook updates.

Also a massive thanks to my FACEBOOK community. 1000+ likes a month ago, but most importantly, genuine connections and support from you during the last 5+ years. You have helped provide me with the opportunities I have today. Thank you for never leaving my side.

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How to Deal with People that are Hard to Deal With – Football – Wise

Hi everyone, we are going to have a small break from my adventures in Serbia and get back to those stories next week. This blog is about dealing with those hard personalities on and definitely off the pitch and yes I am one of them.

In football there are huge personalities and in life, but in this blog I am only going to cover some of the personalities that I have had to deal with on the pitch. Some people may be able to relate, others not, and that is perfectly ok but if you are one of those players or people that can relate then this blog is for you.

When you are playing in a team, there are huge and forever-changing dynamics and personalities. If someone does not like you, they have the power to destroy your season and either turn the team against you or make you the champion or “popular player”. I am a very positive individual, who can be very kind. In football, this has been mistaken by many players. Who have made fun of how I am as a person and as a player on the field. I have a unique personality that can easily be targeted. Why? This is because I am different and I guess football teams can either embrace that or ridicule you for it.

I do not know about you but I can accept criticism, but what I do not like and absolutely hate is the constant yelling and being talked to like a dog from individuals at times, it comes with the territory. Why do these players do this? Good question, please ask them for me. Obviously, everyone has different belief systems and deal with situations differently. This will happen anywhere you are but I truly believe that there is no space for toxicity in any organisation.

. Personally, I do not believe that someone telling me how to play the game every move of the game is effective because I have my own brain, but what is helpful is my teammates having high expectations of me, like in Germany. My advice on this, put them in their place, otherwise they will get worse and worse. Or just laugh and feel sorry for them and play BOSS anyway. When you play BOSS, there is nothing more to say.

Look, the main thing to say is: I feel you. Over the years, I have had so many messages from players explaining to me the racism, abuse, isolation they found whilst playing in their teams. I really hope that this does not happen to you, but there will be times where you face adversity, I can guarantee you on that. We have all gone through it, we go through it and yes, these players are in our team, and we are a team so we have to work with what we have got. You can influence how they react and deal with you but I don’t think its worth the energy worrying about or thinking that there is something wrong with you; there isn’t.

No one should be talked to with disrespect or a tone that is not respectable. Do not ever let them dim your light.

Until next time. Aimee

Football Sucks

I am so sorry to tell you this…BUT there will be some days where football sucks, it will not only just suck. It will ruin your day, it will ruin your night, it will make you doubt yourself, it may make you do none of these things, it may make you want to prove the naysayers wrong, it could do a lot of things BUT from my experience, there will be days where football is just going to SUCK and there is nothing really good to say about it. I understand the feeling too well and empathise with you. I can’t always tell you that it will be ok, because it won’t BUT I will give you hope. That it will only take one game, one game for everything to click for you to feel like you love the game again. And you do love the game. You just don’t like everything that comes with it.

Live with it, use it to be better. There will be a team for you, there will be, you just need to TRUST that with hard work you will get better and continue getting better.

On those days especially, I want you to be good to yourself (I know that it is easier said than done). I want you to really take in this blog post and UNDERSTAND that there are thousands of people out there who would LOVE to be you. However, that thinking does give me perspective but not enough these days. What keeps me going is being kind to myself. I watch my game, I take in what I can from feedback (I do not let people, even coaches perspectives drown my inner soul), I focus on what I did, what I can do better and I MOVE the hell on.

I forgive myself. Yes, that is right, I forgive myself for being so mean and having these expectations on myself. I move on and realise that I am my investment, and I will continue working on my craft. It will get better. It will get better.

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