2) What is your biggest accomplishment in your sports?
3) What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
The quality, quantity and detailed nature of my sessions on a weekly basis are key to allowing me to perform to the best of my ability and for a long period of time.
4) What would be your ultimate achievement?
To play professionally.
5) What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
I am probably my biggest challenge. I need to manage everything I do, from my diet, my lifestyle, my training, everything to the last detail has to be thought about and worked on so I can ultimately achieve my goal.
6) What 1-2 things do you believe makes you different from fellow competitors who have tailed off in their athletic participation and abilities?
Fearless on the pitch, and I really focus on my technical ability. I am a perfectionist on the pitch, always expect the best at everything I do.
7) Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites,
I’m always looking for different things that would improve my game, I religiously get the 442 magazine and go straight to the performance chapter.
8) What was the best advice you were ever given?
It is such a simple thing that was said to me, by a coach I really admire and has helped a lot, but it was just "put your head down, do the hard work and you will get there".
9) Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Not particularly, I try to just be laid back, which proved to be a challenge for me.
10) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Wanting to win!
11) How has sport psychology helped you with your performance?
Personally sports psychology has helped my performances because it has helped me improve my character on the pitch, with the help of psychologists I have learned to be more calm, and to just keep digging away at my goals.
12) What do you think athlete’s opinion of hiring a sport psychologist is? And what benefits do you think people would gain from having sport psychology support?
I know some athletes believe that it is useless, people think sport is soley based on physical, technical and tactic aspects. I believe that the mental aspect is one of the biggest factors in high level sport. In my opinion hiring a sports psychologist isn’t going to ever have a detrimental effect on your performance, so at the end of the day you either listen and apply it or don’t.
13) What type of things do you think a sport psychologist can help with? Or what things has being involved in sport psychology helped you with?
A sports psychologist can help you in more ways than I ever thought they could, sport psychology plays a part in your character building, your technical performance, your tactical ability and your physical capacity.
14) What things can coaches do to motivate you and make you perform at your best? What things does your coach (previous coach) do to build your confidence and motivate you?
To be honest, when it comes to game days I like to be left and not bombarred with information and inspirational speeches. Training is when I like to be given information whether its about how I have to play, or improvements I need to make on my game. I'm not big on praise being given to me and a pat on the back everytime I do something good. I'm at the stage in my career that I know myself if I have done bad or good. All the coaches I work with now or recently know this about me, so I am normally just left to get on with things.
15) What things does your coach (and previous coaches) do that makes you feel worse about performing/distract you/make your performance decrease?
I used to get so worked up if I was getting shouted at for doing something wrong and used to think that coaches were on my case all the time, which did have a detrimental effect on my performances. But through growing up and maturing, and also the help of sports psychology that isn’t the
16) What advice would you give coaches to help get the best out of their players?
The one bit of advice for coaches would be that they have to learn the needs of each individual player and work around that, some players like/need praise to perform at their best, other don’t. Some need
motivated others don’t. It's all about learning about each individual and what works best for them.
17) What advice would you give players to help them perform at their best?
Block out what they don’t what or what is going to have a negative effect on them and seek what they know will allow them to perform at their best.
Lisa Cairns, 25, is previously from Bathgate, West Lothian but is currently living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Lisa has been doing karate for 19 years and sport in general for 22 years (swimming, athletics, ballet).
Lisa's has a BSc in Physiotherapy & MSc in Musculoskeletal injuries. She previously worked in the NHS in both Lanarkshire & Lothian in musculoskeletal outpatients, and currently works in a private clinic in Brisbane city centre and covers a women's rugby 15's team and a men and women's rugby 7's team. Lisa was kind enough to provide us with insight and inspiration into her performance career and also, the ongoing battle of injury that she has been faces. She is a true inspiration to those who have perserved through pain, and strives every day to be better.
What got me started in karate:
My mum and brother used to do karate and I wanted to do what my older brother done, as soon as I started I never looked back.
My biggest sports accomplishment:
I can't say that I only have one, I have a few they would be getting a bronze medal at the Worlds, winning the
Europeans and winning the Commonwealth games. Also being part of the Scottish National Team for 8years prior to leaving Scotland.
Key to Success:
I would say my dedication is key to my sucess. The fact that I am not 19years down the line in this sport and I continue to attend my training sessions 3 times a week, regardless of what else I have on or what injuries I
have. The other would be discipline, I am very disciplined towards my sport and perfecting my sport whether that is a technique I want to master or a speed drill or an endurance drill I will do whatever it takes to be the best at what I do. I am a high achiever.
My ultimate achievement would have been to win the world championships if you had asked me a few months ago. However now it would be to be a very successful coach at World level and for my students to bring back medals.
My biggest challenge has to be my back injury that I sustained when I was just 17. I kept pushing through my pain and continued to be successful at the highest level until I was told I had to go for spinal surgery in July 2009. Following my surgery in July 2009 I was still in a lot of pain and when I went back for my follow up I was informed my surgery had been done wrong and the wrong level of my spine had been operated on. I then was informed that I had to go back and have a second surgery just 6weeks after the first operation.
Following my second surgery I really struggled to get back to training and full fitness and had 15months off competing and 9months off training. When I finally got back training and competing I struggled with fatigue and pain in my back. I soon realised that I may never get back to the same level of karate again. I was then informed in August 2012 that I should stop competing all together and begin to limit my training as my back was considered unstable. I was devastated as you can imagine and felt like I was grieving a loss. I found it
difficult to overcome but I did.
I then decided to move to Australia. I continue to try and train over here and my back had been feeling a little better until I had an acute episode at work where my back locked up, gave way and went into spasm. I then proceeded to go and see the top neurosurgeon in Brisbane he informed me that my back was much worse than I ever anticipated. He informed me that my stabilising muscles and ligaments of my lower back had been cut through and the muscle could not be replaced or improved and therefore told me that I required to have my spine reconstructed in September this year. I will only be allowed to do some light training from now on, no high impact activities from now on and i will never compete again.
I think life gets in the way, people are either at university where they struggle to do the whole time management thing or they start working and have to work late and can't make training or can't get time off for competitions. Some people simply get scunnered with it and lose interest and the other one is that
financially its hard to keep up a sport that you get no funding for.
Mind Games (can't remember who its by)
Write down top 10 achievements in anything in my life so far and look at it every night and every morning.
Never be afraid of failure.
I draw my inspiration from my coaches and my family, they have supported me through my highs and my lows. They have stuck by me and helped me through some of the toughest times in my sporting career.
Sport psychology helped me change my mindset and helped me to overcome any feelings of doubt or belief that I may have had.
I think there can be mixed feelings towards psychology, some people feel there is a stigma attached
to all kinds of psychology, however I believe that smart athletes out there it will help them to focus on the mindset and how important that it to achieving your goals. If you do not believe you are good enough to be there you can be the most talented sports person but you will never make it to the top level.
Sports psychology helped me to get rid of some of my anger that I had with regards to my back. It also helped me to pick out my beliefs and where I saw myself and how I rated myself, this was what I realised that I had to change in order to be successful.
Advice for Coaches:
I think its important for coaches to always tell you how good you are, only if it is the truth. They need to have constructive criticism and always needs to follow up on a positive, never a negative. My coaches have always
believed in me and have always given constructive criticism and pushed me as they knew how to motivate me. Its important that each coach knows how to individually motivate each person as everyone is different.
Sometimes they consistently criticise when I am in the wrong frame of mind I take it to heart and then my performance can decrease. I would say make sure coaches know the extent of the injury and know at
what emotional state they are in at the time. Do not push them to go back before they feel confident.
Advice to those who are injured:
I would say think about why the injury has occurred was it due to trauma which there would have been very little you could have done to change it, or was it due to poor biomechanics, technique or muscular imbalance then get it fixed now do not train through it and hope it was go away as it won't. Try to stay positive and think of all the things you have achieved and what you still want to achieve, continue to set yourself goals and even if its getting out of bed in the morning getting washed and changed. You will always come out the other end and there is always someone worse off.
My name is Olivia Hand I am 17 years old and I live in Edinburgh. I am currently a student who spends 95% of my time doing karate. I have been fighting for 10 years and I started due to family links to the sport. My biggest accomplishments in karate are probably becoming European Champion 2 years in a row, Scottish International Champion and British International Champion. In training I work hard on my speed and my explosiveness when I fight. My ultimate achievement in karate would be winning the WKF World Championships or the World Combat Games.
My biggest challenge is believing in myself and I manage this by keeping my head high and remembering why I do what I do. One of the things which make me different from fellow competitors who have tailed off is my focus, I know what I
want to achieve and I won’t stop until I get there, I am also head over heels in love with what I do.
I recommend my sport psychologist Tracy Donachie who has
lit a fire under me and reminded me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, also ‘The Secret to Success’ by Eric Thomas inspired me a lot. I live by the motto my dad taught me. ‘its not the size of the person in the fight that matters, it’s the size of the fight in the person’. The best advise I’ve been
given was by my coach, Chris Ewing. ‘You will never get anywhere by going backwards.’
Hiring a sport psychologist was one of the best decisions my parents and I have ever made. One of the benefits I felt from having a sport psychologist is that I no longer second guess myself when I compete. My coach motivates me to perform my best by getting me siked up and giving me a slap on the back and a fist bump and then I’m in the zone and ready to do! Although sometimes my coach can make me even more nervous than I already am. I think coaches should always be positive and do not let their athletes see they are disappointed or something until after the competition is over as it can sometimes stress an athlete out.
I think all athlete’s should have a dream and that dream should be with them 24/7 in everything they do. ‘STAY HUNGRY, FEAST ON SUCCESS’