The Six M's

The Six M's

I recently delivered a 45 minute Facebook Live broadcast on my page Nick Ruddock Gymnastics, talking about the 6 x M’s that coaches and athletes should really keep at the forefront of their minds as they deal with this new reality of social distancing, not training/coaching and isolation (albeit not permanent.)

The sporting community is an ACTIVE community, rarely the type to sit down for extended periods and be confined/limited to their homes. Therefore the impact the current climate can have on mental health as well as physical health is enormous.

It was for this reason that I delivered the Facebook Live, which at the time of writing has been well received with over 15,000 views. It is my hope that the message will reach many more thousands of athletes and coaches, in an effort to ensure that they remain in a state of peak mental and physical health over the coming weeks.

For those that want the much condensed version, here are the 6 x M’s:

Without the right mindset, anything is tough, let alone dealing with the troubling times we currently face. It’s not about being positive. It’s about being objective and unemotional about it. It is what it is. We just need to pivot and adapt to move forward.

We have the power to choose our thoughts, and are still blessed with the power of choice. I encourage you all to choose wisely. The mind-body connection is significant, so disregard ‘un-useful’ thoughts and replace them with useful ones. Limit your news/social media consumption which can act like a negative cancer embedding fear into your mindset.

Fear is a great paralyser, it’s fuelled with negative energy, the absolute opposite of what we need right now. I’m choosing to be grateful for what I have (my family, a home, the ability to use my smartphone, computer and the internet to still communicate with people, my clients, the fresh air to breath). I’m choosing to take advantage of not travelling the world, to spend more time with Leonni and work on areas of my business which are usually neglected. I’m choosing to plan better than ever before. And I’m choosing to GROW throughout this experience. How about you?

Without wanting to state the obvious, our athletes are moving less, far less, than they typically would if training. And for us as coaches, it’s also true. No moving equipment, spotting, or our own training has led to a dramatic decline in physical activity, which is no good for our psychology or physiology.

There’s plenty of home workout videos doing the rounds on social media at the moment, and many are fantastic for keeping people moving, but don’t forget, these are not just for the athletes; coaches need to move too! It’s super easy to get lethargic with all of this extra time on our hands, but be better than that, don’t give in to the conditions, fight back. MOVE! It does wonders for your psychology.

Personally, in addition to a home workout, I’m loving my daily walks with Leonni and the dogs, getting some fresh air feels amazing after being in doors so much 🙂

Try to get into a routine so you have some structure to your day still. Once you get into a rhythm it will be easy to keep it going.

This may all sound a bit ‘woo woo,’ but mindfulness/meditation is a science backed intervention and activity to help you raise awareness to the 'now’ as opposed to the past or future. It has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and personally I find it completely relaxing also. Headspace is a popular app [with free and paid access available] that is a great tool for those new to the activity. I’d recommend everyone gives it a shot. You’ve got the time, so make the right choice and have a go.

Remember all that positive self talk you were encouraging your athletes to practice? Well now’s your time to shine also. Again, there’s a heap of science and data behind the effects of positive self talk, so pick some mantras and statements which fire you up and get repeating. #IveGotThis

Music moves people, in all kind of ways. Stick on the right playlist whilst you’re doing some chores around the house and your energy levels, spirits and mood can skyrocket. This is a quick win, so head to Spotify or whatever you use and start compiling your playlist! (Places 'I’ve got the Power' on repeat.

Mental Stimulation
With all of this extra time on our hands, it’s the perfect opportunity to get lost in a book, watch some educational content (I may be bias but my recently launched 'Gymnastics Growth Academy' is just the ticket) or perhaps listen to a podcast or two. This is the stuff we often want to do more of, but have very little time to divulge in. Well, there’s little excuse now. Prepare yourself to hit the ground running when you return to normality with fresh ideas and new knowledge!

So that’s it, the 6 x M’s. Simple, yet remarkably effective. Look after yourself so you can look after others. Allowing negative energy, thoughts and fear to sabotage your thinking is a CHOICE. So choose better. Don’t be powerless to these circumstances, reclaim your power by pushing back and finding both opportunity and growth in this surreal time we’re experiencing.

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