The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Client of The Week

It’s early Wednesday morning – and yet have I already worked with my “client of the week?”
Well, normally I’d say it’s best to wait until late on Sunday before making that judgement – however there are those “golden clients” who you meet for the first time and your mutual interactions unfold into a succession of closely packed jaw-dropping moments!
Something aligns their mind to yours, they understand your “lingo” right out of the gate, they follow your advice and discover the hidden ability they always had – but never knew they had. Suddenly the fledgling in your hand is taking flight …

Coach or Therapist

I’m a shade lucky, to be fair, in that - as both a coach and a therapist – I have clients in the age range 5 – 75. Most of my coaching is with the younger end of the spectrum, and most of the therapy is with the Over 35s!

However, the cross-over area between coach and therapist is surprisingly vague and undefined – like how the colours in a rainbow merge one with the next. Some of my therapy work is coaching – and some of my coaching is therapeutic. Plus, coaching children is, for me anyway, a kind of Pre-therapy!

Helping them get and feel a sense of achievement; improving their confidence and self-confidence; building their self-esteem; getting them to appreciate – in an autotelic way - the love and joy of sporting activity for something just in and of itself; improving their health and fitness, body image and sense of wellbeing; etc.
The pre-therapy list goes on!

Why do I say pre-therapy?

Well, when children are armed with all the things I’ve listed above, they become more rounded and grounded; plus, there’s less of a likelihood they’ll need some therapeutic expertise when they reach 35+.

Working with my “Client of the Week”

He arrived at one of my After-School Cricket Clubs saying,
“I can’t bowl. I’m not very good at it,” as an opening statement.

I hear words like this quite often – both from sporting AND therapy clients; they are telling me about their view of themselves.
“Ok,” I said. “Just bowl some balls and then we’ll have a look at how that’s happening, and seeing what we might change, for you.”

I saw a young lad who bowled off the wrong foot, lost his balance in delivery, released the ball out of the side of his hand with a weak wrist, was not focussed on his target, and had a quirky and inconsistent run-up.
He did, however, have the bowler’s number 1 pre-requisite technical ability – a straight arm. Great!

The other, and perhaps most encouraging, pre-requisite from both our perspectives was this:-
He was eminently “coachable”. By this I mean he listened 100% and enabled his body to execute what he heard through my instruction.

Within 10 – 15 minutes he had ironed out all the quirks and inconsistencies he showed at the start and was landing the ball where he wanted instead of it happening by chance.
This was rapid change, to be honest – and it continued when he started batting.

Once again, after minimal repeats of showing him more effective ways of standing, holding the bat, watching and striking the ball, he transformed his raw, random and ‘quirkful’ technique into something generative, improving and successful!

We ended our Club session with throwing balls in a “crossbar challenge.”
He excelled at this too and without any instruction, which left me both enthused and rewarded.


He was, without doubt, my client of the week – maybe of the month, or the year? Who knows?

That is what makes my job such a rewarding one. I never know who is going to rock up … NEXT?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Blind Spots


I was driving a road on Exmoor recently when a pheasant hove into view on the road in front of me. Now these rather scatty birds have a brain to weight ratio of at least 1:100, and they have no sense of the Highway Code! Here in my neck of the woods, they are the majority of roadkill victims – given their propensity to run towards rather than away from motor vehicles.
This particular one seemed bent on survival, however, and stayed into the hedge on the nearside of my car. Until, that was, I’d almost passed it. Whereupon, in almost vertical take-off mode, it flew into the wing mirror – smashing the mirror, the plastic casing and everything. I pulled in and dismantled the remaining pieces, so I could continue my journey without the loose and damaged bits banging against the door.

Blind Spots

Almost immediately I discovered, that driving on certain roads sans nearside wing mirror, can be a real challenge. For, as drivers, we know we already have a number of blind spots in our 360 deg visibility which can be coped with somewhat, but never entirely satisfactorily. 

It is the multi-lane highways that are the real issue – for now the only way to see what is nearby on the lane(s) inside the one I’m driving in, involves my looking over my left shoulder. And motorways are the worst, since there are those drivers that overtake on the inside as well as the outside!

Life’s Highways

As is often the way, our driving experiences have a number of metaphorical parallels with how we journey along Life’s Highways. The potholes we encounter, the rough and uneven surfaces, the punctures, the running out of fuel, trying to get out of second gear, swerving to avoid peasants and pheasants, getting stuck in traffic, losing our way – the out of date maps – having no signal – losing our bearings – even losing our marbles!

And now, here, is another metaphor for how we might find ourselves lacking, or under pressure, in dealing with the things that the rocky road of Life throws at us.

The blind spots in our mental resources.

To my mind, our greatest resource is in understanding how we make up our experience – moment to moment. Understanding how our perceptual apparatus processes millions of bits of data coming in through our sensual gateways by predicting and paring that huge number - down to something more like 132.  Understanding the thought processes that go into all this, in microseconds, AND understanding also, the part played in all this by our memories, our beliefs and our previous experiences.
Yet, because we are only human, this amazing resource is also riddled with blind spots. Blind spots sometimes so vast, that they can lead to our complete and utter mis-Understanding of pretty much everything – moment to moment.

Apparently, there is a surge in “Flat Earth” believers at the moment. This is astonishing, given all the evidence both scientific AND photographic, that disproves that notion. These folks have a blind spot in their belief structure, that plays out a different perceptual tune in their lives.

And although this might seem an outrageous example to use, there will be parts of our perceptual lives - our view of the world and how it works and how we make up our experience – that are equally way off kilter. Moment to moment.

We are all, in a fashion similar to the Flat Earthists, equally duped by the illusions of our thinking, from time to time.

We are subject to mental Blind Spots – caused by the illusions of our Thinking.

When I’m driving with the Understanding that I have a huge blind spot caused by the lack of a wing mirror, I know the steps I need to take, in order to predict with a degree of sureness that there is no vehicle nearby on the lane inside of me.

If I think I DON’T need to take those steps, then I’m driving in a state of illusion – guessing, even hoping, there is nothing there to crash into. I’m as dumb, dare I say, as the pheasant.
Perceptual blindnesses, as well as perceptual distortions, are everywhere – with how we process our sensual data input, as well as with how we process our own thinking.

Plus – as we know, though perhaps don’t always understand, ALL our feelings come from our Thinking, moment to moment.

And so, this is how it is, and how we are – from time to time. We will believe our Thinking, and be seduced by the illusions we notice, and then feel. And we may colour our lives in such a way – and then believe that SQUARE A (as illustrated) is a different colour to SQUARE B.
Which of course it isn’t!

And if we are Flat Earthists, then we’ll believe all our Thinking associated with that entire subject. And if we believe we can’t do something, then we’ll prove that belief to ourselves -
By experience – if we’re adamant.
By denial – if we are adamant yet get proved wrong.
By excuse – if we’re agreeably surprised that we’ve been proved wrong.

Yet if we believe we CAN do something, or we are curious and open to the possibility that we might be able to do something …

Well, the world is now a different place!

Are you aware, yet, of the blind spots in your Life? Would having a better all-round, 360 degs of, perceptual surety be useful for you … going forward?
The best thing we can do for ourselves, to combat the pitfalls caused by our Blind Spots, is to actually Understand that we HAVE Blind Spots. And, in my case, it is to get myself a replacement wing mirror so that I can see what’s on the inside lane without having to take my eyes off the road in order to look over my left shoulder!