All in a day’s work: Sports psychologist Michael Caulfield — ‘Humans have a remarkable ability to complicate things’ *H&H Plus*

Sports psychologist Michael Caulfield on why any form of sport helps make a person whole

Through my time as chief executive at the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA), I met some fascinating characters, from Lester Piggott, Willie Carson and Pat Eddery to Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and Sir AP McCoy.

It’s well known that Richard went to see a sports psychologist in the mid-1990s, which triggered my initial interest. Then AP said he’d been to see a couple of sport psychologists but, in his words, they didn’t understand his madness. He said, “You do, and if you were a psychologist I’d pay to see you.”  That led me to research what it involved and I retrained.

I’m amazed how often elite performers have the same worries, doubts, hopes and fears as we do. Most people already have the solution, it’s just got stuck somewhere. If they find it themselves, it’s 20,000 times more powerful than if I say, “Do this.” I help to declutter and untangle knots.

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