In the modern era of sport, there’s never been more of an emphasis on the importance of mental well being alongside a rigorous physical schedule. During the first part of our pre season, former Panthers star Johnny Lawless has been visiting with the Halifax first team at training to deliver a 6 week Mind Gym Programme through his company ‘Minds Matter’.

Speaking on the importance of the programme for athletes, Lawless said: “Over the last 6 weeks I have delivered Mind Gym to the players and coaching staff at the Halifax Panthers. I have known Liam for along time and consider him a close friend as well as a former teammate when we played together at Halifax many years ago.”

“We met up for a chat as Liam was keen to know what I do at Minds Matter around Mental Fitness and how it could benefit his players. I was quick to recommend my premier product ‘Mind Gym’ which I have been delivering to businesses over the last 12 months with great results and feedback.”

“Mind Gym is a 6-part Mental Fitness programme designed to equip a person with useful tools and strategies to improve Mental Fitness and make a difference in their day to day lives. Some of the subjects we covered (amongst others) were:

-What is Mental Fitness/Awareness Is Key.
-Stress Management and Coping Strategies
-Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviours. The Chimp within.
-Resilience / Mindfulness and Neuroplasticity
-Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition
-The Inner Critic, Self-Belief, Self-Affirmations and Goal setting

“Although what happened in the sessions is strictly confidential, I can tell you it was well received. The players were very open and honest, happy to show vulnerability. Although we covered some serious subjects, laughter and positivity were never far away.”

“Some people spoke from the heart which was very moving at times. All clubs will be working hard in the gym and on the field this pre-season, there won’t be more than a 10% difference in physical fitness throughout the teams. Hopefully some players have taken some snippets from Mind Gym which will keep them Mentally Fitter and provide them with that extra few percent in the long season ahead.”

“I personally have really enjoyed working with them over the last 6 weeks, I believe they have a good mixture of youth and experience with a great team spirit. I have no doubt Liam and the staff will have them ready for the tough season ahead.”

Head Coach Liam Finn was complimentary of the impact the programme has had on his squad.

“Having Johnny and Minds matter come in and deliver the 6 week ‘Mind Gym’ program was great for all of us, understanding the importance for everyone spending time on keeping your mind healthy and understanding the challenges of life with ups and downs and how to help yourself deal with situations with a variety of tools from Johnny and the team.”

“We wanted to look more into our mental game as well as the physical prep for our season and with Johnny’s personally developed program it was specific and genuine which was a lot more beneficial that something out of a mental health textbook.”

The players presented Johnny with a signed framed 2024 home shirt as a memento and a thank you for all the work he has put in with the boys. The club would like to thank him and his team for their efforts.

For more information on Minds Matter, visit their website here:

#BWO #MindsMatter

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