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Dan: Performance Psychologist

Dan is a senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of West England (UWE). He combines his work in academia with applied engagements across sport, the military and business. As an applied practitioner, he is accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). 

Dan writes formulas that share sound psychological strategies that are central to success. This will range from techniques to support you to thrive in performance or pressure scenarios, ways to improve how you work with those around you, and developing great performance behaviours. 

We sat down with our in-house Performance Psychologist and asked him a few questions about himself and his career.

What did you want to be when you were small?

I wanted to run a local farm while also playing football for Manchester United (250 miles away!) and England.

Which charity or charitable cause do you support?

We’ve recently twinned our toilet with one in Uganda through the ‘Toilet Twinning’.

What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?

Sky Diving. It’s an area I’ve spoken with clients about but feel like I can’t truly empathise with them until I’ve experienced it myself.

What drove you to train for your role?

I grew up around amateur football, watching my dad coach teams and being around the changing rooms. Therefore, at first I thought I wanted to be a coach, but when I started University I soon realised that it was the people element that really interests me. I love understanding theories and strategies around elite performance and get a lot of joy from feeling like I can work with others to achieve their goals, be that around performance or wellbeing.

Why did you join MENTOR360?

Through my career to date I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some great organisations. When I was informed about MENTOR360 and the other people working on the app I was really keen to get involved. This is a great opportunity to share knowledge and skills with a wide audience in a really tangible and accessible way. The principles of sport or performance psychology shouldn’t be reserved for elite organisations and therefore the thought of my expertise being used in supporting people through this digital platform is really exciting. The other key motivator for joining MENTOR360 was to learn from other professionals, in the hope I can continue to develop as a person and as a practitioner. 

And finally, Dan, what is your definition of success?

Some question that is! This is something that I’ve reflected on more in recent years and spend a lot of time reflecting on with clients. When I look back on my life the key factor that I think I’d want to assess is how happy I was. What was my net happiness score? I feel that’s the most important currency. It’s likely to manifest from feeling like I’ve done meaningful things and had strong connections with others. This now guides a lot of my short-term reflections, it may be through investing in shorter-term efforts to obtain long term happiness outcomes, or it may simply be guiding myself back to my fundamentals when I can become distracted.

Check out some of Dan’s formulas below.

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