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When Paul left school he played for a couple of amateur football clubs until he joined the navy and represented the ships he served on at football, cricket and hockey. He has always been interested in health and fitness and so studied physical culture in the 1980s, then began his career in health and fitness as a manager/trainer of a gym in Gibraltar. He attended various course becoming a REPS Level 3 Exercise Professional and as he grew older and developed an interest in sport injuries, he expanded into sports therapy where he had a practise in Southport and Liverpool, working with a couple of semiprofessional football clubs. Realising how the mental side of sport affects performance and enjoyment, Paul wanted to encourage and motivate the injured sports people he treated, so began to look into sport psychology, beginning to study that along with hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy fuelled his enthusiasm to treat the general public and now he has become an experienced clinical hypnotherapist with an MA in sports psychology. Paul is presently furthering his qualifications by studying for a PhD in sport psychology.
Anyone who witnessed Rory McIlroy's dramatic collapse on the final day of last month's US Masters won't need reminding of the hugely important role the mind plays in sport. Why have South Africa never won a knockout cricket World Cup match - an astonishing record that goes back to 1992? Why do Germany always punch above their weight at football World Cups? And why do England and Argentina consistently punch below their weight? The answer is the same reason why excellent football managers like Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are so keen on 'mind games'. Because they recognise in sport matches are often won and lost in the mind. We have a limited and scarcely adequate vocabulary for the mental side of sport - we talk about 'mental toughness', 'bottling it' and 'mind games' - hardly very enlightening or helpful. In 'A Mind 4 Cricket' Paul Maher provides a practical, easy-to-read guide to the mental side of cricket with examples and exercises of how you can improve your performance on the cricket field. The techniques Maher describes are drawn from sport psychology and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) along with some of his own ideas from his own experience in sport hypnosis. In a series of short chapters, techniques such as anchoring, visualisation, self-talk, 'the inner smile' are aimed at tapping into the power of the sub-conscious. Other topics include, mirroring, improving concentration, anger and stress management, breathing, relaxation, injuries and a host of others. Maher warns that these 'are not quick-fix miracle cures, you have to put in the time to learn and use them.' Maher is an experienced clinical hypnotherapist with an MA in sports psychology. He is currently studying for a PhD in sport psychology. This is a very useful book for anyone interested in improving their performances through improving their mental approach to playing cricket or in fact any sport. It is an important book also. Australian legend Justin Langer is quoted in the final chapter: 'Sport Psychology is the least studied of all cricket skills, even if it is widely accepted as being the most important ingredient of success.' In recent years huge progress has been made in the areas of diet, nutrition and fitness. There is a growing view though that understanding the mind is the next great frontier in sports development. (Cover Point)