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Winning the Mental Game

David Kenward - The Mental Coach

David Kenward - The Mental Coach

by David Kenward, The Mental Coach

What if there was a way to do your best under the pressure of sports, business and life? What if there was a way to live each day with confidence, motivation and focus?

There is a way. I call it winning the mental game and it’s within everyone’s reach, because it uses the resources you already have. You just learn to use them in a different way on purpose.

Nearly every part of our life has two games, the physical game and the mental game. The physical game refers to the skills, abilities and knowledge we need to succeed. The mental game refers to being able to bring that out under the pressure of life. You’ve probably seen or known people who do just fine when it doesn’t count. But when there is pressure, they fold and no one understands why. That’s the power of the mental game, it can help you excel or make you fail.

The good news is that, just as you can improve your physical game through learning and practice, you can improve your mental game through taking more control of how you think and feel.

In this monthly column, you’ll learn easy, practical ways to bring out more of your potential under pressure.

Let’s start off with the law of expectation. That law states that what we expect to happen, tends to happen. Common sense is needed, I’m referring to things under our control (vs trying to influence events out of our control – like winning the lottery).

An example is that we tend to expect things to follow a sequence, i.e. good follows good or bad follows bad. That’s conditioning – a learned belief – and it can be changed. How many salespeople expect a good customer to follow a good customer and a bad customer to follow a bad customer? That’s not logical, it’s a superstition.

The first way of taking control of expectation is to step back and give yourself a reality check: A) Ask yourself what’s really going on, B) How accurate is your information and C) How much direct control do you have over the outcome.

This can free you from negative expectations and help you make your best decisions under pressure.

That’s winning the mental game.

About David Kenward

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About Philippe Matthews


  1. David is a fantastic asset to the success of my business. He has helped me clear away the debris of mental distractions that hinder effectiveness.

  2. I really like those three steps for getting a reality check.

  3. David has helped me succeed in my business as well as personally. I use the tools he has given me daily. I’m a big fan and follow everything he does..after you want to model success!

  4. Excellent advice on purpose. Tension and pressure induce a sense of tunnel vision; I feel constricted and limited in my brainstorming. Pausing, stepping back, assessing the situation (with David’s three concise quesitons) gives me the space to chose the most positive course of action. David’s advice and techniques of Winning the Mental Game continue to play a significant part of my business success.

  5. As I go through life, I tend to pick up superstitions and bad mental habits. Sometimes I just need someone to help me step back and take a look at how I am processing my thoughts. Am I holding on to things that prevent me from moving forward? Am I avoiding success because I am too afraid to fail? David is very good at helping others get their mind off of autopilot and get their thoughts on a more logical path. When I am not spending all of my time focused on things that are in the past and out of my control, I am able to relearn how to enjoy life with a lot less stress and strife. Thank you David!

  6. David has helped many people overcome whatever is holding them back. Expectations can be a double-edged sword. It can either propel us forward or hold us back. David uses practical tools to assist clients to reach their full potential. With all clients, he demonstrated integrity, humor and solutions.

  7. David is an amazing person. Not only is he knowledgeable and effective at helping people get “unstuck” from the ties that bind, but he is man of compassion and has a genuine concern for others. He helped me immensely with areas in my personal life, which then trickled into my business world. I enjoy every minute spent talking and sharing with him, it makes me feel like a better person and my stress level is so much better! Thanks David for writing this article, I hope it will open doors for others seeking release and change.

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