Emotional Intelligence for Sport and Life

We launched our app that helps athletes optimise their Mindset using Emotional intelligence training with a live streamed event that featured some great panelists.

An all star panel discuss how athletes, their parents and club psychologists can support athletes using the HeadCoach app and how Emotional Intelligence plays a key role in optimising their Mindset for high performance.



SPEAKERS Richard George, Olivia Fabry, Joe Davis, Dr. Shaun Tyrance, Eoin Doyle, Jonathon O'Neill, EJ Narcise, Conor Walsh  

Jonathon O'Neill  00:57
Hey everybody. Thanks for tuning in. In case you don't know me, I am Jonathan O'Neill. I am the president and co-founder of HeadCoach. HeadCoach is an emotional intelligence platform that aims to improve the well-being and performance of athletes through the power of a mobile app. I'm joined here today by my co founders Eoin Doyle, Joe Davis and Richard George. We're also joined today by some really esteemed guests from the upper echelons of American sport. But before we get to them, I'd like to introduce you to our moderator and live panel moderator as well. Connor Walsh, Connor Walsh is the host of the lowdown podcast. But most importantly, he has been one of the first users and early adopters of the HeadCoach app. Connor, thanks for joining us, mate.  

Conor Walsh  01:48
Not at all very exciting day, Jony. And yes, as Jony touched upon, there have been absolute privilege and it's been a fascination to witness to growth of HeadCoach. I'd say up front and close, Jony these last two years. And, indeed, Jony, you touched upon, in fact, it was one of the very first adopters and users of HeadCoach. For those that don't know, Jonathon came in last season with my youth 17 Girls in London, Ontario, and did a 12 week case study with a team. And for me as a coach, especially upon reflection, there's lots of great results to unpack least along the relationship management and social awareness side of things. And I for one journey, you know, I could see tremendous power in taking stuff from the shadows, and putting it into the light and actually speaking about these things. And for me, it echoed and assured the players in terms of that we were that that we valued much more to performance side of things, we valued a lot more than just the performance side of things. And I think it's that intersection of performance and wellbeing that HeadCoach holds tightly to its title. I'm very excited to host today's panel for what will I believe will be controlling discussion, I suppose before we proceed, Jony, you know, I'm going to turn it over to Eoin right now. I mean, if we were to take it back. If I'm gonna take it back to the right stereo horn, how did we get here today?  

Eoin Doyle  03:15
Well, it's been a lot of long nights and a lot of perseverance to get us to this point. But that couple of years back now it was towards the end of COVID, I believe. And Jonathon that started out looking for a tool to help him with his coaching. He was always big on the emotional intelligence as a key skill for young athletes and even implementing a manual paper system at the club he was working with at the time. And he came to me, I was thinking about starting some sort of app development agency at the time. And he asked me, but would it be potential for for developing an app with to do to develop this emotional intelligence skills for young people taking his manual system and turning it into digital? And so I basically started developing proof of concept up for him at the time, and we were getting into lots of discussions about it, obviously, and asked him, you know, if you're experiencing this problem, aren't other coaches out there experiencing this? So we delve deep into that, that our question, and we figured out that, yeah, there's gonna be a lot of other coaches that are experiencing this problem. And then we sort of brought on Joe early enough in the journey to help us help help out with the psychology aspects and to bring sort of a science based approach to what we were doing. And then we made a proof of concept up and we tested this with several teams, from the likes of London Toronto FC and Charlotte united in North America. And the feedback was really, really positive. It showed that there was a great appetite for emotional intelligence training, and I think that was about the time then when I decided well, this is probably something we are going to be very vague and I myself and jumped in with two feet at that point in time to get to develop this thing with Jonathon and Joe. So basically, after we did that sort of initial testing them with the clubs in North America, we ended up taking that feedback on developing the app that we have here today. So really, this was all born from Jonathon and Joe's experiences from working in the sports industry on how to support athletes to create their best mindset. And hard keys. And hard skills like confidence, focus, and self control are really just hard skills for people. And these are key skills. These are key skills that help you within the sports industry, but also just in life as well. Because all of these skills, intersect them in multiple different areas and people's daily lives as well. So we are at, it's been a long, long time to get here at this point. And we're very excited to actually now to be doing this live stream. But yeah, it really was all born out of Jonathon and Joe’s experiences working in the sports industry and how we can take a manual paper based system and make a digital.  

Conor Walsh  05:54
Absolutely fantastic to hear. And, you know, as the four founders, each and every one of you bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. At least along Jony, yourself coach in so many different environments, from China, to the UK to the USA and Canada. Joe Davis, you're someone yourself who's worked with hundreds of athletes in your role as clinical sports psychologist? How would you best describe and explain the problem that we're facing in sports today?  

Joe Davis  06:22
Thanks, Conor. So I think in terms of problem that we're experiencing in the world of sport, today. A nice way to think about it or a useful way to think about it is to split it across three areas. So the three areas that you could, that you can think about this as around what's the problem for athletes? What's the problem of coaches experience? And what's the problem for parents what's, what are some of the issues that exist in the industry that the head coach can help to solve. So if we, if we focus on the parent, the athletes, first of all, one of the big areas and there's there's various things we could talk about here, but we've got a short time, short amount of time together today. So a couple of the key areas the first one is around mental well being. So some recent research showed that 75% of elite athletes struggle with mental health challenges, which highlights a critical need for for support around mental well being and mental health so that performers can thrive and say that outside of the competitive arena. Another issue I think, are a problem. And from an athlete's point of view as that, we know that emotional intelligence is very important in terms of understanding our emotions, understanding ourselves, developing the skills to manage our emotions intelligently and build relationships with others. So that we have deeper connections with people in the team, with coaches with staff, and outside of that. But we know also that there's it's massively underutilised undertrained in the world of sport. So there's a gap there in terms of plug and bringing emotional intelligence training and an affordable meal, accessible and scalable way to the to the athletes themselves. In terms of the coach, the problem for the coach, I think, for me, there's a couple of things. And we enjoy. And I've talked about this a lot over the years. But one of the key things is around education and support. So Coach education and development programmes. Maybe do one or two workshops, a season on the emotional development side of things for coaches development. But that's not enough to really help them develop those skills, to equip themselves to lead an influence effectively and help support the athletes. So there's an issue there around not having enough of that type of work and HeadCoach can plug that gap to the other area thanks tracking and monitoring for coaches. So it's quite difficult. It's obviously quite difficult to track and monitor the emotional and social and mental development of an athlete. So HeadCoach through its data analytics and intelligence reporting can help do that as well. And then finally, the parent, which is a key person and the athlete’s life of course. And for them, through discussions with parents and working with parent parents over the years, we know that those those those educational resources that exist, there's resources that exist, but it's not always easy to know what to look at and how to apply it to help develop their and support their young young athletes. So HeadCoach can can help in that space as well in terms of providing accessible and useful practical resources. Parents want to be involved, they want to support and help develop the children of course, most of them but there's not too many methods that will help them do that in a systematic and practical way based in science. So HeadCoach can help support in that space as well. So hopefully that gives you a sense of Have some of the problems and how head coach can can work to plug some of those gaps.  

Conor Walsh  10:04
Very, very insightful and equally enlightening. Joe, thank you. And I mean, obviously athletes, coaches and parents Jony, you know, there's quite a wide spectrum there with a whole host of different needs and wants. Why is emotional intelligence a universal solution?  

Jonathon O'Neill  10:25
It's funny because like, people always say there's no silver bullet, right? There's no magic answer. But just a follow up from what Joe said. I don't think it's a magic answer. I just think it's a gap and how we educate and develop young people, but also coaches. So from the coach's perspective, my job is to improve the performance of my athletes to maximise the performance of them. My job is to improve their ability bring their football ability, or whatever sport is from 100% to 101%. But then my other job is to remove any interferences to them perform at their best and their potential. I mean, there's a lot of preconditions around that, but the biggest interference I can have is me. If I'm not regulating myself, or regulate my emotions, and managing myself, it's gonna rub off on my athletes, and they're never going to perform at their best. So, for me, it was something that on my UEFA licences and my degrees, no one ever taught me. No one ever taught me in school, and it was something that I took a deep dive into. So in terms of the coach's perspective, I think managing your inner relationship affects your outer relationships, and then relationships with others. So that's the coach's perspective. And in terms of athletes, like if we know that emotional intelligence drives performance improves well being I just think it's a very easy one, easy win for us coaches to allow our players that develop and perform as not only athletes, but as people too. Because if you think about like a future jobs market, or the young people of today, they don't know what jobs will be around in 20 years, between artificial intelligence and new technologies, the skills that they need for their job, and that job may change. But think it was Yuval Noah Harari, who said in his book, Sapiens, that the only skill that you'll always really need is emotional intelligence, because the biggest challenges in the future will be psychological. So between coaches or players or athletes as individuals, it's an important skill for the future.  

Conor Walsh  12:28
I'll bring you back Jony to the very start when you speak of it's your job as a coach to remove interferences. And, you know, I find that within myself, Eoin, it's nice to read, and it's nice to listen to listen to all sorts of signs, sciences, they're both, you know, my own worlds, both as coach and athlete are like, you know, you have times you're going to struggle and implement and put these into practice. How can HeadCoach exactly help?  

Eoin Doyle  12:58
Well, that's a good question, obviously, cause that's what we're here to talk about, but as Jonathon was sort of saying there, you know, he talks a lot about interferences and things, but to bring it really back. What is what what is performance at the end of the day? And that's key? And that's the question of our sense that is trying to be answered. The thing that we talk a lot about as well is what is sustainable performance? Because anyone can perform in a one off, but how do you make it sustainable so that you can perform and perform and excel week after week? So we would define performance as a bit of an equation. So performance equals potential minus interferences. So what are the interferences? But well, interferences can include things like distracting thoughts and negative emotions. It's fairly well understood that and our wellbeing influences our wellbeing can influence how you perform on the pitch and in your daily lives. The other day wellbeing is the result of how you feel about yourself moment. And how we feel about ourselves is tied to our current emotions. So what we would say there is that your current emotional state, so how do we influence our current current emotions, they influence our character, emotional state, to influence our well being to influence our performance. And that really led to understanding, understanding and regulating your own emotions more effectively. Jonathon had I gone to school together and as he touched on there, we were never taught about how to understand your emotions. Crucially, we were never really taught about how to use emotions to our advantage either So we designed HeadCoach really to empower young people to understand their character, emotional state, and how they can use emotions to their advantage, and how to use emotion to their advantage on the pitch and on their performance. So HeadCoach was essentially it's been designed to build intrinsic self awareness in a person to give them the ability to understand their current emotional state, and what influences that there and how to regulate that there and how to use emotion to their advantage. But you asked me that are really about the science side of things and that should the best person to answer that there is going to be Joe, who's our chief psychologist. So I'll hand it over to Joe here to actually talk about the science behind regulating your emotions that higher emotional intelligence is a key skill for that.  

Joe Davis  15:25
Yeah, thanks, Eoin. I think you've made a lot of great points they uncovered a lot of pieces. I mean, I like to think about it in terms of how can HeadCoach help performers, coaches, athletes, HeadCoach can help, well, we know HeadCoach is about developing emotional intelligence skills fundamentally, and developing emotional intelligence skills will will address four key outcomes linked to to performance and life skills and well being. So what are those those four key areas so the first key area as I say, is well being most developing emotional intelligence skills, or support a person's well being. And we know that research over the years has indicated a real link between emotional intelligence and psychological well being. For example, Sanchez, Alvarez, Sanchez, Alvarez, and colleagues published a meta analysis study in 2016, in the Journal of positive psychology, and they looked at the relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological well being across a total of 25 studies and a combined sample of, of 8520 participants. And they found that there was a real significant relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological well being that was that was in the general population. So there's a lot of work being done in the general population, of course, but in sport, another study by Mallia Gnosis and colleagues published a study in 2018 in the Journal of Human Kinetics, which again, indicated a significant positive relationship between emotional intelligence and psychological well being across 400 male athletes. So we know that emotional developing emotional intelligence skills and these are skills that can be developed with practice and, and perseverance, developing those skills well influence well being. But how does it do that? Well, well being is quite a broad term. But obviously we know self self awareness is a big part of, of well being understanding ourselves understanding how, how our emotions affect our behaviour. Being able to manage emotions skillfully will impact our well being, which will in turn, influence our mood. So that's a big part of our well being, how we feel generally on a on a regular basis. And then the aspect of building relationships, which we know is a key determinant of our psychological well being, high quality relationships. So that's the kind of the pillar around well being, the second pillar then is around performance. So we know again, that emotional intelligence influences athletic performance. For example, ribbit, Talea, Tao and 2018 investigated how runners emotional intelligence influenced their running performance. And they demonstrated that runners emotional intelligence was the main predictor of runners finishing time, again or the other, that emotional intelligence has an impact on performance and that case and running and how does it help with performance? Well, it helps people manage pressure and scrutiny. It helps people navigate setbacks and learn from them. So the scale of optimism, help you learn from a setback and move forward with a positive outlook, or help you build resilience, which is key to athletic success. Coaching success, of course, and then the other area, just as an example is being able to develop or sustain focus. And finally, mental health so we know that emotional intelligence is associated higher emotional intelligence is associated with better mental health mental health. For example, another meta analysis study comprising around 8000 participants by shooter Atoll in 2007 indicated a significant association exists between emotional intelligence and mental health. So higher emotional intelligence levels was correlated with better mental health sort of protects against the onset of issues potentially in later life, such as anxiety, chronic anxiety, depression, potentially eating disorders, more research is needed to be done there. But developing emotional intelligence skills as a preventative measure, really, that we know can potentially protect against the onset of mental health conditions. And if you put all of that together, what you get as a very well rounded human being who can perform under pressure, who has skills to navigate life's challenges inside and outside of sport. So there's the real life skills element in terms of how HeadCoach can help. So hopefully that gives you a sense of how that can that can help  

Conor Walsh  19:57
Focus on the life skills parent there, Joe. Because again, using the u17 Girls that was working with as a case study, what was fascinating to me was to see them even come together more as a group throughout the 12 weeks or so. Because, you know, what I deduced from it was that the app was very, very interactive, in terms of not only to have the tracker, but also the wellness journal. So for me going forward, I mean, how can we continue to make this more for collective rather than individual mission for athletes, coaches and parents alike?  

Joe Davis  20:36
Yeah, so in terms of that collective mission piece, I think, as you say, in order to really develop athletes to help them fulfil their potential and be the best they can be. On in the competitive arena, and outside of sport, it's a team effort has to be a group thing you have to everyone has to get involved, all the key people in an athlete's life. If the athletes just doing things siloed on their own in their own time, you won't get quite the impact. So what we've done is we've developed a feature on the app called intelligence reporting, which gives parents and coaches insight into how their athletes are using the app, it'll help it'll give them data to support them effectively when it comes to performance and well being. It'll help them open up conversations quickly and efficiently with with their athletes, both the coaches and the parents, so that they can have conversations around topics that they maybe would never have conversations around. And obviously, with those, with the ability to have those conversations, you can then shape interventions a bit better and a bit more appropriately, through that detail you're getting, and I guess it enables you to signpost to the right resources and practitioners that can support that, that athlete, that performer depending on what comes up so that intelligence reporting can really help. I think the other big thing around making this a collective effort, as if we think about how do we develop young people's helpful positive behaviours, and habits and actions that will stand them in good stead and sport and beyond. A big part of that is role modelling, role modelling effect of good behaviours, as a parent, as a coach, as probably the best way for young athletes to develop good behaviours that will support them and equip them with the skills needed to thrive and then outside of sport. So hopefully that gives you a bit of a sense on that one corner that gave you what you were looking for there  

Conor Walsh  22:41
It did indeed and that's what's fascinating for me Joe and that's something again for myself to ponder. And just to note, for those watching on the restream Mr. George in the corner, there is a real person, he's not a statue. Thanks for waiting so patiently, Richard. So you know, it's just fascinating. We're speaking about the founders of HeadCoach here speaking of how the idea came to life, what it looks like in its current form. But you more than most, Richard, you'll understand in today's digital age, you know, changes really the only constant, what exciting technologies or features will a HeadCoach be introducing next?  

Richard George  23:18
Yes, thank you, Conor. Yeah, I am real as well, not AI. So of course, like it like everybody we look at things like AI is with a lot of interest in where that can go. Immediately what we're looking for is actually what Joe was mentioning earlier, is that feedback, knowing how well you're doing, you know, it's great to be on a programme. It's great to be developing your Strategic your your EQ, skills, learning strategies for within those skills, tracking how you've been working through your habits and knowing that you're actually starting to develop a better better approach to life. But how do you actually see that? How do you measure that? And that's probably the question you got, because one, one of the one of the things about emotional intelligence development is it is invisible, you don't count it in seconds, and you can't see it on a wall as a medal. It's internal, and nobody else can see it. It's only you who can process or understand it. But what we're saying and what Joe has shown through through the research through the science, is that emotional intelligence does have a visible out effect on your well being, and then going forward on your performance. So what we what we plan to do is start looking at the well being the stuff reported by by by the athletes and the coaches. So you know, we have journals where we can actually where you can actually say, Okay, this is how I'm feeling, if smiley faces and whatever. We have journals, looking at those journals, understanding what's written there, there's some great technologies around to sentiment analysis. So what are you actually saying, underneath the words you’re using And, you know, what are your are your words? Are your structures aggressive and happy, happy, positive. So how does that come out in in your words and, and also on how your performance appears. So do you feel you performing better, does a coach fully performing better so we have self rating as a way to come up with an objective measure, even though be subjective, because everybody's is different your your, your, the way you look at your own performance, and the way you look at your own feelings is you nobody else, but within yourself, you can get a normal hand you can get on feeling better and feeling happier. So really looking at those sort of things and, and giving that feedback to to the to the users about they are devout reader are becoming more successful, they are starting to think a lot more about managing labelling their emotions, about using strategies and infected ways. After that, there's there's obviously lots of interesting opportunities around expanding who we support. So we can support, you know, much larger organisations, you know, we can we can move up into, you know, large, large clubs and, and also different ways of supporting parents. You know, some parents love seeing what's happening. So they liked it, they like to be highly involved in the coaching, or the parents just like to observe what's happening, they like to know the kids are happy. And so we're looking at all those sort of things about how to swap parents and all the different ways they'd like to work. And of course, you know, how we can leverage newer technologies, to keep to keep getting better feedback and better information to the to the coach on how the teams are doing. And being able to get in the moment, you know, something's happening, you feed it back. And you can make a difference there. And then you don't have to wait for it to be processed sometime in the future. So there's, there's a quite a long feature list. I think I calculated in about six years at the moment, which is really good and positive.  

Conor Walsh  27:07
Fantastic. Absolutely. enlightening to Richard. Thanks so much. Reminder, a call to action for everyone listening on the restream please look at the QR code and it's in the top left hand corner of your screen, and make sure you download the HeadCoach app. And with further ado, that brings to close part one of today's launch. Once again, I'd like to thank the four founding fathers of HeadCoach Mr. Jonathon O'Neill, Joe Davis, Eoin Doyle and Richard George before we now begin to introduce our panellists.  

Conor Walsh  27:45
Now that we have heard from our founders, let's hear from today's panellists who bring a wealth of experience from the sporting world. First up is Dr. Shawn Tyrance. He is also the Vice President of player services for the Kansas City Chiefs. As the team's first in house mental health clinician, Sean holds a PhD in counselling and a master's in sports psychology, specialising in behavioural health and performance psychology for players. Sean joins us today currently from holidays in Las Vegas. Next up we have Olivia Fabry who is also a trailblazer in the world of sports and a standout pole vaulter, currently pursuing a master's degree in Business at the University of Notre Dame Business School. Olivia is a passionate pole vaulter committed to excellence. Finally, EJ Narcis who is also the founder of Team Services, he joins us here today and also brings a wealth of experience and a parent's perspective, to head coach as a parents of athletes. He is dedicated to empowering the next generation of athletes through the lens of emotional intelligence. You were all very welcome to today's HeadCoach launch. Thanks for having us. Fantastic. Where to begin? Dr. Tyrance, well, not least yourself and emotional intelligence. Look, it's something that has no boundaries. It's not something that you take on or off. It's something which pervades life. What lessons have you learned from the game of sports and apply to the game of life?  

Dr. Shaun Tyrance  29:23
Yeah, that's a great question. Connor. I think, you know, one of the things that we spend a lot of time talking about in our building is, you know, performing through pressure and performing through stress. I think that's one thing that I think whether you're in sport, whether you're in life, you're you're always going to face challenges. And you know, I think that's the one of the biggest things that you know, building your emotional intelligence really does help you with that and that resilience and that's something that I think, you know, none of us can have enough of and I you know, I think, you know, our players, you know, to get to this level, everybody's got a tonne of talent, you know, everybody's got great game plans, the reality is, is there gonna be a handful of things that happen in every game that aren't gonna go your way you're gonna, you're gonna have penalties, you're gonna have turnovers, they're gonna be something that goes wrong in every sport. And you've got to perform through that. They're gonna be stressful moments. And I think the best athletes do a great job of leaning into those moments. And, and really, they prepare themselves for those moments. And I kind of think the same thing, as it relates to life as well, I think we've got to expect to, you know, encounter bumps in the road. And that's just the reality of life. And I think the more we can do to create what I call that protective armour around ourselves, and build our resilience, build, you know, our ability to manage those stressful moments, I think it will help us kind of perform through that. And I think that's a big part of life. So I think that's kind of the big thing for me that I see the parallel between life and sports, so is really that, that that capability of having to perform through through stress and pressure.  

Conor Walsh  31:07
And Olivia, as a current athlete, what does this look like for you?  

Olivia Fabry  31:11
Yeah, a lot of what Dr. Shaun said, I've learned a lot through athletics that I can apply into my real life, such as resilience, perseverance, teamwork, leadership skills, discipline, and time management, goal setting all of that. But most importantly, like what we've been talking about today, the importance of emotional intelligence and that regulation, you know, through athletics, and with pole vault, specifically being such a challenging mental battle, I've learned, pretty firsthand how significant these emotional intelligence skills are to my performance in athletics, but also just in life, in general, through the ups of sports, but also, unfortunately, through the downs of athletics, where I think, is where you really start to realise where the lack of these emotional intelligence skills, you know, they've shown me exactly why I need to be aware of them in the first place, and why I need to be actively learning and continuously growing in them.  

Conor Walsh  32:06
Certainly fantastic. Thank you. And EJ, had you anything similar to add?  

EJ Narcise  32:10
Yeah, I would think, you know, one thing I would add to that is adaptability, you know, the ability to understand your circumstances and move through them. You know, I tell my kids all the time that, you know, in hindsight that my daughter had a really, really difficult dance coach that she battled with for eight or nine years. This woman was like the Bobby Knight of dance coaches, if you will. And I used to say to her, you know, she's difficult, I'll give you that. But you might have a boss someday, that's difficult. You may have, God forbid a father in law or a mother in law someday, that's difficult, a next door neighbour, that’s difficult. You need to learn to adapt, and deal with that. And then the other thing I would add to that is a healthy lifestyle. You know, when I look back at the way I eat, and the way I still work out, now, those bars were set for me a long time ago, you know, at training table, and, you know, just that idea, I say, it's, it's vanity insanity. You know, it's I want to, I want to look good, I want to feel good. And that's something I'll take with me forever.  

Conor Walsh  33:26
And there's one thing EJ that you touched upon there, Olivia, I'm gonna throw this at you. And that's remaining, and also being adaptable. And that's a huge part as we know of self management when it comes to Emotional intelligence, your self as an athlete will Olivia at the intentionality of the performance. It can be a humongous strain amid the intensity of competition. Are there any mantras that are guiding posts that you would use in the heat of the moment to ground you?  

Olivia Fabry  33:56
Yeah, for sure. This is a big part of pole vaulting, it's you never stop. It's not like the adrenaline of a game or one race pole vault lasts hours. So you know, you have to become extremely focused and then turn it off for the next 15 minutes and then come back on the runway and it's your turn again. So that's definitely a big struggle. Like you said, remaining intentional and something that I have a few different you know, mantras that I try to use to ground me when I'm on the runway about to jump and a lot of them are listening to myself and reminding myself of what I can control and focusing on that he's a lot of athletics and sports are out of your control. So I like to get on the runway I think to myself, Okay, I control my effort, I control my attitude. And then I kind of start giving myself some positive reassurance. So I trained for this. I'm fast enough. I'm strong enough. I know I'm capable. Trying to stay in that positive mindset instead of what happens is my worst vaults are the ones where I look at the bar, and all I can think about is Oh my gosh, I really need to clear this, you know, like I need to just that is when it starts to fall apart. So I would say that I tried to ground myself by positive reinforcement, and just taking it one step at a time reminding myself that, you know, I can do this and thinking of it as more of a specific breakdown of tasks instead of looking at the overall, you know, achievement.  

Conor Walsh  35:24
It's fascinating to hear it inside of your mind. Because, you know, speaking to young athletes today, Olivia and especially with pole vaulting, right? It's it's quite a dichotomy. I suspect, one imagines the level of intensity, and awareness and concentration that you have to show throughout hours, it really is at odds with being a young person who also happens to be an athlete today, where, you know, it's at a time where attention has never been as challenged before. All in all, I mean, how do you remain intentional as an athlete?  

Olivia Fabry  35:58
Yeah, I think that, especially in the world of NIL, and social media, and kind of all the other things that come along with just athletics now, it can be really hard to remain intentional and stay true to what you know, you came here to do. So I think that the most important thing is just defining your values and your goals. And, you know, clearly outlining to yourself, What are my long term goals? Why am I here? And, you know, kind of removing yourself from obviously, these are my athletic performance goals, but long term outside of that, like, what am I gaining from this experience? And what am I here to do. And then also, I think just setting boundaries for yourself for you know, distractions or other things, especially like social media use, and especially, like, even setting boundaries on your athletic career. I think it can consume you, you know, everything you're doing, you're thinking about, I'm going to track practice, I wake up on a Tuesday, Tuesday's vault day, well, I don't Monday night, I'm already worried about it going to sleep Tuesday morning, I'm thinking about how I practice and you know, eight hours, and I still have three classes to get through. So I think trying to be aware of setting those boundaries for yourself. And not getting yourself too overwhelmed consumed with it is also helpful in terms of staying present, staying intentional.  

Conor Walsh  37:23
Evidently, understanding who you are and where you're going. It's a critical imperative self awareness. And, Shaun, this one's for you. I mean, Olivia speaks there of social media, and you're someone as well, what the role which has become very global, as opposed to local. And that obviously, that external pressure must add a small bit of strain. Undoubtedly, I mean, what tools you use to increase awareness within yourself to even ask a better question, Shawn, I mean, who coaches to coach and situations are such?  

Dr. Shaun Tyrance  37:53
That’s a good question Conor, well, to be fully transparent, I have my own coach, I work with a therapist I have for this one for the last five plus years. And I think it's really important for me to, to, to make sure I'm always looking inward and making sure I understand who I am, where I am, and what I'm doing, I think, you know, I'm not, I'm like everyone else, you know, I have struggles there days that, you know, I definitely have issues and challenges like everyone else. And, and I think, you know, maybe having someone that I can bounce ideas off of, you know, having someone that can hold me accountable, that's really important for me, and so, you know, I think that that's something and I believe in doing that kind of year round, you know, it's one of those things where it's not just during times of crisis, when I lean on my coach, my therapist, and so you know, really tried to build in a practice of really looking inward, you know, it's kind of 365 days a year, I started journaling, and that's really helped me, you know, use the HeadCoach app, and the features there that really kind of keep me on track and, you know, performing at a high level, making sure that I'm doing the things that I need to do on a daily basis, and creating those good habits. So I can, you know, kind of, again, manage the stressors out, you know, work in a very public world, in a very high profile situation. And that comes with its own, you know, ups and downs and challenges in and of itself. And so, it was really important for me to manage that. And that's something that I think that the HeadCoach app does a great job of kind of giving me the tools to do so. And, you know, I think it's one of those things where, you know, kind of keeps me focused on the right thing and making sure I don't get too far away from, you know, the most important stuff in my life, which I think is important.  

Conor Walsh  39:48
Yeah, and I mean, as you spoke of there, Shaun to the wellness journal for everyone listening that's become a critical habit of mine over time though seeing profound impacts just quite therapeutic actually and that's a key feature of the HeadCoach app. EJ thrown at your way, there's obviously an awful lot of parents tuning into today's stream, you know, it can be quite overwhelming and quite a challenge, I'd imagine, at the best of times wearing so many different hats, what tools you use to reflect and refocus?  

EJ Narcise  40:18
You know, it's interesting, because you're gonna hear quite a bit, you know, the term, intentional or intentionality. And I always feel like in hindsight, and currently now, as a parent, if I remind myself of my intentions, and I stay within those intentions, I can take a little bit of pressure off and forgive myself, because, you know, honestly, there's not a parent that ever makes a decision on behalf of their kid where they say, well, let's do this, because this will really screw our kids up, we don't do that we do the very best we can at that time, with the information we have at hand. And so that gets into modelling as a parent, you know, what I look back, and I think I'm, I've not always been the model parent, but all I can do is try to do better tomorrow. So you know, that coupled with my kids now as they’re older, validation is more important. Now, validating my kids feelings now is more important than it's ever been. It's always important as a parent to to understand where your kids are coming from. But I couldn't do that when they were five or six, because I couldn't really remember what it was like to be five or six. I'm starting to recall now 25, and 26, and 27. So I can relate a little bit more to what they're going through. So I think validation is huge in all of this. And really learning that skill and learning to validate other people's feelings as well, not only your kids, but if you can teach your kids validation of other people's feelings, that now leads into empathy, and other beautiful things.  

Conor Walsh  42:06
What I liked that you touched upon their ages that you reinforced the fact that when we speak of emotional intelligence, it's not a single player game, it's a multiplayer game, you know, you and your wife, you're, you're a team. And speaking of teams, that fits in nicely to, I suppose the role of relationship management, which is a critical component of emotional intelligence. And Shaun, of course, many people will be here today, in many coaches, managing teams of various different sizes, you yourself, you're responsible for a roster of 50 plus players plus backroom staff. There's a lot of nuances that play there. And I suppose to borrow a quote from Jony earlier on when we speak of interference. I mean, what tools do you use to remove interference from your players and your backroom staff reaching full performance?  

Dr. Shaun Tyrance  42:58
Yeah, I mean, I think the the biggest tools, we, you know, we talked a little bit about building resilience earlier, building confidence in our players through, you know, any and every means possible, I think, you know, one of the things that, you know, we're here in Las Vegas, you know, preparing for the Superbowl, and people see kind of the great show that is put on, on Sundays, it's a beautiful show, it's great. But I don't think people know, kind of the work that goes in Monday through Saturday, to prepare us for that day. And a lot of, you know, a lot of the work that we do each and every day, you know, really does lead us to kind of what you see on Sundays, and I think a lot of confidence is built there. And so, you know, for me, I think it's, it's really about using any and everything that that that we have at our disposal, to really help our athletes help our coaches help help our staff perform at a high level. And, you know, I think every individual is a little different. And that's one of the things I really love about, you know, kind of us utilising HeadCoach, utilising coaches utilising tools is that you really can create a game plan for yourself, you know, I think that's kind of the biggest thing, I do not believe in crossing your fingers and hoping that is not a strategy. That is not something that we believe in here in our building, you know, we are, you know, we try to create a real high performance culture. And I think that's done through, you know, habits, preparation, understanding yourself, understanding what your needs are. And so, you know, that's kind of the foundation for everything that that we do here in our building. And I think that's, you know, no different from what everyone else is kind of striving for. And so I'd really kind of, you know, a push everyone to figure out kind of what works for you and build a game plan around that so you can go out and and perform at a high level and kind of manage that interference that we know what's coming.  

Conor Walsh  44:51
And as you alluded to there, Shaun, the end goal certainly is fixed. Getting to Super Bowl Sunday in Las Vegas, but obviously, not two Pats gonna be the same. So there has to be an element of flexibility and performance. You were you referenced HeadCoach in utilise perhaps as a game plan? Could you elaborate a bit more as to how HeadCoach could be best used as a tool?  

Dr. Shaun Tyrance  45:15
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, kind of, you know, I think every individual athlete has understand how they perform at a high level. And I think doing so it's really start with starts with kind of understanding yourself, what does it take for you to be successful? What are the habits that you need to build, the good thing about HeadCoach is that, it allows you to really look at yourself, you know, allows you to score who you are from an emotional intelligence perspective. And you know, there's no secret, the healthier the person is, the better they're going to perform. And that's one of the things that we really believe, here for us. And so we really, I believe, in every individual been a little bit selfish in this process, and really, kind of doing some self evaluation and really realising, okay, what is it that I need? How much of it do I need? And what intervals do I need it? And building a plan around that, and I think, you know, absolutely, HeadCoach can really give you the game plan the tools, the foundation, to make that happen. And so, you know, again, to me, it's it's really about the journey of it. And, and I think having a strategic tool that you can use, that kind of helps you build the habits that you know, you need, I think that's the key to success.  

Conor Walsh  46:35
And HeadCoach, looking at the person as a whole, Olivia, it would be fascinating to hear the athlete perspective. Upon this, you find it relatively easy now to shift that performance based identity away from the arena?  

Olivia Fabry  46:51
Yeah, um, I would say historically, no, I did find that easy. I think that I mean, majority of athletes I'm surrounded with and that I know, even if you're not talking in terms of your sport, that performance based identity carries over into every aspect of our lives. Whether it's, you know, academics in the classroom, maintaining relationships with, you know, your friends and significant others, I think that almost everything you do, you're thinking about how you can attack it kind of like from athletic standpoint, that carries over. So I'm thinking, you know, beating myself up about if I don't do great on an assignment, or if I lacked with a relationship with a friend, you know, I haven't reached out to them a while, it's hard to bounce off of it. And I think that athletes tend to beat ourselves up often about what we can be doing better all the time. And it's kind of like this growth mindset, which is helpful, but sometimes, it is difficult for us to take a step back, and difficult for me to take a step back and realise, you know, the, how I need to take care of myself internally first. So I've been getting better at it. But I would say that it can be difficult to turn away from that performance based mindset.  

Conor Walsh  48:05
And could you bring us into perhaps a time Olivia, where you've missed out on this and how having a tool such as HeadCoach would have helped?  

Olivia Fabry  48:15
Yeah, I'm, honestly since I've started looking around at head coach and using it day to day for the last few weeks, I will say that the biggest thing I've noticed is that these emotional intelligence skills aren't skills. I didn't know what they were, I knew what all these things were, I knew that I needed to, you know, have this time management, I knew I needed to work on my confidence and building these habits and getting the sleep and monitoring how I'm feeling every day. I knew that was a part of my day to day performance. But it's one of those things where if you're not actively trying to get better, and you're not recognising it daily, it's sometimes it's easy to get away from it. So I do think that HeadCoach is a great way it's in your pocket, you know, you're getting notification every day. Hey, how are you feeling today? How's your confidence? How's your optimism? Did you make your bed, you know, how many hours did you sleep? And I think that having this reminder throughout your day, and having somewhere where it holds you accountable for that, you know, you're going in there and you're tracking, what did I do today? And you can go back and look at you know, the past week, the past month. I think just having to actively visit that every single day is a great way to keep yourself in that mindset, because it is easy to slip away from it even though you know that's what you should be doing. Having that reminder from HeadCoach is such a great way to stay on top of it.  

Conor Walsh  49:39
Absolutely fantastic. Olivia, thank you so much. So, I mean, EJ, I mean, I think one prominent thing that keeps coming up and the conversation not only with the founders, but also the panellists such as yourself is that there really is a war of attention out there in moments and you know, every parents of course on this call will be rolling their eyes and you know, who better to know than the parents have been stressed for time management and whatnot. So it'd be interesting. I mean, to hear a little bit more as to how your own relationship has, has evolved, even what yourself as a parent, seeing your children grow throughout life.  

EJ Narcise  50:16
Yeah, you know what it's, it's, it's obviously in stages. And my kids are at the point now in their 20s, where it's really different, you know, you, you evolve as a parent from nurturer and caregiver to teacher and guide, and, you know, you eventually get to that point, and I'm laughing, because I'm thinking, Olivia sitting here thinking of her own relationship with her parents, and how it's changed over time. And, and, you know, Shaun has has twin girls in their teens. And, you know, it's, it's all of that it's, you then become an advisor and a mentor. And so it's very, very interesting. But time management, all of the things that, you know, when you think of the impact of social media, and you know, every generation always loud, you don't know what it was like, when no, these kids with social media today, it is unlike anything we've ever seen. And the fact of the matter is, they can fact check their parents, you know, my dad could tell me anything, and it was, you know, I really, that doesn't really sound right, but okay. These kids, my kids will call and go that you know what you were way wrong with that, God forbid, I have a political conversation with them. So the evolution is profound. But again, you know, I'm gonna go back to my, my stalwart, and that is intentionality. And being intentional in this relationship, you can still help your kids as you know, things evolve, and I'm waiting, you know, the last stage of this parent child relationship is friendship. And I've, my mantra has always been, I'm not your friend, I'm not your buddy. Okay, I'm your dad. And I can't wait till I can get to the point where I can, you know, realistically say, you know, what, we're just friends. And I know that's coming. But, but the fact of the matter is that every kid is unique. Each of their needs are different. And we've got to be intentional about all of that.

Conor Walsh  52:29
And it's fascinating, because, as someone who's lived throughout all the stages, I believe we were on a call a few weeks ago, EJ. And you spoke about the 1000s and dollars essentially spent throughout the years on specialist coaches and whatnot. And although of course, that may accrue a gain and utility, of course, in the short term, what might having a tool such as HeadCoach be applicable for the medium to long term development?  

EJ Narcise  52:56
Well, you know, like many parents today, we we did everything in anything to support our kids, in whatever their chosen endeavours were. My daughter was a very proficient dancer, she danced for 14 years. And so dance camps and strength coaches, and my son's strength coaches, speed coaches, and, you know, travel teams, etc. I think all, you know, all in all, if I knew that, I could give them a resource that they could begin to work with and hone that they could take with them for the rest of their lives, things that would give them emotional stability. And that would teach them so many of the tools they will need to move on for the rest of their lives. I mean, what you know, of course, we would have done those things. But again, I think a resource like HeadCoach allows you that opportunity and give you a focus on, on really what EQ is, because, you know, it gets thrown around, but we don't really, you know, we don't really drill down on it. Olivia said, it's, it's like reading a self help book. It's like, I knew that, but we just don't have it in the forefront of our minds. And I think as parents, as we look at the investment, listen, some day, the kid's going to stop playing whatever it is, they're not going to be a professional field hockey player. But if you could give them the resources to go on and take those strengths with them the rest of their lives, you know, as they start to build that resilience, emotionally. That is invaluable. There's no question.  

Conor Walsh  54:46
And the kind of reminder to everyone listening, that resource can be yours right now. If you click and scan the QR code in the top left hand corner, if you haven't already, please do. It's been absolutely fascinating for me just to see sit back here and listen to all three of us speak of emotional intelligence in such various ways from a wealth and acumen of different perspectives. And the one thing that I'm sure about in my mind, guys listen to you speak is that emotional intelligence, it's, in fact, an infinite game. It's not a finite game that you win by playing and winning only once you win by continuing to play. And it's very much a case of, for me, at least, that we are all walking across this boardwalk, from what you could say, is a performance based identity to something that's more well rounded and a purpose based identity. And, Shaun, I suppose my final question here would go to you. There's a lot of people well intentioned, you know, listening today, they have all the habits in place. But as of now, maybe they're not getting the results, or maybe they are getting the results, but not to the extent that they so wish, what would you have to say for those people who are that slightly bit disheartened?  

Dr. Shaun Tyrance  55:59
Yeah, that's a good question. I, the the biggest thing I'd say is, you know, it's a journey, you said it, this is an infinite game. And this is an infinite game, this isn't, I think, when it comes to, you know, who we are, and our own personal development and our own growth. It's not like a painting, right? You never, you never, it's never finished. And I think that's one of the things that is really important is that it truly is about the journey and the long game and you know, you're going to plateau, at times, you're going to, you know, reach points where you take some steps back, and that's just a part of life. And that's a part of anything, you're not going to, things are going to always go to, you know, in the in the perfect direction. And so I think, just understanding that going in, and knowing this is about creating habits, and creating a lifestyle, and creating a healthy way of life, and creating the possibility for high performance on a consistent basis, to me, that's really what this is about. And you do that through consistency. And so, again, if you stumble, if you if you encounter some roadblocks, if you if you plateau, just know that that's a part of the process. And I would say, you know, lean into it, be flexible, adjust, try something new. You know, I think, you know, having great habits also means you're also willing to try and do different things. And so, you know, when I when I think about kind of getting to a place where things really become a little challenging for you, that's probably the time when you've got to get creative and do something. Maybe that's new and different, hopefully fun for you. And it can offer you a different set of challenges.  

Conor Walsh  57:42
Let me fantastic. I mean, why haven't we been so very lucky here for the past 35-40 minutes to be able to listen to such a wealth and ocean of expertise. So with that being said, it brings unfortunate end to today's panel, but once again, everyone listening out there, could we please give it up for Dr. Shaun tyrants. Olivia Fabry, and Mr. EJ Narcis. Thank you guys for joining me here today.  58:09 Thank you, Connor.  

Conor Walsh  58:15
And, of course, before we close, we're just going to bring back in the founders of HeadCoach, and we will be joined prominently by the President and co founder, Mr. Jonathon O'Neill.  

Jonathon O'Neill  58:30
Guys, that was an amazing conversation I always say could have joined you so much insight from all of you. So thank you, panellists for joining. Hopefully, we can do something again in the near future. Conor, thank you for hosting. I really, really appreciate it. And obviously thank you to the co founders and everybody who tuned in. If you have a look in the top left hand corner, there is a QR code. You can download the app and there is a free 30 day trial. Hopefully you enjoy it. If you need any more information, you can go to HeadCoach.app. Folks, thank you for tuning in and realising the value of emotional intelligence as a habit for athletes and coaches.