22 Nov Fruits of falling in love with… handball – Michał Grabowski’s match statistics
In the interview (read the interview) Michał described his experiences and changes he experienced while working on his mentality. However, it is important to answer the following questions: How did this kind of mental work, change of attitude and “falling in love with handball again” by Michał translate into results achieved by him on the field? Is it just a subjective feeling or does it also have a specific reference to the results achieved on the field?
During the work on his mentality Michał used the Winner Mentality Coaching ® and the SportMind tool, which diagnoses mental state. The following article focuses mainly on objective, external measures of his performance on the field, i.e. on match statistics, as well as on the results of the pre-match mental attitude observed with SportMind.
Beginning – cooperation with KPR Legionowo club (season 2017/18)
In the second round of the 2017/18 season, within the framework of cooperation between Sport Idea and KPR Legionowo – club playing at that time in PGNiG Super League, the player started diagnosing his pre-match mental state (diagnosis Mental Energy) and performed a diagnosis Mental Analysis.
At the end of the season, the day before the league match against Vive Kielce, at an individual meeting, his diagnosis was discussed. The conversation concerned only the results of the diagnosis and their interpretation, without coaching work. It turned out that the discussion of what is sitting and what is going on in his head allowed him to cleanse it so effectively that the next day he played a very good match: in the match with Vive he scored 5 goals (on 5 throws) and achieved 100% effectiveness.
When it comes to the overall statistics of the player from this season, in the second round (the first round was not monitored) the player threw a total number of 35 goals with the effectiveness of 69% and an average of 2.69 goals per game.
Individual support – season 2018/19
At the beginning of the next season (2018/19), after 5 matches played by Michał in the first league, we returned to the topic of mental work and started the process of Coaching Mentality of the Winner® (CMZ). The CMZ is a holistic and systemic process, working with the unconscious part responsible for how the player experiences different situations (sporting and non-sporting) at the level of body, emotions and thoughts. The CMZ is designed to help you achieve fast and lasting changes, and this was necessary for player’s further development. It was an athlete’s investment in himself, giving a chance to develop mentally and to return to playing in the Superleague.
In total, there were 4 coaching meetings: two during the first round, the third one just before the start of the second round and another one during the course of the second round.
From the beginning of the second round of this season we also started to monitor the pre-game mental state. On the day of the match, the player made a diagnosis Mental energy, which showed his current mental state divided into 12 different parameters, and afterwards, the player received information about what to do to better prepare for the match (without the information about the results of this diagnosis).
As far as the analysed data is concerned, in the first round of the 2018/19 season, analysis was based on the number of goals thrown in the matches, available in the official match protocols.
The second round was monitored in more detail: apart from the number of thrown goals, the number of minutes on the field and the number of throws were collected, which allowed to calculate the throwing effectiveness of the player. Additionally, as already mentioned, on the match day the diagnosis of SportMind (Mental Energy) was also performed.
During the second round, the athlete played 11 games playing for, in total, 480 minutes, which gives 43.6 minutes per game.
The table below presents the results of the player in the second round of the 2017/18 season (Superleague) and the entire 2018/19 season (1 league) divided into two rounds and additional periods: before and after the start of coaching (in the first round) and before and after the stretching of the biceps muscle (in the second round).
Table 1 – Projection statistics
Entire season Goals Throws Effectiveness The average of goals per game Matches
Entire season 126 5,48 23
Season 2017/2018 round II 35 51 69% 2,89 13
Season 2018/19 round I 62 - - 5,17 12
before the coaching 18 - - 3,60 5
after the coaching 44 - - 6,29 7*
II round 64 90 71% 5,82 11
before muscle stretching 46 58 79% 7,67 6
after muscle stretching 18 32 56% 3,60 5
* one cup game was included
As can be seen in Table 1, from the start of coaching to the end of round 1, the average of goals scored per match doubled (from 3.60 to 6.29). The best form was presented by the player in the first half of the second round (until the stretching of the muscle), where the average thrown goals per match increased to 7.67 while maintaining a very high 79% efficiency.
Then, after stretching the muscle, the average number of goals scored decreased to 3.6 goals per game. The effectiveness also decreased. Reasons could be different, e.g. team atmosphere, opponents’ style of play and cut-offs from ball passing, or other reasons that could affect his individual performance, as this was not particularly observed in SportMind.
In comparison to the second round of the previous season (2017/18) in the second round of the 2018/19 season, the player throws almost twice as many goals (35 -> 64) with fewer matches (13 -> 11), achieving more than twice bigger average of goals thrown (2.89 -> 5.82), which at the end of the round was still reduced as a result of stretching the biceps muscle.
The highest match efficiency was achieved in the match with SPR Tarnów (later the winner of the league, who was promoted to the PGNiG Superleague – the top-level gaming class) – 88% (7 goals on 8 throws).
In total, in the whole season 2018/19 in 23 matches, the player threw:
7 goals in 3 matches,
9 goals in 3 matches,
10 goals in 3 matches and
11 goals in 1 match.
In only one match before starting coaching work he scored more than 7 goals (9 goals), and after starting coaching work as many as in 9 matches (out of 18 matches played) he scored 7 or more goals, i.e. in as much as 50% of the games. Already in the first match after the first session he threw 10/13 (77%).
As for the number of goals scored, before the coaching started, he was not even visible on the list of the 30 most effective players in the league. He was 5th at the end of the league and he missed the third place by two goals.
A permanent change in the mental state of the player and his attitude was certainly noticed by the coach, who left him on the field for most matches (average 44 min/match), as well as by his colleagues – he received more balls from them and was able to throw his goals. In addition, mental stability made him the main (and in fact the only) penalty shooter (see Table 2 below).
Table 2 – Penalty statistics
Team penalty shootouts Penalties done by a player Percentage of the team penalty shootouts Penalties thrown by a player Penalty effectiveness
For entire season 103 72 69,90% 59 81,84%
2018/2019 season round I 48 32 66,67% 28 87,5%
before start of the coaching 30 16 53,33% 13 81,25%
after start of the coaching 18 16 88,89% 15 93,75%
round II 55 40 72,73% 31 77,5%
before muscle pull 30 28 93,33% 24 85,71%
after muscle pull 25 12 48% 7 58,33%
During 13 matches (after starting coaching and before pulling the muscle) he threw 44 out of 48 penalties (in 91.7% of cases) awarded to the team with 88.63% effectiveness (39 goals out of 44 penalties). Before starting coaching sessions, he approached throwing penalty shootouts in only 53% of cases (with 81.25% effectiveness). The number of thrown penalties has increased significantly, while their effectiveness has been improved.
At the best time (in the first round after starting coaching sessions), the player threw 89% of the penalty shootouts with more than 93% effectiveness.
Pre-match mental state
The creator of the term “Flow”, an American psychologist of Hungarian origin, M. Csikszentmihalyi, in his book entitled “Flow” described the optimal state as “in which there is order in the consciousness“. This happens when mental energy (attention) is invested in real goals and when skills are properly matched to the possibilities of action. A person has to focus on his current task and forget about anything else for a while. When we compare the trends of athlete’s mental energy from 2017/18 season with those from 2018/19, we will notice a huge difference (graphs below).
Figure 1 – Mental energy – trend in 2017/18 season
Figure 2 – Mental energy – trend in 2018/19 season
The first thing that stands out when looking at both charts as a whole is that the lines in “Diagram 1” can be described as “mess“, “chaos“, while “Diagram 2” shows a certain order: the values that should be above 50 most often are above, and the values that should be below 50 – are always below. This is a comprehensive and picturesque effect of the player’s work results in the Winner’s Mentality Coaching® process presented in SportMind. The first diagnosis of Mental energy visible on “Diagram 2” was made after 3 coaching sessions.
As shown in “Chart 2”, the player has achieved a stable, structured state (the so-called optimal state), which describes the Csikszentmihaly. This order in the internal world, as seen on the chart, is also reflected in the specific sports performance of the player described above, as well as in the fact that the player, among other things, “fell in love with handball again”.
What stands out from the order in “Diagram 2” is the breakdown of the “Mental energy” value in the next measurement after 23 of March, 2019. The reason for this becomes obvious when we know that on 24 of March 2019, at the beginning of the match, (about 10 minutes) the player felt pain in his right calf. The match was played in its entirety until the end (he played 60 minutes), but his throwing efficiency decreased to 56% (5/9).
This diagnosis (with the value of “Mental energy” parameter below 20) was made the day after the match, before the examination and medical diagnosis – that is without knowing what is really wrong with him. Such low results of the “Mental energy” parameter in this diagnosis indicate that the player may have been worried about his injury, which is a sign that the amount of mental energy decreased rapidly. The “Pain” parameter itself rose slightly and reached its highest value during the measurement period. Then, he was slowly regaining his mental form, but in the next match he threw only 1 goal (with 33% efficiency).
However, before the next match, played on 7 of April, he rebuilt his mental state and scored 10 goals.
In “Diagram 2” you can also see two peaks of the parameters’ values “Match”, “Training” and “Mental energy” (17 of February and 7 of April). These days, matches were played against the best teams in the league. On 17 of February, in the match with SPR Tarnów, which eventually won the league and was promoted to PGNiG Superleague, the player threw 7/8 (88%) playing a full 60 minutes, and on 7 of April with Czuwaj Przemyśl (then the leader, finally took 2nd place in the league) threw 10/13 (77%) within 40 minutes of the game.
This means that the player was able to build his optimal mental state to play with the best opponents, and SportMind showed it even before the match, and then the player confirmed his state by playing very good and successful, when it comes to throws, matches.
In order to obtain such sports results, Michał spent about 5-6 hours per season on mental work and a total of about 1 hour on diagnosing Mental energy (each lasts about 5 minutes before the match). In total, it was only about 7 hours in a season!
Statistics show that these few extra hours dedicated to working on one’s own mentality and pre-game state research helped the athlete to achieve unquestionably better sports results. They also caused that, as player recalls in the interview, he became a different person in his life: more joyful, open, more confident and easier to cope with life issues and problems.
In both areas: sport and private life, the key to what he experiences was a permanent change in his inner attitude achieved at the unconscious level. When there is order and peace, unnecessary thoughts disappear and attention can be focused on what is happening on the field. Outside the field, previous problems become only issues to be solved.
What is crucial and what Michał mentioned in the interview – it was all in him. It only required a proper look and order at a deeper level than reason itself. It was his work and he made this change in himself, with our support, without telling him what is good and what is bad. He got to know himself better and changed, becoming fully involved in this kind of work, as he does every day at trainings or matches.
What is important is the fact that such work on the unconscious level is somehow happening on its own – on the level of reason it seems that nothing or very little is happening. However, the topics worked on at this level do not return. They change permanently. Of course, there may still be some changes of attitude, but returning to the natural state will be faster and natural, without further “sinking into the mental hole”.
There’s one more question to ask: Did he receive a return in sport of such investment in himself? Looking back after some time and from a broader perspective, we know that in the season (2019/20) Michał returned to play in PGNiG Superleague and plays in the team of benjamin from Tarnów. His very good performances and results in 2018/19 season surely helped him with that. Having read the statistics and conclusions from this article, Michał stated that everything is supported by facts and agrees with it in 100%.
I am personally convinced that the internal attitude, which he built in himself during our cooperation, will fit this team and in the long run will also contribute to its faster development as a player. And what he has developed in himself – his “new” attitude – will pay off for many years to come, both on the field and in his private life.
Author: Dariusz Szostek
You can read about what Michał gained in addition to his sports results here.