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“I fell in love with handball again” – says Michał Grabowski after using SportMind and coaching

How did you find the mental coaching with Dariusz Szostek?

– The club started cooperation with Darek in the season 2017/18 (KPR Legionowo playing in Super League – editorial note). It has started from a common meeting with the whole team in the sport hall. Then Darek explained us how this is going to look like and how this will work out in practise. Before every match we were asked to mark colours in the SportMind app (via the Internet) which represent our emotions and reactions to every expression. This lasted the whole round two, and after the end of the season every competitor has an individual interview about his profile and before-match diagnoses’ results. Every willing person could start individual cooperation. I said to myself – why not, and that is how it started.

What was your first reaction to the “colours” used in SportMind?

– I was surprised but not discouraged. I concluded that if Darek cooperated with teams such us Vive then there must be something in it. Clubs like these know exactly what they are doing. I approached this professionally and completed everything in a reliable manner. As it turned out after conversations and analyses, everything has its reflection.

I heard that discussing your results with Darek took place just before the match with Vive where you showed a great performance.

– Yes, that is true. In this season my performance was very irregular. I had better and worse moments. However, the ending was quite better. Before a match with Kielce I discussed my results with Darek and I started to feel more relaxed. I played some good handball, I had my head unblocked and my thoughts were focused only on the game. It was the time I thought that if it is going to work out then it is the time to try further cooperation.

So it was when you decided to start the individual work with Darek?

– Yes. I considered that physical training is important but to maintain a balance there is also a mental training needed.

After meetings, what did you find out about yourself?

– Nothing new actually. I think that I unblocked my head. I prepared my mind, felt better, felt kind of a “flow”, there were no unnecessary thoughts. This is how these sessions work that everything starts to sort out itself. During meetings we don’t analyze. It is a matter of proper questions and everything proceed by itself.

The ending of the season was very well performed by you. You were classified in the first five of best shooters in the ligue. Is it at some level thanks to the coaching?

– Coaching has helped for sure. In the first part of the season I was far behind in the classification. Since we started working on mental training I have gained great energy and it influences my performance and number of scored goals. Then I started to climb up in the classification. 5th position is good but there always could be better. There are next seasons are ahead of me.

It is important that coaching did not take you much time. You had only 4 meetings.

– Actually yes, there were only four. And after each of them I already felt the differences, but these permanent after second meeting. We had our appointments on average once a month. Between them there was a time to processed everything. I felt better on the field, and what is very important, also outside it. I felt better in my private life too.

What has changed in the private life?

– First of all I started to smile more. It can be said that I felt happier and I started to deal with problems easier. In the sense that when something went wrong I was not worried but I immediately started to search for the right solution. I had more power for life, trainings, and everything what I was doing. It was so that I could not wait for the next training. There was no tiredness, fatigue, it may be said that I fell in love with handball again. And I liked this feeling a lot. Again, I was discovering different possibilities, actions, I started experimenting with diets, regeneration and rest. Everything composed in a very cool way with mental training. I had more energy and motivation.

Did anything change in you?

– It is a very difficult question. I think I felt that what I am showing so far is not enough and I can do better. There is still potential in me which gives me a chance for further development. I confirmed the certainty that in difficult situations I can remain cool on the field.

Did your relationship with a trainer or other players changed?

– Yes. I think that we were communicating better with other team members. It was also caused by the fact that this was my second season, we got closer as a team, and I was not one of the youngest anymore. Also, by better performance, we make a better team. It is obvious that is works this way – good game influences better treatment by the team. I have gained more trust from the trainer and I spent more time on the field. This was very important for me.

How did coaching directly influence you?

– Mental training made me aware of many things. I have more energy, I feel more cheerful and more confident. Earlier, I had troubles with self-confidence and self-esteem. During the game I had a lot of unnecessary thoughts. Before throwing the ball I was wondering if I would score the goal, and after failed throw I was brooding about it and wondering what will happen if I don’t hit again. Now, if I don’t score the goal, I focus on the next action and I do everything to make it look better. I don’t focus on what someone says, I just do my job. It’s often been that way this season that I missed the first goal but I scored another eight or nine in a row. Coaching helped me to focus during the matches.

You’ve only had four meetings so far. Will they be enough?

– I think they’ll do. Although maybe I’ll want to meet again to consolidate what we’ve been working on. Or maybe there will be new issues or problems that will have to be worked on.  You never know.

In addition to coaching, before meetings, through the already mentioned “colours”, you have studied mental energy. How did these results affect you before the next matches?

– I could get to know my preparation and mental level better before the match. Additionally, after doing the colors, Darek wrote me what’s okay and on what I need to focus on more. With time I started to feel these differences and I knew how to adjust to the game.

Would you recommend mental training with Darek to other athletes?

– Yes of course. There is no way that such a mental training can harm you, it can only help you. But to help you can’t do it by force, you can’t force it. The athlete has to want it herself/himself, and when she/he tries, she/he has to get involved and take it seriously. My example shows that coaching can help both on the field and in everyday life.


Author: Karolina Szewczyk

Read more about what sports results the player achieved on the field during his mental work.