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Hazel Findlay, Performance Training, Coaching Case Study


The following report is a testimonial / case study from a client that I have worked with who has agreed to share their story and experience, so that people like you can understand their journey and how it may relate to you.

Hazel Findlay is a professional climber, mental training coach, and mindfulness enthusiast. I contacted Hazel many years ago after seeing her on TV to see if I could help further her climbing and mental game. Over the years we have worked together to help her achieve her goals and even conducted workshops together in the US and UK. Hazel is considered one of the world’s top female adventure climbers, you can see her video below.

Hazel's comments:

“I’m really interested in the psychology of climbing and how to manage your psychology when you're scared, which is what inspired me to be a mental training coach and think about concepts like flow and fear.”

In climbing we often use the phrase ‘in the zone’, or similar phrases. Being conscious of these advanced mental states is one of the main reasons why I climb as I'm always keen to find these states of flow and optimal functioning more often. Knowing that if I can find these optimal states, I will get more out of climbing, and visa versa. So I started doing my own research into psychology and understanding these concepts better.”

I started off just having a few sessions with Cameron around my individual climbing. Then I got more and more interested in it. I ended up doing the Certificate, Diploma and Coaching Diploma at his company the Flow Centre. Everything I was learning about flow wasn't just helpful for my own climbing, but also for what I was teaching my coaching clients.”

Over the years I have done so much with the Cameron. The main takeaways are that he has a such a grounding in the science and practice of flow and optimal performance, how to improve your performance and your life. He can really help to delve into what is actually going on in the mind and suggest changes to help. We went over the different mindsets to better access flow. How to manage your psychology and your mental states so that you can drop into flow and maintain flow. It's been really clear and comprehensive all the way.

A big impact for me, for example, which I use all the time for myself and my clients, is understanding of the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. And how if we're intrinsically motivated, we're much more likely to be present and focused and feel positive about what we're doing, which means we're much more likely to access flow. This has helped guide my decision making around goals in my climbing life and in my professional coaching as well. I've tried to maximise intrinsic drivers, for example, instead of doing a climb because I think other people would think it was cool. I now climb because I really want to have the experience of being on that particular climb. The same goes for my coaching; I also like choosing coaching projects that are more in line with my values, versus monetary or financial reasons.

Another example that really helped me in my climbing was this concept of letting go and not trying to control too much. It really helps me every time I go climbing. Just trusting my body, trusting my own psychology, and giving up that need to control. I really love that concept and I think that's something that has really resonated with me. What's so cool about all these ideas is that they help you in this athletic performance space, but then also in personal relationships, career, and life goals. being able to relinquish control and the need to manage every possible outcome has provided me with the space and extra attentional capacity to perform better, enjoy the process more, and feel more motivated.

A good practical example of how working with Cameron has helped, is probably in 2019 when I did my hardest rock climb ever. And it really felt like everything that I'd learned, my own personal learning, but then also a huge chunk of what I learned with Cameron, all kind of came together.

I started the mental training months and months in advance before I even got to try the route. And it just really helped me stay present with the whole process, access flow, and maintain a high level of climbing when I needed to. It really helped me to let go of the fear of failure. It certainly helped me enjoy the process rather than just focusing totally on the end goal and being really worried of what might happen if I didn't achieve that end goal given how much work I'd put in. So, I think that was a clear example of how all of these ideas that Cameron teaches can come together; not only to improve performance but also just improve my experience the whole way through the process of working towards a big goal.

One of the main reasons I would recommend Cameron is that you might come to Cameron, or someone like Cameron, looking to improve your performance, but what you come away with is just so much more than that. Really, it may shift your entire direction in life or how you perceive what's happening in your life, or how to orientate yourself in relation to your values. If you come to Cameron, say looking for athletic performance, for example, I think you'll come away with just so much more.”

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