Keep Your Head Up!

“A great maturity opens in the human psyche when we accept that we can control our impulses by conditioning our thoughts, and that we alone are responsible for our emotions and reactions in life.”


Fact is that if fear in any manifestation is winning in our life, it is because we have made a choice to accept it.

We have many other impulses that could win over fear. Some of which are those impulses to be strong, bold, excited, compassionate, free... to be great!

In our industry the example we see often is like this:

The person who is living unwell has recognized in some facet that they are, indeed, unwell. The becoming unwell was a consequence of the choices they have made in their life (generally speaking, from an idea that “unwell” is defined as deconditioned, ill, weak, etc.).

The climb from unwell to well, from well to functional, from functional to optimal, brings out many symptoms of fear (embarrassment, close-mindedness, judgment, denial etc.) even though they know that their very physical existence is in danger.

If we are not meeting our needs as a human being, or desire to be well, our NEED to be well, we are not free. We are acting from aversion rather than ascension.

Okay man, cool but I’m not unwell, I am an athlete. How does this apply to me?

Athletes are not immune to this state of mind. As a coach, in most cases I’ve been exposed to, when physical conditions are of similar standard, the athlete who is consistently making choices motivated by effort and attention to ascend to the next level always perform better when the “game” is on the line. 

It’s just like a game. You either win, or you lose (tying is losing, don’t fool yourself).



Acting from aversion is a life motivated by fear. That is a short-term, self-protective, egotistic, victim based approach to life.



A life motivated by ascension gives personal freedom. To act from our true self toward long term growth, true self-expression (not motivated by social standards or pressures), and an enlightened effort full of mindfulness, compassion and freedom. In sport, those who can harness their energy and direct it in this way will succeed.



Think of it this way, we have 2 high skill hockey players of similar size, strength, and speed. Let’s even go to the next level and say these are clones of the same physical person. Everything about them physically is equal.

Both start from the blue line, puck is dumped into the far corner.

One athlete takes an averting approach to the puck. You know the one… coasting in, checking the shoulder, reaching with their stick toward the puck. This aversion of being first to the puck is motivated by FEAR.


Good news is that fear only rules if we allow it to!

How else does a firefighter run into a burning building to save a life?

How does the mother rip the door off a car to save their child?


They are the player who goes straight at the puck, head on a swivel, winning the battle, and creating a reality of exactly that, winning! This is the player we all desire to be. They create the freedom to control the outcome. We all strive for that to be a winning outcome.

There can be no tolerance for aversion in our life, in our performance, or in our training. The only way to the next level is through ascension.

Where you are in life is the manifestation of your choices.


“Let’s be clear to all: Greatness belongs to those who have mastered the ability to focus relentlessly on their ambitions and act decisively toward them”


Now we have a new choice to make: to live, train, and perform acting from aversion or ascension


Aversion – the act of dislike, opposition, or preventing

Ascension- the act of rising, ascending, or growing

Jesse Sherriff