Thrimawithana wins international award for sports mind performance coaching

3 April 2023 09:34 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Mark Thrimawithana started with a story about himself and how he went from banking into coaching after facing a number of challenges. He was searching for answers. Answers to know himself well; and today he not only shares his journey with others but also helps them see beyond. His story is about a journey of healing and finding success.

Mark Thrimawithana, who is a certified NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) trainer, HearthMath Mentor, Sports Mind performance Coach, Counsellor and the founder and trainer of NLP Coaching and Training has been working with several sportspersons in Sri Lanka, including those who have represented the country at national level, to help them overcome negative mental patterns and behaviour, and work towards improving their sporting performances.

He explained that the physical, mental and skill based components need to work hand-in-hand to achieve optimal results and one of the biggest loopholes that he has seen is the inflexibility of the mind to access the right information. Meaning they are not incompetent but they can inflexible.

"The physical strength, technical skill, and mental learning needs to work hand in hand. This means that you become more aware of yourself and work towards a goal, then all these things will combine like a nice piece of art in your mind and create a holistic, well-rounded outcome.”

“This will help a player to know how the mind is connected with the body and heart and I call this mastering your mind language. So, when you know the mind’s language, you will be able to provide instructions in such a way that the execution can be very productive,” he said.

Thrimawithana expressed that understanding the mind’s language is key to expanding your beliefs on what you can do.

"When you understand the language of your mind, your beliefs start expanding, because you know your inner-person so well. So, when you want to absorb a new talent into your system, you know it will work at a certain time. So when you know that, your belief level will go up. And when you know that, it gives you encouragement and motivation to work toward it, because you know if you keep on working really well, it will become effortless," he said.

Thrimawithana currently works with a number of sportspersons, especially in cricket and basketball, through one-on-one coaching, as well as team coaching. He also provides corporate training which incorporates NLP and HearthMath into finding causes for problems which are often connected to mind inflexibility.

He said that an individual’s outcome will also depend on their drive-in putting things into practice. He shared a story of how a national youth player, a batsman using mind drills, intense shadow batting, the power of imagination, beliefs, and self-talk helped him get back to the same momentum and score 65 and 97 with only two days of practice after coming back to Sri Lanka. He shared that the players said that “everything started coming back effortlessly.” 

“Each person’s outcome will depend on their perception, and their outcome will be based on where they want to go”. I go and help them to find that and thereafter, practising it and working towards it will depend on how well they want to expedite them,”

Thrimawithana said that Sampath Perera, the current Sri Lanka Under-19 Assistant Batting Coach, was one of the first to recognize the importance of the job that Marks conducts and the value it can contribute to developing players and teams. 

If other coaches can also comprehend the concepts of the mind, it will undoubtedly be beneficial when they are developing individuals and teams, according to Perera, who genuinely recognized the importance of the subject.

About working with children, he stated that parents play a significant role in a child's emotions, both positively and negatively, and that unconditional love has a significant influence on a young athlete.

"The best way to help children discover the resilience to achieve their milestones is to show them their parents' unconditional, unwavering love.” 

“When you dig deep into the unconscious of all the players I have seen who are performing really well, you find one key characteristic that unites them all. There is always a special quality in that athlete where there is love,” he observed.

Thrimawithana provided a good illustration. He said there was one incident where the mother and the father was having a conflict, and that conflict created a conflict in the player’s mind and brought fear, which reduces creativity and confidence.  That brought fear and had him become overly defensive. Once they were removed and everything else became irrelevant, after reframing his mind or thought pattern, he was able train himself to become more confident and powerful.

“When he was succeeding, I questioned him about how his history was treating him, and he replied that it had no impact on his results. In comparison to who he was, he found it to be rather simple.”

According to Thrimawithana’s own experience, parents become the most important role models between the ages of 7 and 14, and then they develop into powerful opinion leaders. 

“If you watched Kumar Sangakkara's speech at the Oxford Union, he made it very clear how the parents' values influenced him even when he was performing so well. Something underlying gave rise to a strong sensation of love. As a result of that affection, the children develop values that inspire them to be strong, innovative, and enthusiastic. Children develop values in this love, and because they are their own strength and motivation, they also become empowered, creative, and enthusiastic.”

“It seems to have a varied effect on the child's conduct and outcome when that is shaken by the parents. While I acknowledged that some children have overcome the most difficult circumstances, they always saw love as the greatest force for good,” he said

Thrimawithana, who was recently named the Prestige Awards' Mind Transformation Coach of the Year - Sri Lanka, aspires to help and share his experience and knowledge with players from the national level down to children as young as twelve, in order to help them increase flexibility and handle pressure, raise their awareness, learn more quickly from mistakes, understand the mind's language to be able to read it better, build strategies in the mind, as well as enhance their performance.

Thrimawithana’s next goal is to teach others and prepare to lead the first-ever NLP Practitioner Program in Sports Mind Excellence in South Asia, which will last for seven to eight days. This will enable him to build additional teams and coaches to help more athletes. He also teaches the eight-day NLP Practitioner course, during which he shares all of his life's trauma and explains how he used it in his own life. He believes that for someone who wants to develop, learning and transformation have no boundaries, but that unfortunately, very few people will be aware of the hidden power they possess within.

Thrimawithana holds that “each person is born with a divine purpose, and that this divine purpose links all people to create the most beautiful species of humanity”.  By Amindha de Alwis



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