‘I can say, without hesitation, that Mark Elliott is the best sports psychologist I have encountered. His analogies and his insights are masterful and he knows his craft inside out.’

Paul Brady, 5-time World Handball Champion, 11-times US Nationals Champion

‘Without doubt, working with Mark was the turning point in my career.’

Rory Best OBE, former Ulster, Ireland (captain) and British & Irish Lions

‘I have a lot to thank Mark for. I was having a tough time in my rugby career when I met him and he listened to my problems. He helped me to set goals about how to get myself back playing good rugby and force my way into the Ireland team.

Tommy Bowe, former Ospreys, Ulster, Ireland, and British & Irish Lions

‘I have worked with Mark since 2004. A specific example of Mark’s positive impact on my mental game was seen in my playoff for the 2009 Portuguese Open – which became my first win on the European Tour. It would have been easy for me to get ahead of myself and to think that my opponent, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who was undefeated in previous playoffs, against Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson, would produce the goods again against me. But having understood that I can only control my own game, I took the pressure off myself, realising that it wasn’t the end of the world if I was to lose. I focused instead on one shot at a time and staying in the moment. I stuck to this feeling of being ‘in the now’ throughout the playoff and didn’t waver when I hit poor shots. This learned mentality enabled me to make three good recoveries and eventually to win the tournament.  Before hitting my winning putt, I said “just put your best stroke on it and accept”. That’s a good approach to golf.’

Michael Hoey, 5-time winner on the European Tour

‘I started working with Mark from a young age. We worked on a range of areas in the mental game. His approach, ideas and tools have allowed me to improve my mental game. I can easily say it is one of my biggest strengths as an athlete.’

Olivia Mehaffey, 4-time All-American, LET Professional

‘Working with Mark has been an extremely eye opening and rewarding process. I have learnt so many things that have not only helped my professional performance on the pitch, but have also improved my mental strength as an individual in life. Mark’s ability to listen, evaluate and help overcome challenges in a positive manner has been invaluable. Since working with Mark, I have attained the ability to overcome adversity in a positive light, whilst unlocking new levels of self-belief and focus. I cannot thank Mark enough for his time, honesty and care in helping me become the best I can be. ’

Johnny McPhillips, Provence Rugby, ex-Ulster, Leicester Tigers and Ireland U-20s

‘I have known Mark and been aware of his work in various sports for almost 20 years. Knowing many of the sportsmen, sportswomen and teams that Mark has worked with – both those that the public know of and others who have remained private – there is a clear correlation between Mark’s involvement and improvements in results, many with a strong track-record of success at high levels, from world champions and household names to those competing in sports that are less well publicised.  As well as picking up some personal tips, I have recommended Mark to several contacts over a number of years and knowing how much he has added to the achievements of those he has worked with I would have no hesitation in doing so again.

Stuart McKinley, Sports Journalist, Belfast Telegraph, BBC

‘Mark has proven himself to be one of the top men in his field. He has worked with many players and teams I have coached. His commonsense and fun approach gives every athlete the chance to reach his BEST!’

Martin McElkennon, Renowned Elite Trainer and Coach, Gaelic Football

I started working with Mark during a tough period in my season and can honestly say it’s been the best decision of my career so far. My only regret is not reaching out sooner.’

Conor Mitchell, Dungannon Swifts, ex-Burnley, and Northern Ireland U21

‘Working with Mark has taken my mental game to a totally new level. Thanks to his training system, I have high levels of self-belief and trust. I have confidence in my boxing ability and have developed a level of resilience that has helped me cope with some very tough times and to keep going despite them. My focus on the job at hand has improved greatly and skills like visualisation have proved invaluable in my preparation for training and fights. Mark’s mantra with me is “Lead with the Mind and the Body Will Follow”, advice that has helped me win British and European belts and put me in world title contention.’

Brian Magee, Former WBA World Super-middleweight Champion and European Champion

‘Thanks to Mark, I gained an awareness of how my mind works; and what was once my weakest area, my mental game, I believe is now my strongest. Working with Mark has been an essential part of my development as an athlete and has brought me closer to reaching my full potential.’

Lisa Kearney, 2012 Olympian, Judoka, 11 World Cup medals (4 Gold)

‘While head coach for the Belfast Giants, I was fortunate to work with Dr. Mark Elliott. His expertise in sport psychology provided me and my players with highly effective mental skills and methods to improve individual and team performances. Mark’s contribution ultimately resulted in the capture of championship and league titles. I continue to use his methods today in my current coaching role with The Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, Canada.’

Dave Whistle, Legendary coach at Belfast Giants. Elite hockey coach, Canada

‘Mark is both a true expert in his field and a really good bloke; the combination of which shines through in his work. His ideas, techniques and words are powerfully emotive and bring with them great focus and confidence.’

Simon Danielli, Ex-Ulster and Scotland

‘Mark has worked for the Sports Institute as a consultant supporting athletes and coaches from a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports The Six Pathways to Mental Toughness training programme, presented in this book, provides the key skills necessary to help individuals gain a competitive advantage. Be proactive – open the book and make a start – let Mark show you how to attain high level performance consistently.’

Peter McCabe, Athlete Services Manager, Sports Institute Northern Ireland

‘High Performance sport reflects the full gamut of life. The roller coaster of emotions attached to performing at the highest level cannot be underestimated; the joy and adulation to the long hours of often lonely and selfish preparation. Both the athlete and coach need support to guide and prepare them for that journey. I have been very fortunate to meet Mark; he has given me the skills, the sound practical advice plus unwavering support to help me keep a healthy balance in my life. From the Olympic environment to the support needed to keep my family life stable. Mark has been empathetic and at times challenging; his sense of perspective and of good old-fashioned values has helped me make critical  and important decisions to develop a world class coaching practice.’

Stephen Maguire, Top Athletics coach. Head of High Performance at Sport Ireland

‘As a professional athlete I have worked with many coaches specialising in different aspects surrounding golf. Mark didn’t just get me to be mentally stronger, but he helped me work on areas where I needed improvement. After my first session with Mark, I quickly realised that he knew me better than I knew myself. He pushed me to dig deep and I learnt how to overcome obstacles. He supported me to lay the foundation of who I am today and my mental strength in order to achieve success in golf. Mark has been more than just a mental coach, he’s been a mentor, a friend, and I would not choose to work with anyone else.’

Victoria Craig, Professional golfer, Ladies European Tour Access

‘I started working with Mark about a year ago and what we have found out about me, which I didn’t really know about, is crazy. It really helps me be able to control everything I do on and off the bike! Also to know what mindset I should try and be in, and most importantly how to think about myself. I feel my mental approach to racing and training has improved massively! ’

Jacob Dickson, Professional Downhill Racer, Giant Factory off-road team

‘As the first Irish player to sign for the Belfast Giants, there was intense media interest on how I would fair in the upper echelons of British hockey. This speculation reached a crescendo when it was announced that I would make my first professional start against Basingstoke Bison in the Elite League. It was all the more stressful as our other goalie had been suspended and my backup for the match would be an untried youngster. I was, in reality, on my own. I consulted Dr. Mark Elliott, the Giants’ sport psychologist, for mental training sessions. By teaching me several mental game methods and tricks, Mark helped me to take control of my inner game before and during the Bison’s match. We won the game; I had a shutout and was named Man of the Match. I can say with every certainty that the pivotal factor in achieving this level of performance, in this game and in the remainder of my career, was the new mental training I undertook.’

Chris McGimpsey, Professional Ice Hockey Goalie, formerly of the Belfast Giants

‘Mark worked with me when I was playing professionally for three years and I can honestly say that I had my best three seasons when we were working together. Athletes spend so much time preparing physically, but I have seen the biggest and strongest players crumble under pressure or not be able to bounce back from a bad game or a bad play.  Mark helped me focus on the little things and to be aware of the situations when I let negative emotions take over.  I completely buy in to the importance of training your mind as well as your body and now that I am running a professional sports team, I believe in it even more. You can see when emotions or the mental side of the game is playing a part in success or failure, and being able to control it, and better yet being able to use it to your advantage, is a competitive edge that no truly dedicated athlete should let pass by. I still use the skills Mark taught me in my business and personal life and I can honestly say that working with Mark over the years has proven to be invaluable to me and to my team.’

Todd Kelman, Belfast Giants legend and MD of Cardiff Devils

‘I have used the services of Mark Elliott during my brief spell as first team manager of Larne football club. Larne were bottom of the Irish Premier League and the confidence in particular was at a very low ebb. Mark was able to help me with ideas and psychological benefits that would help the players’ state of mind. Mark offered help with building the chemistry of the group; he gave me some very good advice on supporting the players individually and collectively. There were players who struggled with many different issues, these included such things as: Coping strategies, emotional imbalances, managing difference, peer pressure and loss of momentum. During my time at Larne, Mark proved to be a fantastic support mechanism which was a contributing factor in the club achieving a 12th place finish, a remarkable turnaround.’

Kenny Shiels, Former manager, Northern Ireland Women’s National Team

‘Having been the first to introduce sports psychology into the Irish Premier League through Mark Elliott, I know only too well the benefits of mental preparation for enhanced performance. Mark’s work with me at Lisburn Distillery FC was immense in this area. I am indebted to him. Many thanks, Mark.’

Paul Kirk, Top Football Coach, UEFA Pro Licence. Former Manager, Lisburn Distillery FC

“I found the services of Mark, the sport psychologist, invaluable to help me and, more importantly, to the players at Elgin, to get their heads right and get the result needed to avoid an unenviable record of having made the worst start to a league campaign. The transformation from losers to winners was dramatic. The difference was as comparable as night is to day. With the right mental tools the players delivered, and from losing 10 straight league matches we recorded  a 5-0 victory in front of the  BBC Football Focus cameras to prove Mark`s mental toughness methods work.”

Brian Irvine, Aberdeen and Scotland Legend; former Manager, Elgin City FC

‘Being a starting goalie in the Elite League is not an easy task as you’re playing 60 to 70 games a season, with lots of ups and downs. I was on a mental down slope and in a rut until I started to work with Mark. Thanks to him I was able, that same season, to go on and win 2 championships with the Giants and have never looked back since. Mark guided me back up to the top of my game. I still use his methods today.’

Stevie Lyle, formerly of Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils and Team GB

‘Mark has helped me so much with getting rid of my fear and letting my talent shine through on the course. Since working with Mark I also feel I get a lot more enjoyment from the game and as a result I put in better performances.’

David Leathem, ex-USA Jaguars’ Golf Team

‘Every rugby career has ups and downs. I was lucky to have Mark to see me through the lows and to keep me grounded during the highs. It has been a pleasure to work with him.’

Ryan Caldwell, Ex-Ulster, Bath, Exeter and Ireland

‘Working with Mark has made me approach, not only my competitive surfing in a different manner, but also the way I train. Mark has taught me that the mind is your most powerful tool to achieve an excellent performance. With the techniques I have learned, my surfing is at a new level which, without Mark, it wouldn’t be.  It has been an honour to work with Mark and continues to be so.’

Ronan Oertzen, Surfer, Ireland International