It’s not often you hear a senior government advisor refer to the ‘spiritual’ nature of elite performance, so when I heard Sir Michael Barber mention this as part of his presentation at The Sport Performance Summit 2016, it was not only a pleasant surprise but a real relief. At last, it is recognised that to continue to evolve the sophisticated modern world of elite sport, it is necessary to understand this other dimension to human performance – ‘at a spiritual level’.

For hundreds of years, spiritual leaders and sages have pointed people towards their true Self, but not always had sustainable long-term success. Often the ‘spiritual’ aspect of our existence is inadvertently confused with religious beliefs, rules and regulations. I am not referring to religion, although it seems to me, that all religions are pointing in the same direction – all human beings are part of a greater unfolding, which is stable, unchanging and of love, compassion, wisdom and peace.

We now have the technology to help us understand the role of the human mind to give us our experience. This formless (spiritual) aspect of our being is not of the conceptual mind, and cannot be grasped intellectually, it must be sensed and intuited – like the wind, we can see its effect but we cannot see the wind.

It is said to be the most powerful thing a human being can ever come to realise during this earthly life – the infinite capacity for new thought, the innate resilience to ‘get over’ loss or suffering, the fact that human beings can have a change of heart, and the divine intelligence behind our entire physical and emotional make-up.

After 20 years and thousands of hours, competing, coaching, observing and analysing human performance, I live in absolute certainty that understanding who and what we are, ‘spiritual beings having a human experience’ is the ultimate leverage point in elite sport performance.

Warm wishes


Denise Holland

NB. If you are a sports coach or athlete and genuinely interested in understanding yourself better so that you can perform with an effortless ease, and have a real joyous not arduous career, join me at the next event: Spiritual Keys for Highly Effective Sports Coaching. This is a complimentary group zoom call: Tuesday 17th January 2017 – 7 pm UK time, 2 pm Est, 11 am Pst.