We live in strange times, and for a lot of people, that would be quite the understatement. The coronavirus pandemic continues to see restrictions in force worldwide, with doors remaining shut on offices, shops, businesses and workplaces across a range of industries. 

However, business never stops with ProfileTree TV. This week, we conducted a remote interview with Dave Kearney, founder and CEO of Champion’s Mind. Watch the full video below and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!

Champion’s Mind: Connecting with Coaches

Opening up the discussion, Dave immediately points out that he isn’t a serial entrepreneur just yet – but he is certainly getting there. He launched a successful company at the dawn of the smartphone area, with a tool to assist developers in creating apps for both Android and Apple phones. The work of the business continues, with profits continuing to rise at the business for the past five years. 

More recently, however, Dave has been connecting with Jim Afremow, a sports psychologist in the United States and author of three books, including Never Settle for Silver, Lengthen Your Line and The Champion’s Comeback. The critically acclaimed psychologist has thrown his professional weight behind a number of leading sports teams, including the San Francisco Giants, Arizona State University – as well as training 17 Olympic gold medallists in mental skills. 

Together with Jim Afremow, Dave is building the Champion’s Mind app to help athletes and coaches train on the mental component of their chosen sport. 

Mental Skills with Dave Kearney

Dave says that in order to build something successfully, you must fully understand the business model that you’re trying to put together. “You could charge anything from 1 dollar per customer to a million dollars per customer, and how you interact with customers can depend on how much they’re going to pay you,” he explains. 

“Let’s look at WhatsApp, for example – low profit margins, meaning there must be millions of users for it to be profitable. Then you have your higher value sales that can be conducted over the phone – and those huge ones that will warrant booking a flight.”

The creation of a stable and functioning Champion’s Mind app will come as a welcome development in the world of sport and sport psychology, according to Dave. “Overcoming the mental barriers to improving your sport – that kind of work could involve booking several sessions with a professional sports psychologist. That could be extremely costly. With Champion’s Mind, we want to bring together all those core components into an app and make it more accessible to amateur athletes.”

champion's mind app layout
Champion’s Mind is an app that is tailored to help boost the performance of athletes and coaches. Image credit: Soles by Michelin

Sport: A Metaphor for Life

Dave describes Champion’s Mind as a platform that allows amateur athletes to download the app, with the Coach Edition allowing users to take mental skills training courses, and coaches can run those courses as programmes within their own colleges. 

He suggests that the app will ultimately have a variety of applications, with school kids and beginner athletes getting as much potential value out of it as experienced amateurs or professionals. “Business success is even based upon a lot of the same principles as sport psychology,” he adds.

But how important is overcoming mental barriers to achieving ultimate success in the world of sport? “You ask some athletes how much of their game is ‘mental’. Some will say 50%, others will say 90% and so on. However, if you actually ask these athletes how they spend their time developing skills and playing games, they give it zero attention. It’s actually kind of crazy, in a way,” says Dave.

“Peak performance is peak performance, and if you’re successful in sport, you can transfer that success to other elements of your life. It’s an empathy-based skill, and that’s extremely important. Sport is just a metaphor for life.”

Can anybody step up to launch a business or become an entrepreneur? For Dave, this question goes straight back to the concept of a champion’s mindset. 

“What is it that makes someone think better or more positively about what they do? If you have a fixed mindset, you won’t try hard to achieve anything. But if you have the growth mindset, you are comfortable with the idea of trying and failing. If you fail, you’ll learn a lesson. 

“If you succeed, you’ll learn a lesson. Either way, you will get yourself up the next morning to push yourself towards that end vision.”

Dave Kearney and Jim Afremow’s app helps sportspeople build mental strength. Image credit: Irish News

The Champion’s Mind App is available to download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and you can find out more before you download by visiting the official website.

Building Memory and Retention: Mnemonics, Spaced Repetition, and Long-Term Retention Strategies

Building a strong memory and retaining information effectively are crucial skills for anyone who wants to learn efficiently and excel in various aspects of life. Luckily, there are numerous techniques and strategies you can employ to achieve this goal. Let’s delve deeper into three key areas:

1. Mnemonic Devices and Techniques:

Mnemonics are memory aids that help you encode and recall information in a more efficient and memorable way. Here are some popular techniques:

  • Acronyms: Create a memorable acronym from the first letter of each word or phrase you need to remember. For example, PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division from left to right, Addition and Subtraction from left to right) helps remember the order of operations in math.
  • Rhymes and Songs: Set information to a catchy rhyme or song to make it stick. This is especially effective for visual learners or those trying to remember lists.
  • Keyword Method: Associate each item you need to remember with a vivid image or keyword that triggers its recall. This method is particularly helpful for remembering sequences or complex concepts.
  • Method of Loci: Imagine yourself walking through a familiar location, like your house, and placing each piece of information at a specific point. When you need to recall, mentally walk through the location, and the information will come to mind.

2. Spaced Repetition to Aid Memorization:

Spaced repetition involves reviewing information at increasingly longer intervals, effectively strengthening memory pathways. Here are some tools and techniques:

  • Flashcard Apps: Utilize apps like Anki or Quizlet to create digital flashcards and customize spaced repetition schedules based on your learning pace.
  • Active Recall: Instead of passively rereading, actively recall the information by writing it down, explaining it to someone else, or answering self-test questions. This process strengthens the memory encoding.
  • Review Intervals: Start with short review intervals (minutes or hours) for new information and gradually increase the intervals as you master it. This allows the memory to consolidate and become long-term.

3. Memorizing Key Information Long-Term:

Beyond immediate recall, some information requires long-term retention. Here are some strategies:

  • Chunking: Break down large chunks of information into smaller, manageable units. This makes it easier to process and retain the material.
  • Deep Understanding: Aim for a deeper understanding of the information, not just surface-level memorization. Connect it to existing knowledge, analyze it from different perspectives, and apply it to real-world scenarios.
  • Meaningful Context: Embed information within a meaningful context or story. This creates a stronger association and makes it more memorable.
  • Regular Review and Practice: Regularly review and practice using the information. This reinforces the memory pathways and helps prevent forgetting.


  • Consistency is key: Integrate these techniques into your learning routine and use them consistently to reap the benefits.
  • Find your fit: Experiment with different methods and discover what works best for you and your learning style.
  • Make it enjoyable: Learning should be engaging, so find ways to make memory-building fun and interactive.

By actively applying these strategies and finding the right techniques for you, you can significantly improve your memory, retain information effectively, and unlock your full learning potential.

Critical Thinking Strategies: Evaluating Arguments, Assumptions, and Conclusions

Critical thinking is the art of analyzing information and concepts thoughtfully and objectively. It’s an invaluable skill for navigating the complexities of life, from making informed decisions to engaging in productive discussions. Let’s dive deeper into three key strategies for honing your critical thinking prowess:

1. Evaluating Arguments Objectively:

  • Identify the premise and conclusion: Clearly define the argument’s starting point (premise) and its intended outcome (conclusion).
  • Analyze supporting evidence: Evaluate the evidence presented to support the conclusion. Is it factual, reliable, and relevant? Are there alternative explanations for the evidence?
  • Consider logical fallacies: Be aware of common logical fallacies, such as ad hominem attacks, straw man arguments, and hasty generalizations. Identify if any such fallacies are present in the argument.
  • Look for underlying assumptions: Assumptions are often implicit beliefs that shape the argument. Uncover and critically evaluate these assumptions for potential biases or inaccuracies.
  • Consider alternative perspectives: Challenge your own biases and preconceived notions. Seek out and consider contrasting viewpoints to gain a broader understanding of the issue.

2. Identifying Assumptions and Bias:

  • Recognize self-interest: Acknowledge that everyone has inherent biases and viewpoints shaped by their personal experiences and background.
  • Identify loaded language: Be wary of words with strong emotional connotations or hidden agendas. Look for bias reflected in word choice and framing of information.
  • Analyze potential conflicts of interest: Identify any potential conflicts of interest that might influence the speaker or source of information.
  • Check the source: Research the credibility and expertise of the person presenting the argument. Are they qualified to speak on the subject? Do they have a history of objectivity?
  • Cross-reference information: Verify claims and facts with reliable sources and diverse perspectives. Don’t rely solely on a single source of information.

3. Drawing Insightful Conclusions:

  • Don’t rush to judgment: Allow for time to analyze all the information and perspectives before forming a conclusion.
  • Beware of oversimplification: Complex issues rarely have a single, definitive answer. Avoid drawing overly simplistic conclusions that ignore nuances or counterarguments.
  • Consider the scope and limitations: Analyze the scope and limitations of the argument. Does it represent a specific case or a broader trend? Be cautious about generalizing beyond the scope of the information presented.
  • Seek the most plausible explanation: Choose the conclusion that best explains the evidence while considering alternative explanations and their likelihood.
  • Stay open to revision: Be willing to revise your conclusions as new information emerges or if existing evidence is reinterpreted.

Effective Decision Making: From Problem Definition to Actionable Steps

Making effective decisions is critical for success in any aspect of life. It allows us to navigate challenges, choose optimal paths, and ultimately achieve our goals. But in the face of uncertainty and often overwhelming information, how can we ensure we’re making informed and confident choices? Let’s break down the process of effective decision making into three key steps:

1. Defining Problems Clearly:

  • Gather information: Before jumping to solutions, actively collect relevant data and perspectives. Research the situation, consult experts, and consider different viewpoints.
  • Frame the problem: Clearly define the issue you’re facing. Ensure everyone involved understands the scope, key factors, and desired outcome. This prevents ambiguity and facilitates focused decision-making.
  • Identify root causes: Look beyond superficial symptoms and delve deeper to understand the core reasons behind the problem. Addressing root causes leads to more sustainable solutions.
  • Break down large problems: If the problem feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller, manageable sub-problems. This makes it easier to analyze and tackle each part systematically.

2. Logically Weighing Pros and Cons:

  • List potential solutions: Generate a comprehensive list of possible solutions to the defined problem. Encourage creative thinking and avoid clinging to the first idea that comes to mind.
  • Evaluate each option: Assess each solution objectively, considering its potential benefits, drawbacks, risks, and long-term consequences. Utilize decision-making frameworks like SWOT analysis or cost-benefit analysis for structured evaluation.
  • Seek diverse perspectives: Consult with different stakeholders and experts who can offer alternative viewpoints and considerations. This helps avoid blind spots and ensures a well-rounded evaluation.
  • Prioritize factors: Determine the most important factors to consider when making your decision. Is it cost, efficiency, long-term impact, or alignment with specific values? Clarifying priorities gives direction and helps weigh trade-offs effectively.

3. Determining and Committing to Next Steps:

  • Choose the best solution: Based on your thorough evaluation, select the solution that best addresses the problem and aligns with your priorities. Be confident in your choice and explain your reasoning to those involved.
  • Develop an action plan: Break down the chosen solution into concrete steps with clear deadlines and responsibilities. This ensures smooth implementation and keeps everyone accountable.
  • Monitor and adjust: As you implement the plan, monitor its effectiveness and be willing to adjust course if needed. Gather feedback, learn from mistakes, and adapt your approach to ensure successful outcomes.
  • Commit to your decision: While remaining flexible for necessary adjustments, avoid constant doubt and second-guessing. Trust your analysis and take decisive action to move forward.

Remember, effective decision making is an ongoing process that requires a balance of information gathering, critical thinking, and decisive action. By systematically defining problems, evaluating options, and taking ownership of your choices, you can navigate challenges with confidence and achieve desired results.

Interpersonal Communication: Mastering Active Listening, Feedback, and Negotiation

Interpersonal communication, the art of connecting and interacting effectively with others, is a life skill crucial for success in personal and professional relationships. Let’s delve into three key areas to sharpen your communication skills:

1. Active Listening and Mirroring:

  • Focus on the speaker: Give the speaker your undivided attention. Put away distractions, maintain eye contact, and offer encouraging nonverbal cues like nods and smiles.
  • Listen beyond words: Pay attention to tone, facial expressions, and body language. These often reveal deeper emotions and unspoken messages.
  • Paraphrase and summarize: Reiterate key points in your own words to demonstrate understanding and encourage elaboration. This also helps identify any misunderstandings.
  • Ask clarifying questions: Don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions to gain a deeper understanding of the speaker’s perspective and clarify any ambiguity.
  • Mirror positive communication: Mimic the speaker’s positive nonverbal cues to build rapport and create a sense of connection.

2. Providing Constructive Feedback:

  • Focus on behavior, not personality: Frame feedback as observations of specific actions or behaviors, avoiding personal attacks or judgments.
  • Sandwich Feedback: Start with a positive note acknowledging the person’s strengths or contributions, then offer the constructive feedback, and end on a positive note with encouragement for improvement.
  • Specificity is key: Be specific about the behavior you’re addressing and its impact. Instead of saying “You’re not a good listener,” say “When you interrupt me, I feel unheard and it’s difficult to share my thoughts fully.”
  • Focus on solutions: Offer suggestions or alternative approaches to improve the behavior or situation. Don’t just point out the problem.
  • Empathy and timing: Choose the right time and place for feedback, and deliver it with empathy and respect for the other person’s feelings.

3. Influencing and Negotiating Wins:

  • Identify shared goals: Understand the needs and interests of the other party and find common ground. Focus on achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Active listening and understanding: Employ active listening skills to genuinely understand the other person’s perspective and concerns. This builds trust and facilitates collaboration.
  • Clear communication: Articulate your own needs and interests clearly and confidently. Present your arguments logically and be prepared to address potential objections.
  • Win-win solutions: Aim for solutions that satisfy both parties’ needs, rather than seeking dominance or one-sided victories. Be flexible and willing to compromise within your boundaries.
  • Nonverbal communication: Maintain confident body language, eye contact, and a positive tone of voice to project strength and sincerity.

Remember, effective interpersonal communication is a two-way street. By mastering active listening, providing constructive feedback, and approaching influencing and negotiation with empathy and collaboration, you can build stronger relationships, solve problems effectively, and achieve your goals while respecting the needs of others.

Cultivating Mental Toughness: Pushing Past Discomfort, Thriving Under Pressure, and Embracing Growth

Mental toughness is the cornerstone of success in every aspect of life. It’s the ability to persevere through challenges, push past discomfort, and maintain focus and motivation even when the going gets tough. Building mental toughness isn’t a one-time feat, but a continuous journey of self-improvement and resilience. Here are three key principles to guide you on your path:

1. Pushing Past Discomfort with Persistence:

Mental toughness demands embracing discomfort as a sign of growth. It’s about stepping outside your comfort zone and challenging yourself to reach new heights. Whether it’s tackling a difficult workout, pursuing a demanding career goal, or confronting a personal fear, pushing past your initial discomfort builds inner strength and confidence. Remember, the greatest accomplishments often lie just beyond the edge of your comfort zone.

Here are some strategies to cultivate persistence:

  • Set small, achievable goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps. This makes them less daunting and helps you track your progress, boosting motivation.
  • Celebrate small wins: Don’t wait for the final triumph to celebrate. Acknowledge and appreciate your progress along the way, no matter how small. This keeps you motivated and energized.
  • Focus on the process: Instead of fixating on the end result, enjoy the journey. Find satisfaction in the effort you put in and the skills you develop along the way.
  • Embrace challenges: View challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Every obstacle overcome strengthens your mental muscles and builds resilience.

2. Thriving Under Pressure:

Pressure is inevitable in life, but how you handle it determines your success. Mental toughness is about harnessing pressure as a fuel for performance, not letting it crumble you. Here’s how to thrive under pressure:

  • Develop a positive mindset: Replace negative self-talk with affirmations and confidence boosters. Believe in your ability to handle challenges and overcome obstacles.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Learn and regularly practice breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness techniques to stay calm and focused under pressure.
  • Prepare for the worst: Anticipate potential challenges and visualize yourself successfully navigating them. This mental rehearsal builds confidence and reduces anxiety.
  • Stay present: Don’t dwell on past mistakes or worry about the future. Focus on the present moment and give your full attention to the task at hand.

3. Adopting a Growth Mindset:

Mental toughness thrives on a growth mindset, the belief that your abilities can be developed and improved through effort and dedication. This contrasts with a fixed mindset, which views intelligence and talent as fixed traits. A growth mindset allows you to embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, even when facing setbacks.

Here are some ways to cultivate a growth mindset:

  • Learn from mistakes: Don’t let setbacks define you. See them as learning experiences and opportunities to improve your skills and strategies.
  • Embrace challenges: View challenges as opportunities to grow and develop your skills. Step outside your comfort zone and take on new learning experiences.
  • Find inspiration: Surround yourself with people who have a growth mindset and learn from their experiences. Read books and articles about successful people who overcame challenges.
  • Reward yourself for effort: Celebrate your progress, not just your achievements. Acknowledge the effort you put in and be proud of your dedication to learning and growth.

Remember, building mental toughness is a lifelong journey. It’s about consistently practicing these principles, facing challenges head-on, and never giving up on your goals. Embrace discomfort, learn from setbacks, and believe in your ability to grow. With dedication and perseverance, you can develop the mental fortitude to conquer any obstacle and achieve your full potential.

Cultivating Mental Skills: FAQs and Conclusion

Building mental toughness is the cornerstone of success in every aspect of life. It’s about pushing past discomfort, thriving under pressure, and adopting a growth mindset. But the journey can be challenging, and questions often arise. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about mental toughness:

1. What are signs of weak mental toughness?

  • Giving up easily: You quickly abandon efforts when faced with challenges.
  • Fear of failure: The fear of not succeeding paralyzes you and prevents you from taking risks.
  • Negative self-talk: You constantly berate yourself with negative thoughts and doubt your abilities.
  • Lack of motivation: You struggle to find the drive and energy to pursue your goals.
  • Poor stress management: You easily buckle under pressure and let it negatively impact your performance.

2. How can I start building mental toughness?

  • Start small: Begin by tackling minor challenges that push you outside your comfort zone. Gradually increase the difficulty as you gain confidence.
  • Practice mindfulness: Techniques like meditation and breathing exercises can help you stay calm and focused under pressure.
  • Visualize success: Imagine yourself achieving your goals and overcoming obstacles. This positive visualization can boost your motivation and belief in yourself.
  • Surround yourself with positive people: The people you spend time with influence your mindset. Choose friends and mentors who share your values and support your growth.
  • Celebrate your wins: Even small victories deserve recognition. Take time to celebrate your progress and accomplishments, no matter how big or small.

3. What are some resources for developing mental toughness?

  • Books: “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, “Grit” by Angela Duckworth, “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  • Podcasts: “The School of Greatness” by Lewis Howes, “The Mindset Mentor” by Rob Dial, “Optimal Living Daily” by Justin Suffield
  • Online courses: “Mastering Mental Toughness” by Udemy, “Developing Mental Toughness for Peak Performance” by Coursera
  • Support groups: Online communities and forums can provide encouragement and support from others on a similar journey.


Mental toughness is not a fixed trait; it’s a skill that can be developed and honed with dedicated effort. By embracing challenges, learning from setbacks, and adopting a growth mindset, you can cultivate the mental fortitude to overcome any obstacle and achieve your full potential. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, so enjoy the process, celebrate your progress, and never give up on becoming the toughest version of yourself mentally.

Challenge yourself, push your limits, and discover the extraordinary potential within you!

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