The Routines, Drills and Strategies Dave Alred implemented with Luke Donald and Jonny Wilkinson

“Wherever you are, whoever you are, you can always get better – but that doesn’t imply there’s fault with what you’re doing at the moment.” – Dave Alred

Dave Alred is one of the best coaches in the world today. Boasting clients including Jonny Wilkinson, Luke Donald, and Padraig Harrington. He has an innate ability to help athletes exceed their own expectations. He has a Ph.D. in Performing Under Pressure from Longborough University and over 30 years of experience in the field of performance psychology.

Dave believes strongly in the concept of continual improvement and has applied his expertise on the topic to not only athletes, but surgeons, pilots, and even dolphin trainers. His endless pursuit of improvement applies to himself as well and has enabled him to reach the pinnacle of the coaching industry.

In 2016, Dave added published author to his list of achievements, releasing The Pressure Principle. Applicable to people in all walks of life, the book sheds light on Dave’s philosophies around handling stress and performing when it matters most.

In this episode, Dave provides us with a fascinating insight into his work with some of the world’s best athletes. He also goes into detail about his philosophies, both in life and in sport, some of his favorite drills, and how he structures practice for his own golf game.

Dave Alred Show Notes

  • Dave talks about how he met Luke Donald, and the work they did together. [2:00]
  • Dave discusses his innate ability to sense when somebody is fully committed to a shot or a kick, or as he calls it, when they hit the ball ‘with their soul’. [6:30]
  • Dave explains his fig drill. [8:40]
  • Dave talks about some of his favourite putting drills. [10:40]
  • Affirmations, which of Dave’s clients use them, and how often they do them. [12:00]
  • What self-talk should a golfer practice during a round? [15:40]
  • How far does Dave push his clients, and do they ever get annoyed with him? [17:20]
  • What are the shared habits of the top players Dave works with? [18:30]
  • Dave talks us through the winning drop goal kicked by his client, Jonny Wilkinson, in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and their relationship together. [21:30]
  • Dave talks about the detailed preparation he runs his clients through prior to competition. [24:00]
  • As a capable golfer himself, how does Dave structure his own practice? [26:20]
  • How much time should a player spend with a coach, and how much time practicing alone? [28:00]
  • Chris asks Dave some rapid-fire questions, including his favorite books, fundamental beliefs, and how he spends his evenings. [28:50]
  • Dave Alred’s action challenge. [35:10]

Dave Alred’s Action Challenge

  • Each day, write down 3 good things that happened that day.
  • On Sunday, read through all of the good things on your list from that week.
    Ask yourself – why am I better than I was last Monday?
    (This demonstrates that you can improve on a weekly basis in any aspect of your life, and be in a better place next week based on how you approach this week. Dave’s action challenge can be found at 35:10)

Books Mentioned

The Pressure Principle

Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck 

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari 

Psychology of Concentration by Aidan Moran 

Gear/Resources Mentioned

The Pressure Principle
Parkinson’s Law

People Mentioned

Jonny Wilkinson
Luke Donald
Carol Dweck
Melissa Reid
Francesco Molinari
Tiger Woods
Gary Smith
Wayne Bennett
Aidan Moran

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