PERFORMANCE COACHING WITH TONY ALCOCK
“Find the hat that fits you!”
What is your current story or script during your performance?
What are the key elements to performing at your best?
Most performers are well aware of the hours and hours of practise and preparation they need to sacrifice to learn their craft, art, skill; the nuts and bolt of what they do if you like. ( scales, arpeggios, studies, pieces for musicians: learning lines, working- out, developing the voice for actors and singers; physical fitness, skill drills, team games, technique sessions for sports people.)
However, many times it is not until something goes wrong, or not to plan, that we look at the area of mental preparation. Many performers suffer from anxiety before a big event in their diary. Indeed, it’s not unheard of for us to have things like “imposter syndrome” ( I’m no good!….I will be found out!…. People, teammates, managers, leaders will think I am rubbish!).And negative thought patterns can make us perform like a novice if we allow them to.
“My bow shakes during concerts, I feel like running off stage”
In musicians, this could be bow shakes, trembling, physical sensations such as sweating and palpitations.
Actors may experience memory loss, the voice breaking, the sensation that they want to throw-up or run off stage.
We are used to fixing problems, finding answers that are “right” and it’s very normal to seek out solutions from experts in our field to fix what we perceive is broken.
Sometimes, however, the more we stare at the problem and dwell on it the bigger it gets: it’s like a Universal law: “what we focus on grows”. We fix one problem, only to discover that uncertainty is still there and we find another broken bit to fix. The vicious circle continues.
THE WHOLE PERSON APPROACH
In performance coaching, the focus is on the whole person, warts and all: looking at the present story or script that’s being played in the head; designing and fleshing out the goals and dreams that inspire them; looking deeply at the things that hold them back; ( the inner critic, saboteur or gremlin) discovering from their best experiences how they are “ being” when they are in flow, successful and fulfilled; finding new ways of looking at things when they feel stuck; being brave by looking at emotions, fully experiencing them and building awareness of them, rather than judgement about what they mean.
By finding what is really important to the performer, keeping their dreams and focus in mind (“holding their agenda”) and designing specific, accountable, time-framed actions towards these goals, even if only taking baby steps.
It’s also about making choices: we can’t do everything, so what are we prepared to do and what do we have to say “ no” to?
I work with connection, humour and lightness to bring out the very best in performers.
I combine coaching skills and professional performing expertise to allow people to perform with joy.
Tony Alcock- Co-Active coach
Section leader Double bass, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Double bass teacher at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Funny, compassionate human being.