Sports performance enhancement

The difference between winning and losing at the highest level of sports play comes down to who is better prepared prepared mentally and emotionally

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The difference between winning and losing

Most people will agree that in any sport, particularly professional sport, the margin of difference between a superbly conditioned, physically fit athlete is slight, even negligible. Winning and losing, at the highest level of sports play, is a result of who is better prepared mentally and emotionally.

Easing the pressure to perform

Being an athlete, especially an elite one means you have to manage and deal with the psychological impact of a number of elements: injuries and overtraining, being in the public eye and the media scrutiny that goes with it and managing the ongoing competitive pressures to perform at your best. Our approach is supportive, generative and empowers you to manage any mental wellbeing challenges by developing your inner resilience and emotional fitness.



Injured? Get back in the game faster

Our approach gets results faster and quicker than any other method. We support you to achieve outcomes that stick. Whether you want to boost performance, reduce anxiety, function better under pressure, improve overall mental health, or even heal injuries we'll help you to beat your best.

Protect your investment

If you are the sponsor of an athlete, injuries or a mental health challenge can compromise your investment or endorsement. Because our method works faster and more effectively than other approaches, downtime is minimised and athletes are back sooner where they belong, doing what they love.


Online and easily accessible, anywhere in the world

Sport performance enhancement sessions are held online and are easily accessible using Zoom. If face to face is preferred and you either live or work in our area, the beautiful leafy suburb of Linden, west of Johannesburg South Africa then this is an option too.

Approach and methodology

Our model and approach to effecting change is threefold. Together we initially assess where you are. Then we map out and create a plan for where you want to be. Thirdly you act and implement the plan. This cycle is repeated with adjustments made where necessary. These adjustments also account for and incorporate experiential, environmental self-reflective feedback.



Assess. A detailed process of documenting where you are, who you are and what's happening in your world right now. We also explore possible past causes and source events that may have contributed to your current state and situation. What's in the way of you achieving your desired outcome? What are your beliefs? Acceptance of the current situation is key to successfully moving into the next stage.


Plan. A three part process. In the first part we we explore where you want to go, what you want to achieve and what it will take take to get there. In the second part the focus is on the mental and emotional blocks that impact and get in the way of the goals outlined in the first part. Lastly we explore create a roadmap of what it will take to reach these goals. This is vital information we bring to the next stage.




Act. Nothing is achieved without action. Consistent and dedicated action following the steps outlined in the plan leads to success and goal achievement. Self-awareness is a critical component of this stage and allows us to fine-tune and adapt as new information — from the environment as well as personal insights — are gathered to be incorporated into the next cycle of the assessment.

Good Physical training is important. But what goes on in your head will determine whether you'll win or lose.

Tim Noakes

What others have said

I worked with Matthew for several months with significantly positive results. My skiing moved to a whole new level and I improved my personal best more in one season than I had in the previous 5 or 6 years. As an added benefit, my golf game improved as well even though we did not specifically focus on that.

Gentle yet powerful technique to bring more balance in my system and life, whether I want to work on a long-term topic / emotion / pattern or something acute after experiencing a difficult situation / emotion, observing and fully feeling it shifts so much for me.

I found the session amazing, profound and very powerful. It left me feeling a bit shaky and it shed some light onto an absolute blind spot of mine.

I went to see Matthew for a one-on-one session to deal with my lingering threshold anxiety. This was a real game changer for me! It gave me the boost I needed to get started, and I have since frequently attended 5th Place’s online Emotional Fitness Classes to deal with a variety of emotions that have come up. What 5th Place offers is really a very powerful tool, I can wholeheartedly recommend it!

I treat many sport injuries including dislocated shoulders. I was amazed and impressed at my client's speedy recovery. My client recovered at an unexpectedly rapid rate. One of the fastest holding results I have witnessed! I can attribute a large portion of this remarkable recovery to the work my client was doing with Matthew.

I’m deeply grateful for the inspired, intuitive and incredibly compassionate way in which you have helped me. You have a profound gift that you have nurtured through your commitment to truth and goodness, and you choose to use this to bless others, which is rare and special.

Your mental skills coach & facilitator


Matthew has been working with high achievers since 2007 to improve the mental and emotional aspects of what they do. Whether it's professional sport, recreational activity or a desire to improve and beat your current best, Matthew can assist with the limiting thoughts and feelings that get in the way of optimal performance. He's a qualified performance coach and the co-founder of 5th Place.

Home / 5th Place Offerings / Sports performance enhancement

Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear - and doubt.
―H. A. Dorfman

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

—John Wooden