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Drop the Struggle: A transformative approach to achieving your potential in sport and life

Dr Alison Maitland and Jenna Ashford

A fantastic book and an ideal training companion that can easily fit into your kit bag. Drop the struggle provides a tool kit that enables you to challenge thoughts and feelings and use them positively to obtain the skills required to achieve your goals, transforming the impossible into the possible

Nicki Kelly
World Record Holder and Ocean Rower

I worked with Alison, implementing the acceptance and commitment approach outlined in Drop the Struggle in relation to my leadership career. The Yellow Tail Moth story is particularly poignant. When I accepted the journey and my own vulnerability as a leader, I progressed quickly into my current chief of staff role with an ease and confidence I had never felt before. I now have a huge toolkit of strategies for when I get knocked off course as I no doubt will in the future. The impact of this approach on my leadership journey has been immeasurable.

Gillian Ormston
Chief of Staff, Thames Valley Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner

Drop the struggle gives you a great set of tools to help on your journey. Very clear and relatable, it is sure to be of use to anybody looking to improve the mental side of their life.

Ben Taylor-Matthews
Head Professional, Bristol Real Tennis Club

Love this book and wish I had it years ago to give to those starting their sporting career! A hugely practical, positive and progressive guide for anyone navigating the ups and downs of their sporting journey. Athletes and non-athletes alike will be inspired to change their mindset on performance – through the thoughtful explanations, impactful practices and encouraging case studies. This book clearly signposts the way to becoming a better performer.

Neasa Russell
Paralympics Ireland Sports Director and Chef de Mission (Paris 2024)

This is an amazing resource for all sportspeople, from the Olympian to a junior athlete. It gives the reader a completely different way to think about the mental side of sport. I am really looking forward to applying it to people I work with

Greg Searle,
Olympic Gold Medallist and Inspirational Speaker

Understanding how your mind works and how to unlock your true potential – in sport and in life – is a transformational journey to embark on. In this incredibly powerful and practical book, Jenna and Alison will help you find your path as you learn the skills to stop struggling and start thriving. A game changer!

Katie Mobed (nee Warriner)
Consultant Sport Psychologist

Acceptance and commitment therapy applied to sports psychology is genius! ‘Drop the struggle’ should be in the kit bag of every student-athlete and on the bedside table of every coach and every athlete-parent

Pippa Grange
Psychologist and Culture Coach

This is the book that I wish I’d been given when I was younger. An accessible guide & tool that makes the psychological side of the game that little bit less daunting. Having had the pleasure of working with both Alison & Jenna before, I look forward to applying their expertise to my work, life & sport once more.

Adam Wilson
Chair, Behind Every Kick

Psychology doesn’t have to feel like something remote and academic; nor should it involve forcing yourself to think in a particular way. Drop The Struggle is a great place to understand how instead to work alongside your way of thinking, and maximise you at your best.

Annie Vernon OLY
Olympic silver medallist and World Champion rower; award-winning author of Mind Games

Drop the struggle is a fabulous well written, easy to understand book that can help you bring out the best version of you in life and sport. Alison and Jenna are skilled sport psychologists who tackle key mental skills in understanding yourself, your performance and life, they are underpinned by the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) theory. A fascinating read with lots of techniques for personal growth……. I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to try some of the techniques myself!

Paul Thompson MBE
Coach of World and Olympic Rowing Champions

An opportunity for Athletes, Coaches, Parents and anyone else wanting to unlock their full potential, with useful toolkits along the way and help think more clearly through life’s obstacles

Kat Ratnapala
Head Coach, England Netball Future Roses

A brilliant practical guidebook and psychological toolkit for athletes and coaches written by authors who really get what it’s like to be on the frontline of performance, busting unhelpful sports psychology myths and media cliches along the way.

Cath Bishop
Olympian, Culture Coach and author of The Long Win


Paperback isbn: 9781914110269
Pages: 164
Publication Date: October 1st 2023


£16.99Add to basket

Table of contents


Part I – Developing Your Skills

Chapter 1 – Your Thinking and Observing Mind

Chapter 2 – Play in the Now

Chapter 3 – Drop the Struggle With Your Thoughts

Chapter 4 – Accept Being Uncomfortable

Chapter 5 – Do What Matters

Part II – Applying Your Training

Chapter 6 – The Confidence Choice

Chapter 7 – Create the Energy to Succeed

Chapter 8 – Embrace Setbacks and Failure

Chapter 9 – The Onward Journey

About the book

Is there something holding you back from being at your best in your sport? You might be struggling with nerves and anxiety, confidence, motivation, or maybe facing a setback? Perhaps you have some strategies that work in the short-term, but the effects wear off and you are left in the same place as you were before.

It’s time for a new approach. One that challenges you to think differently, moving you towards achieving the things you desire most in sport and in life.

Based on the scientifically proven techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Drop the Struggle takes a radically new look at the mental side of reaching your potential in sport.

Written for athletes, coaches and anyone wanting to achieve more, it turns sports psychology on its head, providing a practical kitbag of ways to succeed. This book will teach you a sustainable way of dealing with difficult thoughts, managing your emotions and harnessing them to help you perform to the best of your ability.

About the author

Jenna Ashford is a Chartered Sport & Exercise Psychologist and Performance Consultant, working with some of the country’s best athletes, CEO’s at global companies and within many other sectors including education and healthcare. She represented England Hockey for six years and played in premier league teams all over the world. She is still a passionate sportswoman, challenging herself physically as well as mentally, and has completed an Ironman triathlon, climbed Mont Blanc and trekked to Everest Base Camp.

Dr Alison Maitland is a widely recognised and experienced HCPC registered and BASES accredited Sport Psychologist. She has a PhD in elite sport and uses her expertise in human performance in a wide range of settings in sport and businesses around the world. Not only has she helped elite athletes achieve World Championship titles and Olympic success, but she has a love and proven track record of supporting athletes and coaches taking the first step along their sporting journey.

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