A great vegetable garden requires regular attention.

But when your plants just don’t seem to thrive, no matter how much attending, pruning and fertilising you do, it might be time to look beneath the surface.

Because as it turns out, growing lush, delicious vegetables is all about the soil.

Supporting young athletes to fulfil their potential is no different.

A young footballer I spoke with recently was struggling with her game. She would start out enthusiastically, but fade away as time went on.

When we talked about her biggest challenge, fitness came out on top. A fair solution, therefore, would be to introduce more aerobic training into her week.

However, things aren’t often that simple.

When we dug a little deeper, it turned out that her physiology wasn’t the problem.

Instead, the limiting factor was her psychology, constructed by a long history of negative experiences.

In particular, it was the story that this young athlete was telling herself about her fitness ability, compounded by the threatening way in which she perceived how it was being assessed, that was holding her back.

As a result, the support she received had little to do with training fitness and everything to do with building confidence.