Come and Hear Me Speak

John Dabrowski England

On Monday 16th May I have been booked to give my signature keynote talk on Mental Resilience at a breakfast networking event. The event which is a 3rd year anniversary is on 16th May from 9.30am-11.30am at The Priest House Hotel Castle Kings Mills, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RR. The cost is £13.85 and includes networking and coffee and biscuits. This is the first time I have ever blogged about a speaking event but I have been receiving requests from people who want to hear me speak.

The link to book on event is and it would be great to see you there. The number of seats is strictly limited so if you want a treat and some great networking then sign up now. I will be personally signing my book as well as offering some lucky people a free personal coaching session. My keynote talk is receiving wonderful reviews and it is an honour to share my story as well as key information on developing World Class Mental Resilience.


The majority of the comments I receive from my talk is the authenticity of my story and how it connects with so many people on so many levels. I had a tough upbringing with many challenges to overcome. I was born to Polish parents and therefore couldn’t speak English when I entered primary school. I remember having to stand up and read in class. I remember stumbling over the words.

I also remember the laughs and sniggers of the children as I struggled to get the words out. This happened time and time again and my confidence was destroyed. I dreaded English lessons having to face the humiliation of trying to read while facing the pressure of all those children looking at me. For years afterwards I had a fear of speaking in public which was with me well into my 30’s.

The impact of rejection

When I entered senior school in Nottingham I remember the first PE lesson where the teacher lined all the boys against the wall and picked out 4 boys to be captains. These boys stepped out and turned around to face the boys on the wall. They then picked out their favourite boys to be in their teams.

One by one the boys were picked out to join the captains. The boys knew that I was the Polak who was useless. They also saw this boy who was over 6 foot tall at the age of 12 and was gangly and uncoordinated. I didn’t have any friends and was bullied and ridiculed for much of my school life up to that point.

Pleading didn’t help

As it got to the stage where there were only a few boys left on the wall I wondered who the last boy on the wall would be and the devastating effect that would have. I was putting my hand up pleading to be picked. When I looked round again there were no other boys left on the wall except for me. The humiliation of not being wanted by any of the captains was very damaging.

I can remember to this day the feeling of rejection as I looked at all the boys in their teams all looking at me – I was then placed in a team where I wasn’t wanted. This had a big impact on my life. I can remember the combined impact of being laughed at and not being picked and how I had lost all my confidence in myself.

My uncle was 6 foot 9 inches tall

Fortunately for me my parents took me to Poland to meet my uncle for the first time, he was 6 foot 9 inches tall and played basketball for the Polish army basketball team. I can still picture him looking down at me and talking to me then throwing the ball into the net. This had a big impact on me and turned my life around.

When I got back to England I begged my mum for a basketball and she eventually bought me one. I practised and practised and then one day we were lined up in PE for a basketball lesson. As usual the four captains picked out their favourite boys until there were only two left on the wall – myself and one other boy.

My life turned around

My thoughts were ‘here we go again’ but to my astonishment after what seemed like an eternity my name was called out and as I walked towards that captain I felt wanted for the first time in my life and it felt amazing! I remember looking back at that boy on the wall and saying that I would never be that boy again. So from that moment on I practiced and practiced and got better and better.

One day I became one of those captains in PE, then the school captain. Then some time later I played in a local league team then a National League team. At the age of 17 I went for England under 19 trials but I failed to get in. I was devastated but by using the new Mental Resilience skills I was developing, I simply worked harder and the following year I got in the England under 19 team.

Honoured to play for my country

A few years later I played in the full England team which included playing in the Commonwealth games; then I joined the Sunderland team as a professional player where I played all over the world. My final ever game was winning the Play Off finals in London in front of 10,000 spectators and live BBC coverage. This all happened because of two things. Firstly I had a moment of destiny when I met my uncle in Poland and the second was I took massive action to make things happen.

Following my basketball career I went into radio sales, followed by many years in the advertising world until I set up JD Mindcoach 5 years ago. I went to Dubai with my wife Julie 4 weeks ago to seek work out there and things are looking really exciting. I believe two things are very important in life. Firstly working hard on the right stuff and secondly never giving up.

Thoughts for the week:

1. Do you have any anchors to past events in your life which may be holding you back?
2. Have a good think back to your younger years of any negative incidents or situations which may be causing you to hold back in certain areas of your life
3. Understand that these anchors can be broken
4. I learned a technique to develop confidence which allows me to stand up in front of hundreds and perform well
5. I broke the anchor of fear with a simple technique and so can you
6. Understand the your belief system may be real to you but it may not be real
7. You may believe that you can’t possibly do something, but you need to challenge that belief and you will be amazed at what you can achieve

Well that’s it for another week and I hope to meet you on the 16th May. Here is the link again if you want to book for the event which is open to anyone. If you do make it I would like to shake you personally by the hand so please come and say hello to me:

Finally if you know anyone who may be interested in seeing me speak then feel free to forward this blog to them:

Have a great weekend.

Warm regards


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