“I told the monkeys in my mind to take A hike"

Mark Gershinson


I am Mark Gershinson, I am a 1 handicap amateur golfer.

I have played golf all my life and now, at 54 years old am playing my best golf ever.

I have suffered over the years with the “yips” (nerves under pressure)  both in putting mainly and chipping, sabotaging key moments in tournaments.

My initial reservations working with Johan were that it was expensive and would it have a long lasting effect?

Johan’s approach was to deal with business before golf (I am in property investment) on the basis that everything would fall into place in my golf if I trained the mind for life situations starting with business.

Results so far (I am still on the programme)

  • Winning my club championship this year, where In a tight pressure situation in the final closing holes, I honestly believe that my newly developed strength of mind reflected in my poise and as a result may have adversely affected my opponent coming down the stretch.
  • My handicap went up last year and after working with Johan it went down to the lowest ever (for those who do not play golf: a low “handicap” is good)

Johan has been a catalyst for me to react less to the bad shots, to forming a new identity on the course for myself, and making me believe anything is possible which culminated in a season end major final in a tough situation coming from behind to win on the last putt. As  I stood at that last putt I told the monkeys in my mind to take a hike!

Thank you Johan!

“To be challenged by Johan most of the time in every subject we work on is very good for me and my goal!"​

Serge Betsen


I’m Serge Betsen, ex-professional rugby player for more than 20 years, I represented my country 63 times and played with Biarritz Olympique (Top 14 in France) and for London Wasps here in the Premiership. I retired from professional rugby 9 years ago and in that time I’ve created companies as a social business entrepreneur in sport B2B and B2C. I am now able to dedicate myself fully on these businesses.

Through Serge Betsen Consulting I am sharing my keys to performance and success to my clients, using conferences, workshops or team building activities. My aim is to use my previous experience on the field and to bring it to the corporate world, empowering people to get a new understanding of both their body and mind.

My second entity is a rugby coaching programme that I run in London, where we teach children from 6 to 18 years old, from beginner level all the way to performance. I believe it’s at this young age that you create habits and skills for life, and where you create a passion for sport which can only improve well-being when they grow older.

Despite my retirement being on my own terms, which I was lucky to have, it has been hard to find a new rhythm and a new organisation. Suddenly, I had a lot of free time, which I filled with lots of activities and projects but it all seemed pretty ineffective and I was not reaching my goals. This struggle began to impact my personal and family life, my wife sometimes mentioned the concept of burnout maybe down the line. I wanted to get back to a certain level of consistency, taking the discipline I had in my former sportsman life to this new consultant life.

Johan helped me get a clearer vision of what I was doing by questioning every project I was involved in, and refocusing my competitive spirit on the things that matter. To be challenged by Johan most of the time in every subject we work on is very good for me and my goals!

What initial reservations or concerns did I have about engaging Johan?

NONE. When I make a decision, I stick with it. My whole career I’ve used different coaches for my fitness, speed, flexibility, diet, physiotherapy. I even had mental coaches which was quite new back then.

Johan is passionate about his job, and has a very detail-focus approach which made it very engaging for me. His former experience allows him to see the bigger picture, and have a full understanding of people and how they function. In just 6 months I’ve learned so much, and have managed to focus on the things that make a difference, enabling me to achieve my objectives.

One aspect of my work with Johan I particularly enjoyed was the attention given to your mind; how to set goals, how to focus, most importantly how to clear your mind, create some space in your brain to rediscover feeling good – Re-connect within your soul. Recharge your battery.

What has also really helped is learning about human relationships, how to sell and how to identify the needs of my prospects.

What has surprised me most about working with Johan was to discover the strategy on questions & answers. To every question, he has quite an analytical approach, getting to the bottom of things through research and reading – it’s always an element of science and psychology, and above all asking questions , asking questions ,asking questions !

What I also very much enjoy is that Johan is half English and he speaks French. Also his knowledge in well-being.

Would I recommend Johan? Why not? As athletes you need to be very curious to find that 1% that makes all the difference for you. And I feel Johan could bring answers.

"What has surprised me the most about working with Johan is how fast tangible results have come to me"



I am Liam Thomas; I am a striker at Derby County Football Academy in England.

Derby Football Academy specialises in developing talented young players to make it as professional footballers.

My career aim is to become a pro footballer at Manchester City Football Club. I am currently 15 ½ years of age and am progressing through the system.

The challenges that caused my personal manager and I to seek Johan’s help were that I was going through a lot of frustrating times with more downs than ups which was affecting my football performance putting me behind in my development and potentially causing my contract at Derby FC not to be renewed, which would have been a major setback.

I was struggling with opening up and talking about how I felt about things. I was worried about how my football coaches and managers were perceiving me and my confidence was at a big low.

I was beginning to think that if I was already struggling at this stage, that maybe there was something wrong with me and would I really be able to make it all the way to professional level?

The more I thought about it all, the worse my playing got and the more under pressure I became.

My initial concern about working with Johan was would I feel comfortable opening up to him and sharing what was really going on?

The fact that Johan is not a footballer himself did not disturb me as I was keen to get a different viewpoint from a different perspective.

So far (we are entering month 5 of Johan’s programme) working with Johan I have finally developed an approach to the game that really works for me: calm yet very alert. We have found my “zone”.

I have gained a deeper inner confidence which has resulted in better match day and training performances.

The feedback from my coaches and managers has been very positive. In fact they have told me that this pre-season, I have surpassed their goal scoring expectations, impressed them with my work ethic, and my ability to retain information and retain the ball have increased.

My parents have said that they have seen a big change for the positive in me: I have matured, I have become a lot less frustrated on and off the field, I have become more responsible and I have opened up more becoming a better communicator all around.

What has surprised me the most about working with Johan is how fast tangible results have come to me and how much Johan seems to actually know about things in football that really matter despite him not being a footballer himself.

What I have really enjoyed about working with him is that we put into practice not just key football skills but also day to day life skills, which are very handy.

I would happily recommend Johan to other committed footballers and sports people especially because he has enabled me to unlock my own potential on and off the field in a very short amount of time.

I feel that it is very important to get one’s mental state absolutely right in competitive football and Johan gets the job done.

Thank you very much Johan!

“Johan has been instrumental in getting into my head space… I can now stay focused for 18 holes”



Being a keen golfer, I recently engaged in Johan’s services to become a single handicap golfer. I have yet to meet another lady golfer and most men that can drive the ball further than me. I have had all the potential in the world, yet my awesome golf swing never reflected on my scorecard.

I was anxious about working with Johan initially as Johan has never played golf. It become apparent very quickly that Johan did not have to play golf in order to help me with my golf.  Johan was transferring his martial art principles to my golf game.

Johan has a wonderful gift in breaking everything into small chucks to analyse (something that I have never done before), practice and improve my game. Like most sports 90% of golf happens in the mind. Johan has been instrumental in getting into my head space. Most days after starting with a few pars I would get bored and then lose it. I can now stay focussed for 18 holes.

Having worked with Johan I have changed my whole approach to golf. I arrive an hour before my t-off in order to be calm on the first shot. I now have my own little ritual I go through before each shot. I talk to the trees and the fairways. My stats have improved dramatically!

The rest of our local golf club now gets nervous when I enter competitions. My fellow athletes have remarked on my new approach and striking of the ball. I am hitting more fairways sinking more puts and soon will be happy to update this audience that I am playing off 7.

Thank you, Johan, you have played a massive role in my achievement to-date.

“I might have never gone beyond my fears and taken the risk to see who I can become."​



My name is Brígida Pereira Neves and I am a professional ballet dancer. 

With 15 years professional experience, my performance career has taken me to many countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania and the USA.

At the moment I am a soloist with TanzCompany Innsbruck at Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria.

A few years ago, I had reached a turning point in my career and was looking for a way to overcome my sensed lack of self-confidence. I didn’t feel I was performing or showing myself to my best, specially at auditions, and this was stopping me from getting the jobs I felt I deserved and wished for. I longed to come out of my “shell of fear and judgement” but was not sure how.

At first I was unsure about starting the programme with Johan as he is not a dancer and might have not known the ins and outs of the profession. I was also anxious about opening up and talking about my deepest fears and doubts, which seemed so inherent to me. 

Through the programme, not only did I release the inner dancer and artist that was ready to shine through (with Johan’s interest of dance as well as his own experience in Martial Arts), but I also dealt with questions and conditionings of my childhood and youth. I was able to apply the tools that Johan provided and taught me, not only in my professional endeavours, but also in my everyday life. Still today, I surprise myself when I think back to how I felt before the programme and am immensely grateful for the progress achieved.

I went to auditions with full confidence and capacity and got the job between more then 300 applicants! I take responsibility for my career and my ups and downs, and even I am employed I consider myself “My own boss” and plan my work, my growth and my goals.

I realise I have so much more to learn and to achieve but I feel without this first impulse from the work developed with Johan, I might have never gone beyond my fears and taken the risk to see who I can become.

I recommend Johan very highly because he is dedicated to what he does and applies passion, generosity and empathy into all his work. To professional sports people and artists I go even further by adding that although we use our body for our work, our mind must be ready to be working at its full capacity and finely tuned, if we wish to achieve our goals, no matter what they may be. And for this, Johan is the right person to go to.

“Making history, by achieving eight consecutive wins at the Scottish Men's Gymnastics Championships, was done before any competition had taken place, and I thank you for making that possible"​



Dear Johan,

I am writing to thank you most sincerely for the sports-coaching and motivation sessions conducted by you over the past few months. 

The sessions that you held, I found to be not only educational, but spiritually motivating, which is a quality that education alone cannot offer.

As an international gymnast I found the fact that with you being similarly involved in a disciplined sport, you could relate to my needs and understandings, which helped with assurance and gave me the confidence to use the skills and techniques taught to me.

The Eighth Scottish Men’s Senior Gymnastics Championships to me was to be the hardest competition of my career. It was not only my eighth consecutive title defence, but was also a battle with motivation, expectation and self-belief.

To defend the title successfully and go down in history as the most successful Scottish male gymnast of all time, I had to find a link to regenerate the belief and passion form inside of me and I feel that through the programme that you taught, together we found that link.

I particularly found the visualisation exercises useful to me because it helped me to focus completely on myself, which was a main problem to me, especially during competition, where I tended to lose focus. 

I could use the visuals and exercises taught to me to remain isolated and focused. During the build up to the event I was completely in control of my preparation both physically and mentally and for the first time felt fully prepared for the task to come.

Once again Johan thank you for all your help and inspiration in helping my dream to happen.  And thank you for your motivation which I shall never forget.

Making history, by achieving eight consecutive wins at the Scottish Men’s Gymnastics Championships, was done before any competition had taken place, and I thank you for making that possible.

“The crowning moment was when during my testing... where I realised that I wasn't trying to be a 3rd dan black belt; I already was one!"​

Matt Leipnik


My Name is Matt Leipnik, I’m a Cyber Security specialist and Entrepreneur and practice Wado Ryu Karate under Chief Master Nathan Marsh (2001 WKO Kumite World Heavyweight Champion). I’m currently a 3rd Dan Black Belt.

I had been working with Johan for some time with my business and personal development and had been applying some of those insights into my karate (and vice versa) but I was really struggling with working towards my 3rd Dan qualification to the point at which I wasn’t going to do it and almost quit Karate at the prospect.

Having worked with Johan already I have to say I had no doubts asking for his further help with this challenge and as a martial artist himself I knew he was the man for the job.

So what breakthroughs and distinct results did I generate through my participation on this particular programme? There are so many it’s difficult for me to list them. The biggest thing was really the understanding of it all and how it all started to come together in a fluid way. The realization that I was ready and how what I had learned so far put me in a position to achieve my goal, and working together with Johan gave me the drive I needed. The crowning moment was when during my testing I had a light bulb moment where I realised that I wasn’t trying to be a 3rd dan black belt; I already was one! So deep confidence in my ability is one of the big results I got.

I think that I keep discovering new realizations based on seeds planted earlier on in our sessions that continue to grow and bear fruit time over time, so the value from working with Johan is eternal.

I definitely would recommend his mentoring. He can really unlock performance in sport but that then transfers in the world beyond sport. He has really helped me both as a karateka and as a person.

“I would encourage fathers and managers of other elite sports players and parents to participate in Johan’s program."​

Sebastian Newby


I am both the father and manager of an aspiring footballer who is at a championship academy and about to obtain his first year scholarship and professional football contract.

We were experiencing lack of confidence and immense amount of pressure on and off the field. We were seeking a better understanding and personal development within our child, to support his on-going development.

Costing and the unknown teachings were our original reservations about working with Johan, along with working with a young adult age 15.

What breakthroughs and tangible results have we seen?

I myself have had major breakthrough allowing me to take a step back with my approach allowing me to concentrate on other areas to support my son and gain that father son relationship again.

We have seen transformation from a boy to a young man in his attitude and communication; he is more aware of himself and as a result his football learning and developing have increased again.

The biggest surprise working with Johan has been the connection that Johan has developed with our child allowing conversations that he may not have had with me, and the visible change of behaviour in a positive way.

We have enjoyed the feedback, time & support Johan provides to us to gather an understanding of how our son is developing and what Johan is teaching.

I would encourage fathers and managers of other elite sports players and parents to participate in Johan’s program.

“gave me the confidence to walk apart from the herd, to tackle the Tour and its preparation as my own journey"​

James Maltin


I am a 40 year old fund manager for a FTSE250 listed investment company.  Through a friend I was introduced to Johan.  He is a first rate story teller and has a fascinating life history.  His experiences are very different to mine, which is why when we first met I felt I could learn a great deal from Johan.

Although I was unsure exactly what I would learn, I was impressed by Johan when we first met and I decided to employ him in spite of not knowing what he would be able to offer.

We worked together over a period of six months.  In this time I went from being a non-cyclist to completing the full route of the Tour de France and raising over £420,000 for a cancer charity (against an initial objective of £50,000). It was an enormous challenge.  Not only was I not a professional cyclist, I didn’t even commute to work by bicycle!  On the odd occasion when I found myself cycling with friends, I always felt like the weakest of the group, the person everyone had to wait for, holding everyone back.

So to take on the Tour was the hardest thing I could possibly conceive of doing.

Another concern was that I ate a predominantly vegetarian diet: how on earth would I consume enough protein to ride over 100 miles each day, nonstop for three weeks?  After research into the eating habits of two of the world’s most successful endurance athletes – Scott Jurek and Richard Roll – I decided to go vegan, and became the first vegan ever to complete the full route of the Tour de France, just one day ahead of the professional peloton.

Johan’s mentoring gave me the confidence to walk apart from the herd, to tackle the Tour and its preparation as my own journey, to adopt my own approach and not worry about the thoughts and training schedules of others.

Johan gave me the confidence to accept that just because something might work brilliantly for someone else, it may not be the best approach for me.  Really it was a mental undertaking, and Johan gave me the skills to train my mind and focus clearly on the task in hand.

It is impossible to know how much of this would have been achieved without Johan’s help, but what I can tell you is that above and beyond helping me reach these phenomenal goals, he helped me think about life in broader terms, to approach the Tour not just as a physical event, but rather a physical, mental, and spiritual challenge.

I never ceased to be amazed by Johan’s expansive knowledge and emotional intelligence, and in this small testimonial I could not do justice to the wide range of subjects he introduced, of which previously I had been ignorant.  He has broadened my mind and strengthened my resolve.

Whatever area of life you are currently grappling with, Johan most probably can help you.  Without any reservations, I highly recommend him.