Removing Mental Blocks to Break Through Barriers: An Interview with David Nurse, Mental Skills Specialist

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Issues, Special Issue - David Nurse | 0 comments

David Nurse, a mental skills specialist, works with and coaches high-profile actors, athletes, CEOs and celebrities to take their mental skills to the next level and dig deeper into mindset...

David Nurse, a mental skills specialist, works with and coaches high-profile actors, athletes, CEOs and celebrities to take their mental skills to the next level and dig deeper into mindset development. By focusing on removing barriers, Nurse helps clients reach their full potential in their careers and personal lives. 

“I help them learn how to dig deep into their mindset development, into their mental skills space, how to build the unshakeable habits for different sectors wherever they’re struggling in. Whether it’s confidence, whether it’s focus, whether it’s flow state- I really just put together a personalized plan for them to be able to perform at their highest capacity potential,” David Nurse said. 

Nurse always had dreams of playing in the NBA but unfortunately, Nurse was just shorter than he needed to be to achieve this goal of his. However, he did achieve two Guinness World Records for his 3-point shooting abilities! He played professionally for a few years overseas in Australia, Greece, and Spain but never played in the U.S. 

After Nurse was cut from the team in Spain, he spent time searching for what he wanted to do. After speaking with his mother, she pointed out that his passion for the NBA could be used to teach and coach others who had the abilities to play at that level. Nurse made it his mission to coach and wrote a letter to every NBA general manager with only one person getting back to him. 

Gary Sacks, who was the general manager of the Clippers at the time, connected David Nurse with different NBA coaches. He ran his own basketball camps until the Brooklyn Nets brought him on as their development coach. For a year, Nurse thrived in the job until a new head coach was hired who brought on his own staff as usual. Following this event, Nurse started training players individually in Los Angeles. 

“But then I realized even deeper about four or five years ago that it’s all about the mind. The real separator is what goes on between your ears and how confident you are, how you don’t play with any hesitation, how you can stay in the zone focused for as long as possible, and how you can call up your flow state,” Nurse said. 

Nurse began developing mental tools for players to use to improve their mental skills alongside their athletic abilities. And since then, that’s what he’s been doing: writing books, speeches, and doing individual coaching for athletes, actors, and CEOs looking to improve their mental mindsets in conjunction with their abilities and skills. 

“My favorite part of what I do is seeing people be able to unlock the gifts they have inside of them and be able to use them to better themselves and others. Everybody has a God-given gift and ability and skill, but most people hold themselves back for different reasons,” he said. 

And that’s the reason why Nurse wrote his book that’s coming out in May called Do It. It is an immersive, in-depth book about taking action with years of research surveys about what holds people back from where they are. It shows what people’s gifts are and where they could use them in their career and personal lives. The book gives nine archetypes of fear to give people a self-awareness test and check. 

“We have 50,000 self-talk thoughts daily and on average studies done, 40,000, or 80% of those are negative thoughts. So how do you stop those negative thoughts? How do you become aware of those, pivot those to the positive? And there’s so many other tools for how to control your mind and how to ultimately become unshakeable in any kind of circumstance or thrown your way,” Nurse said. 

The book Do It, is all about understanding what one’s action archetype is. It is covered in the deep-dive into the neurological brain science behind your action archetype is and what is happening chemically in the brain as to why one is being held back. Do It creates the connection between heart and brain and why one is held back by their mentality. 


A Session with David Nurse

In a coaching session with David Nurse, the first thing he does is ask introspective questions so that the client can figure out on their own what they need and ensure that they take ownership for it. 

“If I have an NBA player come to me, I know what is holding them back generally, but I want them to be able to figure it out too. Because if I just tell them how to do it, there’s already going to be built-in natural resentment that they won’t necessarily want to. But if you have somebody come to their own conclusion and answer themselves, they take ownership of it and you get to learn more about exactly what they need,” he said. 

There is no cookie-cutter way to conduct sessions necessarily. It is all tailored to the individual needs and answers to Nurse’s introspective questions. The point is to identify the roadblocks in a client’s mind and move them away. 

The first step is having a conversation to figure out the roadblocks and then the client and Nurse create an action roadmap with daily tools, daily habits and implementation. One example Nurse uses for his clients is a tool of self-awareness which he calls “snap.” 

“Anytime a negative thought or a lie that you’re telling yourself comes into your mind, you snap your fingers which stands for stop notice or you stop, you pause, you notice what’s going on around you, you assess, assess why this is happening, come to an understanding of it, and then pivot, you shift, and that can change your entire perspective,” he said. 

Nurse always begins his sessions with asking himself How can I serve them first? He plans to meet his clients where they are and work together with the client to figure out what the next steps are going to be. 

“Sometimes the hardest thing for people to do is take that first step because they just don’t know where to go or what to do. So I help them basically hold their hand along the way, creating their specific journey,” he said. 

Nurse’s Career Summary

Nurse has been rated a Top 50 Keynote Speaker worldwide and has published two books with another coming out in May. This book is already presale number one with the first two books being bestselling books on Amazon. Nurse has also conducted his own TED Talk and spoken in over 52 counties with features in Forbes, magazines, and ESPN for being one of the best in mental skills speciality. 

“I’m all about the fact that you’ll never reach an endpoint. I mean, there’s never a moment where you are like ‘I reached the mountaintop, it’s over.’ It’s just a continued growth process. And that’s, that’s ultimately where the joy is at- it is in the challenge of the competition to continue to improve and continue to grow so that you can help others along the way. Not selfishly internally for only your gain, but so that you can be a light of service to others,” David Nurse said. 

Mental progress is vital for anyone, not just athletes, actors, and CEOs. Being able to understand your mind and why you are mentally blocking yourself from healthy progress can lead to life changing results. David Nurse has learned this himself and now speaks worldwide on it and coaches professionals on how to move mental blocks. 

“Obviously as an author you want to sell books, but in a bigger picture than that, I want people to be able to unlock these gifts inside of them and break through their barriers and roadblocks,” he said. 

For more information on David Nurse’s personal coaching sessions, books, and speeches, visit his website and be sure to check out his book coming out soon, Do It: The Life Changing Power of Taking Action  

Riley George

Riley George


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