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Prof. Martin I Jones


When it comes to Human Performance Psychology, Martin I. Jones emerges as a thinker who blends science with the depth of philosophical inquiry.  A leading specialist with an impressive track record, Martin’s journey from professional sport to the hallowed halls of Oxford University, and into the strategic ranks of the Ministry of Defence, reads like a script of a relentless pursuit of excellence.


But what truly sets Martin apart in this field is not just his academic accolades or his diverse professional experiences. It's his approach to understanding and achieving high performance – a blend of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge science.


Martin’s insights startle in their simplicity and effectiveness. He speaks of performance not as a singular act but as “an accumulation of a string of behaviours,” a perspective that may challenge traditional views. This multifaceted approach to performance, drawing from his deep understanding of sport psychology, military science, and now sleep medicine, makes him a sought-after authority in achieving peak performance.


In a recent conversation, reminiscent more of a masterclass than an interview, Martin shared his philosophy on performance with me. “Performance is not just about what you do on the field or in the office. It's about how you prepare your mind and body, how you rest and recover.” It’s a message that resonates deeply in our high-stress, always-on culture.


His recent study into sleep medicine at Oxford University is particularly intriguing. Here, Martin delves into an often-neglected cornerstone of performance: rest. “Sleep is the foundation of performance,” he explains, “yet it's the first thing we sacrifice. We have to bring sleep up to that same value level as other biological needs... everything we do during the day gets worse when we restrict our sleep”. But Martin is quick to clarify that his role is far more complex than that of a sleep guru offering simplistic advice.


His expertise focuses some of the most challenging environments imaginable, guiding individuals to optimise sleep where conditions are far from ideal. “I've worked with individuals who need to find restorative sleep in extreme situations - whether that's on a mountain, in a bunker, aboard a helicopter, or under the ocean waves,” Martin elaborates. This experience gives him a unique perspective on sleep optimisation, transcending conventional settings and tapping into the extraordinary resilience of the human body and mind.


His research and advocacy in this area are clearly not just academic pursuits but a mission to shift societal attitudes towards rest and recovery. Martin's approach is rooted in practicality and adaptability, underscoring his commitment to enhancing performance in even the most demanding circumstances.


On stage, Martin’s presentations are known for their captivating style, transforming complex theories into relatable narratives. His sessions, imbued with integrity, authenticity, and humility, leave his audience both enlightened and inspired. He navigates through intricate psychological concepts with the ease of a storyteller, making his seminars a distinct blend of learning and discovery.


His influence of ancient Greek philosophy adds a timeless element to his teachings. “We control our actions, our responses,” he muses, echoing Stoic wisdom. “I'm inspired by how the ancient Greek philosophers would think... the dichotomy of control, and in understanding what is under your control and what isn’t”. This idea of focusing on the controllable aspects of life and work forms the bedrock of his approach to performance psychology. “What I can control is my values, my beliefs, my response to situations…. I can't control what happens to me. But I can always control how I respond to what happens to me” he explains. 


Martin’s impact on his audience is profound and lasting; his message of empowerment and self-reliance resonating deeply with the highest performers. From corporate boardrooms to professional sports teams, & to high ranking military personnel, his teachings on mindfulness, resilience, and the crucial role of sleep are reshaping how performance is understood and achieved.


Martin Jones is not just a specialist in human performance; he is a visionary redefining the field. His narrative is not just one of achievement but a testament to the power of holistic well-being in realising true potential. His philosophy offers a much-needed pause, a reminder to balance the journey to greatness, with mindfulness and recovery – a lesson perhaps more valuable than any traditional metric of success.


As we move into 2024, Martin is set to continue to extend his influence, by launching a new podcast, Optimising Human Performance. 


Poised to bring his invaluable insights to a global audience, the podcast will feature a diverse array of guests and topics, all focused on the nuances of peak performance.


For organisations and individuals keen on transforming their approach to performance and well-being, Martin Jones is an essential voice. 


Booking him means not just gaining a renowned specialist’s perspective, but embracing a philosophy that harmonises the vigour of performance with the wisdom of recovery and balance – a synergy essential for success in any realm.

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