GRIT Squad #101

Training for Teens, Mentors and Coaches

Thincsport and its team of dynamic facilitators and performance coaches have collaborated to create an epic GRIT development program for athletes and students, especially Teens. The course was written during Covid to equip them to navigate the extraordinary world we needed to navigate – but the principles taught are applicable to all seasons of life.

GRIT SQUAD #101 takes a dynamic look at GRIT, and how you can be equipped to develop these skilss and even be equipped to facilitate a GRIT course in your team, school, community.

GRIT is defined as courage, resolve and strength of character. Not only are these desired characteristics that we wish to in-still in all of our students, they are vital skills for life.

Although much of our experience are shaped through the sporting environment, the GRIT program is by no means confined to sportsmen and women, but is for any athlete or student, especially Teens, requiring skills of perseverance, resilience and adaptability.

When operating on momentum, the game, the task and life is easy, but when the momentum shifts against you, getting back the “momentum”, or as we say in Sport Psychology and Performance coaching – Flow – it takes more effort and “GRIT” to get back, and more importantly, keeping it.

Let us show you how!

Course Topics

Help athletes and students to grasp concepts such as:

  1. Human First –  I am a human before I am a performer 
  2. Me – Know my ‘why’, environment, thought patterns and self-talk
  3. Habits – Gain insight into how to build habits that stick
  4. Confidence – Know my sources of confidence and how to build it and to rebuild it
  5. Process – Know how I can progress in life and improve my performance one step at a time 
  6. Focus – Know how to regain focus and to manage my emotions 
  7. Competition – Gain insight into how to perform at my best in big occasions

Course Details

Ideal Candidate: Athletes, Students, School Teachers, Teen Coaches/Instructors, Community Youth Workers

Age Group: 13yrs+
Session Dates: 30 May, 06 June, 13 June, 20 June, 27 June 2024 (Thursday’s)
Platform: Online via ZOOM
Duration: Every Thursday for 5 consecutive weeks
Time: 19h00 – 20h00 pm (South African time, GMT +2)
Cost: R1000 or $100

Registration closes

Registration closes 27 May 2024!


Complete this Google form to register for the course: Google Registration Form for this GRIT SQUAD #101 Course

Course Facilitators

Iain Shippey


Iain is the founder of Thincsport and is a speaker, writer, coach and TV commentator and analyst. He also provides commentary on the psychological and social aspects of sport in the context of the new SA for eNCA; and has worked with Cricket SA in Coach and Player Development.

He has mentored many leading Springboks for 3 World Cups and had a very close relationship with John Smit’s team that won the World Cup in 2007. He has been the Leadership, Team Culture and Performance Coach to the SA Men’s Hockey Team for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo and for the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Nations Cup.

Iain has a Master’s Degree from Regent University in the field of Organisational Leadership and is also a Qualified Performance Coach (Peaksports USA and Braca Innovation Hub) and a certified Life Skills and Leadership Coach.

Mari du Preez


Mari is a 4th Dan and has been a karate instructor since 2016 and has competed locally, provincially, nationally and internationally in Karate since 1982. She has a BA Honours in Criminology, majoring in Criminal Psychology.

She has been performance coaching athletes in various sports (like karate, horse riding, cricket, hockey, etc) since 2017.

She has been a member of the Coaches Commission for the World Union of Karate-Do Federations (WUKF), since Sep 2020 and in Jan 2024 she was also elected to WUKF’s Rules Commission.


“Any children’s sports teacher should do the course.”

What did you like most about the course?
Self analysis

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Emotional Control (CBT)

Kay Engelbrecht / 28 June 2023

“It undoubtedly aids. Understanding that all students, even those with various learning styles, may succeed with the right education (GRIT SQUAD COURSE) is made easier for coaches and instructors thanks to the development and growth mindsets.”

What did you like most about the course?
The course was very informative. The interactions amongst attendees was awesome and I definitely broadened my knowledge.

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Injuries holding you back to perform at your best.

Edith Armstrong / 28 June 2023

“The Course is very helpful. It’s a recharge tool to encourages you to focus on what’s important in life, not only in Sports, irrespective of whether they are Karatekas, parents, or just a fan. The Course has an element of empowerment in it, because while doing it, you do an “Action Reflection”, and most activities speak directly to incidents you’ve experienced. The Course has an element of introspection on which you pause and reflect.“

What did you like most about the course?
It was interactive and the usage of practical examples made it more interesting. 

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
How to deal with Negative Thoughts.

Louisa Nomatye Kasinda / 28 June 2023

“There’s more to gain than to lose!”

What did you like most about the course?
Participants were grouped into smaller groups. 

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Module 5: Focus, Emotional Control (CBT) and Pre-Competition Routines

Shepherd Chakanyuka / 27 June 2023

“This course helped me to see things that have been difficult to face and how to positively see myself.”

What did you like most about the course?
The part where when you spiral down, you are equipped to learn to step back, breathe and spiral back upwards.

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Self-talk, how important it is to be kind to yourself, human first then athlete, and how different traumas affect our performance and self-confidence.

Debbie Schoombee / 27 June 2023

“I learned a lot about myself and to think positive if I want results. “

What did you like most about the course?
The presenters knew their subject and it was very relaxed.

What topic made the biggest impact on you?

Elmarie van Zyl / 27 June 2023

“Stimulating and Engaging.”

What did you like most about the course?
It makes you think on a completely different level by hearing real life examples

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Process was my favourite.

Annemi Vermaak / 21 June 2023

“I expressed the view at the end of session 2 that for any coach who works with athletes, this course should be a prerequisite. The way that you can influence and uplift the athlete to achieve more by being both well prepared physically and mentally, is priceless.”

What did you like most about the course?
The interaction and how I found the participants to have the same passion for the topics which we discussed.

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
The role that self talk has in changing from a downward to an upward spiral.

Hannes van Tonder / 21 June 2023

“I was equipped with tools that helped me to help my athletes to be more focused and able to identify areas that they can improve.”

What did you like most about the course?
About everything! Especially the process and confidence modules were very good.

What topic made the biggest impact on you?
Human before the player and the process.

Bébé Clasen / 21 June 2023