Are you in touch with your ‘inner chimp’ is a question Dr Steve Peters, the psychiatrist behind winning Olympic GB cycling teams, wants to ask you. Olympic gold medal winners Hoy, Wiggins & Pendleton swear by his psychological techniques. To become ‘champs’ they calmed their inner ‘chimps’.

In his book, The Chimp Paradox, Peters likens our potentially explosive emotional inner self to a chimpanzee, able to derail us from reaching our goals, unless checked. Tiger Woods, Zinedine Zidane, Louis Suarez, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump are some of this who’ve had their temper caught on camera and all too easily we can demonise people, forgetting how we might look were we to be caught out at our worst moments.

In his book, The Chimp Paradox, Dr Steve Peters shares his mind management programme used to help elite athletes perform at their optimum level.

As a keen cyclist, getting in touch with my ‘inner tube’ appeals to my sense of humour. I confess to moments when my normally calm, laid back, fun-loving persona gives way to a ‘blow-out’, with something I later regret saying or doing. I usually coincides with high stress levels and a heightened sense of injustice. But it’s my inner ‘child’, not a ‘chimp’, who I see the need to get in touch with most.

Suarez’s attempt to chew other players’ body parts was the behaviour of a 3 year old desperate to get his own way. It suggests someone used to winning, with an inner child yet to mature. But we can all behave like spoilt children at times. The Transaction Analysis ‘Parent, Adult, Child’ (PAC) lenses are helpful for seeing that it’s possible to behave like all three (PAC) within the same day. But to grow up well the ‘child’ in all of us needs to be loved, disciplined and directed.

For this we need good models and mentors, people to show us how to grow up well, with a regular of ‘humble pie’ and the ability to say, “Sorry!” Us Scots are possibly slow to put ourselves forward as role models to be followed, but our society is crying out for positive examples. It’s time for us to realise that we can have a positive influence on people we know. , “Lord Jesus, my champ, calm my chimp and chide the child in me. When I grow up I want to be like you!”