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Lewis Hatchett

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Lewis Hatchett is a Mindset Coach, Podcaster, Ex-Pro Cricketer, Founder of Sport Yogi and a Performance Psychology Student. He has spent most of his life working on developing a mi...

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What is your background?

I was a professional creator for six years down at the south coast of England. I played for Sussex County Cricket Club. That's my home. I was born there, but my story began on the day I was born where I was diagnosed with a condition called Poland Syndrome, which meant I couldn't play any sports. I was told I wouldn't play any sports. And then 20 years later, I achieved my dream of turning into a professional athlete. Now I work with athletes, businesses, students, on improving their mindset as a mindset coach so that they can feel good about themselves.

What is Poland Syndrome?

Pon Syndrome is a really rare and unheard of condition. Not many people I've met have known about it. It's one in a hundred thousand people that have it. There's no known cause as to why people get it, but it affects men twice as much as it affects women, and it manifests itself slightly differently with each person that has it. So some people have deformities in their hands and their arms and maybe different limb lengths in their arms, but for me it means that I'm missing my right pectoral muscle. So a large chest muscle up on the right side of my chest, and two ribs that are directly behind where that is. So the only thing that's really protecting my lung is just skin. And other than that, what it does is it means that there's muscles in my right shoulder that are doing a job that they're perhaps not meant to. So they're fatiguing, they're getting sore, and they're working extra hard to do a job that they're not meant to be doing. So it's pretty rare and not many people have it, but it's completely wide ranging in the effects that it has.

How did Poland Syndrome affect you growing up?

So I grew up with it alongside my younger brother who is fully able bodied. He doesn't have the condition. He's only one year younger than me, and because the condition is so random, it's not inherited, it's not passed down. I grew up knowing I was different because I could compare myself to my brother and even my friends, but I also knew I was different. I was steered away from sports such as rugby because if I was to get hit, it could be dangerous. And even something like cricket, I was told that I shouldn't go into that. And I grew up knowing I could and couldn't do certain things, but I didn't let that hold me back because I just wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to try and do the things that everyone else was doing, and so I threw myself into everything that I felt I could do. I didn't play rugby, I didn't do too many contact sports. I didn't box or get in fights and things like that. But other than that, my childhood was pretty good and I just steered myself towards the things that I was really passionate about and that allowed me to try and show that I could be like everyone else. I could do the things that everyone else was doing, and that's how my childhood was.

Is Poland Syndrome classed as a disability?

Did you ever get told that you couldn't play certain sports?