MESSAGE #1653 ICING THE KICKER

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Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Stan Ho in Austin, Texas.

This morning, I was watching ESPN and to my surprise and enjoyment, they had a segment on “icing the kicker” in football. This strategy is used by teams to try to get in the head of the kicker right before they go for an important field goal. Oftentimes they do miss and there are even statistics that show it. During the segment, they were discussing what to do when you are iced, e.g. not thinking about your technique, keeping your mind focused, singing a song in your head, etc.

Well, here’s the rub…

It is impossible for the “icing the kicker” strategy to work on a kicker.

Why?

Because nothing outside of you can affect you…only your THINKING can do that.

“It’s not what’s happening to you. It’s not what’s happening around you. What really matters is what’s happening INSIDE you.”

The ACT of “icing the kicker” in and of itself is neutral. If it truly had the power to affect a kicker’s performance, it would work every time, but it doesn’t.

Take a close look at these two scenarios:

Scenario #1
A player is ready to kick and the other team calls a time out. The kicker thinks, “Ugh, how annoying. Now I have to wait. This is a really important kick, I have to make it. Don’t think about missing. Just stay positive. Sing a song to yourself. You are great.” As the kicker is waiting, he begins to think more and more and before he knows it, his mind is filled with thoughts arriving at light speed. He begins to feel tight and his confidence disappears.

The result: A missed kick

Scenario #2
A player is ready to kick and the other team calls a time out. The kicker thinks, “Ugh, how annoying.” But this player does not take the thought seriously and just lets it pass. He just waits and does whatever he feels like doing. Other thoughts pop up in his head but they just come and go. Because of this, his mind stays clear and he naturally stays loose, confident and focused.

The result: A successful kick

If you look at the two scenarios, the strategy by the other team is the same, but the reaction is different. There is nothing wrong with thinking “Ugh, how annoying” if you just dismiss it. On the other hand, if you stay with that thought or think it is true, you will feed it and begin a downward spiral. You will start to FEEL annoyed and then more thinking will occur and further cloud your mind and tighten your body.

Everyone has negative thoughts, including the greatest athletes in the world. The difference is these peak performers don’t make a big deal of their thoughts. Everyone else thinks they need to “do something” about those thoughts.

Remember this: you can’t control what thoughts come into your head, but it is always your choice whether you reinforce them or just let them pass.

You may not have the physical ability of a pro athlete, but you can have the same mindset as one. The truth is, you already do.

For a free 15-minute mental game consultation, email: ed@edtseng.com

MESSAGE #1573 PERSEVERANCE

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

You may not be a snail, but you still need to persist.

If your goal is to make your high school baseball team, or become a chocolatier, it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

One of the biggest problems people have is that they stop too soon. Then they try something else. And probably stop too soon with that as well.

If you persist while others give up when they face adversity, or get frustrated, guess who’s going to be left at the top?

YOU.

Don’t try your best, do whatever it takes.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center
609.558.1077
ed@edtseng.com

MESSAGE #1548 FEAR QUOTE

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.
-Brendan Francis

MESSAGE #1527 THE MENTAL GAME VIDEO

I’m a Yankee fan, but I have to respect this guy:

E:60 Evan Longoria from E60 on Vimeo.

MESSAGE #1488 LEARN FROM MUHAMMAD ALI

As coaches, athletes, students and professionals, one of our greatest challenges is staying in the present moment. For many athletes, the season is a long one. So what do you do to help ensure that you focus on quality, not quantity? That’s easy, remember this quote from Muhammad Ali:

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

Do what you’re doing while you’re doing it.

Thanks for reading.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center
609.558.1077
ed@edtseng.com

MESSAGE #1487 HANG ON ‘TIL YOU CATCH ON

Everyone knows Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who built a peak performance empire.

Did you know when Tony Robbins was younger, he washed his dishes in his bathtub because he didn’t have a working kitchen sink?

See, you don’t need to be great at the start, but you need to start to be great. You may not be washing dishes in your bathtub, but if you’re reading this, I know you want to get better. In sports, we often have a little negative voice inside our heads: “I can’t do this” or “I can’t do that.” When we hear this little negative voice, we should accept it, let it go and continue on our path of hard work and constant improvement.

I don’t care where you are…I care where you want to be.

MESSAGE #1476 A MESSAGE FROM EINSTEIN

I am sitting here in my office, just a few miles from downtown Princeton, where Albert Einstein used to call home. I often drive by his house and think about his philosophy and work. Here is my Einstein quote of the day:

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.

Do you want to be comfortable, or do you want to be great?

Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

MESSAGE #1463 PHIL HUGHES GETS NEGATIVE?

Phil Hughes is an All-Star and World Series Champion with the New York Yankees. I spoke with Phil on Tuesday at South Street Seaport in New York City for Day 2 of the Yankees’ HOPE Week.

I asked Hughes what he does when he has a bad day.

“I call my dad,” Hughes responded with a laugh.

I followed up with, “Do you ever have a negative voice inside your head?”

“Oh yeah, I do,” said Hughes.

“We ALL do,” chimed in pitcher, Steve Garrison.

“You have to have a short-term memory,” Hughes added.

What does this mean for you?

If an All-Star and World Champion gets negative, it’s okay if YOU get negative.

The key is to be like Phil and let it go and move on. You can certainly LEARN from the past, but you shouldn’t LIVE in the past.

Be like Phil Hughes today!

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center
609.558.1077
ed@edtseng.com

MESSAGE #1452 HANG ON

A big part of sports (and life) is persistence. Hanging on.

When I gave my recent talk at TEDxPrincetonLibrary, I talked about the word “hope” being an acronym—Hold On Possibilities Exist.

What do most people do when adversity strikes?

They give up.

Do you know what the great ones do?

They hang on until they catch on.

They get fascinated instead of frustrated.

They get intrigued instead of irritated.

If you stick with it when times are tough, you will most likely come out on top.

Why? Because not many people will be left.

If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get what everyone else gets.

Be great today.