Anthony Robles has just become the NCAA Division 1 National Champion for wrestling. And Anthony Robles has only one leg. Watch this inspiring interview.
”What a player does best, he should practice least. Practice is for problems.”
I love the quote above by the late, baseball great, Duke Snider. Most athletes practice what they are already good at—because it’s more fun. The key is to have fun while focusing on constant improvement. Practice your weaknesses, instead of running away from them.
Recently, someone was looking through my new mental skills workbook and found some errors. I said, “Here’s a pen, please give me your suggestions.” He said, “But I don’t want you to feel bad.”
I then responded, “You’re not going to make me feel bad, you’re making me BETTER.”
The only pressure I’m under is the pressure I’ve put on myself.
-MARK MESSIER, hockey great
Recently, there was a football kicker training at my sports center. He is only 13 but has “phenom” written all over him. He has been working hard, doing all the right things and developing quite nicely.
This past week he was training for a pro event, which is a very big deal and only a few days away.
Then something happened.
He started missing kicks he was making easily the weeks prior. He started looking and feeling nervous. He was not the same person.
Nothing physically, but mentally he started over-thinking. He was focusing on how important this upcoming pro event is. He started trying too hard. The little negative voice inside his head began getting louder and louder.
This happens all the time in sports and life.
When the pressure’s on, many people fold.
But it is not pressure, it is perception.
There are two ways to look at pressure–you can either get frustrated or fascinated by it.
The choice is yours.
What would be my advice to this young kicker?
1. Understand that nerves are normal. Everyone gets nervous.
2. Take a deep breath to lower your heart rate and stay in the present moment.
3. Focus on the target, not the outcome.
4. Act as if it were impossible to fail.
5. Cultivate gratitude and have fun!
For a free 10-minute mental toughness consultation, email: or call 609.558.1077
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
Recently, I worked with a young girl and she hated serving. She avoided it. Every time she practiced her serve, she would inevitably expect the worst.
I told her I was optimistic about her serve and that she should be as well. “You get what you focus on,” I told her.
Instead of focusing on how much she hated serving, I just told her to think about her technique and adjustments.
She stuck with it and started getting her serves in. And guess what?
She started smiling.
Had she given up or avoided serving, her serves would still be the same.
She conquered herself and began getting the results she wanted.
My student came up to me after class and said, “Thank you, coach. Today I learned a very important lesson.”
Conquer yourself and the sky is the limit.
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
People don’t sing to get to the end of the song.
Athletes don’t play to get to the end of the competition.
You shouldn’t “live for” the weekends or your vacations.
Enjoy the process of singing, playing your sport or everyday life, in general.
The more you savor each and every thing you do, the happier you will be…and the better results you will get.
Rayna was a top basketball recruit and received a full scholarship to Virginia Tech. After her first season, she contracted a type of meningitis and within 24 hours, she had all four limbs amputated. Now she is a motivational speaker.
She said that was the best thing that ever happened to her.
Because now she is helping other people.
A pretty bold statement from someone who, wakes up and first thing in the morning, puts on her arms and legs (prosthetics).
We cannot control our situations but we can control our attitudes towards them.
Be like Rayna.
We, as humans, tend to focus more on the things we DON’T have, versus the things we DO have.
Common statements are:
“I don’t have a backhand.”
“I don’t have enough money to pay the bills.”
“I don’t have the iPhone 4.”
One of the best things you can do to become happier and more successful is cultivate gratitude.
Focus on the things you DO have.
Here’s what you do:
1. Make a list. At the top, write, “I am grateful for…”
2. Create three columns.
3. Name the columns, “Things,” “People,” and “Other”
4. In the column of “Things,” write down any material possessions you are thankful for; in the column of “People,” write the names of people you are thankful for; and in the column of “Other,” write down anything that doesn’t fall into the other two categories (i.e., health, job, education).
5. Read your list 4 times a day (after lunch, after dinner, before bed, first thing in the morning).
6. Do this for a week and see if you feel any different.
Let me know your reactions.
What else would you write in the “Other” category?
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
For many, this is the most wonderful time of the year. I concur.
Even though I feel like this all year ’round, I particularly enjoy the holidays for one main reason.
Don’t get me wrong, people giving is not so I can get “stuff.”
People giving is actually people GETTING.
Let me explain…
When you give to someone, you GET much more in return. It feels better when you GIVE than when you receive. That’s a big reason why I blog every day and donate my time, services and products throughout the year. It makes ME happy.
When you give, you feel good.
The best way to make yourself happy is to make someone else happy.
The best way to get motivated is to get someone else motivated.
The best way to become successful is to make someone else successful.
That’s why I think this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Can you apply this to teamwork? School? Your job?
As a matter of fact, research has shown that people who volunteer and give more of themselves, reap the health benefits (mental and physical) for up to 50 years.
It’s about OTHERS.
So as you go through this holiday season, focus less on what you might get and focus more on what you intend to GIVE. And remember, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an object, it can be your time, a compliment or just doing a little bit extra.
Focus is one of the keys to mental toughness. Take this Thanksgiving quiz and see how good your focus is…
1. What always comes at the end of Thanksgiving?
2. Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
3. If twenty Thanksgiving turkeys told terrible tales, how many “t’s” should there be in all?
4. If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
5. What two letters describe your belly before you eat Thanksgiving dinner?
6. About how many feathers do turkeys have?
7. Which state raises the most turkeys?
8. What do you call cranberries that come out of a can?
2. The outside
3. None, there are no “t’s” in ALL
5. M, T
6. About 3,500
7. North Carolina, about 45 million
8. Can berries
How did you do?
Thank you to Grandma Laura for sharing this great quiz!
A safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Players get better after their coach gets better.
Students get better after their teacher gets better.
Employees get better after their manager gets better.
Many coaches, teachers and managers wonder why their players, students and employees are not getting optimal results.
But it’s not about the players, students or employees.
It’s about the coaches, teachers and managers.
So what can you do?
1. Lead by example. Others will follow.
2. Show your passion. It will be contagious.
3. Respect EVERYONE. We are all equal.
4. Strive for constant improvement. We can always improve our craft.
5. Develop a TEAM-first mentality. The great ones know individual goals come second.