MESSAGE #1663 HELPING OTHERS PERSEVERE AND EXCEL

HOPE WEEK
To me, part of success is helping others without expecting anything in return.

In fact, somebody once said,

“The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”

The New York Yankees just finished up their 5th year of HOPE Week. To the Yankees, HOPE is an acronym that stands for Helping Others Persevere and Excel. Each year, the Yankees choose five different people or organizations to honor and be their guest.

Here are just a few honorees in past years:

  • Andy Fass, a young boy who suffers from oculocutaneous albinism, which left him blind and without pigment in his skin.
  • 17 year old Megan Ajello who has cerebral palsy and scoliosis, and has had six major surgeries, including a spinal fusion.
  • Jorge Grajalas, a 13-year-old quadruple amputee born in Panama. As an infant, Jorge lost all four limbs from an infection.
  • Jane Lang, who has been blind since birth has taken the two-hour, two-train voyage to Yankee Stadium with her guide dog, Clipper over 250 times.
  • George Murray, a Lou Gehrig fan who suffered from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) whose wish was to take his 4-year old to his first Yankee game.
  • Tuesday’s Children, a mentoring program that pairs children who lost a parent in 9/11 with mentors with common interests.

In 2011, I was fortunate to be honored, along with other mentors and Tuesday’s Children by the Yankees as we were joined by Mariano Rivera, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Luis Ayala, Cory Wade and Steve Garrison, and Joe Torre at the Beekman Beach Club at the South Street Seaport. We played games, had lunch, then rode the Delta Baseball Water Taxi to Yankee Stadium, via The Statue of Liberty. That night, Tuesday’s Children was honored by the Yankees as special guests during the game.

Yesterday, my mentee, Amish, who lost his mother in 9/11, and I (pictured above with Yankee catcher, Austin Romine) were invited to be part of HOPE Week, attending a presentation by Kirk Smalley, whose son, Ty was bullied for years at school. One day Ty fought back and got suspended from school. He then took his own life. He was 11. Kirk was joined by his wife, Laura as well as students who started Stand for the Silent, an organization started to support the Smalleys and anti-bullying. This powerful talk was attended by a few hundred students with surprise Yankee guests, Andy Pettitte, Brian Cashman, Lyle Overbay, Larry Rothchild, Travis Hafner, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Austin Romine and Jennifer Steinbrenner.

Then, later that evening before the game, Amish and I were invited to a HOPE Week reunion dinner with the above honorees and others, plus members of the media. I have never been in a room full of such inspiring individuals. Afterwards, we received complimentary tickets to the game.

While it is true that the New York Yankees have more championships than any other professional sports team, but to me, what they do for others during HOPE Week makes them real champions. We often hear about professional athletes getting into trouble, but we don’t often hear about the good things they do to make a difference in the world, especially those who can do them “absolutely no good.” In fact, nobody knows this, but one Yankee has even offered to pay the entire college tuition for a young boy whose father passed away.

What does this blog message have to do with you?

You don’t have to hit, run, throw, or catch like a Yankee, but you can have the same attitude and mindset as they do. It’s already inside you.

Special thanks to the Yankees, Tuesday’s Children, and my mentee Amish…and thank you for reading.

MESSAGE #1341 TEAMWORK

Well, we did it. Key word: WE.

Sarah and I were married yesterday…but we didn’t do it by ourselves.

We had an amazing facility manager, Warren at the Trenton Masonic Temple, one of our favorite chefs, Alan Meinster, our favorite band, The Alice Project, Elite Photo Booths, Monday Morning Flowers, Reverend Mark Larose, photographer, Frank DiGiovanni, and many friends and family members helping us out on our special day.

It was a team effort.

Nobody can do it on their own. And we are grateful for all the help we had.

In sports, weddings and life, remember this:

A dream without a team…is a nightmare.

Thank you to everyone!

MESSAGE #1338 YOUR MENTAL DIET

What are you feeding your brain?

Negative thoughts or positive intentions?

It’s your choice what type of mental diet you have, but be mindful that you will reap what you sow.

I once knew someone who didn’t take chances and who didn’t have high expectations due to the fact that he didn’t want to be disappointed. He was right, he was rarely disappointed, but he also didn’t do much with his life.

Let me tell you a story.

There once was a young man who said, “I want to do great things in this world, and I know I can!”

Then there was an old man who said, “I wish I would have done great things in this world, and I regret that I didn’t.”

End of story. To me, this is the saddest story. Why?

Because it was the same man.

You see, you may be living, but are you ALIVE?

Are you counting the days, or are you making the days count?

Recently, I got a message on Facebook from a young man in Toronto who was determined to help others…after he received his medical degree. I said that he didn’t have to wait to get his degree to make a difference in others’ lives. He could pay someone a sincere compliment. He could volunteer his time to people in need. He could just be a good listener.

So take a look at your goals. And take a look at your mental diet.

Someone once said that the beauty of life is that you need not wait another moment to make a difference in the world.

Yes, I’m talking to YOU.

MESSAGE #1335 NATIONAL CHAMP!

Anthony Robles has just become the NCAA Division 1 National Champion for wrestling. And Anthony Robles has only one leg. Watch this inspiring interview.

MESSAGE #1326 BRAINS


Well, I’m back home after a great few days in Tampa, Florida. The photo above is a pitchers’ meeting in Yankee minor league camp. The Yankee organization is fortunate to have many experienced coaches that help the young prospects develop. And the ones that will most likely make it are the ones that listen and apply what they are told.

Woodrow Wilson once said, “I use all the brains I have, and all that I can borrow.”

Who are you learning from? If there is someone that is successful at what you want to do, why aren’t you learning from them? Nobody can do it all on their own. Find a mentor and create your game plan for success.

A dream without a team…is a nightmare.

Create your dream team today.

MESSAGE #1323 GREETINGS FROM TAMPA!

Here I am in Tampa, Florida, the spring training home of the New York Yankees. I got off the plane and headed straight to the minor league camp. It was great to see some familiar faces like Ryan Baker, Justin Snyder, Luis Nunez, Tony Franklin, and others. The player development facility is made up of four fields with different drills running on each of them. Those that are not taking live batting practice take their cuts in the batting cages.

This is an impressive facility, but the thing that impressed me most was the prospects. They hustled to and from different fields—taking their jobs seriously. Very professional, something that the Yankees instill at every level.

You may not be a Yankee, but you can certainly give a Yankee effort, and you can begin today.

MESSAGE #1313 LEARN FROM THE DUKE

‎”What a player does best, he should practice least. Practice is for problems.”
-DUKE SNIDER

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.”

It’s all in your head.

MESSAGE #1300 A VALENTINE’S DAY STORY

One day, an old man found himself sitting next to a young man on the local bus. It was February 14th, Valentines’ Day and the old man was holding a bouquet of flowers. They got to talking and the young man said, “Those are beautiful flowers.”

“Thank you, I’m going to go bring them to my wife,” the old man said. “Do you have a girlfriend?” the old man asked back.

“Yes, she is wonderful and we are very happy, but I don’t have any money to buy her a gift for Valentine’s Day.”

The old man gave a sympathetic smile and the two men were silent for a moment.

Then, the bus stopped and the old man stood up to get off. He faced the young man, handed him the bouquet of flowers and said, “Here, my wife would want you to have these,” as he walked off the bus.

The young man, stunned and grateful, looked out the window as the old man slowly walked across the street, and entered the cemetery.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Remember, it’s about others.

Today, and every day, strive to be a better teammate, coach, son, daughter, mother, father, husband, wife, student and person, by focusing less on yourself and more on making a difference in others’ lives.

MESSAGE #1293 ARE YOU HELPING OR ARE YOU HURTING?

The other day I was coaching on a court next to another pro. This pro used to be a top junior and collegiate player, so he obviously can play the game. But just because someone can play doesn’t mean they can coach, does it?

In education, there are many intelligent individuals, but does that mean they are great teachers? The answer is no.

From my court, I heard a mis-hit, a ball off the frame of the racquet, by one of this coach’s students. There’s nothing wrong with that. But then I heard the coach yell, “Great shot!”

I looked over to see who he was talking to, and sure enough, he was talking to the boy who made the error.

It’s important to be positive, but it has to be real. You can’t just say “Great shot!” for the sake of saying it. That doesn’t help the student. As coaches, perhaps we can change that and say, “Great swing, but make sure you watch the ball longer next time,” to maximize our students’ improvement.

I have a business partner who tells me how it is, regarding our projects, whether I want to hear it or not. Most people don’t like hearing the truth, especially if it hurts. But guess what? I love hearing the truth. I would rather hear it and learn from it than have someone just telling me what I want to hear in order to make me feel good.

And parents, focus less on telling your children how beautiful they are and start telling them how proud you are of their effort and constant improvement.

That’s how winners are made.

But that’s just my opinion.

Leave your comments below.

MESSAGE #1257 HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.
-BONO, rock star

Does anything really change on New Year’s Day?

I suppose change is possible, but is it lasting change?

Doing something once is not impressive.

Doing something consistently is impressive.

Don’t make resolutions, set goals and make lifestyle changes.

I’ve working out in gyms for most of my life and it amazes me how so many people start the new year off with amazing INTENTIONS by joining a gym and deciding to work out like they never worked out before, but don’t stick with it.

Their good intentions usually last only a few weeks.

By the end of January, those “motivated” people fall by the wayside.

Why does this phenomenon occur?

Because most people don’t know how to set goals.

Here’s what most people are doing wrong:

1. They don’t set specific goals; they said “I want to get in shape” versus “I am going to lose 10 pounds by March 1, 2011 at 8am.”

2. They let their goals too low. Michelangelo said, “It’s not that we set our sights too high and we don’t reach them; it’s that we set our sights too low and we DO reach them.” Set your sights high!

3. They think they can do it on their own. Get a trainer. Get coach. Get an accountability partner. Tell everyone about your goals. THEN you will be more likely to stick with it.

4. They don’t make their goals important enough. If something is important enough, you will stick with it.

5. They try their best, instead of DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES. There will be days you don’t “feel like” sticking to your goals. But those are the days you HAVE TO. Winners and losers feel the same feelings, but winners take the right action.

What are YOUR New Year’s Goals?

Leave your comments below.

Want a jump-start to a new you? Email ed@edtseng.com to schedule a free 10-minute mental toughness consultation, or to request information on one-on-one mental toughness coaching via telephone/skype.