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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 #1381 YOUR FUTURE

I want to be remembered as the guy who gave his all whenever he was on the field.
-WALTER PAYTON

What do YOU want to be remembered as?

MESSAGE #1270 BE LIKE WALTER

I want to be remembered as the guy who gave his all whenever he was on the field.
-WALTER PAYTON, football player

Can you have the same attitude as Walter Payton in what you do?

Sports, sales or school?

Of course you can.

But the real question is, WILL YOU?

MESSAGE #1262 A MESSAGE FROM MARK

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.

What changed?

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: ed@edtseng.com or call 609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1209 ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER?

When I was younger, my cousins brainwashed me into liking the Dallas Cowboys. The truth is, I didn’t really enjoy football but they were passionate Cowboy fans, so it rubbed off. To this day I still do not follow football but I can remember Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, and others.

For some reason, the player I remember the most was #12, Roger Staubach. Recently, I hear an amazing story about Roger.

In 1963, while playing football for Navy, Staubach won the Heisman Trophy for being the most outstanding collegiate football player.

After Roger received the award, he went back to Navy and a team meeting was held. As he spoke to his teammates, Roger said that the trophy wasn’t his, it belonged to all of them. He said he would not have won the trophy without them.

And then Staubach proceeded to smash the Heisman Trophy into pieces.

Everyone in the room was stunned.

Staubach walked over to each teammate and handed them a piece of the trophy.

Now that’s a teammate.

And that’s a leader.