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PPP 012 Dicken Bettinger

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In this episode of the Peak Performance Podcast, I chat with one of my mentors and top experts in the psychological aspect of peak performance. Dicken works with high level business executives, individuals, and couples on how to get the most “juice” out of life and do their best when it means the most.

What you’ll learn:

  • How the zone can help you do your best in business, relationships, sports, school, and life
  • Why most people are so stressed and how you can avoid it
  • The way to flow and happiness

For more on Dicken, visit: www.3principlesmentoring.com

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MESSAGE #1641 TOP 5 WAYS TO PLAY IN THE ZONE ALMOST INSTANTLY

In the Yankee Stadium bleachers with Jeff Nelson, a 4-time World Series Champion

I recently spent some time with the former Yankee great, Jeff Nelson at Yankee Stadium. We were at an event for Cystic Fibrosis and participated in the famous roll call with bleacher creature, Bald Vinny, Yankee writer, Jon Lane, and my friend Fred Weiland, among others.

What did I learn from “Nellie”?

1. He was always confident.
2. He was always nervous.
3. He treated both feelings the same way.

Nelson said that he was always confident, but there are so many factors in sports so you never know what’s going to happen. He also said that being nervous is normal. And he didn’t think too much about either one. That leads me to my Top 5 Ways to Play in the Zone Almost Instantly.

1. Understand that feelings (both positive and negative) are random.
2. Understand that feelings (both positive and negative) are neutral.
3. Understand that feelings come and go.
4. Understand that feelings come from your own thoughts.
5. Understand that if you don’t take your thoughts and feelings so seriously, you will play in the zone more consistently.

Notice my Top 5 has no technique, routine or ritual? There’s no how-to. All you need is UNDERSTANDING. The reason why is because when you are in a slump and you look to a technique, it will not work. It will just begin to make you think more. And when you think more, you perform less. The zone is a state of no thought (at least you don’t realize you are thinking), so why would you do the opposite when things are not going your way?

I don’t know either.

Let me end with a quote from another famous Yankee…

“You can’t think and hit at the same time. A full mind is an empty bat.”
—Yogi Berra

MESSAGE #1638 HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD…

Martina Navratilova is a former World No. 1 female tennis player. In fact, Billie Jean King said Navratilova is the “greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”

I played some doubles with Martina when she was getting ready to make her comeback back in 2000. I vividly remember the first time I hit with her. She and I were warming up and I quickly began thinking, “I’m hitting with a living legend…” I was nervous and my strokes and body were extremely tight.

Fortunately, I quickly thought, “She’s just another tennis player. Have fun.” And I did exactly that and played quite well.

Here’s what happened:

1. I was having nervous thoughts which created nervous feelings.
2. My nervous feelings created my tight strokes and behavior.
3. My thoughts changed and quickly my strokes and body became more loose.

Here’s what you should understand:

1. Feelings are not created by external events, e.g., line calls, spectators, comments or Martina Navratilova.
2. Feelings are created 100% by your own thoughts (often without you even realizing that you are thinking).
3. When you are experiencing negative feelings, you don’t have to “do” anything about them. All it takes is the UNDERSTANDING that your thoughts create your feelings (you are the thinker) and if you don’t take them so seriously, your mindset will naturally rise back up.
4. With this understanding, your mind will clear and you will increase your chances of having a peak performance.

Thoughts?

Leave your comments below.

For a free 10-minute phone, Skype or FaceTime consultation on the mental game in sports, academics, business, or life, email: ed@edtseng.com.

Thanks for reading.

MESSAGE #1635 FINAL FOUR, FINAL THOUGHTS…

Tomorrow, college basketball really heats up…the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Kansas will be competing to see who will get to the final round.

I have have been a consultant for some Final Four teams and if I were to give a talk to the teams right before they played tomorrow night, I would give them this bit of advice…

At some point during the game tomorrow night, you will have a negative thought in your head.

“What if we lose this game?”

“What if I miss this foul shot?”

“I can’t handle this pressure!”

Well, let me explain how your mind works…

Your feelings of nervousness, lack of confidence or anger cannot hurt your performance…unless you let them. Your feelings come from your thoughts, not from an external source like a game, the crowd or even the referees.

Feelings and thoughts are neutral (and random). It’s normal to have negative thoughts pop up in your head, but you have the choice of which ones to focus on.

If you were enjoying a movie at the theater and a random thought about what you were going to eat after the movie popped into your head, wouldn’t you just dismiss that random thought and focus back on the movie? Of course you would.

You can also dismiss any negative thoughts on the court in the same way, even if you’re on national television.

We can’t control what thoughts pop up in our heads, but we can choose which ones to focus on.

If I am in New York City waiting for the C train, but the A train, the B train and the D train keep arriving, I cannot control that. But I can control which train I get on.

Your thoughts are the same way.

In other words…

Don’t take your thoughts so seriously.

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

Good luck in the Final Four and if you’re an accountant in Boston, Massachusetts or a musician in San Francisco, this applies to you too. We can all improve our performance by mastering the mental game.

Thanks for reading.

Ed Tseng
Peak Performance Coach
Pro of the Year USTA 2005
Author of “Game. Set. Life.”
Keynote Speaker
ed@edtseng.com
609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1631 THE SECRET TO JEREMY LIN’S SUCCESS

By now, nearly everyone on the planet has heard about Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks and “Lin-sanity.” If for some reason, you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, let me recap for you.

After getting cut from the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and nearly the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin came off the bench for the Knicks on February 4th and scored 25 points against the New Jersey Nets. He then scored 28 points versus the Utah Jazz, 23 points over the Washington Wizards, 38 points over Kobe Bryant (34 points) and the Los Angeles Lakers and 20 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was named Player of the Week and the floundering Knicks went undefeated with Lin in the starting lineup. And the sports world exploded. What makes the Asian-American Harvard grad from California so special?

Here are my top five keys to Jeremy Lin’s success:

1. He’s a team player. In a league dominated by superstar players who often are like a one-man show, Lin does what most great athletes do…he makes the rest of the team better.

2. He is isn’t affected by external factors. With all the hype and media attention he is getting, Lin still seems down-to-earth and composed regardless of what is going on around him.

3. He goes all-out. One of Jeremy Lin’s goals for every game is to give a full effort. Gandhi said, “Full effort is full victory.”

4. He has faith. In post-game interviews, Lin often thanks God for all that has happened to him. Whether you are religious or spiritual, having faith helps you trust your abilities and focus on the process, not the outcome.

5. He has fun. You can see by how he plays the game that Jeremy Lin loves what he does. Hard work and passion go a long way.

Here are a couple of my favorite Jeremy Lin quotes:

“I’m not playing for other people; if I start thinking in those terms I would put too much pressure on myself. I play basketball because that is what I love to do.”

“I’m not playing to prove anything to anybody.”

How far will Jeremy Lin go in his basketball career? Nobody knows, but one thing is for sure. If he stays healthy and keeps living by these principles, the sky is the limit.