Performance Tip: Just Do It!

There are certain plays in games where an athlete has to wait momentarily before taking action. Examples include a soccer player waiting to take a penalty kick, a tennis player waiting to serve, and a basketball player waiting to shoot a free-throw. In these situations, the longer you wait to take action, the more likely you are to overthink and choke. Conversely, the sooner you commit to taking action, the less likely you are to overthink and choke. Here is an example to explain why this is the case.
When a basketball player is nervous about taking a free-throw, he usually waits longer than he normally does to shoot. This is because he doesn't believe he is ready to shoot. He may think he is too nervous and will likely miss, therefore he takes more time to settle his thoughts and emotions. Sometimes this helps, but sometimes it backfires. Instead of calming the athlete down, waiting to shoot can actually lead to the athlete overthinking and becoming more nervous. This is because t…

Prepare to Succeed!

Stop bracing for failure. Prepare to succeed instead!When athletes are worried about an upcoming game, they often try to reduce their stress by bracing for failure. They may tell themselves, "I'm probably going to lose. It's okay though. I'm not supposed to win anyways. Besides, I'm not 100% healthy, so I have an excuse." This type of defense mechanism is often used during games when an athlete is losing. For example, an athlete may say to himself, "I'm playing so bad. Today isn't my day. I'll just tell my friends and family that I wasn't feeling good today."Bracing for failure may make you feel better about yourself, but it doesn't help you perform better, which is what really matters. Instead of protecting your ego by bracing for failure, wouldn't it be better for you to instead improve your performance by preparing to succeed!? When you're nervous about an upcoming game, instead of bracing for failure and procrastinati…

Using Anger as Motivation

In sports, it is quite common for athletes to use anger as motivation, especially in aggressive and physical sports such as football. Anger can be a powerful emotion that can fuel people to work hard towards their goals. Athletes often feel most motivated when they're angry about something. Much of the time, athletes get angry after losing or after being disrespected/overlooked. For the athletes that hate losing, they often use their anger to work very hard to make sure they succeed more in the future. And since it is human nature to desire respect and high-status, many athletes hate the feeling of getting disrespected or overlooked by others. They take these things personal and use their anger as motivation to prove their doubters and haters wrong.With my experience helping athletes and coaches, I've learned the advantages and disadvantages of using anger as motivation.The obvious advantage of using anger as motivation is that it can be very strong. It can help you stay disci…

Book Review: Relentless by Tim Grover

Tim Grover has been a big influence on me ever since I read his book, Relentless in high school. I've learned so much about motivation, work ethic, and success from this book. I continued to draw inspiration and lessons from this book after rereading it this week.

The great thing about Tim Grover is that he tells it how it is. He's not afraid to tell the truth about what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of sports. You may not agree with everything that Grover writes about in this book, but at least it will give you a new perspective to look at things.

In this book, Grover breaks down people into three groups: coolers, closers, and cleaners.
A cleaner works relentlessly to get the best results. A cooler is a lazy person who allows life to dictate their outcomes. And a closer is someone in the middle. Throughout the book, Tim Grover shows how cleaners distinguish themselves from everyone else.

According to Grover, these are the 13 characteristics that cleaners share:

Three Reasons Why You Should Put the Team First

Here are three reasons why you should put the team first and be a good teammate:
1. You'll experience deeper happiness through team success. Team success > individual success. When all you have is individual success, you can remain a little empty inside. Your individual ego is too small to fully satisfy yourself. Happiness is meant to be shared. When you share your success, you'll feel more satisfaction, love, and connection with others. It feels amazing to be a part of something greater than yourself! 2. Putting the team first actually helps you individually by making you look good in the eyes of coaches. If you're a good teammate and leader, your coaches will speak highly of you, which will help advance your career. In the long run, this will benefit you much more than being a selfish teammate does.
3. Lastly, and most importantly, being a good teammate improves your character and makes you a better person. In the grand scheme of things, this is much more important th…

Natural Talent and Motivation

What is the relationship between an athlete's natural talent and their motivation? Who usually has more motivation: athletes with lots of natural talent, or athletes with little natural talent? I believe both these kinds of athletes can be highly motivated in their own way.

Athletes that are naturally talented (gifted with great athletic genes) have a great motivational advantage working in their favor. Since they are naturally athletic, perhaps with great size, strength, speed, or coordination, they have a high ceiling. They have a lot of potential for athletic success. This gives them a lot of confidence. They know that if they put in the work, they can reach their potential and achieve great success. This is very motivating. Some of the most successful athletes are motivated for this reason. They know they have God-given talents, and they don't want to have them go to waste. They want to get the most out of themselves and reach their potential. Lebron James is an athlete wh…

Internal Pressure vs External Pressure

Pressure is a form of stress, and no one likes stress. However, some stress is good for you. It keeps you motivated, and motivation leads to effort, which leads to success. You can't succeed without dealing with some amount of stress or pressure. The most successful people don't just tolerate pressure, they embrace it. They actually turn up the pressure at times to increase their motivation and work ethic. But as you know, there's only so much pressure and stress a person can take. Eventually, you can burn out from working under too much pressure.

However, there's a way to thrive under more pressure. The key is to maximize internal pressure and minimize external pressure. Internal pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. It is working towards your own goals, for your own reasons, because you want to. On the other hand, external pressure is the pressure other people put on you. It is working towards a goal for other people's reasons, to earn their approval, beca…