Posts

Showing posts from March, 2020

Book Review: It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad

Trevor Moawad is one of the best mental coaches in the world. He has helped Russell Wilson, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher, and hundreds of other athletes and coaches throughout his career. His experience has given him the knowledge and tools to write a great self-help book called It Takes What it Takes.

One of the main focal points of this book is the concept of neutral, objective, and process-oriented thinking. Moawad points out that people often think the only two options available are positive thinking and negative thinking. We all know negative thinking isn't helpful. Positive thinking can be very helpful at times, but sometimes it is unrealistic given our circumstances. When facing adversity, jumping straight to positivity isn't always attainable. Sometimes we need to shift to neutral before becoming more positive. Neutral thinking also has the benefit of settling down our emotions, which helps us execute the task at hand.

Perhaps my favorite part about this book is…

Win or Learn

The best athletes never lose. They either win or learn. Obviously this isn't literally true. Everyone loses games, but the best athletes have a positive attitude after they lose. After a loss, they don't get discouraged since they know they can learn a lot from losses, and this learning will help them improve and win in the future. With this "win or learn" attitude, you can always stay positive and motivated to keep working towards your goals.

Let's take a closer look at this attitude. When an athlete loses, their weaknesses become exposed. After a loss, an athlete may realize that they need to make improvements in certain areas. This helpful feedback is sometimes hidden after winning. Losing doesn't only give you helpful feedback, but it also gives you great motivation. After loses, you should be very motivated to bounce back. Because losing can help you learn and improve more, a loss is sometimes more valuable than a win in the long-run.

However, this "…

The Mental Challenges of Each Sport

I want to talk about the mental challenges of each sport. To begin, let's list all the different ways sports can be mentally challenging:
Mental effort: Some sports require a great amount of concentration.
Physical effort: Some sports require exerting a lot of physical effort. Remember, physical effort is a form of mental effort, because it takes a lot of mental strength to tolerate fatigue, pain, and the perception of effort.
Dealing with pressure: Some sports require dealing with great amounts of pressure.
Strategical thinking: Some sports require a lot of strategical thinking and problem solving.
Teamwork and leadership: Some sports require a great amount of teamwork and leadership.

Every sport requires all of these components of the mental game, but each sport values them differently. Let's look at the importance of each one for each sport.

Golf:
Mental effort and dealing with pressure are very important in golf. Strategical thinking is also important but not as much, while physic…

A New Way to Reduce Pressure and Avoid Choking

A new study came out recently from the science journal, Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience that discovered a new way to help reduce pressure and avoid choking. Researchers Simon Dunne, Vikram S. Chib, Joseph Berleant, John P. O’Doherty found that there's a way to reappraise an incentive/reward to help reduce pressure and avoid choking.

This reappraisal, which is a form of self-talk, involves pretending that you already have the prize, and you're performing to keep it. This attitude, according to the researchers, improves performance more than thinking of the prize as something that you don't have and you must win to have it. Along with providing evidence from activity in the brain associated with motor skills, the researchers say that this way of looking at incentives helps because it calms your emotions, which helps you execute your motor skills better.

Think about it, if you're kicking a field goal in the final seconds for the chance to win the game (and if you mi…

Be Humble, Yet Confident

Some of the best advice I can give to someone is to be humble, yet confident.

By humble, I mean don't think you're better than you actually are. I've met many athletes who think they're better than they actually are. This doesn't help you though. It mainly just makes you feel better about yourself. You need to be realistic, objective, and judge your abilities accurately. By being humble, accepting constructive criticism, and acknowledging your shortcomings, you can then work to improve them. You're less likely to improve yourself if you think you're better than you actually are.
In other words, being humble keeps you unsatisfied and hungry. Never be satisfied with where you're at. Always want to be better than you are now.

However, being humble doesn't mean you can't be confident about yourself in the present moment. Being humble doesn't mean you have to think you're worse than you actually are. It means you think you're as good as you …

Book Review: The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

The Dichotomy of Leadership is Jocko Willink's and Leif Babin's sequel to their first book, Extreme Ownership. Together, these two books provide a comprehensive and excellent guide to leadership. In Extreme Ownership, Willink and Babin teach about the most fundamental mindset of leadership, which is extreme ownership. They also break down the most important elements of leadership. From reading this book, you get a great understanding of leadership theory, as well as the inspiration to take more ownership. The Dichotomy of Leadership adds to all of this by filling in the gaps, and teaching the art of leadership and how to better apply the principles of Extreme Ownership.

The Dichotomy of Leadership does this by teaching about the many dichotomies of leadership characteristics/behaviors, and how becoming aware of these dichotomies and finding balance within them improves your leadership. Willink and Babin aren't the first to discover this idea. The philosopher, Aristotle wrot…

Every Play Counts!

Every play counts! Every play is important, yet no single play wins or loses you a game. It's the combined plays of an entire game that determines the final score. Each play matters, but each play is just a small piece of the pie.

Athletes need to understand this to help them perform better in games. Athletes often place too much importance on individual plays. If they make a mistake, they may think that it will cause them to lose the game. However, this isn't always true. There's usually time to make plays and redeem yourself. There's also times when athletes get too satisfied after making a good play and they become overconfident and complacent. For example, a basketball player may become overconfident after making a spectacular slam dunk, but they need to remember that it only counts as 2 points, and they have to continue to play well if they want to win.

Then there are athletes who don't place enough emphasis on individual plays. After making a mistake, they may …