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Book Review: The Point After by Sean Conley

To improve as an athlete or coach, you don't just have to read sports psychology or self-help books. You can also read lighter books such as autobiographies and still soak in a lot of wisdom and inspiration. This is why I chose to read Sean Conley's autobiography, The Point After: How One Resilient Kicker Learned there was More to Life than the NFL . In this book, Sean Conley tells his story of being a kid from a small town in Pennsylvania working his way to accomplish his dream of becoming an NFL kicker. Along his journey, he experiences a lot of high and low moments that shaped him to become the man he is today. The best part about this book is that Conley is extremely relatable to the average athlete and person. This isn't an autobiography written from a legendary, Hall of Fame athlete. 99% of football fans probably have never even heard of Sean Conley before. But this doesn't make the book any less interesting or valuable. While reading this well-written, entertaini

The Meaning of DAWGWORK, with Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson is the defensive line coach of the LA Rams. His unit, which includes the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald, is perhaps the best in the NFL. A big part of the Rams defensive line's success comes from Eric Henderson's coaching philosophy. He calls it DAWGWORK, which is a mentality that leads to peak performance and dominance! For Eric and his unit, it all starts with the mindset that embraces DAWGWORK. To be the best at what they do, Eric's players need to not only work the hardest, but also the smartest. Most importantly, they need to be very coachable, and have the humility to accept constructive criticism and instructions. Eric's drive to constantly improve his players is summed up in his motto, "Either you’re getting better or you ain’t.” To reach this standard of DAWGWORK, they need to be extremely motivated. All of the pain and sacrifice needs to be worth it to them, which means they must love the grind and desire to be the best. Th

Peak Performance, Teamwork, and Leadership

As an athlete, don't just worry about your own performance. Be a good teammate and leader to help your team reach peak performance as a whole! One of the most important factors of a team’s performance is teamwork. For your team to reach peak performance as a whole, you have to truly play as a team! You have to put the team goal of winning over your individual goals. Here, I will use football as an example to show how teamwork and leadership help a team as a whole reach peak performance. If you are a quarterback, you need to be unselfish in order to maximize your team's performance. You need to distribute the ball and make the best football play each time. Don't worry so much about your personal stats. Don't worry about getting credit for your team's success. Don't be selfish and try to be the "star" or the "hero." Just focus on doing whatever it takes to help your team win. Be perfectly satisfied with handing the ball off to your running back

Book Review: Tog Dog by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

Here is what I learned  from reading Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman: Competition is a big part of life. In sports and in work we have to compete against others to get what we want. There's no way around it. You can either embrace competition or you can run away from it. This book teaches you the attitudes and skills needed to develop competitive fire, also known as mental toughness. To begin this book, the authors teach some healthy attitudes about competition. For one, competition doesn't have to be seen only as a "dog eat dog," zero-sum game. Competition is also a means of developing virtues. Through competition, we can help each other improve as athletes and as people. Through competition, we develop skills that we can use to contribute to society and make the world a better place. To end the book, the authors add more to this by talking about how competition is all about uncertainty. It is this uncertainty that makes

How to Form a Mental Game Plan

The best athletes don't just have a strategic game plan for each game, they also have a mental game plan. A mental game plan is simply a plan for how you're going to play your best mentally. The best athletes don't just wait until things happen and hope for the best. They prepare beforehand to make sure they will react in the best way possible so they can perform their best in games. The first step of mental game planning is asking yourself how you plan to prepare your mindset during the hours and minutes before a game. There are many components to this question, such as: How are you going to conserve your mental/emotional energy during the day of a game? How are you going to relieve unnecessary stress during the day of a game? How are you going to motivate and pump yourself up as the start of the game approaches? How are you going to relax and calm your nerves as the start of the game approaches? How are you going to focus your mind on your mission and strategic gam

Mental Toughness Tip: Fake it Then Embrace it!

Here is a mental toughness tip to help you endure through effort, pain, and fatigue. I call it, "fake it then embrace it." Here is an example to explain what this means. Imagine you're running a marathon. As you're running, your sense of effort, pain, and fatigue will gradually increase. At some point, your sense of discomfort will outweigh your motivation to endure, and this will cause you to slow down or quit. In order to minimize your sense of discomfort and maximize your motivation, and therefore improve your performance, you can use the "fake it then embrace it" strategy. By faking it, I mean act as if you're more comfortable than you really are. By thinking positive and distracting yourself from discomfort, you can go longer without feeling overwhelmed with discomfort. in other words, the less you acknowledge the discomfort you're in, the less affected you'll be by it. It won't occupy as much space in your consciousness, therefore i

Task vs Ego Orientation

Task vs ego orientation is very similar to the growth and fixed mindsets . A growth mindset, which is a belief that abilities can be improved with practice, leads to a task-oriented mindset, which is a focus on the process of improvement. On the other hand, a fixed mindset, which is a belief that abilities can't be improved with practice, leads to an ego-oriented mindset, which is a focus on satisfying your ego. This is important to know because it is the task-oriented athletes with growth mindsets that are the most successful and happy in life. As an athlete, if you know the characteristics of task-oriented and ego-oriented mindsets, then you can better adopt the task-oriented mindset and resist the ego-oriented mindset. Task-oriented athletes focus on the process, therefore they work harder. E go-oriented athletes are constantly worried about comparing themselves to others, therefore they try to bring others down while elevating themselves with arrogance. They are often

Book Review: The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard is one of the best motivational, self-help books I've read. Whether you are trying to turn your life around or you are looking for extra motivation to reach your goals, this is the book for you! The purpose of this book is to give you the inspiration and guidance to unleash your personal freedom, accomplish your goals, reach your potential, and live your life to the fullest. As Burchard writes, "Humankind's main motivation is to seek and experience personal freedom." Whatever someone wants in life, they want the freedom to seek and achieve it. Deep down, people crave to live bigger, more meaningful lives. However, we often fall short of living up to our potential. Instead, we let fear, comfort, convenience, and laziness hold us back in life. In this book, Burchard gives you the motivation and tools to overcome fear and laziness and strive towards a better life. One of the main themes of this book is personal responsibility