Mental Trainer is Back
Well the Mental Trainer is back from Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. All good intentions sometimes get swept away. I’d intended on blogging from Bahrain. each step of the journey. For lots of reasons it didn’t happen. Even after I got back I couldn’t seem to catch up and report like I wanted to. There was always a self-created roadblock. Sound familiar? Just because I help others with their mental training does not for a moment make me or any other mental trainer perfect. It is too easy to blame jet lag and the holidays.
So here is my report. IT WAS GREAT! OK, not what you were likely looking for. Alright, a bit more. Flew out of Seattle via British Airways. A bit of a cluster as the ticket said American. One end of the airport to the other. Flight to London was comfortable. I’ve not flown business class in a while and was glad for it. Worked on finalizing presentation and working on book. 9 hours as they say flew by.
Landed at Heathrow and got through the Que. Business class meant being able to hang at the Business class club for a few hours without having to drag a bag around. I remembered that I had not printed a letter before I left for customs in Bahrain saying I was a presenter at a Government approved seminar. Spent a bit of time trying to hook my laptop to one of the printers at the club, gave up and printed through web mail. Printed two copies. Figured redundancy was important. Note to self. When you make a list of things not to forget to bring on an international trip, checking it twice would be a good thing. Walked around Heathrow. Like a mall in most cities. Not as good as I had been told, but cool none the less.
On to Manama. Slept and watched movies the next 9 hours. landed in Manama. Went through customs. Was told to take a seat while they checked me out. Sat almost 30 minutes. They didn’t even want my letter I had spent time trying to print. They let me go without much further delay, though they did send me through the x-ray line to check and see if there was anything hidden in the books (The Athlete within You) I had brought to the seminar.
I was met at the airport by the events manager Sam Sharma. went back to the hotel where we talked over plans for the next day. Went for a walk around the diplomatic area the next morning waiting for my meeting with National Sports Management. had lunch with Sam and his boss Frank Morais. Talked about the seminar and they showed me the meeting room. Scheduled to meet at 8am for set up. Might be slight delay getting started as they are over booked. I had been worried we would have only 50 or the planned 80-100. Now there might be a few more.
In the afternoon the hotel dropped me off at the Souk. The traditional Arab marketplace in Manama. This was a great deal of fun. everyone wanted to sell me a fake Rolex. In New York when I walk around everyone wants to sell me a real Rolex. Price is always the same around $20.
I didn’t sleep well that night. Not concern about seminar, just my body clock stuck in the middle of the 11 hour time change. Good thing adrenalin can do great things and coffee. Had an early breakfast and was ready to roll by 8am. So I am ready and down with books and my materials at the prescribed hour. I’m now told that there could be 130 in attendance. It ended up 130+ and 30 turned away. Had to start 30 minutes late due to registration issues. The only one concerned of course was me. I’ve mixed in some pictures and will talk about the actual seminar and return later.
Note the booth at the back of the last this was for the translator to use.
Illustrations coming for The Athlete within You
Illustrations coming to my book. A group in the UK has asked to publish an electronic version of my book “The Athlete within You”. It is a great advantage for me. It will be in a different version than the already available Kindle. The coolest part are the illustrations. They are going to illustrate it for me. The draft is pretty cool. I copied a few of me, yes I am now a caricature or character in my own book.
They drew them up from my picture in the book. It is an interesting thing from a psychological perspective to see oneself first on a book cover and then in illustrations. I am very particular about the photos used of me in print. I flat-out have a thing about them. Yes perhaps on this issue I could use some help. haha. A young friend corrected me on the ha thing as I was hyphenating each Ha. Live and learn.
Anyway on to the illustrations. I don’t mind the illustrations. It’s a funny thing. Is it because it is art? Is it because it uses imagination to depict something, where a photograph (un-airbrushed) represents reality with all of our flaws? I don’t look 30 anymore. My friends just fell over laughing at my semi implying I should. So what is it. If you look at my picture it is pretty accurate It represents me differently perhaps. The thing is because it is art I don’t mind. If Picasso drew me I’d likely have three mouths and ten hands. That would be OK because it is or was Picasso. It would also be worth millions, but that is neither hear nor there. It is just how we look at ourselves. This is not much different then how we look at ourselves as people. How we judge ourselves as athletes or business men and women. We see ourselves very often though different lenses. Sometimes it depend on the hat we wear. When I am speaking to a business group or corporation I often spend a good deal of time preparing the way I look. Is my shirt pressed. My running shoes clean (The speakers group I’m in would love it if I would always wear dress shoes, but then who would know I was involved in sports) and my tie properly arranged.
If I am speaking to a community group with lots of young people I might be in jeans and a tee-shirt, with sports coat.
When I am talking with a sports club I am very often in my Adidas warm-ups.
Part of our emotional intelligence is being aware of our strengths and weaknesses. I can handle my overt concern with photography. I have chosen to acknowledge this weakness. I live with it because I have to. My mental toughness persuades me to move forward regardless. And for athletes and others this understanding is critical. Be aware of a weakness. You can spend time on it if you need to perform optimally or you can build on a strength that allows you to overcome this flaw.
I feel differently about each set of attire. I wore suites and ties for 20 plus years so it is not a discomfort dressing up. It has to do with impressions and our own self perception. I am always excited to speak to groups. The intensity of some of those talks ratchets up and causes me to concern myself in greater detail with my appearance. I am comfortable in my own skin, but on camera the perception of reality is different. I just may have to have the illustrator follow me around for speaking engagements.
I’ll let everyone know as soon as the book is out on their site. It will be at the D-Book Store.
Is this your first time?
Welcome to The Athlete within You blog site. Is this your first time? I trust it won’t be your last and you will find these posts informative, entertaining at times and useful to you as you train for sports and life. I hope that as a first time of recent visitor that you will take the tour and check out more posts. It would be even cooler if you would share them with others. My intent is to reach as many as possible. I want people to know that mental training is for everyone.
This site is all about mental training and how it helps you reach peak performance in sports and business. Many of the stories or antidotes are meant to give you a sense of understanding, that being an athlete is so much more than physical training. Certainly it is my belief that mental training is not a luxury, it is an essential – necessity. Sprinkled throughout these 100 or so posts are suggestions and exercises for mental training I have used over the last three decades to help athletes reach the highest levels in sports. I am pleased that some have made it to the world stage and even taken how the big prize. I perhaps get more satisfaction from the athletes who have moved up to the college level able to pursue their love of the game and a college education. If you read the story about my father (an elementary school teacher) , you’ll understand that I appreciate now the impact I have had on the lives of others. There have been over 2000. I wish I had stayed in better contact with them. I do hear from some even 30 years later. I may feel that way because it is so much easier for us to connect today via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I love how email and Skype has made communication so much easier.
Just a bit about me as you can find that easily in other places.
Ceremonial Puck Drop prior to Stampede vs Weber State Game
My name is Mike Margolies. (that’s me dropping the puck) I am a Certified Mental Trainer®, Sport Psychology Consultant, former college and professional athlete (I had a sip of coffee). I’ve trained athletes for 35 years or so. I am an author. Yes my book is called The Athlete within You. It is available through Amazon and other booksellers. It is available as a Kindle too. The best way to get a copy is through my website (autographed of course). Speaking of which, if you would like to know more about mental training and sport psychology please follow the link directly to The Mental Game..
As I said if this is your first time, please take us for a spin. I am confident you will find something you like. I would love it if you would start a conversation. I can learn as much from you as you are willing to share. Good bye for now. Don’t be a stranger.
Sports Metaphors, Language of Business
Sports metaphors infuse the language of business. I bring this up because of some recent meetings with corporations. My approach to these corporations has been that mental training will help their employees (athletes) perform at a higher level. The reply was that while they believed in the concept, there doubt was that someone from the sports world could communicate with many of their highly technical employee’s (geeks and nerds).
My answer was a smile. At first I subtly changed the subject to the Seattle Sounders FC because I had noticed something in this directors office that lead me to believe he was a Sounders fan. He explained that while he was a fan, not all of his team understood soccer, football or baseball. at this point I started interjecting, I hoped with some semblance of being shrewd, the language of business.
I started asking about departmental issues. Where were projects off base. He had he said some team issue, not everyone was playing ball. He had to make some judgement calls about personnel soon. Dealing with such a diverse workforce meant working with some people that were just out in left field. I said exactly, he said WHAT?
Here’s my pitch. You and your staff are immersed in the language of business and much of this involves sport metaphors. We can’t help but use it as it is so entrenched in our lexicon He stared at me still not getting that he had used 4 sports metaphors already. I asked him if he was ready for a curve ball. He said sure and at that he had an aha type of moment. now of course I had been slipping in metaphors into the conversation throughout the meeting and he began to understand more of what I was driving at.
If our language of business was so ripe with sports metaphors, wasn’t the very nature of the way his business unit ran. First he refers to his unit as a team. Then he mentions at another point that they don’t always play well together. His sales team was doing well in that they were hitting nearly 400, but a few were not ready for the major leagues.
I brought him back to his point that his team of geeks and nerds would not understand my mental training and team building exercises because of our language barrier. We discussed emotional intelligence and team building. I demonstrated how these construct fit his business and how important they were to his success. I talked to him about the ways that athlete set goals and how this variation in goals setting would make so much more sense to his team that some more traditional techniques. I guess I hit it out of the park as he conceded the point and I now have an opportunity to train some very interesting people who think they know nothing about sports but are about to discover the athlete within. To learn more about my business programs please follow the link to The Mental Game Team Building page.
The montage below is one I created with my iPhone and Photoshop of course. The signs are on the parking structure just south of Safeco Field where the Seattle Mariners play. It is an art project by Donald Fels called Six Pitches. Note his plaque on the bottom right corner. Yes if you are counting I left off Knuckleball. In sports and business we sometimes deal with knuckleheads, but I thought I would leave that out of my presentation.
The Mental Game
Since 1983 my practice has been called Sport Psychology Consultants. Not very creative, but back then it seemed to fit what I wanted to do.
In 2009 when I transitioned into the current century and built a website, my practice became, Sport Psychology Consultants @The Mental Game.com
For the last few weeks I have been posting about how mental training needs to be thought of as a necessity and not a luxury. I even wrote about how those of us who are applied sport psychology consultants are in fact part of the problem. I started talking about using mental trainer instead of sport psychology consultant.
Last week traveling with a friend we were discussing business and I had an epiphany. We were discussing my blog posts and it occurred to me that I was being hypocritical (well maybe not hypocritical, but perhaps stubborn). I was referring to an applied sport psychology consultant as a mental trainer, then how can I keep referring to my practice as Sport Psychology Consultants. Why not do business as The Mental Game?
So here I am making the paradigm shift. Back in the late 70’s I was considered a Sport Psychologist and my practice was Inner Sports. 1983 rolls around and it changes. I was a Sport Psychology Consultant doing business as Sport Psychology Consultants. Brilliant! Ha. So beginning this March I am a Mental Trainer and the practice is called The Mental Game. Website is being changed. Logo being worked on. Will it make a difference? Will this help bring about a change in the way people think about sport psychology? I hope so. I so desperately want athletes and coaches to understand that we who have studied sport psychology and utilize this science, applying it to educate athletes, coaches and others to discover something within themselves to achieve more want to be part of mainstream sports. We are no different than the other sport sciences which make up this marvelous thing we call sports. It has always been my contention that if you want the world to change, it has to start with you.
So here I am. Mike Margolies, an applied sport psychology something or other for 35 years changing the way he does business. Welcome to the Future!
A year in review 2012
I’ve not ever felt a need to do this before, to have a year in review. It is a new experience for me. I want to look back at 2012 with clarity and be able to move forward in new ways. So taking my own advice, I am going back over the successes and of course challenges of the past year. You can cut to the chase by going to the last paragraph if you like.
Starting with the Athletes and their sports
Sounders FC U23 Player DeAndre Yedlin with Mike Margolies
I worked with an amazing group of athletes this year including those in the following sports: Golf, football, gymnastics, hockey, equestrians, soccer, tennis, swimming, softball, baseball, track, diving, roller derby, basketball, triathlon, cycling, fencing, water skiing, fitness, power lifting and lacrosse.
Competitor’s ages ranged from 12 to 70+. Competitive levels were club, high school, college and professional. Seven high school athletes earned scholarships or were accepted to their first choice college as an athlete (Ivy League = no athletic scholarships). One college walk-on earned her full scholarship. Most the athletes, but not all, were starters on their respective teams. In the end all were starting most of their games. I worked with a few teams as well at the club and minor league levels. All in all it was a very good year for the clients I worked with. If I were to put it in baseball terms, I would say that we batted around .900 Read the rest of the post by choosing more…. (more…)