Learn from a Jackass (donkey that is)
Learn from a Jackass is an old motivational, (scratch that) inspirational story. It has been repeated many times. I use it occasionally to make a few points about Mental Training. I’ve no idea where I first heard it; though I know it was years ago. I realized today that it is one of those stories I’ve not used here. So indulge me and learn a lesson from a Jackass.
One day a farmer’s donkey (officially recognized as a Jackass by Webster’s) fell down into a well. The animal brayed (Heehawed) for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to rescue the jackass.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. (more…)
Postural Enlightenment- (a mental training exercise)
Postural Enlightenment is a way of focusing on how we are doing. Just a short post to remind everyone during the holiday’s to stay focused on what is important in their lives. Team, family, friends can not be forgotten. Your goals are important, but remember to take time for others. This time of year for some brings on a malaise or sadness. I try never to use the word depression as this is a clinical term and as you know I do not work with clinical issues. But from time to time sadness comes into the lives of most of us and we must learn to deal. So especially this time of year, I would like you to look around and pay attention not only to others, but to yourself. Get in touch with your feelings and sort things out. Self awareness is critical to becoming the athlete and person you would like to be. In this light I want you to become aware of one simple thing. It is simple and can change your perspective very quickly.
Let us have good head and shoulders—the basic elegant posture of enlightenment and peace. This is a statement I have seen for many years. I may have heard it stated this way from an associate who was also a yoga instructor. Yoga which focuses so acutely on form can send us an important message.
I can’t tell you how many times I remind athletes that our state of mind can dependent on our posture. The athlete knows the importance of posture, of proper breath, of being relaxed. Of course, you can tell when someone is sad, they slump. Problem is- it’s self-fulfilling. It’s hard to cheer up, mentally, when, physically, you’re slumped. Also notice a person’s or your own shoulders. Are you or they wearing shoulders for earrings? (more…)
I want to wish everyone Happy Holiday’s!
Happy Holiday’s from The Mental Game. It has been an interesting year for most of us. The economy has not yet turned around and there are challenges yet to be faced around the world in terms of freedom, peace, health and social acceptance. As with most things, we make a few steps forward and take a step back. This was a good year in many ways and friends are celebrating new adventures. I am glad you are out there.
This year has been great for little things in life like my book, “The Athlete within You- a mental approach to sports and business” While not yet on the New York Times Best Sellers list, it has been selling and more important for me, I get compliments from those that read it. Just a week or so ago I got a message from a Major League Soccer player who was reading it and took the time to write to me how much he was enjoying it. I’ve had tons of parents tell me the same thing and that now they understand what their kids are going through. It is all very gratifying.
Clients. My clients are amazing people and teams. They have had one of the best years ever both on the playing field and off. They are learning mental skills and becoming mentally tough. High School athletes getting scholarships and the same for a couple of walk on college players. Some college players getting the chance to play at the next level. One of the things I am most happy about is how well athletes are using the mental skills training in all parts of their life. Grades are improving as well as their achievements in other areas of their lives. I got a huge compliment just today from the husband of a client as he jumped on to our SKYPE call to tell me how much he appreciated what his wife was learning and how it was translating to other areas of their lives. He’s going to be introducing me to businesses because of what he has seen. I’m looking forward to it!
Speaking of Businesses. I’ve had a great time doing team building with company’s this year and it is cool to see how well they adopt the things we teach in sports to their own teams.
Speaking of Speaking. This has been an area where I have had a lot of fun doing both paid gigs and working with service organizations gratis. In January I will be giving appreciation seminars for a major financial institution and a major Mutual Fund. This is an area I’ve focused on and it is starting to move forward.
Wishing everyone Happy Holiday’s from my family to yours. Just wanted you to know I am grateful for all of you out there that read this blog. Please feel free to comment back or you can reach me through The Mental Game to say hello. If you would like to give a book to a friend or family member I am posting shortly a way to give a gift and for a portion of your purchase to go to children. The link will be here . Working on the details now.
Five Frogs Sitting on a Log
There is an old saw ab out five frogs sitting on a log. OK so this has been around a while, but I like to use it with the athletes and business people I work with. Riddle me this: Five frogs sitting on a log. Two decide to jump in the pond. How many frogs remain on the log?
Did you say three…. or more?
Most people answer three. Most people look at me like I’m stupid as well, but that is another story. The answer is we really don’t know. We don’t know because deciding to do something and doing something are two distinct and different entities. It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or you are in business, action is the determining factor. Sitting on a log and thinking about or even deciding to jump in, only means you are sitting on a log. Only when we actually jump in are we going anywhere. So the answer could be three or zero, after all after one jumps in, all the others might just decide to follow.
I’ve used this for years with my athletes and it never fails to help them understand how important action is to their success.
Back when Star Wars was huge (like today as it never seems to go away), I would often quote Master Yoda, “Do or Do Not! There is no Try! Yoda is a great Sport Psychology Consultant helping athletes from many generations to perform at the highest levels.
While Master Yoda is very wise indeed, I have come to believe that these five frogs can be very good teachers as well, and they sort of remind me of something. Maybe it’s that they are all green.
And if you got the riddle wrong, at least you likely have good math skills.
Even Sport Psychology Consultants prepare
So how do sport psychology consultants prepare to go work with a team? I thought it might be instructive to talk about preparing to work with a hockey team from my perspective. I think this is important to understand because there are no cookie cutter programs. Just as one of the very principles I work with athletes is flexibility, I believe that has to be the case with any program put together for a team of any kind. I’ve worked with lots of teams and I assure you it is always different.
My bags are packed and I’m ready to go!
First step is learning about the team. People who believe that sport psychology consultants, sports performance experts, sports hypnotists or any other name you can make up do not have to understand the game are crazy. Yes this is the technical term more of less banned in psychotherapy, but it is easy enough for everyone to understand. The first rule of counseling /coaching in any field begins or ends with rapport. If I’m a poser I will turn off the very people I am trying to help. Does this mean I have to be able to skate or for that matter Pole Vault, of course not. But I should be able to intelligently discuss not only athletic behavior expected but have a pretty good understanding of what it takes for an athlete to compete in their sport. The more I understand the language of a given sport, the better I will relate to a team. I once knew a sport psychologist that was making a presentation to a football team and talked about scoring more runs. I think you understand where I’m going. So it is important to have a good understanding of the activity. I certainly believe over the years being a coach and doing work in exercise physiology has been a huge help. Having been trained to teach 20 plus activities also doesn’t hurt. But I digress. (more…)
10 Career Lessons We Can Learn from the Olympics- Guest Blog
I had decided to do something very much like this relative to the Olympics, perhaps more directed at business, when I got a response to the book review in the Issaquah Press. This blog site has been followed by OnlineCollege.org for the last few years. They asked if I would like to post a recent staff post they had written about what career lesson from the London 2012 Olympic Games. Most of the attributes discussed sport psychology focuses on with the athletes we work with, so I think it is appropriate. So here it is in it’s entirety.
10 Career Lessons We Can Learn from the Olympics – Guest Blog
Most of us have watched the Olympics simply in awe of the amazing skill, dedication, and focus exhibited by athletes from all over the world. Yet these traits do not only serve the athletes well in the arena; they can also be carried over into the non-Olympic sphere. The drive to aim for gold, the passion to battle through setbacks, and the infallible work ethic of these athletes can serve as a powerful lesson for those of use who aren’t quite Olympics material, too, and are traits that are just as valuable in the office as they are in athletics. Here are 10 excellent career lessons that employees, managers, and business owners alike can take away from the Olympics. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to work just as hard for the career of your dreams as the Olympic athletes work for theirs.
- NEVER STOP IMPROVING.
For Olympic athletes, stagnating when it comes to skills can mean the difference between getting gold and going home with nothing. They must constantly push themselves to be faster, stronger, and better than they’ve ever been, even sometimes blowing past the limits of what others said was humanly possible. This same kind of attitude and drive can go just as far in the office as it can in the arena. Pushing yourself to learn, to improve, and to excel at your job will not only make you better at what you do, it will more than likely gain the attention of management. Push hard enough, and you might just gain the skills and confidence to deliver a gold medal performance in your own profession.
- BE A TEAM PLAYER.
There are dozens of stories of amazing teamwork in the Olympics, from the dynamic duo of Missy May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings to the impressive relay teams in men’s and women’s swimming. You don’t have to be an athlete to have that kind of commitment and loyalty to your team, however. The same kind of team dynamics apply in the office, too. You can do your career a big favor by learning how to be a solid and reliable team player and be willing to cheer on the team and help them work toward the end goal, even if your own ideas get sidelined. When it comes to work, a victory for the company is a victory for everyone involved (offering greater job stability and maybe even a bonus) so there’s no reason not to go all in with supporting your coworkers and earning their respect and support in return.
8 more great things learned from the London 2012 Olympic Games