What lessons can and should we learn from the two-week build up for the Super Bowl?
I can think of a few Super Bowl lessons and I’m sure others can add some things too. This of course comes up each year at the Super Bowl and for the most part it is the same each year. There are I think some important lessons and choices we can all understand.
Super Bowl Lessons from the build up
- With lots of time on their hands at least one person is going to brag about themselves. This years biggest bragger is Randy Moss.
- Now if you have read some of my posts I encourage athletes to brag in my office. Sometimes it is important to say good things about yourself. We do not however do it in front of millions to draw attention to self. Randy Moss is a great receiver. One of the best. No need to say he is better than Jerry Rice other than to hear his own voice. (more…)
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…)
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…)
The Mental Game: Coin Flip to increase self-awareness
Here is a new exercise called Coin Flip. I borrowed this from a friend. I am very sure it was not really intended to be a psychological teaching exercise, but more a metaphor perhaps. Just the same I can see many ways of using this to help people understand their own minds a little better. This will be short and as I develop this a little more I will likely add to this discussion. Use this regardless of your sport. You could be a golfer, football player or track star. You might play hockey or ride horses. This exercise can open your eyes.
So here is how it goes The Mental Game Coin Flip
Some people will tell you that this is about letting fate determine your future. They believe if I am asking them to flip a coin to make a decision that I am saying leave it to luck or some random result. That is not what I am saying at all. I am pointing out that when the coin is in mid flip you will become aware of what you really want. People believe that their gut instincts are right most of the time.
Indecision comes not so much from not knowing what you want but from a lack of awareness to what you want. When you flip that coin in the air, there becomes a moment of truth where it is hard to sit on the fence. You will become aware of what you really want the outcome to be. Self-awareness is a key component of Emotional Intelligence. This becomes a way of not only making a clear decision but becoming more self-aware.
Unfortunately when people actually flip a coin to make real decisions they very often go with fate. I think when you do this properly; you really determine your own fate. Because heads or tails whatever you decide in the moment when the coin is in the air, is what you should go with not what the result happens to be.
Let’s play with it. Pick something you need to make a decision about. You say you are torn and can’t do it. Flip a coin high in the air. Are you neutral to the outcome? If it is important to you, then I would think not. You will have a thought like Heads or Tails. Not wishing necessarily, just projecting. So there is your answer. You don’t even need to see the result. In fact I would say don’t even look. You know in your gut what you want to do. If you were to do this over the course of a short period of time and ask yourself what are some of the reasons for my ultimate choices you begin to increase your own awareness.
So here is something I would love people to respond to. Give a sports example that this could apply to. Maybe should you go for a run today or something more important like changing coaches?
Come up with a great example, post it here and I’ll send you a copy of
The Athlete within You.
Give this a turn or rather a flip the next time you think you don’t know your own mind.
Control Anger: Keep your cool
In sport we often need to control anger. It is a natural emotion experienced by almost all people, and as something that has functional value for survival. Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action. Uncontrolled anger can, however, negatively affect personal or social well-being.
Athletes know when they not focused, not working hard or just plain not bringing it. An opponent likely is getting in their head, or your coach is yelling at you; it can cause frustration that can affect one’s performance causing angry outbursts.
If you are competitive and that winning seems to be everything when on the ice; as most athletes do, and that when the heat of the game is on they may let things go right away. Then in this precarious emotional state something happens in the game. Maybe there is a little extra contact. Maybe someone takes a cheap shot at one of your team mates. So what can you do? Push the player back? Fight? Yell at your coach? Yell at your teammates? Take yourself out of the game? Get thrown out of the game? Whichever one you decide to do, it is probably not the best way to handle the situation, and at the end of the day, is it really helping you? Or is it actually hurting you and your team? Most likely it will be the latter. However, the way you react can make or break the game you are in. A negative reaction can lead to a lack of coordination between you and the other players on your team throwing the entire team off-balance. A positive reaction, however, can inspire you and your team creating an unspoken commitment and drive from each player to put everything they have into the game, creating unity throughout the entire team. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that an aggressive act to protect your team mates or yourself in inappropriate. I could hardly work with hockey players if I believed that o be the case. I am suggesting however that whatever you do is based on cool calculation and not anger. (more…)
Journal of a Sport Psychology Consultant
This is a journal of a sport psychology consultant. A week with the Cheyenne Stampede working with them on the mental game. Pre season Mental training with them. I thought I would take a brief moment to talk about the process. It is a process I have used many times, but it is always different in the sense that flexibility is critical. I had worked out a rough schedule with the GM prior to my flying in. He and the head coach had worked it into a posted schedule on the website so the players were aware of what we were going to be doing. I flew into Denver and drove up to Cheyenne where I met the GM at the Holiday Inn (a team sponsor).
Working with the Cheyenne Stampede, Jr A Hockey Team
Our first session was at 5PM, but our first stop was practice. I met briefly with Coach Quarters as the players hit the ice. Right after practice we headed to Smart Sports which is where they do strength and conditioning. It’s a great facility with its own medical facility. I met the facility owner and head physician Dr. Skip Ross and the personal trainers and physical therapist. There were a few players getting PT while Ro the personal trainer was killing it with the team doing core and strength work.
Headed to the Arena for my first session with the team
Ceremonial Puck Drop prior to Stampede vs Weber State
Talked a little more with Coach Quarters about my plan and then met the team officially. I was introduced to the team by GM and owner Mark Lantz. GM & coach sat in on introductory session. This is important to establish that what we are doing is important to the team’s success. I’ve often been asked to work with teams and the team coaches and front office more or less go play golf. This hurts the programs credibility as players see it as there is no buy in from staff. (more…)