Tru Athlete Event
I am helping with a group here in the area called The Tru Athlete. A very cool idea. Competitors compete as a team in three sports. Soccer, Flag Football and Volleyball. It is Co-Ed. Ten players per team. Two female players on the field / court at all times. Champion is crowned by team that accumulates most points in all events. All in one day.
I am doing pre-competition talk to get everyone ready. Not really a motivational talk, because as you know I don’t do that. I help others find their motivation. But none the less I will try to inspire a few teams and be there during the day to help with their frustrations, anxiety and focus.
I am setting up in a booth. It will look something like this. I hope you know who doesn’t mind. I’d hate to have her pull the football away from me for taking her job.
Yes I am charging a nickel that’s 5 Cents. Depending on the long lines (right) consultations will be five minutes or longer. Might give them some exercises to do or play some games. I could do a concentration / focus exercise for a time and give away a prize. That could be fun. Fastest time wins a book or 1 hr consultation. Say a $1 per entry. Who says Mental training can’t be fun?
All money from consultations will be given to charity (not sure which one yet). I will also sell books and give some of the profits to the same charity. It should be a fun event. Not the usual event I work at. There isn’t always beer when I’m working. But it will be fun. Come join us at Starfire Sports July 27th, 2013. It will be a blast. It’s The Tru Athlete. They will be doing more of these events around the country. Might have to send my booth with them if Lucy doesn’t mind, that is.
Thoughts from the Darkness of Super Bowl 47
Thoughts on what mental lessons did we learn from Super Bowl 47
I would be remiss if I if I didn’t follow last weeks post with some thoughts and observations from Super Bowl 47.
With all the hype one team came out ready to play. You are a team or individual athlete and you have two weeks to prepare for the biggest game of your career and you come out flat. Was it the distractions of the week or just that the other team was better prepared mentally. On paper both teams have great defenses and good offenses. Half time score was 21-6 at half. 11 second into the 2nd half the score was 28-6.
And then the lights went out. We can insert 49ers, gambling, CBS, etc. jokes here about who pulled the plug.
Needless to say a weird thing happened on the way to a beat down by the older brother to his younger sibling. The lights went out in Georgia (er the Super Dome) causing a 35 minute delay. The Ravens had all of the momentum. They were in cruse control. And then the darkness. All of a sudden things changed. The commentary started in about how this may have saved San Francisco. Now they have time to regroup. No team has comeback from more than a 10 point deficit, but now maybe this is a sign. Certainly the coaching staff for the 49ers are telling their players that they can use this to their advantage. This will be the shift in momentum they need. After all its 3rd down and 13 for a first down, but the Ravens won’t be able to stop them now. On the other side, while the Ravens are thinking they still have this game in the bag time is not on their side. They are an older team and it takes time to physically get going after an hour of sitting around. Half time is over twice as long and a normal game. So they cooled down, got ready again and cooled again. Tough for any athlete. They too likely started to wonder if this meant things were not to be.
The brothers who are always interesting to watch were an interesting study. If you asked me who would be the most irrational about something during the game I would have said it would be 49er head coach Jim. He is not known in the media as Mr Congeniality. He made up for it later, but I’ll save that. Brother John can have his moments, but is perceived differently. During the Darkness, as I will refer to it, the camera caught John going off on the referees and NFL official over something. He looked as if he were losing it. He had been told they could not use headsets because the 49ers side were down. The Ravens send in plays from the coaches box so that would put them at a disadvantage. They were going to take an extra 15 minutes to allow the coaches to come down. I think it was also the delay and could he get his team back where he needed them mentally and physically after the lay off.
San Francisco takes control
Just like the movie script that includes a conspiracy theory on who pulled the plug, San Francisco came out of the Darkness on Que and came back and took the lead. The Ravens responded showing that they had not died and pulled ahead. In the end it came down to a goal line stance with SF having the ball in the Red Zone. They needed a touchdown as time was running out. Baltimore dug in and held them figuratively and perhaps actually. A non call on a hold / passing interference on 4th and the trophy, sent Jim into a rage. Not sure he’s stopped complaining yet. The Ravens get the ball on downs. Three runs later and there is still time on the clock. Ravens have to punt or perhaps opt for a safety to take time off the clock and give them room to prevent a blocked kick. Most everyone knew it was what they would do. The interesting thing was that the offense became like the defense. The held and tacked the defense players allowing the punter to take more time off before taking the safety. Holding /tackling the other team was penalty. The refs made no call. Now in truth the it made no difference. It was an anomaly. I remember having the same thing happen to me coaching youth football 36 years ago. I’ve seen some people say it is not within the spirit of the game. That may be but it is within the rules. Call or don’t call the penalty. Either way it was the endgame.
End of an Era
Ray Lewis is retiring. He won’t be gone as I am sure he will be on TV forever. I’m not a big RL fan. He paid (sort of for his crime) but still makes questionable life choices. He’s made some good ones as well and I have friends in the Baltimore area that talk about how much he does for the community. I think that is great. Community starts at home as well and he needs I think take care of his kids and ex girlfriends too. But Ray and Ed (a real good dude) are gone. I’m happy for Baltimore and their fans. There are some good stories, inspiring stories as well. Former All Pro O.J. Brigance being around fighting ALS.
Mental aspects of the Darkness
Mental toughness is about being resilient, about persevering and about persistence.
The biggest things to look at I think are these. Be prepared for competition, mentally, emotionally and physically. (Ravens)
Be prepared for coping when things go terribly wrong like the Darkness (49ers)
Fight back when you lose momentum. (Ravens)
Don’t lose it emotionally (both coaches)
And finally be mentally strong enough to be gracious in both victory and defeat.
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…)
The Old Man Story continues
Back at the end of August I posted a story in this space called The Old Man Story, (click on link here). I had done so because I had read about some players poor choices. I wrote that I have told this story for years, perhaps more years than I would like to admit. I used it in my book, “The Athlete within You” as well. I first heard the story from my soccer coach what has to be over 35 years ago. Usually I would make a joke here and say that I was maybe five when I heard it first, but that is just for fun. (I was 6). Anyway I have told this story to almost every athlete I have ever trained. I’ve told it to a lot of audiences and to the classes I’ve taught. I’m probably responsible for 5000+ people hearing this tale. It wasn’t my story and I doubt it was Coach Kelley’s, but I was happy to continue his tradition. This weekend I was struck by something that I didn’t see coming. My story may have come back to me.
As anyone reading my posts knows I was working with the Cheyenne Stampede all last week. Yes I did tell them the story of the old man the first day. That’s not what has struck me silent. Take a look at this picture below.
OK it’s an old tale, I get that. I have not talked to GM Mark Lantz about the banner. He put it up and he used it very movingly on my last day of training camp to inspire his team to make great choices. I’m very sure that he has heard or read of something similar over the years. But what if, just what if The Old Man Story stuck in the unconscious of a very young graduate student who took a sport psychology class at the University of Wyoming over a quarter century ago.
What if our words could move someone to use the same line to inspire young people to greatness and perhaps had its roots back then. Can we inspire generations, will these players one day challenge another group of young people after I’m gone. Pretty heady stuff. It’s likely just one of my day dreams, of course that’s what day dreams are for.
I told the players I have one main purpose. To help them with their mental game so they will have the skills to reach for their dreams. Funny how it may have started before any of them were born. Just a thought.