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ELITE Golfers Get into the ZONE …

and Stay There.
YOU can too !

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Your “Secret to Success”

Be at your
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Neuroscience Meets Sports©

Keep your head in the game, even if …
You’re ticked off and frustrated!

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Do’s and Don’ts for Motivating Athletes – Using Primal Needs

We all have needs, primal needs. and two of our greatest needs are to be appreciated and recognized. Knowing this is a crucial element in coaching.

Recently I met a highly talented golf coach, let’s call him Tom, out on the course where his team was practicing. Some of the guys were on the driving range, others where chipping and most of the team was on the putting green. As Tom and I finished our conversation he noticed three of those putters were sitting down. They had gotten bored with practice.

Coach Tom was not happy. His first reaction was to walk over and tell the players to get back to practice and quit messing around. This is the obvious and normal response most coaches would make.

Why this is not the best choice
By paying attention to the players who are not performing, they receive recognition. It may be negative recognition, yet it’s still recognition, while the players who are practicing are left out of your line of attention. It is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.

A better option
Knowing that the primal human needs are to be appreciated and recognized, you can use this knowledge to your advantage and the benefit of the team as a whole. Walk over to the green and turn your back to the players sitting down. By doing so you’re completely ignoring them, shutting them out and telling them by your body language that they are being left out of your scope of recognition. What they’re doing doesn’t matter.

Then pay close attention to those who are practicing diligently. Praise them. Show them your appreciation. Give them recognition! Be very specific about what you say. Teach the entire team what you are looking for and how they can gain your attention by the words you carefully choose. What these players are doing matters. Talk loud enough to ensure the players sitting down can hear your exact words. Say things like, “Great job guys. Glad to see you’re taking practice serious. Joe, I saw that four footer. Way to focus!” You get the idea.

By praising and recognizing the players who are ‘doing it right,” you put your focus and energy where it really belongs. You have given the gift of your attention and recognition to those who actually deserve it.

Stay alert. When the ‘slackers’ start getting up and joining the group practicing watch for reasons to praise them. You are clearly sending the message of what is and is not acceptable. As a coach you have now taught both groups what it takes to be successful in your eyes.

Our human needs are always searching for ways to be met. As a coach, it pays in the win/loss record to understand how to meet your players’ needs and motivate them at the same time. Think about how and where else you can use this new knowledge. You’ll be amazed.

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If You Want to WIN . . . You Need to Play By The Rules

When playing any sport . . . it’s imperative to know the rules of the game. An elite player will study the rules and know how to use them for his advantage. If you don’t . . . you are going to get penalized. You lose yardage, get thrown in the penalty box or you are charged with an error. You could cost your team the win!

No matter what – you WILL pay the price of not knowing the rules or playing by the rules. The consequences are yours to live with.

The same is true when it comes to knowing your Rules of Your Mind. If you want to win in sports and in the game of life . . . you need to understand the rules that your mind plays by. Then use that these rules to excel your performance.

Those who don’t play by the rules of their mind – LOSE!

They lose their temper. They lose their focus. They lose the ability to perform consistently. And ultimately they lose their self-respect.

Rule #1: Your Mind Is Like a 5-Year Old

4 Rules You MUST Know to Perform at Your Ultimate Best

  1. Easily distracted by shiny objects
    • When left unattended your mind will wander and wonder about anything that draws its attention. And in nano-seconds its on to the next shiny object
  2. Will pout, retreat or rebel when yelled at
    • Think about it – when you yell at yourself – your mind either shuts down, can’t think straight or will lash out in a tirade to prove its point
  3. Craves attention
    • Simply begin to ‘notice’ or become aware of what you are thinking
    • Don’t make it good or bad . . . it’s just a signal
    • Determine if it’s a thought you want to continue and if so, expand your thinking
    • Or if it’s a thought that is damaging, keeping you from moving forward or reaching your immediate or long term goal. Change it!
      • Redirect it
      • Make another thought more important and more powerful
    • Thoughts are energy! Nothing more. Not good or bad. They are simply signals that something is up.
  4. Loves being praised
    • When we praise ourselves for doing even the smallest things right, our mind “lights up” (just like a 5-year old does) and remembers how to create even more success.

Think about the “Rules” next time . . .

BEFORE you start to ‘bully yourself’ into a poor performance!

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Up YOURS! Playbook

2014 has been fun – if you like screaming at the top of your lungs, knots in the pit of your stomach and wishing you could just throw-up so you could get over that queasy nauseous feeling of stress and frustration.  Have you ever felt that way? Does your life get tense and overwhelming at times? I choose to get off this roller coaster NOW! iStock_000026101498LargeSo what’s going to make the difference? What I know for sure is that the only thing you truly have any control over is YOU. Being a reasonable and rational thinker I have deduced that I need to up my game once again, if I’m going to have another year that is powerful, prosperous and full of opportunities … that I act on. So here goes.

This is no time for playing small, shrinking back or making excuses. It’s time to leverage your strengths and compound the results you achieve in business and in life. Just like interest compounds on investments (remember the good ole’ days)?

 So here’s the “Up YOURS Playbook!”

Make daily upgrades to the way you run your business and your life.

  1. Call yourself on your on BS. Pay real close attention to any self-defeating thoughts, feelings and false beliefs that are affecting your actions and causing less than successful results.
  2. Change them immediate What a concept! The big question most people miss is, “Change them into WHAT?” It’s up to you to know what thoughts, feeling and beliefs drive your successful actions and behaviors! THAT’s what you change into.
  3. Now, here’s the compounding part.Start a list, I did mine this morning and it’s hanging on my refrigerator, of areas of your business and life where you have been thinking, feeling or behaving average – and getting average results.
  4. Every day pick one area to focus on and upgradeyour thoughts, feelings and beliefs about that one area.
  5. Take Action with a new level of confidence and courage. Step out of your comfort zone and push your own boundaries; or simply change your routine and break the pattern of doing the same old thing – in the same old way.
  6. Notice your results. This is evidence that you can do more and be more – when you Up Yours!
  7. Appreciate your success. Appreciation and gratitude will lock-in the feeling of success and create the desire to do it again the next day.

 IMPORTANT: Just like that investment, when you leave your investment IN … it compounds and then compounds again into greater and greater success.

Why wait until January 1, 2016 to make a change. NOW is the only time that really matters.  Be YOU … no excuses or apologies! 

This is your Playbook … stick to it! 

I’ve Upped My Game!     What are you going to do to “Up Yours?”

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Positive Thinking – A Useless Waste of Time

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Since you were a little kid you have probably been taught that positive thinking is the key to success. Right?    It’s NOT!

Think of it this way. Remember the last time you were in a high-pressure situation. A time when you felt ticked-off, frustrated and upset. Your mind was scrambling trying to find a clear thought. Your heart was pumping out of your chest. Your nerves were eating you up from the inside out.

You can say things like, “I’m a great player. Everything will be fine. I can do this!” but it has little to no value when you’ve under pressure.

Positive Thinking – Don’t Waste Your Time

“Who believes in positive thinking?”

All hands went up.

“Who uses positive thinking on a daily basis?”

Again, all hands in the room went up.

“I don’t believe in positive thinking. It’s useless and a waste of time.” I firmly stated from the front of the room.

As I looked around the room, some of the players glared at me. Some leaned forward in their seats and actually looked angry. Others sat back in their chairs and crossed their arms. They didn’t like me challenging their way of doing things.

But I wasn’t there to get them to like me. My role was to coach them, teach them and challenge them to do more and be more. Fluff and philosophy is not my style.

Setting the scene: The workshop was comprised of elite college football players who were about to show off their talents in front of NFL scouts and coaches. Each player’s goal – make it into the league. They knew that there would be no room for error. Blowing this upcoming opportunity could end a life-long dream. Performing average was unacceptable.

Develop Your EDGE

No matter how incredible their skill and talent, these seasoned players knew that when the pressure was on … one missed tackle, dropped ball or forgotten play could end it all. And, open up the gate for self-doubt, hesitation, lost confidence and inconsistency.

Prove It

It was time for me to prove that I actually knew what I was talking about. Standing at the front of the room I asked for a volunteer. Someone who was willing to be coached live and in front of the group.

Then I asked the player to share a positive statement. A statement that he would normally use to pump himself up during a game. Without hesitation he stated, “I am feakin’ amazing. I own my position and I dominate my competition!” The statement flowed naturally out of his mouth and I could tell he used it often.

“Great, that’s a clear and positive statement. But do you believe it?” Now I had the attention of every player and coach in the room.

As I walked toward the player, I challenged him again. “Do you believe that’s true?” Keep in mind that the player, I’ll call him Jim, towered above me and could have easily flattened me with little effort. Instead, he visibly began to shrink in his chair. His body language completely changed.

Jim went from leaning across the table that was in front of him to leaning way back in his chair. His eyes went down and so did his tone of voice. I stopped directly in front of him and then directed him. What happened next was extraordinary and powerful.

“Repeat your statement again, out loud please. But this time state it like you actually believe it.” Jim raised his head up and looked me square in the eyes as he repeated his statement. His voice was a bit louder and more importantly it was stronger. Jim began to straighten up in his seat. There was greater conviction in his delivery.

Give Up or Rise Up

Then it was time to push. I could tell Jim was up to the challenge. He would either give up or rise up to the situation. Jim was a true competitor and interested in gaining the edge over his competition.

So I began to push his buttons. With a sarcastic tone in my voice I turned my back to Jim and began to walk back to the front of the room while saying, “I don’t believe you! You’re really not all that great are you? You don’t seem like you’re that amazing to me!”

At the front of the room, I turned and faced Jim again. “Say it again and convince me.”

Game On! Jim straighten up in his chair, leaned across the table, looked me squarely in the eye and stated, “I am feakin’ amazing! I own my position! I dominate my competition!”

“Better. Now say it like YOU believe it.” A light came on in Jim’s eyes as he said it again.
All of a sudden his entire body rose up even taller, his voice went deeper, his eyes were full of power and he clenched both fists. When he made his statement this time, I literally felt chills run through my body. He had done it! The entire room knew it and felt it. The energy of everyone in the room changed. Most important, Jim felt it and believed it!

Jim wasn’t yelling, as if he were attempting to convince me or anyone else in the room. His tone of voice was now strong, steady, and full of conviction. He felt every single word he said. They were no longer just words. This was what he fully believed about him self!

“Now, run that feeling through your entire body, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Experience what being fully in your power really feels like.” I directed.

As I looked around at the room, all eyes were locked on Jim. Some of the guys had gotten up out of their seats to watch. Others sat riveted on experience the results. All of a sudden – applause broke loose.

Jim looked straight at me and a big smile came over his face. “Wow, that was powerful! Thank you!” I nodded in acknowledgement and quietly said, “YOU did that!”

Get The Difference?

“THAT was a positive statement that was believed in. Do you get the difference? Positive thinking is just that, it’s thinking. Thinking is way overrated. It’s just a lot of well-chosen words that will fall apart under pressure. The power to believe in yourself and the power to perform at a high level comes from and through your emotions.

Jim could have stated how great he was all day long, but if he didn’t believe it at an emotional level the words would have remained useless under pressure. His skill and talent would fall apart under pressure at the most critical moment when he needed them the most.

When you experience emotion, along with a positive statement, you charge it up. You light yourself up at the same time! Belief is the key. Belief isn’t a bunch of words. Belief is a deep down emotional experience.

Positive thinking is a crutch that will break under pressure.

Positive thinking that is deeply believed in is the key to success.

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I’m Sick And Tired of All the Bullying In Sports

You’re an idiot. I can’t believe you screwed up again. Are you ever going to get it right? When are you going to get your head out of your @!&*# and back in the game? You’ve screwed up too many times. How embarrassing! You’ll be lucky to keep your job.

The bullying has got to stop! We get upset and downright angry when we hear this type of belittling going. And rightfully so.

But what happens when the person doing the ranting is YOU? And, you are the person getting the brunt of it is also YOU?

Sadly it happens all the time. Sometimes after a missed play, during a slump, after a loss or when you are sitting on the injured list. You might be asking, “What’s the big deal? I’m just releasing steam. Everybody has negative trash talk in their heads, don’t they?”

Here Are The Facts:

* Yes, everyone has these negative voices chattering away, especially when you are under pressure. Your brain is set up for survival. That’s its number one job. So if you are about to take a risk, do something daring or you just feel pressured – these thoughts automatically kick in to keep you stifled, stagnant, safe. Or so they think.

* Left unmanaged, these thoughts will take you down. They come from a part of your brain that overrides all other parts. And they will show up at your most important moments, when you feel pressured. Negative thoughts can swiftly wipe out your skills, talents, intelligence and your career. They don’t play favorites. They don’t care if it’s the ‘big’ game or your contract year. Never mind if the scouts are in the stands and this is your big chance. Everyone is fair game.

* You can’t ‘will’ them away. It might work for a time or two. You try to push the thoughts down or ignore them. But guess what? They will be right back when you least expect them or want them to show up. And this is even more frustrating and distracting then ever – right?

The Good News:

* You can manage these thoughts, negative voices, in the moment.
First, identify what sets you off. Your stressors. You know what they are. They’re the people, places, events or things that upset you routinely.
* Then strategically preplan how to quickly and easily wipe them out … even under extreme pressure. You focus on what’s important and block out all the rest.
* It takes a willingness to change. To know that the upside is you and your head stay in the game moment to moment. One error doesn’t not get magnified and become more errors. You remain in charge of your thoughts, even under extreme pressure, because you have predetermined your response.

Bottom Line:

If you wouldn’t say it to family or friends, what makes you think it’s OK to say this type of negative stuff to yourself? If your goal is to take you, your performance and your career down the toilet, then continue doing what you’re doing. If your goal is to perform consistently at the highest level . . . strategically build your predetermined plan and have the confidence that comes from knowing who’s in control – YOU are the ultimate decision maker!

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