The Athlete Mindset

mindset Jul 12, 2019

Coachability is about your interactions with other people and taking feedback in a way that you can change the way you look, the way you talk, and the way you act. Coachability is not just physical on the court. Coachability is actually way more than that. It’s about the way you live your life. First and foremost, however, it’s about mindset.

The first step to being coachable is self-awareness. One thing that's really important to understand is that mindset is the most critical part of being an athlete, because the way that you set your mind is the way that you move your body. One of the initial steps that you can take in setting a mindset is going straight to the facts. In other words, you need to have a very black-and-white statement about what is not going well. Once you have this factual statement, you can begin to reframe your thoughts.

As an athlete, you need to ground yourself and decide what kind of athlete you are.

Importantly, you need to get very concrete...

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Let Your Light Shine Bright

Uncategorized Jun 04, 2019

From a young age, many people are told that they will not amount to anything. In school, some children are given the “advice” that they not attempt to pursue anything great, because they are simply destined to fail. These students, whose academic or athletic careers might already have been difficult, are thus given yet another obstacle to succeed: the negative opinions of others. If we can learn not to internalize these thoughts and opinions, however, then we have another option: to let our light shine bright at all costs.

In the Harry Potter novel and film series, the wise old wizard Albus Dumbledore says, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Whether it’s happiness or success or something else, these lights can only be turned on from within. This is exactly what we must do when faced with the negative opinions of others.

When people make snide comments or ridicule us, in truth we have only...

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Get Back Up and Running

Uncategorized Jun 04, 2019

We all face obstacles in our lives. Hurdles can pop up when we least expect them. In this long race of life, we have goals and dreams, but what happens when we run headlong into one of those obstacles? How do we respond when we fall flat on our face? There is only one answer to this question for those that don’t let anything stop them, like Heather Doriden: get back up and keep running.

When Heather Dorniden entered the 600-meter run at the Big 10 Indoor Track Championships in 2008, she was the favorite to win the heat. About halfway through the race, however, Heather tripped and fell (literally) flat on her own face. The other three runners sped on, anxious to take advantage of this particular twist of fate. The real question, of course, is what did Heather do?

As the other three girls sprinted on around the track, Heather pushed herself back up onto her feet and continued the race. But that’s not all. Heather did not simply get back and finish the race. That alone...

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Who Are You?

Uncategorized May 29, 2019

She’s known far and wide for her television show, her acting, and her advice. Oprah Winfrey has made a name for herself trading in inspiration, and with good reason: she’s incredibly successful and very good at instilling passion in others. In a speech from 2018, Oprah calls on her audience to answer one question that will sharpen and improve the rest of their lives with great clarity: Who are you?

She says that the answer to that question entails a vision of who we are as people and what we want from our lives. This does not necessarily mean knowing what kind of grades we want to get or trophies we want to win, or even what job we want to do. The answer that Oprah seeks is deeper than this; it cuts to the core of who we are as individuals.

As the late poet Mary Oliver once said, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” In order to find the answer to this question, we have to look at ourselves deeply and fully. The result of...

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What Is Emotional Intelligence and Does It Matter To Your Athlete?

Uncategorized May 28, 2019

Emotional intelligence can take on a number of different meanings. In general, it is the way in which we conduct ourselves and manage our emotions. This is not something we often give much conscious thought to, though it plays a very important role in our everyday lives. Nearly every conversation, transaction, or interaction includes some amount of emotional intelligence. At the very least, we must be aware of our own emotional state and pick up on the emotional state of the people we deal with. This matters to your students and athletes especially, as they continue to grow and mature. What Is Emotional Intelligence? Naturally, emotional intelligence is not just one thing, but a combination of four abilities. The first key ability to emotional intelligence is being aware of yourself and using this awareness to help you make good decisions. This might involve knowing the difference between right and wrong or simply recognizing which decision will best benefit your own personal life....

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What is your Why?

Uncategorized May 28, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, it is not what you do that matters most or even how you do it. The most important part of what you do is why you choose to do it. Consider your young athletes. To excel at something, it is far more important that there be a strong and personal reason for them to do it than that they simply know what the action is and its mechanics. Swinging a bat is about more than force and torque: it’s about hitting home runs. This rather magic reversal of our understanding happens simply by asking one question and applying it to everything that we do: What is your Why?

What Is Your Why?
Think for a moment about what you do. You might have thoughts of your life as a mother or father, a businessperson, etc. Now, once you’ve got that image in mind, consider how you perform that role. As a mother or father, you take care of your children and feed them and get to school or practice on time. As a professional, you might work on a computer or with coworkers.

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