In this short video, I discuss a quote by author and performance coach Tim Grover about abilities, skills, and how best to use them. I also discuss what does and does not make athletes and coaches successful.
In this short video, I discuss Tim Grover's comments about taking advantage of success and pushing forward rather than resting when an athlete reaches the top.
My wife and I have really enjoyed hosting professional racquetball athlete Marie Renee Rodriguez for the past 10 days. We spent a considerable amount of time working on developing a training program, practicing weight lifting, spending time on the court, discussing strategy, practicing emotional control, and analyzing her game. It was a busy period but we both gained much from the experience. Be sure to click on her name and keep up to date with her career progress!
In this short video, I discuss a few quotes from Tim Grover's book Relentless, in which he talks about the difference between saying you'll give 100% and doing it. I also discuss the challenge of staying at the top once there.
"No matter how many years I'm in this business, I still shake my head at pro athletes who can't make the decision to commit themselves to excellence. This is your body, your livelihood, you only get a few years to ride this wave. Are you going to ride it or lie on the beach whining that the water's too cold?" Grover (2014, p. 153-154)
One could argue that this could be applied to any of us in the sports fields: coaches, managers, athletic trainers, officials, ADs, owners... the list goes on. I took the plunge in 2017. The water's cold, but it tells me I'm alive.
Yeah, of course I want to be a great coach/athlete! Wait, I have to study? And work? And... homework?!?!
Wait, so it might take longer than a few sessions before I see improvement?
“It would have been useful if someone had told me (about mental skills) seven or eight years before, at the start of my career… It takes a considerable period of time to develop natural sporting mental skills.”
Sir Steve Redgrave, 5 rowing gold medals achieved at 5 consecutive Olympics (from In a Golden Age – The Autobiography; photo Getty Images).
What is Mental Toughness? Jones and colleagues said THIS is what makes a mentally tough athlete:
1. having self-belief in one’s ability to achieve goals;
2. being able to recover from set backs and having an extra determination to succeed;
3. having a high amount of self belief that one has better abilities and more qualities than their opponents;
4. having a high amount of motivation and desire to succeed;
5. being fully-focused on the task even when there are distractions;
6. having the ability to regain psychological control following uncontrollable events;
7. having the ability to overcome emotional and physical pain;
8. being able to accept and cope with the anxiety experienced in competition;
9. thriving on pressure;
10. having the ability to not be affected by good or bad performances;
11. having the ability to remain fully focused even in the face of distraction;
12. the ability to switch the focus on your sport on and off.
Of course, this is all easy on paper. It takes training to be able to do it. That's my job!
Jones, G., & Hanton, S., & Connaughton, D. (2002). What Is This Thing Called Mental Toughness? An Investigation of Elite Sport Performers. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology .. 14. 205-218. 10.1080/10413200290103509.
A quote from a chapter I'm reading by Richard Dean about sports psychology in rugby which is worth sharing. Thanks Richard!
"More than one player has expressed to me how hard it is to leave a stadium having performance poorly, knowing that the errors/s they made are now being relentlessly replayed, montaged and analyzed on 24/7 sports new channels. Being forced to live in the shadow of your own performances can be a cold and lonely place...
Who will help you; out on the field, exposed to the eyes of the world? When it's you and your opponent, when you know that if you lose, you will probably be criticized for it. Who will help you?"
Well, I could of course. Just a suggestion.
A couple of days ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Rafael Filippini, the owner of Gearbox Racquetball. He has some great advice for athletes in niche sports trying to become successful on and off the court.
We discussed the sport of racquetball, the importance of professionalism in sports, and what athletes can do to boost their visibility. I hope you take the time to listen, learn, and apply.
Closed Captioning is available and sharing is encouraged!
Recently, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Tharon Austen Drake, a medal winning U.S. Paralympics athlete. I wanted to share something Tharon said about qualifying for the Paralympics, which I wrote down at the time and has stuck with me since.
"I missed the Olympics by one spot: I got a hat, a bag, and a drug test. It wasn't that fun."
Clearly, that unfortunate experience of just missing out has stuck with Tharon, and he has made significant performance strides since (see photo). He has set challenging goals for the future and that experience has changed him.
If you're an athlete, make every effort NOW to achieve your potential. Learn from Tharon's experience. Thanks to Paula Costa for the photo.
I interview World Racquetball Tour Professional Jaime Martell (Mexico) about life on the tour, how he trains, and what his plans are for the future.
Sometimes you can find useful tidbits within a sports report. Check out these comments from the report about Au, who had never beaten her opponent before.
“I feel really, really happy right now,” said Au. “To beat Nicol – in my first ever win on the glass court at this event – is a massive result and makes all the hard work over the summer feel worth it."
“At 2-0 I started to think about the win and I began to rush and make some mistakes which gave her confidence. She can come back from any scoreline so I had to get back to my game plan and play patient squash in the fifth."
“I had to come out in the fifth and imagine it was the start of the match again. I forgot about the score and just tried to play each point."
What tidbits are here? 1. Training pays off. 2. Don't think about the win before you've won. 3. Your opponent can give you confidence. 4. Have a game plan and stick to it. 5. Play each point as it comes.
I interview OSU team doctor Tom Allen about his experiences treating athletes. I also discuss his athletic career as a Masters sprinter and how others can ensure they remain competitive throughout the lifespan.
I interview World Natural Bodybuilding Federation World Champion Dr. Brian Whitacre about many topics including what makes a champion, training, nutrition, visualization, the psychology of posing, and juggling life, work, and sports.
I spend a couple of minutes discussing the excuses given by athletes and coaches to justify NOT getting sports performance help. Here I equate it to why we don't want to go to the doctor.
I had the pleasure of interviewing 5-time racquetball world champion Rocky Carson about a variety of topics including training and competing on the International Racquetball Tour. The picture is from when we first met back at the International Racquetball Federation - IRF World Championships in 2010, where this picture was taken.
I've been to the Senior World Championships four times (2011; 2015; 2016; 2017), and although each year is a great occasion, something special happened to me this year.
Only a few days ago I found myself in the middle of a very tense battle for a world championship title. As my doubles partner Allan Hernandez began his serve, time paused for just an instant, and a thought hit me.
Here I was with Allan, defending our 2016 title, but competing against the only other men's doubles partners I've had at world seniors. In 2011, Raaj Mohan and I won, and Alok Mehta and I won in 2015. I was literally on the court with the three people who I'd won gold medals with!
That moment, competing against but also with my friends, will stay with me forever. I love competing, and I love teaching and coaching sports for moments like these. I hope it gives you the same joy that it gives me!
Want to get faster? Stop thinking about it! I explain how your brain can interfere with your ability to execute movements quickly.
Don't just hear it from me.
"You look at some of the top athletes, they've gone beyond controlling every single lifestyle factor - sleep, what passes their lips and goes into their bellies. Some of them are talking to sport psychologists just trying to get that one extra edge to visualize performance in order to maximize their abilities on the competition floor." Fittest on Earth: A Decade of Fitness.
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