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What I learned from the Olympics?

The 2014 Winter Olympics have wrapped up and many people are already looking forward to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.  It makes no difference whether we are watching athletes compete in the Winter or the Summer Olympics, each of these competitions are a feeding frenzy for the importance of the mental game in competition.

 After watching these 2014 Winter Games, I was reminded of two important parts of competition.

  1. It is about the process.

Many Olympic events are based on an individual activity focusing on achieving the lowest time at the moment.  This is the epitome of the process.  It is the athlete versus the half pipe, the ski slope, or the bobsled track.  They have no control over the other athlete’s and their time, but they have total control over their focus and attention to the task at hand.

2.  It is the athlete that performs the best that wins.

The Olympics is a process and performance-based event.  In any event, there is a “favorite” to win a medal.  Even the favorite must go out and perform the best to win the medal.  Olympic medals are not given out before an event; they are given out after an individual has earned it.

A successful life is often expensive.  It will cost you something to become a champion.

Time.  Energy.  Focus.

Dominate the Day With Enthusiasm and Energy.

 

 

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It is not Under Armour, it s a suit of ARMOR.

The second week of the Olympics brings another week of examples of the importance of the Mental Game.  Last week I discussed the “difference” of the ice for Figure Skating in Sochi.  This week’s post moves to a different sport on ice, that of speed skating.

The hot topic in speed skating has been the American’s lack of success, failing to win a medal up to this point in the Olympics.  A myriad of “reasons” for this lack of success have been provided.  This lack of success highlights three points related to the mental game.

  1. Preparation is not just a physical act, but also an emotional FEELING.

There is a lot of discussion about the speed skating athletes training at high altitudes, when Sochi is a low altitude city.  There is science to support training at high altitudes to aid in an athlete’s preparation, however, the athlete’s have not FELT the benefits from this training.  There may be science to support this decision, but the athletes have not FELT this as being a positive.

2. Uniforms are part of an athlete’s routine and part of their confidence.

The speed skating suits have received plenty of media coverage during the Sochi Olympics.  Whether the Under Armour suits are the reason for the American failures will be debated.  What cannot be debated is the feeling that an athlete achieves from their routine and putting their uniform on.  These athletes have never used these suits prior to the Olympics, thus it is impossible for an athlete to FEEL confident in something they are wearing for the first time.

3.  Confidence = Belief.

Preparations and routines allow athletes to walk and carry themselves with confidence and confidence equals BELIEF.  Confidence is how we carry ourselves, a speed skater should see themselves slipping on suit of ARMOR, not because it says Under Armour, but because they are heading into a battle with themselves, to do the best they can to reach their potential.

Until next week, slip on your suit of ARMOR and FIGHT.

“Confidence is the emotional knowing that you are prepared, mind, body, and spirit, for anything.  Confidence is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.”

– – Gary Mack

 

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Is the Ice Different in Sochi?

Watching the Winter Olympics is a perfect opportunity to dissect the mental game.  While watching the Sochi games over the last couple of nights, there have been a number of quotes from the commentators that make for great discussion about the importance of a strong mental game.

During a recent broadcast of a figure skating session, the commentators noted, “Skating on Olympic Ice is different.”  When I heard this quote, I thought to myself, “What is different about the ice?”  Physically, there is nothing different about the ice in Sochi, however, the feeling and outcome of skating on the ice is different.  This underscores the need for a strong mental game and a focus on maintaining the process and allowing the result/outcome to take care of itself.

While watching the Biathlon Women’s Sprint, I was amazed at the participants’ ability to ski as fast as they can and then calm themselves to hit a target.  These world-class athletes are the epitome of focused individuals.  These women were not perfect in their shooting, which led the announcers to make this statement, “They usually miss the first or last shot.”

This highlights the impact that our minds have on performance.  The first and last shots are no different than any other shot, however, we place more importance on them.  During the first shot, they are trying to find a routine, while on the last shot; many participants are focused on completing a perfect shooting performance.  This focus on perfection, an outcome, takes their focus away from the process, which is all they can control.

As you watch the remainder of the Olympics, feel free to comment on this entry with a variety of quotes from the commentators that highlight the importance of the mental game.

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The Best Team DID NOT Win the Super Bowl

It was NOT the best team that won the Super Bowl; it was the team that played the best.

The Seattle Seahawks once again proved that it is not the best team that wins.  The team that plays the best is the team that wins.  If you look at the box score of last night’s Super Bowl, it is easy to see the Seahawks played the best.   They played the best in every aspect of the game.

Defensively, the Seahawks registered 84 Tackles, with 6 of those being tackles for loss, while the Broncos only had 70 Tackles and only 3 of those tackles were for a loss.  In the turnover column, Seattle had 0 turnovers, while the Broncos had 4 turnovers.  The Seahawks played the best on defense.

Offensively, the statistics are not quite as lopsided, but look specifically at yards per play and it becomes clear that the Seahawks played the best on offense as well.  The Seahawks averaged 6.2 yards per play, while the Broncos averaged 4.8 yards per play.  The Seahawks played the best on offense.

The Seahawks played the best on Special Teams as well.  It is easy to see that Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, however a deeper look at the statistics shows the Seahawks had essentially the same amount of return yardage in 2 returns (107 yards) as the Broncos had in 5 returns (109 yards).

It was NOT the best team that won the Super Bowl; it was the team that played the best.

The Seahawks played the best on Sunday night because their head coach, Pete Carroll is focused on taking care of his players, showing that he cares for them, and trusting in the process.  The team that plays the best is focused on competing each play, adhering to the process and trusting the result will take care of itself.

Watch Pete Carroll’s entire post-game interview by clicking here.  Take special care to listen to the end of the interview where he notes that Russell Wilson believes he is going to make everything he says happen.  There is no replacement for belief.

Until next week, KEEP COMPETING!!

“Whatever your age, whatever your game, you can learn how to use your mind more constructively.  You can learn how to stay focused.  You can learn how to deal with adversity.  Stay motivated during difficult times.  Avoid fatal distractions.  You can learn how to follow your dreams and live your life on purpose.”

– – Gary Mack

 

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3 Ways to Be A GREAT CEO

3 Ways to Be A Great CEO

On January 22, I had the opportunity to attend the LeaderSHIP conference at Shippensburg University, sponsored by Shippensburg Chamber of Commerce and Volvo Construction Equipment.  This event featured author and speaker, Jon Gordon.  Jon has written many books, including The Energy Bus. Listening to Jon that evening, reminded me that in our lives, both personal and professional, we are our own CEO, Chief Energy Officer.  He noted three words to keep in the forefront of our mind and actions to maintain ENERGY in our personal and professional lives:

1.  Love

Love is a not a feeling, it is a commitment.  Commit to have love in everything that you do.  It is an investment, and when you invest with love, it will compound and grow, thus increasing the Energy in our life.

2.  Serve

When we serve, we do the little things for others.  The interesting thing about service is that while we are doing for others, we are also increasing the Energy in ourselves.

3.  Care

We need to care and in turn, surround ourselves with people who care.  This is easy to say, but tough to live.  There is a need to care in everything that we do and everyone that we work with.  Find a unique way to show you care.

Love, Care, and Serve your way to being the best CEO, Chief Energy Officer, of your life.

Quote of the Week: 

“Ask what you can do that is outside of your duties and responsibilities.”

Todd Gothberg

Author of “No Reservations”

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What a CHAMPION can learn from Lions, Tigers, and Polar Bears

1.  A CHAMPION must have PRIDE to be successful.

A group of Lions is referred to as a PRIDE.

Personal

Responsibility

In

Daily

Excellence

2.  A CHAMPION has PRIDE and will be prepared to AMBUSH their opponent.

A group of Tigers is referred to as an AMBUSH.

 An ambush is thought of as a sneak attack, an unexpected attack on an opponent.  When a CHAMPION has PRIDE, a daily routine that allows them to work on their skills, they are preparing to win all the time.  A CHAMPION is like a group of tigers, an AMBUSH, waiting to happen.

3.  A CHAMPION that has PRIDE, and AMBUSHES their opponent will enjoy the CELEBRATION.

A group of Polar Bears is referred to as a CELEBRATION.

A real champion works within his daily routine to pursue greatness and knows that this pursuit is made of small improvements every single day.  Achievements can come in all shapes and sizes and a mentally tough CHAMPION realizes that it is important to enjoy the CELEBRATION of these small victories.

PRIDE –> AMBUSH –> CELEBRATION

Dominate Each Day with Enthusiasm and Energy

 

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Be a Champion and Ambush your Opponent

Be a Tiger… and Ambush your Opponent

Lions travel in groups known as a PRIDE, while Tigers travel in groups known as an AMBUSH.  A Real Champion can be like a TIGER in 3 ways:

1.  Have your own stripes.

Every single tiger in the world has his or her own distinct pattern of stripes.  Much like the tiger, each athlete is unique and has their stripes or strengths.  An athlete should be proud of their stripes and use them to the best of their ability.

2.  Real Champions can work when no one is watching.

Tigers are loners; they rarely travel in groups.  A real champion is comfortable and trusts their individual strengths to allow them to survive.  They do not rely on their peers.

3.  Champions learn from adversity.

Tigers average a kill in 1 out of 20 attempts, so like a tiger, a champion continues to come back after a failure for they know this is how they gain their fuel for success.

This week, you are challenged to be a TIGER and AMBUSH your opponent, have your own stripes, work when no one is watching, and learn from adversity.

DOMINATE the Day with ENERGY and ENTHUSIASM.

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Begin the Year as a Lion

2014 = Begin The Year as a Lion

An athlete should take PRIDE in their preparation and performance.

Personal

Responsibility

In

Daily

Excellence

Lions are well known to travel in groups, known as a PRIDE.  There are three characteristics of a Lion PRIDE that athletes should use:

  1. Lions are cooperative group hunters.  They work together in their PRIDE to hunt and find their food.
  2. Socialization and working together in a PRIDE is important to a Lion, they value this.
  3. If a Male Lion strays from the PRIDE, they will not survive, they NEED the PRIDE.

As you attack this week, take PRIDE in the fact that you are part of a PRIDE and demonstrate your PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN DAILY EXCELLENCE!!

Look for next week’s post on moving from a Lion to Tiger.

Dominate this week with Relentless Positive Energy and Enthusiasm!!