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Breaking Bad (habits): 28-Day countdown for a better next season

The hit television series “Breaking Bad” is about a chemistry teacher who teams up with a former student to make and sell crystal meth. While the show is top-rated, I’m not so hot on the addictive substances and the violence that is connected with the bad habit of drug use.

Habit: is it just another word for addiction?

My thesaurus says ‘yes’ and, even though habits and additions obviously aren’t the same thing, they’re closely related.

This article explains how similarly our brain responds to habits and addictions; how a neurological connection is formed when a voluntary action is performed enough times to move it into the reflex category, therefore making that activity somewhat hardwired into our minds.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of drug use nor give habituation more attention than it deserves, but bad habits can still be very problematic in very real ways.

Even though the show’s title...

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Creating change for better performance: Distinguishing between fixed & growth mindsets

Change happens on a cellular level. The gist is this: we all get hooked on hormones. For example, if you are used to being stressed all the time, your cells not only adjust to the high levels of cortisol (that’s the “stress hormone”) in your system, but you actually begin to like it, and then need it.

In short: you get “addicted”.

Ever feel weird while or shortly after relaxing, after experiencing a lot of stress? It’s because you’re on withdrawal; your downtime has literally become your rehab.

The same thing happens when you workout a lot: you get used to working out, your body produces and gets used to “consuming” dopamine and serotonin, and then proceeds to whine about not having those hormones when the workouts stop.

Personally, I've always had a hard time taking a real vacation (to the complaints of my wife). Going from high stress/high stimulation environment to peace and quiet was unsettling.

I was programmed for stress...

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Hit your performance goals for 2015

2015 change goals performance Jan 01, 2015

With the switching of calendars comes the all too common New Year’s wish:

“I want to change me.”

Many people’s New Year’s Resolutions refer to weight loss, a career change, or a new outlook on life. But, for athletes and coaches, what does “change” really mean? Does it refer to something that can be seen or touched, like a different workout regimen, a new schedule, an alteration of pace or program? Or does it mean something less material, like a switching of attitude or perspective about the game overall?

Any of these things can affect an athlete’s performance for better or worse. But, without solid performance goals set in place, measuring those changes will be difficult and possibly even pointless.

Designed to create goals

Human beings are natural record keepers. We like to know where we’ve been so we can know where we’re going. From warfare to finances to relationships, recordkeeping, whether written down or merely kept...

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Case Study: Niagara Women’s Basketball

Before mental training

Not long ago, the coaches of Niagara University's Women's Basketball team, including Head Coach Kendra Faustin and Assistant Coach Corinne Jones, felt their program had untapped potential.

In 2013, they knew they wanted to make a change in their team’s collective mindset. More specifically, they knew, in order to get to the next level of performance, there were

4 things they needed to address

  1. “Get Over It.”

    Failure, that is. A fear of failure across the board in their program was manifesting itself in competition. The team would have great practices but were overly nervous about their performance when game time came, resulting in losses and, ironically, failure.
  1. “Drop the Language.”

    The Niagara athletes held on to a lot of negative self-talk (e.g. “I can’t believe I missed that layup in the first half”). Basically, “I can’t” was heard way too often.
  1. Confidence Un-Boost

    Each...
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