One of my favorite coaches of all time was the hardest on me.
Isn’t that true for most of us?
She was the one that sat me down and told me my freshman year that I wasn’t cutting it, I looked distracted in workouts and needed to step it up.
She was the one that sat me down and had the real talk real talk of making sure I wasn’t getting too boy crazy in college and keeping my eye on the ball so to speak.
She was the one that would look me straight in the eye and tell me to get my mind right and start competing.
I would have run through a freaking brick wall for this woman. I still will. (It’s Katie Abrahamson-Henderson at UCF by the way). I knew in my soul that she believed in me. I knew that she pushed me hard BECAUSE she cared. And when she was hard on me or disappointed, it hurt, but it motivated me to push to another level.
I love her to my core but not because she was NICE all the time; her positivity was in holding me to a high standard.
With long, sunny days upon us in the northwest, many of us are finding lazy ways to pass the time. What better way to spend a summer's day than to dive into some great reads that will give you a lasting glow from the inside out. In response to popular demand, I compiled a list of some of my favorites.
These books are of the inspiring, motivational, educational (or all three) variety; and contain fascinating topics to help you work on a little self- improvement and learn some cool new things this summer!
Some of these books are presented as though they are focused on women, but that’s just for marketing purposes (i.e. women tend to buy more self-help books). These books are for anyone that wants to improve.
Positivity: The 3-1 Ratio that will change your life, by Barbara Fredrickson PhD. One of the mothers of Positive Psychology, Dr. Fredrickson talks about the research behin d positive self-talk and gives...
"Confidence is simply that spiritual space where you feel free to focus on only those things you can control.” - Jerry Lynch, The Way of a Champion
When I was a younger athlete, I believed that my accomplishments would lead to confidence. That if I did this or accomplished that, I’d walk around with confidence all the time. I remember looking at college athletes, and later, Olympic athletes and thinking, “Wow, they must never doubt themselves or get nervous in a game. They must not mess up during a play they’ve done correctly 1,000 times in practice.” I assumed that if you were ‘that good’ or had accomplished ‘that much’ you were past having to struggle with confidence.
But it’s not that way at all.
What I’ve learned from playing with and against some of the best players in the world, and also from being around multiple high-level athletes from several Olympic sports, is that your confidence...
By Olympian Courtney Thompson
“You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns. Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind.” -I Ching
In my experience, it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone wants to be confident. No matter what you are doing: Playing a game, giving a speech, on a date, or taking a test at school, it’s going to be infinity more enjoyable when you feel good about who you are in that moment. In other words, confident in your own skin.
I know from personal experience how painful it is to NOT be truly myself in a given moment. It’s a feeling, in my opinion, significantly worse than losing or failing or any of the things we spend time worrying about.
This is my challenge to the athletes I work with: Fight and work towards being your true self, nothing more and nothing less, in every environment you...
Last week we discussed some ways that athletes can make the most of injury. We talked about how a sidelined athlete can take opportunities to learn new skills, interact with fans, improve mental strength, and build closer bonds with coaches and teammates while going through the rehab process.
While not explicitly mentioned, all those tasks point to maintaining one thing: PURPOSE.
During injury and rehabilitation, an athlete can experience depression and anxiety as a result of loss of identity. Maintaining a purpose throughout that confusion is essential to a having a successful emotional, physical, and mental recovery.
FACT: Maintaining a sense of purpose makes you healthier.
James Clear, writer and ex-All-American athlete, shared his thoughts on the connection between a longer, healthier life and purpose. He explains that Japanese women maintain an average 86 year lifespan, the “longest disability-free life expectancy in the world.”
One month ago I gave you a challenge: to break a bad habit. How have you fared?
My bad habit: negative thinking. My goal: Go caffeine and gluten-free and restart on the path to a regular exercise routine. The result? I’m not perfect, but I’m feeling pretty darn great.
My bad habit is negative self-talk. I say “is” because the habit isn’t completely eradicated.... yet, though I can already see and feel the benefits I’ve gained from omitting 90% of negative self-talk from my daily walk.
I not only feel better physically and mentally, but my positive self-talk has in turn made me, well, more positive, which makes the positive self-talk easier, which…
Well, you get the picture.
I often ask athletes what the difference is between feeling nervous before competition and feeling excited.
The responses I typically hear involve this idea of varying levels of confidence. Specifically, some think that feeling nervous comes from "hoping it all works out", while feeling excited comes from "expecting to be successful". In short: Excited is a positive mindset, while nervousness is a negative mindset.
They're not wrong.
But the biggest difference between feeling nervous and feeling excited is perception. After all, the chemical reaction in the brain is the same for both: the stress reaction.
When I played I always talked about being excited for big games. Nervousness felt like a weakness, it felt like opening the door to failure, it felt like inviting self-doubt in for afternoon coffee.
I don’t think I was ever taught to do this, to think...