Posts Tagged ‘mindful’

My Father was a man of concise statements. He told you like it was and pulled no punches regardless of who it was he was talking to.

Dad Story #1: Many years ago, I failed to make the basketball team. I came home bitching up a storm about coaches favorites and how I was robbed. He basically told me he felt my pain and said to get my ass outside and practice so it does not happen again. Never blamed players, coaches or parents. Take matters into YOUR OWN HANDS. By the time 8th grade rolled around, I was a team captain.

Dad Story #2: Many years later I went on to describe a training routine to my father that consisted of super duper this and that and a special rep scheme that I felt allowed for my amazing progress at the time. I described my eating and rest between sets,etc.

So he said,”You think that you are  recruiting better from your chest and shoulders and this is driving it up better for you?”.

“Absolutely”, I said. 

“Your triceps are no longer your weak link I bet as well”,he said.

“Absolutely!”, I said

“So you are making your best lift because of all these things?”, he asked questioningly.

“No doubt!”‘, I said.

“Wrong. You are making your lift because of this.”, he said as he tapped his head several times.

Well said Dad. Thanks again. Your wisdom lives on.

HONORING ED WIETHOLDER SR. 1944-2006

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1. Unyielding in severity or strictness; unrelenting:

There seems to be a recurring theme common to the majority people that are successful and that is an unyielding commitment to achieving a desired outcome whether it takes days, months, or years.

8 years after receiving a “C” grade on his term paper at Yale on the FedEx process, Frederick Smith lined up 14 planes and 389 employees to deliver a less than amazing 186 packages. Wonder if he thought about making payroll? Things worked out pretty damn well for him. Relentless.

The KFC recipe was rejected 1009 times before being purchased. Colonel Sanders was pretty relentless.

Betty White was one of the most award-winning comedic actresses in history, but she didn’t become an icon until she joined the cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in 1973 at age 51.

Kurt Warner went from undrafted free agent unable to stick with a team resorting to stocking shelves in 1994 to NFL League MVP in 1999. Never stopped.

It also seems successful people can slow things down and focus on details without losing sight of a bigger picture.

Are you or do you want to be relentless?

One of the most common shared traits among successful people through the years that I have read about is a morning routine or ritual. It clears the brain and prepares the thought process for optimal functioning. Here is my routine that has evolved over the last several years.

Hopefully wake up.

Coffee has been brewing on a timer and is ready for me. I fill it up, heat it some more and feel the heat of the mug. I take a sip and relish the taste and smell. I feel fortunate to be so spoiled with coffee waiting for me.

Min 0-5. I journal. I write down 3 things I am thankful for. Some mornings the mood is not so great but I go ahead and do it anyways. Next I write down 3 things that would make the day great. Next I write down my mission statement for the day or mantra. My favorite is “strong like water mind like a lion”. Water can flow around effortlessly to accomplish or move and lift anything to accomplish. A lion’s mind is focused like a laser and random thoughts do not occupy their attention. Singularly, effortlessly focused.

Min 5-15. I meditate. Not chanting mantras with incense and levitation but just focusing on the breath. There really should not be a goal but when one realizes that stress and perception are not out there but come from within it feels like mission accomplished. Mind goes clear and optimal.

Min 15-60 or 90. I learn. Usually random but it ranges from learning new languages on Duolingo to Ted talks to Khan academy to learning geography on google earth to relativity on minute physics to name just a few.

This has really improved my concentration and ability to focus. If left unchecked I end up with so many ideas and thoughts I become very busy but not effective.

Just a mindful thought.

The biggest warning flag that I have ever gotten as a former basketball coach and now Performance Coach was hearing this phrase from another coach or parent, ” He or she is the kind of kid that needs pushed.”

Ouch. That is probably the worst thing you could have ever had said about you.

This is from local sports writer Bob Labriola’s sports column and it references Hall of Fame Steeler Coach Chuck Noll views on self motivation.

“He would tell you, ‘My job is to teach you how to play this game correctly. I will never give you a motivational speech. If I have to motivate you, I will fire you.'”

I guess getting fired would motivate some to not get fired actually.

If you think about it why do you need kicked in the ass or screamed in your face? Motivate your own self.

Step 1 as a Coach is to determine what buttons need pushed in order to teach this person or athlete how to motivate themselves?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” -possibly from Lao Tzu and/or others

The biggest warning flag that I have ever gotten as a former basketball coach and now Performance Coach was hearing from this phrase from another coach or parent, ” He or she is the kind of kid that needs pushed.”

Ouch. That is probably the worst thing you could have ever had said about you.

This is from local sports writer Bob Labriola’s sports column and it references Hall of Fame Steeler Coach Chuck Noll views on self motivation.

“He would tell you, ‘My job is to teach you how to play this game correctly. I will never give you a motivational speech. If I have to motivate you, I will fire you.'”

I guess getting fired would motivate some to not get fired actually.

If you think about it why do you need kicked in the ass or screamed in your face? Motivate your own self.

Step 1 as a Coach is to determine what buttons need pushed in order to teach this person or athlete how to motivate themselves?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” -possibly from Lao Tzu and/or others

“If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life. To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.” -Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi(Described the concept of mental flow and peak performance)

Not enough is made of your body’s most powerful tool and that is the rational use of your mind. This is one of the most powerful notions that I have ever read. These concepts most certainly can be applied to training as well making the most repetitive drills and exercises seem brand new.

“The smarter I get the more I realize that I do not know.” -Ed Wietholder and a lot of other people

I have used visualization in my training for many years. Skeptical at first, but the results of it have been great for training progress.

I first started using it during the 1980s when I was learning to trade sleep for study time at the University of Pittsburgh. I would take a study break and find a quiet spot and visualize where I was going to lift that day including the sounds, smells and feelings.

I would close my eyes and feel what the weight would be like on the first rep including the lift off. I would feel each successive rep getting heavier and more difficult to accomplish. Most importantly what the last rep which was my extra rep or increased weight from the last workout would feel like. I would always visualize the succesful completion of the rep. You really have to get your confidence up and “buy in” for the completion of the final rep.

My workouts became more businesslike and matter of fact. I went on some great training runs with this technique and I believe it to be well worth a try. Think of it as a very effective free training supplement.

You find out life’s this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small — I mean one-half a step too late, or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us.…..

When you transition and open your hips what part of your foot hits the ground first? (Should be ball)What does your shin angle look like?(should be positive) If not, why not? Is it a habit? Are your hips tight? Are you weak?

They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second…….

Are you addressing your weaknesses or are you hopping through hoops and ladders without correcting your flaws?

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch, because we know when we add up all those inches that’s gonna make the fuckin’ difference between winning and losing! Between livin’ and dyin’!…….

Are you willing to put your brain to work and get into the science of training? If you are already athletic will you hide behind that or do you want to get even better?

I’ll tell you this: In any fight, it’s the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m gonna have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willin’ to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what livin’ is! The six inches in front of your face!!

Will you work smartly and effectively as if your life depends on it or are you going to muddle through? It’s all about you vs. you and becoming the best you can be. No matter what you are striving to accomplish.

**Italics quotes courtesy of the movie Any Given Sunday(The inches speech as delivered by Al Pacino)

I felt awful this morning as I did my warm up for a running day. Joints hurt, low back hurt, no pop in the step. A funny thing happened though as I got 5 minutes into the run. My thoughts settled into a rhythm with the crunch of leaves under my feet. My breathing got into a steady rhythm and the aches and pains drained away. Any journey as they say starts with the first step. If I put that run off this morning I never would have gotten it in or found out. Get your mind right first to give your physical self a shot.

The weights never lie and the steepness of the hill remains unchanged. They will be constant and you can count on them to stay true. The hill isn’t steeper and weights are not heavier on a given day. Your mind and neural drive control these things. Be true to yourself and allow your body to be at it’s best by staying positive and believing. This cannot be faked. The least stressed aspect in training is the mind and it is exponentially more important than diet, rep scheme and loading protocols, and the latest training craze. Fitness crazes and training methodologies are transient and temporary, but the power of the mind is timeless.

What we need is emotional content! -Bruce Lee

I can’t stress enough how little the process of going through the motions helps. This is useless for athletes or trainees beyond the beginner phase.

If you get yourself worked up to the point of almost tears before you do a lift then you are getting warm.

If you read your phone or let your mind wander or bullshit then your set will be sub par.

Your heart and soul must be involved in training to get the most out of what your physical self can be.

100% neural drive required!