mental coach

Great Balance

The NBA, NHL, and PGA Tour all had pressure filled weekends. Athletes work countless hours to put themselves in a position to perform under that pressure. Sacrifices like missing Mother’s Day, birthdays, and weddings are often made this time of year. Greatness is a word engrained in every athlete’s vocabulary. The one’s who achieve it are applauded and revered. However, what often gets lost in greatness is the power of balance. Balance gives perspective, creates freedom in choices, and allows for the right decision at the right time. It may not be as glamorous as greatness, but it may be harder to achieve, and create more long-term value.

So while continued directed attention to greatness is important, sometimes a little balance goes a long way.

Mountain Climbing

A few weeks ago I was fortunate to hear Allison Levine speak.  Levine has climbed the highest peak on every continent, served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, and skied across the Arctic Circle to the geographic North Pole. As Levine spoke I found that her approach and mentality was very similar to the messages I talk about with clients.  With that in mind, below are some of the notes that I took from her speech.

Levine spoke about how it’s easier for someone to say no, then to answer questions.  She spoke about the importance of asking questions to gain information and to push people for specific information.  This is an important message for athletes seeking information regarding role clarity, playing time, and team motivation.

Levine talked about Junko Taibei, the first Woman to climb Mt. Everest, and how she said, “Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top—it is willpower that is the most important.  The willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others—it rises from your heart.”

In addition to willpower Levine spoke about the importance of fear by saying, “fear is ok, but complacency will kill you.”  Levine talked about fear in regard to the hazardous mountain weather by saying, “storms are temporary and they don’t last forever.”

As Levine continued to talk about her experience it was clear that she valued preparation, moment-to-moment thinking, and the importance of relishing the journey over the end result.  Levine’s ability to conquer some of the largest mountains in the world is a reminder that in order to conquer the most difficult challenges, we need to make sure our mind is in as good of shape as our body.