Saturday, August 29, 2009

Let's Talk About The Next Level

The last couple of posts, I've talked about mindset and the effects of thinking and believing a specific way in life. Let's take it a step further this time, and focus on visualizing your beliefs and the results that will follow.

I believe with 100% certainty that what we "see" in our thoughts will be brought to life, both good and bad. If we visualize that "it" will never happen, and we add enough real emotion to that visual, it'll most likely never happen. Why would we consistently think with such negativity and pessimism? I'll leave that answer for another conversation. Conversely, if we "see" what we want and make it real enough in our mind, we dramatically increase the percentage that it will happen. Knowing that what we see in our mind's-eye will actually manifest is extremely fascinating, and is what I'm dedicated to sharing with those who will listen.

Walking with my wife and little girl around our neighborhood this morning is what started this topic in my head. As we walked from block to block, we noticed how much bigger and more beautiful the homes became. There was actually a house that we became very interested in, but we knew that it would be extremely expensive. Putting the potential price aside, we made a call to ask about this specific house, and began the "mental picture" rolling. We began talking about "our new home, and how wonderful it WILL be for Logan to experience such a big back yard and tons of grass to play on. Our new neighborhood WILL be the best walking neighborhood we've ever lived in, and WILL be super close to downtown shopping."

Whether we eventually move in to this new house or not is completely irrelevant... what is important, though, is that we made it possible to get the result we want -- how? We made it real, very real in our mind, visualizing the future as if it was happening now! This point is extremely important, because it's how our visuals eventually manifest. If my wife and I talked about how nice it "could be..." or "maybe would be if..." then it wouldn't feel real to our mind, therefore not allowing the unconscious to take over (that's also another conversation). 

I don't just think this is possible... I've lived through life changing results from altering my belief system in this way. I grew up extremely negative, pessimistic, and the antithesis of this type of thinking. I eventually learned (through personal experience) that "seeing it before it happens" really does work. I won't lie and tell you I completely understand the science behind the results... but I will tell you, with complete sincerity and confidence, that it'll change your life!!!

Actually, thinking about the science:

It's been scientifically proven that the brain doesn't know the difference between strong, emotional visualizations and real life events. Here's one cool experiment: Three Olympic sprinters were attached to monitors all over their bodies that would record how, if, and when their muscles would fire during a strong visualization. They were asked to close their eyes and visualize a 100 meter sprint, making it as real as possible in their minds. The results were mind-boggling... the computers recorded the EXACT SAME TYPE OF MUSCLE FIRE that would be made under a real race. In other words, their muscles responded to the brain, which responded to the sprinters' visualization, creating real-time muscle movement. The sprinters also were covered in sweat, as if they just finished a race (remember, they were just laying there, motionless)... freakin' amazing!

Uh-oh... my cell's ringing... it's the EX-owner of "our new house." Gotta go pack and call the moving company-- cause we're moving up the street. Did I tell you how big the back yard was? 

Oops ~ IS!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Perfect! Really? Are You Sure?

I'm going to steal a quote from a student of mine because I thought it was worth talking about. 

"My life is perfect, but not because there isn't anything wrong with it... but because I say, and believe it is."

At first glance, this may not seem like such a big deal to many, but coming from a college freshman girl -- where drama, hormones and worries about EVERYTHING could potentially be her whole life -- I thought this was huge, coming from her. 

"Perfect" is relative, isn't it? Our instinct is to want that perfect life... that husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, health, money, big home, angelic kids, gorgeous car, etc. But what does perfect really mean? I believe it means whatever we say it means, and creates a specific type of life that we say it creates. 
I have a good friend who's very wealthy, is in incredible shape and has a beautiful family, but thinks his life sucks! I also know someone who can't walk, is overweight and is without much family, but thinks her life is "perfect!!" Wow... what a mindset difference. What happened with her that didn't with him?? Perfect doesn't have to mean what friends, family, or society in general says it means. It doesn't have to look like the picture we've all visualized, where all the colors are "inside the lines", and all match perfectly (oops, there's that word again -- I'm beginning to hate that word).
Maybe we should make it a lifelong plan to look for our own perfect, no matter what shape it takes, or who it upsets. Maybe, just maybe we know what that means, feels and tastes like for us better than anyone ever will. 

Perfect? What does that mean?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What Role Will You Play?

Coach Your Mind is all about creating a new, stronger mindset... whatever that means for you in your world. The first question I ask my new students is, "what do you want?" What do you want could mean whatever they say it means, but is basically asking about their current mindset. They asked to meet and discuss a specific change(s) because the way they're thinking, acting, and believing isn't getting them what they want.

Generally, their answer consists of more, bigger and better. Sounds good -- not easy to attain. Why? Because they must first create a new way of thinking... mostly about how they perceive themselves and their own potential. After we agree that more, bigger and better will only happen after specific mindset changes occur, my next question is the fun one:

"What role do you wish to play? Employee, manager, or OWNER!!!"

My mentor asked me this question 100 times every single day, until I finally understood what he meant: Own my future, own my thoughts, feelings and beliefs! No one controls anything I say or choose to believe... unless I say they do. When I understood that I "owned" everything about myself, only then could I expect more, bigger and better from my personal and business life. 

I always "wanted" more from myself and my business, and actually could feel it was right there in front of my face... but something was missing. Wanting just wasn't enough~ I had to, with complete certainty, know and believe I deserved to be that owner. Sounds simple, but is actually one of the most difficult things I've ever done, because it meant that I had to shed all of the bad habits from my past. The negative thinking was, by far, the most powerful challenge I had to beat. My first thought was always about why I couldn't do (X), or why (X) would eventually fail, rather than why it would work, and how I was going to accomplish what I wanted.

We all naturally focus on what we're afraid of, instead of what we want to happen. Here's an interesting challenge from me to you: For one day, consciously become aware of how many times you say (outloud or to yourself) what you don't want, what you can't do, and the excuses you make for not attempting that change in your life... you'll blow yourself away at how many times you say or think those words. 

Instead of focusing on all the things that you believe are holding you back, concentrate on everything you do want... and why it will happen!

What role do wish to play in your life? Employee, manager, or OWNER?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

They're All Grownzed Up!

Well, it's that time of year again~ school is here. For most students, this time truly sucks, but this year FOR ME really really really sucks! Actually, it's quite bitter-sweet. Normally, I hardly feel the difference between summer and fall, as my schedule pretty much stays the same. My students still have their sessions during the summer, and at the very worst, may miss a week or two for vacation. The most difficult time for me in the beginning of fall is figuring out their new school schedules, and how it will affect our time together.


This year, I say goodbye (or see you soon) to a few of my graduating high school seniors... a couple, of which, I've been teaching since they were in 4th or 5th grade. Selfishly, this is extremely difficult because we've naturally grown very close over the years, and I'm going to miss them like krazy! On the other side of the coin, I'm soooo proud of them, and know this is the next step they're supposed to be taking. 

We've spent countless number of hours, either on the tennis court or exploring their "mental games," so to watch them fly out of the comfort of their nests is very emotional. I've been dreading this 2009 fall because I knew it was going to feel like a tug-o-war between the need for them to stay (for me), and their need to leave (for them). 

Teaching is an incredible experience, especially when I've been fortunate enough to witness an "ah-ha moment" ~ that moment where they finally "get it!" Something clicks inside of them that makes them feel more confidence than ever before, and helps them realize that hard work IS worth the time. That moment is what I live for, and is what makes me push my students harder and harder, especially through those times they say it can't be done.

As I've reflected on the up-coming departure of these incredible kids, I've come to realize that they have given to me as much, if not more, than I can ever give to them. They've inspired me to be a better teacher, a teacher who expects more; who demands more. They've shown me through THEIR incredible work ethic that more can be accomplished, and must be asked for. They've taught me to come to work with a passion, as it will set passions in motion, therefore creating a cycle. They've taught me to come to the table totally prepared, because if I didn't, they'd remind me that there's no excuse for mediocrity. 

Sure, there will be other students, but none like this special group. They will never be replaced... only used as examples of what can, and will be! I thank you for allowing me to help you, even if just a little. You will never know how much you've helped shape me, and how much of a better person I am because of you. 

You will all be missed like krazy!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hey Favre! Go Away Already!

Not many people know this about me, but I grew up with Brett Favre ~ actually, we're best friends and speak every day. The following conversation between Brett and I has never been leaked to the media, but I thought it needed to be brought to the public in light of his recent "unretirement."

Ok, he may not call us best friends... or even good friends... he might actually say he's never met me before... but if we did speak every day, this is how I'd imagine it would've gone, as it relates to his return to the NFL.

"Dayne, I know I'm 68 years old, can barely walk anymore, and have retired 17 times already, but I need to return to the NFL... AGAIN! I understand that I'll probably throw more interceptions than completions, but dammit ~ someone needs Brett Favre!" (He enjoys talking in 3rd person). 

"Yeah, I know I cried like a little baby during the press conference of my first retirement speech, and swore I was never coming back... but golly-gee, Dayne ~ I'm Brett Favre! I need the attention of my fans and the world media! What will I do at home without ESPN calling everyday, asking for an interview? How will I ever be asked to appear in those incredibly stupid Levis commercials? You know the ones... where it's me and 15 of my closest friends, playing football in the mud... and I'm supposed to act like I'm having the best time of my life throwing long passes to a bunch of morons who can't catch!"

"Dayne, you're my best friend and the one guy I've always gone to for advice. I know you told me to stay retired after Green Bay, but I just couldn't do it... I needed to stick-it to the Packers, who didn't appreciate my greatness, so I went against your perfect advice, and joined the New York Jets for 2008. Hey, it was actually going great. We were on our way to the playoffs, I was being called a genius for coming back, but then something happened..."

That "something," Brett: Was your 68 year old body, mind and ego finally showing up at the end of the season. You managed to single-handedly sink an entire organization's hopes of reaching the playoffs, as well as getting the head coach fired! You through interception after interception, and what was once thought of as a miracle comeback, was quickly returned to...



Hey great one, I've got some advice for you: After last year's debacle, why don't you tell everyone that you've had it. Let everyone know that your body can't handle another intense season of the NFL, so you're definitely, without question, calling it quits! Don't cry this time, though, because you're a man... a tough football kind of man. Then, what I want you to do is wait until the very first game of 2009's preseason... 

And "unretire" again!!! Yeah, this time you'll pretend that there's no way you're going to sign, but then at the last second, sign a $12 million contract (for 1 year?!) with the Vikings ~ especially because you totally deserve that type of money. I mean, c'mon... you did ALMOST make the playoffs last year. 

Hey Favre! Go away already!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Thought I've Heard It All... Guess I Was Wrong!

I'm so pissed right now, I don't know what to do! 

I just got off the phone with a friend who thinks it's o.k. for coaches to lose on purpose in order to get an edge on the field. This year, there was a little league coach who made his team lose in order to be put in the 'losers bracket,' giving them an easier path to the Little League World Series. 


I've been teaching for over 17 years, and thought I've heard and seen it all... unfortunately, life has a way of always proving me wrong. The Little League World Series is incredible for those young kids, pushing them physically, mentally and emotionally. They're taught amazing lessons about competition, pressures that come with competing, and especially about how to react to those pressures. 

By instructing his players to lose, this "coach" has taught his kids that the process of learning, growing and enjoying competition isn't important... winning at all costs and bending any rule that stands in their way is how they should live their lives. This "mentor" fails to understand the incredible opportunity he has to help shape these boys' lives, both on and especially off the baseball field. 

Unfortunately, there are many coaches who'd rather win the trophy (mostly for their own ego), rather than teach their players the valuable life lessons available through their specific sport. 

"Look at me! I sucked at baseball when I was a kid, and always picked last on the playground... so I'm going to prove to you how cool I am now by doing whatever it takes to win this big trophy! What? It's about my players, not about me? No it's not! I'm the coach... I'm the leader... I'm the reason they won! Look at me!"

Where were the parents? How was this "coach" allowed to get away with this, and why wasn't he immediately fired, and never allowed to coach any sport ever again? If you're currently a parent, want to be a parent, know a parent, or have ever seen a parent pushing their child in a stroller... would this be o.k. with you? Would you go along with this "coach's" plan, if it meant making it easier for your child to become a big 'ol winner? 


When my daughter begins competing, you better believe that her #1 priority will always be the process, never the outcome...  unless, of course, her winning means a lot of money for me~ so I can buy a bright yellow Ferrari, with yellow wheels and yellow leather seats!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tigger... Meet Ye Yang!

His loud, intimidating roar we're used to hearing and the huge fist pump that follows clutch putts were substituted with quiet meows and his tale hiding between his legs. 
When Eldrick Woods leads a major tournament after 3 days, he wins, period! As a matter of fact, he's never lost~ until this tournament. Before this last weekend at the PGA, he was 11-0 when leading after 54 holes , so as he took his 3 day lead to the first tee of the final round, it would be a guaranteed victory~ that is, unless Tigger showed up. Who's Tigger? He's the cautious golfer that's afraid to attack pins in fear of making bogeys, and giving strokes back to the field. Tigger is Tiger's never-before-seen alter ego who was hoping that Harrington and Yang would just quietly disappear like they always do under the pressure of the best golfer in history. Sure, Harrington has won a major but just recently blew up against Tiger... errrr.... Tigger in a previous tournament, so he wasn't going to challenge for the win. And Ye Yang? Who's Ye Yang? Have you ever heard of Ye Yang? I haven't heard of Ye Yang! 

The whole golfing world knows who Ye Yang is now. After chipping in for eagle from 80 feet on #14, and literally stealing the lead, Yang looked at Tigger and asked, "Ever hear of me? Ever see Ye Yang play? You're about to regret leaving Tiger at home, cause Ye Yang's about to rock your world!" 

What could Tigger possibly say? Yang was right... Tiger was at home watching on t.v., while Tigger shot a horrendous 75, allowing Ye Yang to become the first player to ever come from behind and beat the unbeatable.

Tigger, meet the 2009 PGA Champion... Ye Yang is his name, and I doubt you'll ever forget it! 

I know I won't.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Two Favorite Words

(No, not THOSE two ~ this is a family blog!)

It doesn't matter if you're an athlete, a business owner, someone who hates athletics, or someone who dislikes business owners... you, too, are invited to love these two words:

Now what?! 

These simple words are my favorite because they're so powerful, and create massive action in our lives. The old saying is true: "It's not what happens to us that matters, it's what we do about it." Now what is how I choose to get my butt in gear when life takes a curve, or simply pauses for a second. Such a basic question, yet so life changing if practiced every day.

Now what?!

Try it - - I dare you! It works for everything, and allows you to find any answer you're in need of finding. In order to find the solution to anything, a question must be asked... but instead of making that question, "why me..." make it "now what!"

I remind my students on a daily basis (yeah, I know~ you're all sick of it) that it's not pressure that makes us fall apart, or rise to the occasion during competition... it's how we react to said pressure. Do we focus on the "what-ifs," or do we choose to look at the opportunity that's in front of us?

Don't blow it! vs. Now what!

You choose...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Her Perceived Strength Is Actually Weakness

This was part of a text a student sent me 10 minutes ago:

"... because I'm proud and stubborn, and like to feel that I'm on par with the rest of the world."

This sentence bothers me, and shows that this particular student has missed something I've been trying to teach her. For now, I'll blame myself because I should've been able to help create a new type of thinking in the 3 years we've been working together.

Pride and stubbornness don't belong in the world she lives in. She's a college athlete- - strong, independent, and extremely bright, but by allowing these two "attitudes" to enter her mindset, she's ultimately giving up control of her power. To be prideful and stubborn is to be weak! This isn't her... or at the very least, isn't who she's trying to become.

Why does she want to be "on par with the rest of the world?" Instead, why not feel the need to be better, bigger, more creative than everyone else? She's constantly telling me in our sessions that she wants to stand out, but how is wanting to be like them standing out? 

I think she believes these qualities are what keep her strong, but this is a common trap many fall into. By allowing stubbornness and pride to dominate, she feels a certain power... unfortunately, making choices with these two negatives leading the way will eventually make that strength disappear. 

The tighter she squeezes, the weaker her grip becomes!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Stop Trying To Win

I have a buddy (we'll call him Briana) who's on vacation from his job for the summer, giving him ample time to play golf... and is he ever taking advantage of that opportunity (don't worry, bro -- my feelings don't get hurt every time you choose golf over me!). As much as I'd like to make this about ripping him, I'll take the mature road, and talk about what a great job he's doing.

I'm not sure if Briana's even consciously aware of it, but he's improving so fast because he's not worried so much about his score. Whenever he sends me texts about his round, he always emphasizes a specific part of his game that he's been practicing, rather than the final outcome. That type of thinking is rare in athletes, other than the very top level competitor. Briana's focusing most of his attention on the little details of his game and the subtleties of golf in general, which is automatically improving his score. In my opinion, this is the most important tool in an athlete's mindset, and is the main factor that will separate the great from the average.

It's not easy when we're trying to achieve that next-level goal, but we need to stay focused on the process of what we're doing, rather than our outcome. We need to actually STOP TRYING TO WIN. Yep, I said it... let go of the winning, and concentrate on the "how."  

Oh crap, here it comes... here comes the arguing:

"Dayne, stop trying to win?!?! Are you serious? Why even play if we're not trying to win? Who doesn't want to win? You think Tiger, Federer, and Kobe aren't TRYING to win"

Nope, they're not trying to win... 


I know all caps is annoying, but I just can't emphasize that point enough. Tiger, Fed, and Kobe definitely want to win, but when they're competing, they're only goal is to play to their maximum potential (in Kobe's world... help his teammates play to the best of their ability).

Wanting to win and trying to win is a very delicate balance that many athletes unfortunately never figure out. Everyone around us-- family, friends, and coaches are constantly emphasizing "trying to win," but rarely remind us to focus on what it takes to achieve that goal. Switch those two in your life, and you'll discover a whole new way of competing! 

Briana... cute name!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This Aint No Family Show...

Let me warn you before you read on: This isn't going to be about any special lesson I've learned or teach to my students. This won't be an inspiring story I read about, or a thoughtful discussion meant to make you think. This will be dirty, straight forward ventification! Yes, I know that ventification isn't a word, but I don't care. Know why? Because this is my site and I can write about, and spell any way I see fit.

Let me paint a picture for you... 

It's Fiesta here in Santa Barbara, which means everyone takes a break from their week to get together and party - - some more than others, but we all find a way to celebrate and have a blast. Downtown on State Street is for the younger crowd who wants to bar-hop, get plastered, and wake up the next day not remembering who they handed their phone numbers to. For those who don't want to go all "college, make-out with everyone who looks at you," there's Mercado Del Norte a couple miles upper State Street. This is where the families come to eat, play games, and put their kids on the fun rides. There's miniature golf, swings, and tons and tons of baby strollers. This is where Liane and I decided to take our 6 month old, Logan for her first Fiesta.

Of course, there wasn't any parking so we had to hike from Sacramento to get to Mercado. As we got closer, I heard this faint noise which sounded like rock music. Actually no, not rock... heavy freakin' metal that blasted at maximum volume. Could this seriously be coming from the Fiesta celebration? Usually, Fiesta is filled with wonderful Spanish or Mariachi music that's played with instruments I've never heard of, and dances that make me fall on my face. This type of music is what makes celebrating Santa Barbara's Fiesta so much fun, especially when you bring your family and meet other families for the party. Oh... but not tonight, not in 2009- -

This year,we had 5 teenagers on stage screaming their lungs out, playing God knows what, as if they were each losers from American Idol, trying to prove a point to Simon. 

"We don't suck, Simon! We don't belong on our own island, Simon! Listen, we'll prove it to you..."

Every child you saw looked as if they were walking through a horrendous haunted house at their neighbor's Halloween party. They all had their hands over their ears, over their eyes, and a look on their face that said, "Mommy and daddy, you seriously brought us here? Really?! You thought this would be fun family time? Really?!"

Logan waited until we got home to express her displeasure with our choice of Fiesta locations. While changing her diaper, she pulled me closer and whispered in my ear, "Dad, never again... never!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Remember To Forget

I'll always remember the excitement I felt driving to my first golf lesson. "This is going to be awesome!" I thought.  "I'm going to learn so much, and immediately be able to drop my handicap by at least 5 strokes." Unfortunately, the imagined excitement quickly turned to, "What the hell is he talking about..." 

The first words out of the best golf pro in Santa Barbara: "I'm going to teach you a lot of great things, all of which I want you to immediately forget!" What was this dude smoking?! I'm going to commit myself to spending countless number of hours on the practice range, but you don't want me to remember any of your advice??


What I initially thought was insanity soon became brilliance, and plays a major role in the way I teach today. He wanted me to understand that he was going to fill my conscious mind with a ton of information, but when I eventually learned to play with my unconscious mind, I'd play the best golf of my life.

When we're learning something new, we have no choice but to be consciously aware of the different type of mechanics, but our goal should be to quickly turn those conscious thoughts into unconscious feelings.  "Feeling the situation" is somewhat abstract, I know, but it simply means to let go of the memorization of information, and trust that our unconscious brain will execute. 

The conscious part of our brain is in a constant battle with the unconscious, fighting for control at all times. It's the component that thinks and memorizes, whereas the unconscious only feels, senses, and reacts. At first glance, it seems that we must "think" about what we're doing in order to have the desired result, but that's an illusion. We must forget everything we've learned, get out of the way of ourselves, and allow the unconscious to take over.

A few weeks after my first golf lesson, I left a message on my pro's cell phone --

"Mark, who needs you... I forgot everything you ever taught me, shot my all-time best score, and won the tournament. You're fired!"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Poor Mary...

I'm shocked at the number of women I've talked to in the last week who believe the girls should never play sports against the boys. What happened to, "we're all equal" type of thinking? Where's the, "we can do anything the boys can do" mindset? 

I'm glad you didn't lose your marbles, and try to argue that girls who wanted to be a running back on a boys football team should be given a chance, but c'mon... why shouldn't they be given a try-out if it doesn't include physical contact? Why shouldn't Mary be able to win the field goal kicking spot on the men's team? She'll never have to tackle or block guys that outweigh her by 100 lbs... she only has to put foot-to-ball, and blast from 40 yards. 

Two out of three male football coaches I asked  also said they wouldn't allow her to try-out for kicking spot. Why the hell not? What are you guys afraid of? (I say, "guys" because you're definitely not real men). Real men wouldn't have a problem inviting a woman to join their team, if it meant making that team better. 

How do you spell E-G-O?