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Monday, February 11, 2019

Basketball: Mental Toughness

"You are only as good as you believe you are." 

What if? Have we prepared to deal with adversity? What if we have injuries, illness, a player becomes ineligible? What if our shots won't drop, a few calls go the wrong way, or the opponent gets hot? Sometimes unthinkable catastrophe happens...Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis. 

We can't predict adversity but we choose how to respond to it. We cannot traffic in excuses. 

Yesterday, we got blown out...and not by one of the top teams in the league. We didn't focus, we made bad decisions, we lacked physical and mental toughness, we didn't get back in transition, we turned the ball over relentlessly, and more. 

How do we move forward? Success and leadership follow finding solutions not problems. In his MasterClass on The Art of Performance, Usher says the first step is forgiving yourself. You have to get beyond it. Kevin Eastman says you have to get past hard, past mad, past sad. To take care of business, begin by taking care of business...the next note, the next step, the next play. 

Usher is one of many elite performers (Tim Ferriss says 80% in his book Tools of Titans) who use mindfulness. Meng Tan shares the many benefits of mindfulness in his wonderful book Search Inside Yourself (I've read it twice). Here's my Google Slides each slide to advance. 

Use practical, available free tools. 

Lion Mind is one of my favorite brief meditations. 

UCLA has free guided meditations online

Mindfulness isn't the only tool to mental toughness. Physical conditioning builds mental strength. Skill development builds confidence that contributes to mental strength. Jason Selk's 10-Minute Toughness uses a program of breathing, visualization, identity and performance statements. 

Control what we can control. We start tonight. 

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