Posts

Mind-Body Connection

We are mental beings, in a physical body, in a physical world. The mind is mental and is subjective. The body is physical and is objective. At some point they intersect. Due to our human nature, we happen to have both. To some degree, the two are tethered together, like two birds of a feather (am I rapping?).
So how does this happen? How does the abstract, subjective, emotional, non-material world intersect with the concrete, objective, factual, material world? In human form, here is how: There is a chain link of interaction, starting on either end of the spectrum. Within this spectrum are 5 main factors that interact up and down the chain.
Physical
Level 1: Environment: The physical world. Nothing mental about it. Only physical matter. Physical nature. Everything on the Periodic Table of Elements.
Level 2: Physical Body: Receptors. This is humans’ first interaction with the physical world, and happens on a physical level. Still physical to physical. We feel pain, we feel heat, we feel cold, we fe…

Pulling The Weeds

Being an observer of human behavior for a living is equally rewarding and exhausting. Why? The reward comes from repeatedly seeing the triumph in our human spirit after tragedy, and from observing families and friends sharing love and growth together. The exhaustion comes from repeatedly seeing the human ego sabotage human decency or fracture relationships, and from seeing fear cripple the confidence or joy that should be the essence of our human experience.
Pulling the Weeds.
In order to grasp the full picture, it feels useful to first examine what behaviors do not fulfill us. If we can understand what the opposite of fulfillment is, then the path to fulfillment comes a bit more clear. By no means is this list comprehensive, but it includes a vast array of what it looks like when insecurities and disillusioned thought patterns make an appearance.
Stagnant Unaccountable Angry Pessimistic Fixed mindset/stubborn Arrogant Fragile Physically unhealthy Insecure Unreliable Manipulative Controlling Irritable Rud…

Confidence

Amazing and empowering lessons are emerging from coronavirus. First and foremost, our planet is thriving. If you haven’t yet, do an internet search on the environmental impact of this quarantine. Skylines usually accompanied by dense smog now glowing with clear blue sky and stars visible for the first time in recent memory. Dirty rivers now crystal clear. Earth is getting some much needed recovery.
Second, we are once again learning that health matters. Numbers continue to show those with underlying conditions suffer greatly compared to those who are healthy. Those with strong immune systems tend to be just fine. Sunlight exposure kills the virus in less than a minute. Powerful stuff.
Finally, people continue to show that the human condition is far more resilient than it gets credit for. For a quick couple days in late March, the overwhelming sentiment through the lens of social media was this: “You expect us to do WHAT?” Yet, here we are. To that, I’m reminded of arguably my favorite Stoic quote…

Laws of Nature

Since last month’s article a lot has changed. Seasons have been suspended, postponed, and cancelled altogether. I want to be sure that last month’s article didn’t offend anybody. I know that baseball is, indeed, many people’s livelihood – and thank goodness for those people. They’re probably some of my favorite people. They’ve dedicated their whole life to my favorite game. However, I think the last couple of weeks have all made us keenly aware that there is a bigger picture in play here. Baseball can be ripped away from us in an instant. This simple fact, which has now become oh-so-real to all of us, should propel us to have a purpose beyond the game. A purpose that sustains us when everything else is taken from us. Something that empowers. Something that promotes growth, resilience, and meaning.
This month I was planning on discussing resilience in the context of baseball. Given the circumstances, I’m going to shift and talk about resilience in the context of our health, aka our immune system …

Life & Death Mentality Into A Non-Life & Death Game

Now that we’ve (hopefully) agreed upon the fact that baseball is just a game, let’s break that down from a mental standpoint. Our brain is inherently wired for survival, so it takes a life-and- death approach by default. This happens even more so when we are stressed, under pressure, nervous, scared, or struggling. However, as we all have come to understand (hopefully),  baseball is a non-life-and-death game. Therefore, we have no reason to truly be scared, nervous, stressed etc. 
If we take a non-life-and-death approach into baseball, we effectively sort of neutralize the part of our brain that spirals us into slumps, walking the house, or throwing a tantrum. Furthermore, if we just remain curious, we can play free from fear. If we play with the curiosity to see just how good we can be that day, everything becomes a learning experience; and if we love to learn, then we aren’t as afraid to fail; and if we aren’t afraid to fail, then that should give us a heck of a lot of confidence. Now I can p…

Connection – What Is It?

Simply put, a connected team is a cohesive team. In the performance world, we break cohesion down into two different types: task cohesion and social cohesion.
Task cohesion refers to a team’s “chemistry” on the court/field/ice/etc. This typically shows up in the form of a team who displays good fundamental understanding of the game and few technical mistakes. Task cohesion means people know where they’re supposed to be, where their teammates should be, and what everybody is supposed to be doing. We can think of task cohesion as an understanding of the X’s and O’s; the objective part of the game. If the concept of connection in regards to high performance is like a blanket, think of task cohesion as the essential fabric. It’s the prerequisite to your tic-tac-toe passing play, your perfectly executed double play, and your pinpoint 10-yard out-route throw. Typically, this type of cohesion is influenced through the coaching staff and their attention to detail, along with leaders on the team.
Social c…

Goals & Resolutions

We’ve all either been that person or know that person who always talks about how they’re going to change after x, y, or z. We can all sympathize with that person. It’s even sort of exciting to think about the prospect of changing in the future. In fact, that very idea is why New Year’s Resolutions fail. Using a date (Jan. 1) as a means for changing is safe. It’s some idea in the future that allows us to justify our behaviors in the present. Waiting until New Year’s Day is our way of feeling safe. It’s in the future, where performance doesn’t happen. Performance happens in the present. People make changes when THEY are ready, not when the calendar tells them to. So, we give the new diet plan the old college try until a lack of discipline wears us down and the diet isn’t providing the results we want fast enough. Time does not positively change people. The calendar does not positively change people. Intentional choice positively changes people. Discipline positively changes people (see Jocko Will…