Friday, June 6, 2014

Why I love soccer (football the FIFA world Cup) and my daughter

I am not a soccer or football pro.

I have never attended a pro game.

I have never met a pro soccer player from Brazil or Spain.

But I love to watch soccer or football as it`s called in most of the world.

Have, in fact, played University ball as a mid. Not too bad.

My girl was born 17 years ago and my wife and I enrolled her into soccer at 4. Of course I coached with many good friends.

I remember those swarm of bees running after the ball, just focused on kicking the ball.

Every week we had a practise and a game. An official game with a referee and outfits to boot.

We were in love with her and the game gave us the opportunity to have fun with friends and family.

Big, big crowds we had to turn people away ;-) !

When I was a teenager, I played soccer one-on-one with a friend, now I play soccer with my girl.

Today she plays U16 and she outruns me and outshoots me. I am growing old you know. She has an unfair advantage.

I told her to find a role model. I recommended Marta Vieira da Silva from Brazil. Marta for those who know her. We watched videos of her.

Amazing player !

I picked her because she is a great role model for her and a skillful player probably the best girl player in the world. I told her to watch how she moves her legs, how she handles the ball, how she deeks other players and how she passes the ball.

To watch how she handles adversity, failure and success and emulate her behavior.

My daughter learned well and won 5 championships throughout her young career.

Last year, she was mid D and a pillar on defence.

Most important, she had fun, enjoyed her friends and the process. We walked, biked and drove to practices and games.

Soon it will be the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Millions even billions of people will watch games live and on TV of the most played game in the world.

As you watch, the best of the best, Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and others keep a close eye on their skills, their mental preparation, their momentum, their discipline, their emotions, their team play and their determination.

To improve, choose a model or two.

I highlight many of the mental strategies they use to learn the game in an eBook, Mental Training for Winning, I wrote.

Over the years I have taught my daughter these skills and she uses them in her dance and her school work.

She`s retired now from soccer.

It`s all a journey and a process, a grand experiment in learning the qualities of being human.

During that time, she`s learned how to share her math skills with new immigrants from Haiti. She does science team projects with Chinese and Japanese girls. And she scores well at school.

I am so proud of her.

I believe that the skills she learned had a positive impact on her life.

I hope I was her best role model.

#soccer #football #FIFIworldCup #Brazil

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mental images and pictures you'll never forget

I picked up the shoebox with the pictures in them. Then I flipped through them quickly stopping at one and recollecting my thoughts.

As soon as I stopped at that one picture, my brain twirled into a tailspin of great memories that connected the dots from the event.

Consciously or unconsciously, it happens all the time whether it's pictures or movies.

Doesn't it happen to you?

Sure it does.

I travelled back in time. This picture was of my daughter when she was 2 years old. I remember as if it was yesterday.

It was our yearly visit to Sears Portrait Studio (no plugs and no connection with the company) with my girl, my wife and my mom.

She was a fiesty little girl and still today expresses her feelings with gusto.

So what's my point?

We all have a sentimental shoebox of pictures or movies from the past on our computers.

The secret key is to unlock the memories that trigger in your mind what you want out of life.

In fact your mind travels at the speed of light through a kaleidoscope of memories and recreates true or false perceptions in your mind's eye.

True or not?

Your perception is your reality.

This picture of my daughter quickly fires up emotions of fatherly love. Then it triggers love for my wife and mother. The emotions swell up like a tidalwave and I see my girl, my wife and my mother in a world of love that binds me to them for eternity.

Just one picture changes my mood and puts me in a state of love.

I keep that picture right beside my computer where I sit for many hours on end reading and researching my books.

Once in a while, a quick peek at that picture makes me feel happy and loved.

Jump forward 3 years later, I replayed a movie of Melanie, my daughter, when she was dancing her first steps.

Quite a scene. Intense and so beautiful again it brought back happy memories.

Now flashforward to today, she's 15 and she's obsessed with dance.

Boy does she dance and of course I have my taxi driver's permit to drive her specifically this week 6 days to dance class. Move over dance moms and Abby Lee (she's the head host of a very competitive dance program in case you don't know).

Where am I going with this sob story.

Do you have pictures and movies from your past?

Where do you put them?

Do you edit your pictures and movies with one of those fancy pants software?

Do you add supers (words printed on your screen) to your pictures and movies?

Do you create souvenir slide shows and videos?

Now here is the killer question ;-)!

Do you use the hypnotic power of your pictures and movies to trigger in your subconscious mind the right state?

I do.

And so can you.

Last Saturday, my daughter just produced a homemade video with a friend for her English class. They wrote a rap song about the play Romeo and Juliet. In the video, they used self-modeling strategies I taught them.

She used these strategies and techniques you can use in the right order and sequence to fire up a web of great memories in your brain that I explain in my books.

If you want to live the time of your life, if you want to create the life you desire, whether it's at dance, sports, business, teaching or family events, you get these proven ideas in my step-by-step books that will put you in a state of peak performance.

My books are going to change your life. But my daughter is going to change the world.

Now go dance!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

John Wooden knew the meaning of life and winning

I don't know if you've read John Wooden's book, Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court. Probably depends if you're into sports or teaching.

If you're under 30, you never saw him play or coach. If you're in your 30's, your father saw him coach UCLA's basketball team. If you're my age you feel the ache in your knees and hear the crowd screaming. Like you were playing on the basketball court or yelling instructions on the sideline to your players.
In his haydays, he coached players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

Bill Walton said, "When I left UCLA in 1974 and became the highest-paid player in the history of team sports at that time, the quality of my life went down. That's how special it was to have played for John Wooden and UCLA."

Abdul-Jabbar says, "He wanted to win, but not more than anything ... My relationship with him has been one of the most significant of my life... The consummate teacher, he taught us that the best you are capable of is victory enough, and that you can't walk until you crawl, that gentle but profound truth about growing up."

When I coached basketball, I was young and focused on player development and skill learning. I was innocent back then, suffering from lack of life experience. Now I'm Walton's age, old and experienced enough to know that "quality of life" is more important than anything else.

Your definition and mine are probably different.

But John Wooden knew his definition of success in life, and his and mine are the same.

I hadn't thought about Wooden in years, except when I studied his coaching strategies in a sport psychology class I taught at my alumni, the University of Ottawa. I was a huge fan of John Wooden and his life philosophy. Even though I was more into the Montreal Canadiens and the Green Bay Packers, I thought of his teaching philosophy and will admit to being a winning coach the Wooden way.

Before you give me any bull about basketbal giants or how "fake," John Wooden was, or how he was a “lucky” man, consider this...

- He won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period — seven in a row — as head coach at UCLA
- His teams won a record 88 consecutive games.
- He was named national coach of the year six times.
- He was the first to be named basketball All-American three times and he won a national championship at Purdue.
- He was named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever enshrined in both categories.

Coach Wooden's philosophy was to be a teacher but not any kind of teacher. For him (and me) it's this...

A role model of success in life.

When you live your life as an example, you are true to your values and beliefs.

Wooden didn't have to flaunt his success. He was content to lead by example, perfectly happy in his role as a teacher and a basketball coach on the sideline. Unlike many of his peers, he never scolded his players or their play, never demanded them to win but to be the best they could be as human beings.

It didn’t bother him there were technically better players in the world. He knew what his purpose in life was, and did his best to lead by example.

John Wooden was married 59 years to his wife, Nellie, and had two kids. Nellie died on March 21, 1985 from cancer. (I know how he felt, my wife had breast cancer.)
He remained faithful to her until his death. The 21st of every month, he would visit her grave. Then he would write a love letter to her, place it in an envelope with the others on top of the pillow she slept on during their life together.

Now that's faith and love.

He said, "I have always tried to make it clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior. If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me."

When Alan Castel, UCLA assistant professor of psychology interviewed Wooden about aging and memory, he said, "Wooden was a role model, not just as a coach and a wise man, but also for his modesty and character, and on how to age successfully.

He was a legend in ways that go far beyond basketball. His personality, positivity, wisdom and attitude toward aging played important roles in his cognitive vitality.
He also had a great sense of humor about life, and even death ... One of Coach's famous quotes was, 'When I am through learning, then I am through.'"

He just wanted to teach, wanted to make you a better person.

John Wooden says it by the book. Today I get that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What made the difference?

What makes the difference between failure and success?

They are two brothers and both of them played soccer on the same team.

Both of them excelled at the game.

One became a drug consumer and nearly lost his life to drug pushers.

The other became the highest paid professional soccer player in the world at $40 million dollars a year. And some consider him the best player in the world.

What made the difference?

The difference sometimes is so small one can't imagine what went wrong. Often times the game of life is the inner game. A mind game when what you say to yourself, what you imagine and what you feel makes all the difference.

In this case the Messi brothers were not that different. The youngest, Lionel Messi, is the best soccer player in the world. He practised hours on end and developped his skills. Surprisingly he was not the best of the two. His oldest brother was in better and stronger but something happen in his mind.

It's all about mental training. Practical down-to-earth mind toughness and mental skills that you learn and practise daily to make them a habit. Sport psychology studies the mind power of athletes at their best.

Here are four strategies the best athletes use to motivate themselves...

1-The SOG
2-The 4-4-4 technique
3-The Mind's eye
4-The firewall

Check it out! Click here!