Tag Archives: sports psychology

Katy Perry-a Pop Star who has Failed Many Times

As she discussed on Sunday Morning on CBS, Katy Perry was a failure initially. Katy said that her stint as a Christian rock artist was a dismal failure. Then she got signed by a few other secular labels that also ended up as failures. Then Capital Records signed her and changed her name from Katy Hudson to Katy Perry and altered her sound and look and the rest is history-She is now one of the most famous people on the planet.

But Katy Perry’s story shows us that many people who  became succesful had many failures along the way.

If you are not as successful as you would like to be, remember that it takes time and patience and a little luck to make it big. But failure is part of the gig.

Dr.Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership trainer and sales trainer. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle : 122 Strategies to supercharge your energy and performance at work on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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Risk Taking and your business strategy

Theodore Roosevelt acknowledged his penchant for risk taking when he coined the well-known statement, “Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits that neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”. From history, we have read that Teddy led the charge up the famous San Juan Hill with his rough riders in the Spanish American War. President Roosevelt was also a trust buster-going against the big time capitalism of his day. Teddy loved a good fight that had lots of risk-this is what motivated his charge through life.

Another who gets a charge out of risk is the golfer Phil Michelson. Take this poignant but tragic story of his high-risk golfing world: The scene was the 2006 U.S. Open. Phil had a one stroke lead standing on the tee box on the 72th hole. All he needed was a par to capture his first US open championship. Most players might play it safe and hit a utility wood or iron to hit the fairway-not Phil. He took out his driver, sliced it far left (he is a lefty), almost hitting it out of bounds. From that point, he tried to hit his next shot around the tree that lay directly in front of him and the green. Phil hit the tree and his ball dropped straight down. Phil then smashed an iron out of the rough which landed in the greenside bunker. He blasted out over the green, flipped his next shot to two feet and sunk the putt for a double bogey, and lost the championship by one stroke to Geoff Olgivy.

Phil fans, and he has millions of them, were all cringing from the experience.
Why couldn’t he just play it safe and go for a par? All he needed was a par. Why did he make such a poor decision?

The answer is simple. Phil Mickelson is an extreme risk taker. This style of play is what energizes him. In fact, Phil is no different from a sky diver, race car driver, or bungee jumper. High risk takers become bored very easily so they seek out activities that are exciting. They not only thrive on the rush- they need the rush.

This need may be due to their neurological make-up. Psychologists have recently shown that high risk personality styles have low serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps the brain function. Having low serotonin is analogous to a car idling in low gear. High risk behavior stimulates the serotonin production in the brain of high risk takers and this literally shifts their brain into high gear. Thus, the stimulation of high-risk situations is rewarding and these individuals gravitate toward this type of behavior. For Phil, he gets a rush by playing for broke on most of his shots.

Phil Michelson exemplifies the old axiom: live by the sword-die by the sword. His going for broke style has made him one of the best and well-loved golfers in his generation, yet it has also ruined a few tournament rounds-and the final round of the 2006 US Open is no exception.

Many believe taking risks and exhibiting this style is essential for success. Former IBM chairman John Akers says, “The people who are playing it totally safe are never going to have either the fun or the reward of the people who decide to take some risks. According to Akers, “There is an incredible excitement to risk taking. There is an increase in energy-the adrenaline flows and the awareness is heightened. You have a greater sense of aliveness. Life assumes a richer hue”. These statements are clearly spoken by a man who loves to take risks in his life.

Marc Cuban exhibits that hue in life from which John Akers speaks. Mark Cuban is a well-known flamboyant self-made billionaire. He rose to riches by cofounding Micro-solutions which he sold to Compuserve in 1990. Then he co-founded broadcast.com. a sport radio broadcasting on the internet, which he sold to Yahoo at the peak of the internet craze. He also loves his sports and currently is the owner of Dallas Mavericks NBA team.

Cuban’s philosophy for business is to risk to gain something, and according to him, “if you do not have the courage to get out of your comfort zone, you will never be successful”. Cuban believes that risk and success go hand and hand.

Marc Cuban, John Akers, Phil Michelson and Theodore Roosevelt have the commonality of being a risk-taker. Their life takes on a glow when risk is involved. Without it, their life would be dull. Thus, we could extrapolate that these individuals became successful because they intuitively brought risk into their lives. Risk helped them to achieve their greatness, regardless of venue.

Risk awareness

Are you a risk-taker? Do you have a risk-taking personality? Psychologists have labeled this a “T” personality type.

Here are a few questions to assess whether or not you are a risk-taker:
1)Do you like driving fast in the rain?
2)Do you enjoy a good roller coaster?
3)Do you like down hill skiing-when there is a chance of injury?
4)Do you enjoy living life on the edge?
5)Are you decisions considered risky and edgy?
If you answered yes to 4 out of the 5 above questions, you probably have a risk-taking personality.

More importantly, are you using this personality style to your advantage?

Or, have you lost the glow in your life? Perhaps by adding some risk, you can change the hue of your world.
Get Risky with a plan

While risk-taking may be essential to some to fill that void or boost their adrenaline, don’t believe it is always done with out a purpose. It is rarely done haphazardly by anyone, either in sport or business.
Ask Red Adai who pioneered the extinguishing of oil well fires. Through his work, he built a reputation as the best oil well fire fighter in the world. His company put out the Gulf War oil fires in 1991 and received a special letter of recognition from President Bush for his work he completed in just nine months.

You figured a man who faced the heat of death every day at work would have a plan. He does. Red said that fighting a fire is like going into battle and mounting an invasion. You start with a battle plan, gather your men and equipment, and then attack.

If you are like Teddy, Phil or Marc Cuban, be risky but have a plan. Engaging in high risk behavior doesn’t mean that you act impulsively. Just because you may not want a net when you leap does not mean you do not have a plan when you land.

Dr.Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership trainer and sales trainer. He is the author of the Washington Post Best Selling book: Full Throttle: 122 strategies to supercharge your performance at work. See more about Dr. Gregg at http://www.drgreggsteinberg.com

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Has Tiger Woods lost his Mojo?

Has Tiger Woods lost his mojo in golf?

Check out this article I contributed to in Foxnews.com-I would like to hear your thoughts about this topic:http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/08/05/tiger-woods-lost-mojo-good/

Dr.Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership trainer and sales trainer. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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Heroes and risk taking

As a sports psychologist and keynote speaker, I am looking for great stories and messages-Here is one. Memorial Day just passed and with it goes our memories to all the heroes in the military-The men and women who take risks everyday.

While their lives are usually not the same as risk taking in business, there are many parallels.Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks who made billions on taking risks with new enterprises. Cuban mentioned that his life takes on a different hue when he is engaged in risk taking endeavors.

We have all heard it before-We must take risks to succeed-but I would also add that we should have a plan for your risk taking strategies-While it is important to leap, make sure you have a plan when you land!

Dr.Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership trainer and sales trainer. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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Tiger Woods and His ability to focus is a sport psychology phenomenon

As a sports psychologist, I have always been fascinated by Tiger Woods’ ability to focus in the heat of competition.

He is about to face his toughest tournament to date at the Masters. He will need to block out all the distractions-the same questions from the media, fans heckling, and his peers saying negatives about him. But I believe Tiger is up to the test. Tiger worked with a sport psychologist for many years, who taught him how to focus intensely through a form of self-hypnosis. His Late Dad, Earl, also put him through what he called finishing school and would jiggle change in the middle of his backswing as a way to practice blocking out distractions.

He will need all his mental toughness training at this years’ Masters. My bet is he will be able to block out all of the outside world and focus on getting that little ball into the cup and of course, he has a good chance of winning the tournament-what a great story if he does!!

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership trainer and sales trainer. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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Leadership lessons from Obama-Great Business Keynote Lessons

Whether you like him or don’t, we all have to admire President Obama’s leadership style. He sticks with his beliefs, regardless of outcome. The vote for his heathcare reform initiative is this Sunday, and he wants to do what is right for the American people.

The leadership lessons here are:

1) Have integrity

2) Do what you believe is right for your group.

I like Obama and his style because I believe he is a man of integrity, and we need more people in leadership like him!

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and leadership and sales trainer. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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Apolo Ohno lets denial be his friend

As a business speaker and business keynote speaker, I am always looking for a great life lesson, Here is one:   Apolo Ohno was disqualified in the 500m race tonight at the Winter Olympics. Afterward, Apolo told Chris Collingsworth that that he should not have been DQ and more importantly, he said the judge (who was Canadian) was biased. Apolo’s DQ allowed the canadian skater, who fell in the race to win Bronze. Apolo had his hand on the Canadian’s hip and then he fell-causing his disqualification.

Why did Apolo blame the judge and not take responsibility? Are we not told to take responsibility for our actions?

In sport, as in life, denial can be our friend, at times. If we deny our responsibility for a failure, and blame others, as Apolo did-this mental strategy can keep our confidence. Apolo had the relay in just a few hours after the 500m race-he needed to keep his confidence-Denial says to us “it is not me-it is them” and this mental strategy helps to keep our confidence when needed.

People in sales can use this strategy to keep their confidence. When failure happens, as it does time and time again in sales, blaming others  can help maintain our confidence. Sometimes, there is no obvious reason why a sale fell through-some times it just happens. In this case, don’t take the blame.

But if you know your actions caused the failure, then take the responsibility and improve your shortcomings. However, if no exact answer is apparant, then do what Apolo did and use denial as your friend-it may help increase your speed to excellence!

To learn more about mastering our emotions, please see Full Throttle on amazon.com.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and sales training speaker. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his new book, Full Throttle on amazon.com. To see more about his coaching go to http://tinyurl.com/yemlfs8 and to see his products go to http://tinyurl.com/yjk5q6x

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