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More on Challenges Athletes Face……

In the last post, Sports Psychologist Nicole Detling narrowed down the most challenging obstacles athletes face to two things. In this article, Mike Edger discusses some more common challenges. As you go through your practice or game be aware of any feelings that come up and see if you can identify them with any of the challenges listed below. Awareness of what is holding you back is the first step in moving past your blocks and toward optimal performance. The truth is ALL athletes face more than one of these challenges. Listen to the comments made by even the gold medal winners in the Olympics now going on. Many mention their fears, doubts and anxiety, but are able to push through them….

Here is Edger’s Article:

One of the hallmarks of great athletes is the desire to improve themselves. Athletes at all levels use mental training and sports psychology to become better athletes, and overcome their mental game challenges. Mental training helps athletes perform more consistently, find the zone more often, keep a winning streak alive, and learn how to think well under pressure.

The first step of mental training is to identify the need to improve your mental game. Often times athletes are unaware of the mental barriers the limit their performance, and how mental training can help them meet their athletic potential.

The following mental game challenges are the most common I see among athletes who seek mental training. You may be surprise to find that you or someone you know can relate to one or more of the performance barriers listed below.

1. Fragile or low self-confidence. In sports confidence is defined as one’s belief in their ability to execute a task or win an event. Confidence is key to success in sports and the number one asset that separates great athletes from the rest of the pack. Athletes cannot reach their true athletic potential without massive amounts of confidence in their game(s) and abilities. Athletes who are not confident perform in comfort zones, have doubts about their ability to perform, and are more likely to experience performance anxiety.

2. Breakdowns in trust. This happens when you do not give up control and allow your body to perform like you have trained it to. Athletes with a lack of trust often seek mental training because they perform better in practice then in competition. In competition these athletes tend to over-analyze their performance, question their game plan, and make indecisive decisions in key situations. Practice is time to changes focus on technique. In competition it is important that you stick to your game plan, and perform with freedom or trust especially in times of adversity or pressure.

3. High Expectations. Expectations are strict demands that athletes make about their performance. With expectations, athletes constantly judge how they are doing compared to what they expect to do. Expectations are very result-oriented focus. They can make you feel frustrated when not playing up to your expectations and/or limit your performance when playing “better than expected.” Many athletes and coaches believe that high expectations come with high confidence, but it is quite the opposite. When athletes do not meet their expectations, it undermines their confidence. Like I previously mentioned, confidence is the belief in one’s ability to execute a task or win an event. A strong self-belief without expectation (self-judgment) is ideal. Confidence precedes execution and is void of judgment post execution. Expectations are used to judge how you are doing based on what you expect to do.

4. Fear of Failure and Social approval. Fear of failure is characterized by high expectations, a strong desire to succeed (and not fail), anxiety or tension, worrying too much about results or outcomes, social approval issues or worrying too much about what others think, and performing with a serious, controlled mindset. Fear of failure is most often associated with social approval because these athletes worry too much about letting others down by not performing up to others expectations. Social approval influences how much pressure and expectations athletes put on themselves to be successful in sports.

5. Perfectionism. Perfectionist athletes are characterized by high levels of motivation, an intense desire to succeed, and a strong work ethic. Despite high levels of motivation, perfectionist underachieve because of fear of failure and wanting so badly to succeed. Perfectionist athletes try to hard to perform perfectly. This causes a lack of trust and relates to the athlete’s expectations about how he should perform. Perfectionists often compete with a training mindset caused by an obsession with perfection, and wanting to practice to improve for the future. This causes them to over-analyze their technique or mechanics and keeps them from just playing the game and performing. Perfectionists perform with an over analytical and judgmental mindset, which often undermines their competitive self-confidence. This is caused by their need to perform perfectly. When these athletes make an error or mistake they tend to dwell on it, lose composure, and take their head out of the game.

There are several other mental challenges that athletes face such as, focus, concentration, composure, goals, nervousness, anxiety, and lack of mental preparation to name a few. Mental training gives athletes the tools they need to break through these mental barriers that limit their performance. Sports psychology or mental training helps athletes perform up to their potential and achieve their performance goals. With mental training, you can learn to “tune out” worries about what others think of you and focus on what’s most important—playing the game and performing your best.

Here’s a link to the original article:  http://www.sportpsychologytoday.com/youth-sports-psychology/common-mental-game-challenges-for-athletes/

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Are you a Compass or a Weathervane?

How can you obtain optimal performance? First of all, why optimal and not peak performance?? Lots of people are looking for ‘peak’ performance, but in my mind we can only peak at certain moments. A track athlete trains on a regular basis, recovers on a regular basis and only competes periodically. Some competitions are viewed as part of the training cycle and they will train to ‘peak’ for only a few big events each year. If they were to try to peak throughout the year, they would burn out, get injured and have a short career.

 

Optimal performance, in my mind, means that you are performing at the level that is optimal for you given where you are along the journey, and that you save the peaking for special moments. It’s a long-term view and a constant state, not a periodic one. The opposite of a peak is a valley. And the valleys may be optimal, too, if they serve as big learning moments. Another important fact is that we are individuals and respond individually. If I have ten athletes and give them the exact same training program, nutrition program and recovery program, I would be hard pressed to find any two that had the exact same response. Each has different needs, genetics, experience, and ability to comply. Along the way they meet with different stressors in the form of illness, social issues, school or work issues, emotional stressors, things they have to do, time constraints, etc. All of which has an impact on their results.

 

I look at high performers and wonder about the traits that make them successful. Take Tom Brady. Much has been made of his discipline and the choices he makes in order for him to stay at the top. He lives very intentionally. Each day he has a clear intention and stays the course, even when the winds may try to blow him off course. He sticks to his compass. Being intentional is the first step towards optimal performance; it is the foundation. Being reactive to every ‘wind that blows’ and going through your day reacting to what comes at you rarely results in getting where you want to go. Whatever your goals may be, living each day intentionally instead of reactively can make an enormous difference in getting where you want to be.

 

So……where are you on the spectrum of intentional to reactive?

Are you more like a compass (intentional) or a weathervane (reactive)?

A compass will get you to your destination…..a weathervane just tells you which way the wind is blowing.

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What’s Holding You Back?

I woke last night around 2:30am, sort of half awake, but fully conscious that I was not asleep and aware of my thoughts. I tossed and turned but couldn’t fall back asleep. I was thinking about Perform Optimal, and all I could come up with were all of the reasons it wasn’t going to work. My thoughts, although conscious, were also semi-conscious as I drifted in and out of light sleep. I was scared….. too old, who’s going to listen, I’m wasting my time, losing money, I ‘should’…… Normally, when fully Awake I think positive thoughts and I’m excited about moving ahead and yet I am often doing stuff that isn’t critical, finding things that need to be done but aren’t getting the message out. And I am at times frustrated at the lack of movement. I realized this morning that I have deep-seated fear that’s holding me back (and I never really realized it), keeping me from moving forward getting the messages out and serving you. Blog posts, emails, video, interviews, all things that I want to share and that you hopefully are interested in are not first to be done. Procrastination and diversion are the result of fear – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of ….. I don’t really know. But I’m glad I know that what is at the crux of the wheel spinning is fear.

Now I can conquer it! Now that I know what it is, I can use it as a driving force for me to move ahead. Before I knew, I didn’t really know what the obstacle is. Now I know.

I recently read Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is The Way. Everyone should read it!

Every great leader, athlete, teacher, artist, human has had obstacles to overcome. In my opinion, that is why they are where they are, got to where they got, because they were able to overcome more than the next person. Fear happens to be probably the most common obstacle and many run away from it or try to suppress it. First you need to recognize it, then accept it, and then and only then can it be fuel for success.

Most of us feel that we are not reaching our full potential. Fear is likely one reason, maybe a big one.

Where are your fears lurking and what are you going to do about them??

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The obstacles they are facing put ours into perspective. I can’t imagine the fear so many are facing with the uncertainty of their future. We all need to reach out to help.

Let me know your thoughts. Just reply to this email…..

All the best,
Mark

P.S. Join our mailing list for more about how to perform better! Just click here

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Do We Need To Be Individual?

Do we need to be individuals?

We Live in a very exciting time. Technology is growing at an exponential rate and that includes biotech. Research on DNA/genetics is giving us hard data on how each of us work and what works for you. My experience has shown me more and more how individual we all are. Give the exact same training program and/or nutrition program to a group of athletes and their adaptation will vary. Compliance is always an issue, but even with those who are dedicated and in compliance there will be a varied effect. Some get faster, some don't. Some make bigger strength gains than others, some have more energy, etc. The reason for this is genetics. Each of us have different reactions to various foods. Some respond better to carbohydrates than others, for example. We vary in our ability to tolerate lactose, gluten and other nutrients or "anti-nutrients". Some seem to easily pack on muscle mass while others don't. Some can't seem to gain weight and others can't seem to lose weight. YET HOW OFTEN DO WE GIVE THE SAME RECIPE TO ALL AND EXPECT THE SAME RESULTS?

Listen to these free talks and learn more about how to really get down to details and impact your health and improve your performance..........

 
Interpreting Your Genetics Summit

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Going Fast?

I shot this short video back in March and want to share it with you. When I look back at my early professional years, I was given some incredible opportunities and I missed out on really growing and benefitting from them because I was in a hurry to get ahead. I see others do the same thing and in their haste they often end up just going sideways or even backwards as they get ahead of themselves. I wish I had been more patient and focused on what was right in front of me…..

Watch the video and please leave a comment as I would love to hear your thoughts and experience!!

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Anyone interested in their own health and performance should read this

Anyone interested in their own health and performance should read this.

Glyphosate: Why Eating Organic Really Does Matter

By: DAVE ASPREY

Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the world.[1] It’s the active ingredient in Roundup, the star product of agrochemical giant Monsanto.

Glyphosate tends to divide people. Some say it’s entirely safe, while others swear it’s a deadly toxin. Both sides of the aisle get heated about glyphosate; the result is a tangled web of science and politics that can be messy to navigate.

Here’s the Bulletproof perspective on glyphosate and going organic. The short version of this article is that the Bulletproof Diet recommends all organic food. Why?

To support sustainable farming practices. Sustainable farming practices keep small farmers happy and toxic chemicals out of our soil and water. A diverse crop rotation is more like what nature intended and also
To help build better soil. The soil is made up of trillions of living organisms – or at least is should be. Glyphosate is unquestionably toxic for soil bacteria, killing beneficial bacteria and bugs that help your food grow. Organic food is glyphosate-free and supports healthy soil way more than conventionally-grown food.
Bottom line: If you want to live at full power, keep glyphosate away from your skin, your food, and your soil. Read on for a more in-depth breakdown.

The many dangers of Roundup

In May of 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” They based that classification largely on animal studies that showed that glyphosate caused tumor growth or higher incidence of cancer. They also talked about conflicting human evidence: one large-scale study found that glyphosate increases risk of cancer, while another similar study found it doesn’t.[2][3] The WHO investigation also found that glyphosate is probably genotoxic (it causes mutations in DNA) and increases oxidative stress, which triggers inflammation and speeds up aging.

Monsanto (the biggest manufacturer of glyphosate in the world) claimed that the WHO cherry-picked research, ignoring at least a dozen studies showing glyphosate to be non-genotoxic and not carcinogenic…but it came out that all of those studies were funded by either Monsanto or another company in the pesticide business.https://www.nature.com/news/widely-used-herbicide-linked-to-cancer-1.17181

Glyphosate also mimics estrogen, which could explain why it causes human breast cancer cells to grow in vitro.[4]

Then there’s glyphosate vs. Roundup. Glyphosate was not directly toxic to mitochondria in a study, but Roundup was.[5][6] And while glyphosate alone is toxic to human placental cells, Roundup does significantly more damage to them.[7]

That begs a good question: all these studies are looking at glyphosate in isolation, but the vast majority of pesticide-treated crops are sprayed with Roundup. What else is in Roundup that hasn’t been studied?

Leaked emails and dirty politics

At least two other compounds in Roundup – nitrosoglyphosate (NNG) and 1,4-dioxane – are probable carcinogens.[8] It appears that Monsanto knew these are toxic and tried to hide their toxicity from the EPA.[9] It came out when the company was sued and had to produce internal emails in court, including the one below:

Credit: Foodbabe.com

Another group of emails revealed that Monsanto’s former researcher, Dr. James Parry, found glyphosate to be genotoxic. When he presented his results, Monsanto’s execs got rid of him, noting that the priority was to “find/develop someone who is comfortable with the genetox profile of glyphosate/Roundup and who can be influential with regulators and Scientific Outreach operations when genetox issues arise.”

Credit: Foodbabe.com

In those same emails, it also came out that Monsanto had employees write studies on glyphosate’s safety, then paid researchers to sign their names as if the researchers had done the studies themselves.

Credit: Foodbabe.com

Then there’s the email from Marion Copley, a longtime toxicologist for the EPA, to Jess Rowland, the EPA official who works with Monsanto to determine carcinogenicity of glyphosate. As a result of Rowland’s work, the EPA declared that glyphosate is non-toxic and that there are no likely mechanisms that it can cause cancer.

Copley (again, a toxicologist for 30 years) sent Rowland an email listing out 14 possible cancer mechanisms. She notes that glyphosate causes every single one of them simultaneously, concluding that “it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer.” Copley then accuses Rowland of taking bribes and intimidating colleagues throughout her career. You can read the email in its entirety here.

All of this taken together makes it seem like Monsanto is hiding something. If you have a safe product, you don’t need to get rid of test results or write your own research and pay scientists to put their names on it.

Does going organic make a difference?

It does. Glyphosate accumulates in sprayed food. Organic food, on the other hand, cannot be sprayed with glyphosate/Roundup, and people on an organic diet have significantly lower glyphosate residue in their systems. Same with cows who don’t eat GMO feed, which is another reason to eat organic, grass-fed meat.[10]

This is especially important when it comes to protein. The “gly” in glyphosate stands for glycine, the amino acid that makes up your collagen and skin. Glyphosate gets used to make collagen in animals and people for this reason, meaning that when you eat non-organic meat, especially bone broth or collagen powder, you’re getting whatever dose of glyphosate was incorporated into the animal. Stick to meat and collagen from 100% grass-fed cows – no glyphosate-soaked grain in their food supply.

5 ways to detox from glyphosate

It’s nearly impossible to eat organic all the time, even if many restaurants in bigger cities are proud to stock organic veggies and pastured grass-fed meat. If and when you’re exposed to lower quality food, there are a couple of things you can do to detox and repair any damage to your gut lining.

Take activated charcoal. During and after a meal of questionable quality, pop a couple of charcoal pills to help your body bind and excrete any possible toxins.
Drink water. Hydration helps all of your detox organs – your liver, kidneys, and skin – do their jobs to excrete nasty chemicals from your body.
Eat a high-fat diet of undamaged fats. Glyphosate causes gut permeability and a high-fat, low-carb, low-sugar diet is amazing for gut health. Check out the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap for a list of healthy fats.
Support bile flow and heal your gut. To support your gut lining and healthy gut bacteria, try a supplement like Restore. It’s a soil-derived supplement designed to support the health of your intestinal walls, which are damaged when your body is exposed to glyphosate.
Buy organic when you can, and get to know which conventional produce has the highest pesticide loads. You can find a full list from the Environmental Working Group. And for more on glyphosate, check out this podcast with Dr. Stephanie Seneff.
Read more here about detox methods that really work.

Whatever you do, don’t be fooled when a big company selling an obvious poison tells you it’s safe. There is no case for spraying this stuff on our planet, and it’s one of the largest concerns I have about the health of my children as they age.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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Don’t aim at success

Here's a great quote from Victor Frankl about aiming for success.

"Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run - in the long-run - I say! Success will follow you precisely because you have forgotten to think about it."
-Victor E. Frankl

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