08 Nov, 2016

Jeremiah Chapman CSCS, SCCC, Pn-1

As we mentioned in the How to Produce article, everyone wants to win and be successful. The difference between champions and everyone else is their commitment to doing everything in their power to ensure success. Walt Disney was one of the most successful people ever in film and is responsible for making animated films what they are today. Although his films and amusement parks were popular he was always looking for a way to make them better. He wanted to add value and make sure anything with his name behind it wowed the consumer. He continually did this by what he famously termed “plussing” or “Plus it”. Plussing meant to find a way to make it better. No matter how many times a sketch was drawn he always felt the he and his Imagineers could improve it. Walt was able to turn plus into an action verb and used it to make our lives better.


Disney was fond of saying, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it”. Every successful person, company, building, you name it, starts with a vision before it is formed in reality. Five-time national championship winning baseball coach Skip Bertman says, “Everything happens twice. First in your mind, then in reality”. The ability to see yourself performing the way you want to practice or play in a game will allow you to draw upon those during the actual competition. 

Your mind does not distinguish between what is real or what is imaginary. Think back to the last time you were watching a scary movie and you jumped out of your seat based on what was happening on screen. No one was actually chasing you yet you jumped as if you were actually in the movie. Play a movie of your most successful highlights and watch as they turn into reality on the field.


Today + Today + Today = Your Life. You are not able to control the past or the future. The only thing that you can control is what you are doing at the present moment and that will indirectly affect your path. Do not get caught up in what has happened or what will happen next. Take care of yourself and strive to get 1% better every day. The hardest thing in the world to do is to be able to consistently bring your best effort and energy every single day, play, pitch, shot, etc. This is why consistency is the mark of a champion.

The best way to get into the present moment is to take a deep 6-2-7 breath. Take a six second inhale, hold for two seconds, and then exhale for seven seconds. This entire process will take roughly fifteen seconds.  When you feel out of rhythm or you start thinking about all of the things that are out of your control, stop, take a 6-2-7 deep breath, and come back to the present moment.


The great stoic philosopher Epictetus was quoted as saying, “Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not”. You cannot let things that lie outside of your control have an effect on your outlook towards your future. Life happens and adversity will strike. How you choose to respond to adversity will ultimately determine the outcome of the event. 

In his great book, Above the Line, Coach Urban Meyer describes an equation he shared with the 2014 Ohio State football team. E + R = O.  Event + Response = Outcome. He had this equation place on bracelets and made for every member of the team prior to the 2014 football season. This served as a reminder for them to choose their own response and not let outside factors influence their goals for the season. With a 3rd string quarterback they went on to win the first ever college football playoff. Do not let the opinions of others, bad calls, weather, or any other excuse you could come up with determine your result. Choose to respond appropriately and directly influence your outcome.


The word confidence comes from the Latin term confidere, which means an intense or deep trust. Trust comes from knowing that you are fully equipped and have taken the steps necessary to prepare for the challenge ahead. Champions have the ability to push themselves beyond what a normal person would deem necessary in pursuit of what they want. They aren’t willing to accept average and will do everything in their power to make sure they achieve their vision for themselves. Because of this they can step on to the field or court confident, knowing that they have fully prepared.

In his book Wooden, legendary coach John Wooden described how to prepare and have masterpiece days. “When I was teaching basketball, I urged my players to try their hardest to improve on that very day, to make that practice a masterpiece. Too often we get distracted by what is outside our control. You can’t do anything about yesterday. The door to the past has been shut and the key thrown away. You can do nothing about tomorrow. It is yet to come. However, tomorrow is in large part determined by what you do today. So make today a masterpiece. You have control over that. This rule is even more important in life than basketball. You have to apply yourself each day to become a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better. Only then will you will be able to approach being the best you can be. It begins by trying to make each day count and knowing you can never make up for a lost day.” Work on your masterpiece every day and you will be prepared for anything life throws at you.


Do not become a critic of yourself. You will have enough detractors (haters) along your path to success, you must not fall victim to your own self-doubt. All athletes will have doubts about what they are doing and even the greatest in the world fail more times than they succeed. Use failure as feedback and avoid the red assassin on your shoulder who tells you, “you can’t”, or “you should quit.” Michael Jordan who (in my opinion) is the greatest basketball player of all-time said, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Thomas Edison failed over a thousand times while trying to invent the light bulb.  When asked about the ‘failure” Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."

Jon Gordon’s book, The Positive Dog, was summarized by him in a few short sentences. “We all have two dogs inside of us. One dog is positive, happy, optimistic, and hopeful. The other dog is negative, mad, sad, pessimistic, and fearful. These two dogs often fight inside us, but guess who wins the fight? The one you feed the most.” Find a way to feed the positive dog!

Use mental preparation to enhance the physical groundwork you have already laid through your training, practice, and studies. Download the PLUS+ PDF to keep as a reminder as you start plussing your own experiences.