Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script

Find yourself a quiet place to relax. Turn off your phone and dim the lights. This is your time…a time for

complete and utter relaxation.

For this relaxation, you can either sit or lie down. Just make sure that you are warm enough, and that you

are comfortable. Let your hands rest loosely in your lap, or by your side. Now close your eyes.

Become aware of your breathing, and notice how your abdomen rises and falls with each breath…

Now take a long slow deep breath in through your nose, all the way down into your stomach. Hold the

breath for just a moment, and then exhale through your mouth. Allow your breath to carry away all stress

and tension as the air floods out of your lungs.

Take another slow breath in through your nose. Fill your lungs completely. Hold it for a moment…and

release the breath through your mouth. Empty your lungs completely.

Take a third deep breath in. Hold it for a moment, and then let it go.

Feel that your body has already undergone a change. The tension in your body has begun to loosen and


Now let your breathing rhythm return to normal…and relax….

During this relaxation I will ask you to tense various muscles throughout your body. Please do this without

straining. You do not need to exert yourself, just contract each muscle firmly but gently as you breathe in.

If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you can simply relax and breathe normally.

Bring your awareness to your feet and toes. Breathe in deeply through your nose, and as you do,

gradually curl your toes down and tense the muscles in the soles of your feet. Hold your breath for just a

few seconds and then release the muscles in your feet as you breathe out. Feel the tension in your feet

wash away as you exhale. Notice how different your feet feel when tensed and when they are relaxed.

Take another deep breath in again, tense the muscles in the soles of your feet and hold this position for a

few seconds.

Now release. Feel yourself relaxing more and more deeply with each breath. Your whole body is

becoming heavier, softer and more relaxed as each moment passes.

Now bring your awareness to your lower legs…to your calf muscles. As you draw in a nice deep breath,

point your toes up towards your knees and tighten these muscles. Hold for just a moment, and then let

those muscles go limp as you exhale.

Once again, draw in a deep breath…and tighten your calf muscles. Hold for a few seconds, and then let it

all go. Feel your muscles relax, and feel the tension washing away with your out-breath.

In a moment you will tense the muscles in the front of your thighs. If you are lying down, you can do this

by trying to straighten your legs. You’ll feel the muscles pulling your kneecap upwards. If you are seated,

you can tense these muscles by pushing your heels down onto the floor. 2

Take a deep breath in, and tense the muscles in your thighs. Hold for just a moment, and then release

everything. As you do this, the blood flow to your muscles increases, and you may notice a warm tingling

sensation. Enjoy this feeling of soothing relaxation in your thighs.

Again, breathe in deeply and tighten your thigh muscles. Hold for a moment. Now release. Focus on

letting your muscles go limp and loose.

Draw in a nice deep breath and gradually tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Hold this contraction for a

few seconds, and then release your breath. Feel the tension leaving your muscles. Feel them relaxing


Once more, breathe in deeply and tighten the muscles in your buttocks. Hold for a moment. Now release

them. You are becoming more and more deeply relaxed.

Take another breath, and this time, gradually tighten all the muscles in your legs, from your feet to your

buttocks. Do this in whatever way feels natural and comfortable to you. Hold it…and now release all these

large strong muscles. Enjoy the sensation of release as you become even more deeply relaxed.

Now bring your awareness to your stomach. Draw in a nice deep breath and then tighten these muscles.

Imagine you are trying to touch your belly button to your spine. Now release your breath and let your

muscles relax. Notice the sensation of relief that comes from letting go.

Once again, draw in a deep breath and then tighten your stomach muscles. Hold for a few seconds… and

then let them relax as you exhale and release all tension.

Bring your awareness to the muscles in your back. As you slowly breathe in, arch your back slightly and

tighten these muscles….Now release your breath and let your muscles relax.

Again, draw in a deep breath and then tighten your back muscles. Hold for a few seconds…and then let

them relax and release.

Now give your attention to your shoulder muscles and the muscles in your neck. As you slowly draw in a

nice deep breath, pull your shoulders up towards your ears and squeeze these muscles firmly. Now

breathe out completely, and allow your contracted muscles to go loose and limp.

Again, pull your shoulders up towards your ears and squeeze these muscles firmly.

Now feel the tension subside as you relax and breathe out.

Feel the heaviness in your body now. Enjoy the feeling. Feel yourself becoming heavier and heavier. Feel

yourself becoming more and more deeply relaxed.

You are calm, secure, at peace.

Now it’s time to let go of all the tension in your arms and hands. Let’s start with your upper arms.

As you breathe in, raise your wrists towards your shoulders and tighten the muscles in your upper arms.

Hold that breath and that contraction for just a moment…and then gently lower your arms and breathe all

the way out. You may feel a warm, burning sensation in your muscles when you tighten them. Feel how

relaxing it is to release that tightness and to breathe away all tension.3

As you curl your upper arms again, tighten the muscles as you breathe in. Breathe in deeply. Now relax

your arms and breathe out.

Now bring your awareness to your forearms. As you breathe in, curl your hands inwards as though you

are trying to touch the inside of your elbows with your fingertips. Now feel the tension subside as you

relax and breathe out.

Again, take a deep breath in, and tighten the muscles in your forearms. Hold it for a moment, and then

release them. Feel the tension washing away.

Now, take another breath in and tightly clench your fists. When you have finished breathing in, hold for

just a few seconds, and then release. Notice any feelings of buzzing or throbbing. Your hands are

becoming very soft and relaxed.

Take another deep breath in and clench your fists again. Hold for just a few seconds, and then release.

Let your fingers go limp.

Your arms and hands are feeling heavy and relaxed.

Take a couple of nice long slow breaths now, and just relax. Feel yourself slipping even deeper into a

state of complete rest.

Now tighten the muscles in your face by squeezing your eyes shut and clenching your lips together. As

you do, breathe in fully. Hold it…now breathe out and relax all your facial muscles. Feel your face


Once more, breathe in deeply while you scrunch the muscles in your eyes and lips….and release.

Now bring your awareness to the muscles in your jaw. Take a deep breath in, and then open your mouth

as wide as you can. Feel your jaw muscles stretching and tightening. Now exhale and allow your mouth

to gently close.

Again, fill your lungs with air and then open your mouth wide. Now let your mouth relax and let your

breath flood all the way out.

You are now completely relaxed from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.

Please take a few more minutes to rest. Relax. Listen to the sound of your breathing and enjoy the lovely,

warm sensation of physical relaxation. If you have the time, feel free to fall asleep. You will wake feeling

completely rejuvenated and relaxed.

What to do during COVID-19

Dear Athletes,

I know most of us never predicted that 2020 would be the year that a virus would have sports across the world cancelled. It’s interesting, I’ve always believed sports to be the medicine we take when things are going wrong in our society, now we don’t have as much access to our favorite drug, to our lively hood.  For some of you, this virus just ended your season, postponed your dreams or even sped up your retirement; and I want you to know that it is perfectly okay to be upset, confused, stressed or anxious, with so many unknowns around us right now. I wanted to give you some tips and tricks to minimize your anxiety and stress and make the most out of the game you love.

Stress and Anxiety

The irony of all of this is, the more we stress or the more anxious we are the more at risk we put ourselves at risk of becoming sick. Stress and anxiety weaken our immune systems so if we over experience those emotions it essentially becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, you will eventually get sick. That does not mean it will be Coronavirus but even a regular cold can be complicated at this time.

  1. Grounding -When you find yourself becoming anxious bring your attention back to the room by identifying :

2 things you see

2 things you hear

2 things you smell

2 things you can tactically feel (like clothes, the ground etc.)

2 things you taste (I know this is a hard one)

  • Deliberate Breathing-

Sit up tall and uncross your arms and legs OR lay down flat. Place a hand on your chest and a hand on your diaphragm. Breath in for 4 seconds then out for 4 seconds. Do this with the same cadence until you feel yourself relaxing. Focus on your breathing or imagine something that you are grateful for while you continue your breathing.

*if this style does work with you, inhale for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, exhale for 3 seconds.

What to do while you can’t play or formally practice:

  • Practice Imagery- Imagery is an easy way to practice a sport and get better when you physically don’t have the capabilities to practice. Our brains don’t know the difference from when we are physically practicing or mentally practicing, and we can still improve our skills just by visualizing. Make the image as real as possible, incorporate as many senses as possible and begin working on skills and techniques you need to improve or to reinforce the basics.
  • Stick to your Routine- As much a possible stick to your already established routine, make sure that you are getting sleep, still practicing, working out , educating yourself and NOT just becoming a vegetable on the couch. What will most likely drive people crazy is feeling like they are trapped, if we stick to our routine it will feel less restrictive and easier to transition back when this is all over.
  • Workout – Keep moving and staying physical. If you can afford it, order some resistance bands, jump ropes or any other light equipment that will help you stay mobile and not lose any conditioning. Working out also boosts your immune system. Do not stop working out, if you need help coming up with ideas look online for plenty of at home workouts or go for a run or even the gym is still an option (if you disinfect). I suggest Yoga for relaxing, flexibility and a goof stretch.
  • Eat healthy- You will not be working out as much as before so please keep track of your macros, eat fresh food as much as possible and don’t use this as an excuse to start binging on junk food. Again, we want to keep our immune systems strong and stay in shape because we never know when this will be all over.
  • Pick Up a New Hobby- This is the time that you can start marking stuff off your bucket list. Try something new like art or music, maybe read that book or watch that movie you’ve been putting off. That is all self-care.
  • Stay in Contact- If it gets to the point that we must go into isolation or be quarantined please do not stop talking to people that are closes to you. FT your teammates, coaches, friends and family and continue to talk. Use this time to strengthen your relationships and reconnect with those most important to you.
  • Research- Watch film. Watch film of yourself, watch film of professionals, watch interviews and specials that you can find on ESPN or YouTube. These are great learning opportunities for you to be able to continue to develop your skill and see where you can begin improving.
  • Journal and reflect- Write down your thoughts and how you feel, separate yourself from them. April 1st  I will publish a mindfulness workbook for the month of April, check it out.
  • Ask For help- If you need me contact me, as we all go through this journey it is okay to reach out to someone who can understand your emotions and help you get through it. If you’re realizing that you can benefit from a Mental Coach, now is the time to reach out. If you are struggling with any of the above-mentioned tips, I am here to help.

Remember, we are in this together. Wash your hands, relax and be patient. We will get through this.

A Letter To My Hero

Dear Kobe,

It’s 4:30am. I’m sorry for the late start to my morning. The last thing I’d ever want to do is disappoint the person who has inspired me since I was 5. Being a kid watching you was like watching Superman in the flesh, well maybe Batman, you always liked the debate over whether you were a hero or really just a villain. Either way you always motivated me to be my best.  It was actually an interview you did when I was about 9 that set me on the career journey I’m on now.

You had just hit another game winning shot, this time it was the playoffs. The reporter asked you how you remained so cool under pressure and with the most Kobe smirk you replied that you “lived for it”. You continued, the moments when the game came down to you, were the moments that you enjoyed the most. I never forget that interview. I still replay it over whenever I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me, I tell myself to live for the moment. I didn’t understand how there could be people who ran and feared those moments and then there was you, who not only welcomed them but thrived through them. I wanted to be like you, so I studied you. I’ve seen pretty much every interview and watched almost every game, fascinated by your mind and determined to get it right. Even when playing ended for me, my motivation to help others form your mentality continued. I got into sport psychology because of you and not one day has that motivation changed.

For me, I think that’s one of the hardest parts of knowing you’re not here anymore. You helped me find my purpose in this world and I never got to thank you. I’ve rehearsed what I would say and how I would say it over a thousand times. Being able to thank you has fueled so many lethargic days. I knew to even be in the same room as you, to have the opportunity to show my appreciation, I had to master my craft. I had to be great. I couldn’t stop working. Now that you are gone, I will continue to work hard to carry on the legacy of mental toughness you instilled in all of us. You taught us to not give up, and I won’t.

For all of us it’s been a hard few weeks, I never imagined the heartbreak the world would experience. I remember in one of my grad school classes reading “sports are the opioids of our society” and if nothing else, these past few weeks have proved that. For over 20 years you poured your soul into your craft and in return you entertained us all, distracted us from all our problems and mesmerized us with your moves and your mindset. We either became addicted to the love of watching you play or obsessed with hating every time you touched the ball; but one thing was for sure that we respected your commitment to greatness and wished every athlete had the same mentality as you. We lived for the moments you’d start biting your jersey because we all knew it was over. To us you were magic, that’s why everyone has been at a loss of words, there are no words to describe you. You were limitless and seemed invincible. The world mourned because you impacted us, at some point you gave us all a “high” we’d never forget. Who else has scored over 60 in every arena in the league, 81 points in one game, 5 rings, an Oscar, and a bestselling book series? No one.

No one who was lucky enough to actually know you mentioned any of those big moments since you’ve been gone though. To the people who knew you it wasn’t the big moments that made you great, it was all the little ones. It was the moments that you probably never thought much about that made you seem like magic to them. The moments when you were just being Kobe. It was the interviews, being a girl dad, meeting fans and even trash talking. If there is any lesson in all of this, it is to always be great in those little moments. It is to show up in the little moments because you never know whose life you’ve touched or who you are inspiring. The real magic was that you showed up everyday and understood that the little moments were what mattered. It was the practicing fundamentals at 4 am even after 17 all-star appearances. It was understanding the basics were what you made you great. We must all still focus on the basics. We can all do better at rising to the occasion in the small moments, because you’ve shown that it’s those moments that really define who we are, those are the moments that really matter. We can’t be great without the small moments.

We will never forget you Kobe Bean Bryant. Every time we shoot a piece of paper into the trash. Every time we get a little extra time with our families. Every time we walk into work. Every time those little moments are presented to us. We promise to be our greatest. We promise to learn every aspect of our respected game. We promise to continue to practice the fundamentals until we can’t get them wrong, and then keep practicing them. We promise to rise to the occasion and welcome the pressure. We promise to never stop learning, to never stop pushing ourselves and to never settle. You taught us when we work hard and commit ourselves, we can accomplish more than we ever dreamed… and that’s the real mamba mentality.

Thank you Kobe

See the source image

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This works best if you record the script first and listen to it as you go through the routine.

Get comfortable, uncross your arms and legs and enjoy. This is a great exercise to do regularly to help you notice where you are carrying stress and tension in your body.

To begin spend some time focusing on your breathing. Find a cadence that is comfortable for you. Start with 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out. Adjust from there if needed. Take 5-10 breaths to get started.

 Tighten the muscles in your forehead by raising your eyebrows as high as you can. Hold for about five seconds. And abruptly release feeling that tension fall away.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Now smile widely, feeling your mouth and cheeks tense. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release, appreciating the softness in your face.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Next, tighten your eye muscles by squinting your eyelids tightly shut. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Gently pull your head back as if to look at the ceiling.

Hold for about 5 seconds, and release, feeling the tension melting away.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Now feel the weight of your relaxed head and neck sink.

Focus on the tension leaving your body…

Breath in… and breath out…

Now, tightly, without straining, clench your right fist and hold this position for about 5 seconds… and release.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths,, and just breath.

Now, feel the tension in your right forearm and hand. Feel that buildup of tension. You may even visualize that set of muscles tightening.

Hold for about 5 seconds… and release, embrace the  feeling of limpness.

Breath in… and breath out…

Now, feel the tension in your entire right arm. Feel that buildup of tension. Tense your entire right arm.

Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Now lift your shoulders up as if they could touch your ears. Hold for about 5 seconds, and quickly release, feeling their heaviness.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Let go of all the tension…

Breath in… and breath out…

Now, tightly, but without straining, clench your left fist and hold this position for about 5 seconds… and release.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Now, feel the tension in your left forearm and hand. Feel that buildup of tension. You may even visualize that set of muscles tightening.

Hold for about 5 seconds… and release, enjoying that feeling of limpness.

Breath in… and breath out…

Now, feel the tension in your entire left arm. Feel that buildup of tension. Tense your entire left arm, feeling the tension.

Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 2-5 breaths, and just breath.

Now lift your shoulders up as if they could touch your ears. Hold for about 5 seconds, and quickly release, feeling their heaviness.

Pause for about 2 breaths, and just breath.

Tense your upper back by pulling your shoulders back trying to make your shoulder blades touch. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 2 breaths, and just breath.

Tighten your chest by taking a deep breath in, hold for about 5 seconds, and exhale, blowing out all the tension.

Now tighten the muscles in your stomach by sucking in. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 3 breaths,, and just breath.

Gently arch your lower back. Hold for about 5 seconds… and relax.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Feel the limpness in your upper body letting go of the tension and stress, hold for about 5 seconds, and relax.

Tighten your buttocks. Hold for about 5 seconds… and release, imagine your hips falling loose.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Feel the tension in your entire right leg and thigh. Hold for about 5 seconds… and relax. Feel the tension melting away from your leg.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Now flex your right foot, pulling your toes towards you and feeling the tension in your calves. Hold for about 5 seconds… and relax, feel the weight of your legs sinking down.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Feel the tension in your entire left leg and thigh. Hold for about 5 seconds… and relax. Feel the tension melting away from your leg.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Now flex your left foot, pulling your toes towards you and feeling the tension in your calves. Hold for about 5 seconds… and relax, feel the weight of both of your legs sinking down.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Curl your toes under tensing your feet. Hold for about 5 seconds, and release.

Pause for about 2-3 breaths, and just breath.

Goals of the New Year

If you’ve been following me for some time, you should know by now that I have never been a fan of the concept of New Year Resolutions. I have always believed that the “new year, new me” concept was quite cheesy because it lacks vision and direction. It’s so easy for us to say what we want to do but if we aren’t visualizing it and being realistic about the steps that we are going to take to achieve it, what is the point? I prefer to set New Year’s goals and deliberately plan them out, so I can actually hold myself accountable for accomplishing the goal.  It’s the same as trying to harvest fruit, the fruit won’t grow if all you do is plant the seed; you must nurture the soil and clear the area of weeds. Every year people set resolutions that most of time end up failing because they really aren’t teasing it apart. It is so easy to say that you are going to lose weight, eat healthier, make varsity, save money etc.; when you’re not accounting for everything that you need to do to achieve it. You’ve got to put energy into the right direction and rid yourself of habits that are going to prevent you from achieving your goal. We fail to achieve our resolutions because we aren’t accounting for the whole process it’s going to take to get there. 

Below is an activity to help make your goals more achievable, so you can have the year that you are wishing for. This activity is also helpful for those previous resolutions or goals that you have set that you are having a hard time achieving, you may be missing something and need to reevaluate the route you’re taking. Take some time to write it down and really reflect and visualize as you set your intentions for this upcoming year.

  1. What are you trying to achieve? This can be how you would normally state your resolution but it will be more effective if you try to be as specific as possible.
  1. Why is this goal important to you? Why does it matter if you accomplish this goal? What happens if you don’t?
  1. What is something that can get in your way of achieving your goal? What is going to be your contingency plan if it comes up? Often, we fail to achieve our goals because we don’t know how to handle obstacles, this allows us to have a plan before the challenge even arises.
  1. What are 3-5 steps that you can take to achieve your goal?

            Make these steps are SMART, this meaning

           S-Specific: Detailed as possible

           M-Measurable: Quantitative

           A-Action focused: Focusing on what you will do vs what you won’t do

          R- Realistic: This is individualized but must be realistic for you to accomplish

          T- Time bound: This prevents procrastination, give yourself a deadline to achieve each step

  1. What are you going to tell yourself when you start to lose motivation or it’s getting harder than you expected?

The more you can accurately visualize what it’s going to take to achieve your goals the more successful you’re going to be. Repeat for each goal that you want to accomplish moving forward. Happy New Year, here’s to this being a year of growth for all of us.

Motivation Monday

Like most of our society, I love social media and often find myself intrigued by social media trends. One that captivated my attention for a while was Motivation Monday. Mondays are tough, and sometimes we need just a little bit of an extra push to keep us going with our routines. Motivation Monday attempts to be that push. When you follow the hashtag you’re overwhelmed with almost identical quotes to try and convince you to stay motivated. While there is a lot of great quotes and power statements, unfortunately some are just not true and following them can hinder your progress. I’ve picked out a few of the most popular myths circulating the internet.


More like “step one: set goals, step two, step three, step eighteen: finally made”. If goal achievement was so easy we wouldn’t have to formally set a goal to get there, we would just do it. Goal achievement is hard  and sometimes its messy and sometimes we even have to start over. To foolishly trick ourselves into believing that all we have to do is start is more harmful to achieving the goal then helpful. If you believe that you just have to get started you’re more likely to quit when it starts to get hard or you’re not getting results as fast as you want.


While comparing yourself to others can harm your progress, it can also help. One of the most important components to having a growth mindset is feeling inspired by others. If we are comparing ourselves AND using that to promote change and motivate us, we are allowing it work in our advantage. A helpful tip for improvement is asking others what they are doing to see success and then implementing that to your routine. Comparing is one of the reasons that teams watch their opponents film. Now if you are sitting around moping about how you will never be as successful as someone else or trying to become exactly like them, then that’s where this quote comes into play.


This quote gives the wrong impression that one must never take time off and we know that rest is important to progress. I’m not saying that just because you aren’t see the results you want you should stop or stop because you don’t want to do it. I am saying, however, that you need to listen to your body and if it needs time off, even if it’s more than you’d like, you need to take it so your body can recover. You also want to rest to avoid burnout. We don’t talk about burnout enough and part of the reason its experienced is because we aren’t taking time off. Listen to your body and know the difference between it actually being tired and you making excuses because you don’t want to do it.

These are just a few of the problematic posts making their way through our timelines and I’m hoping to tackle more on a more regular basis.


Coaches, It’s A New Season


Dear Coaches,

Every new season brings new team dynamics, new players and new beginnings. It’s easy to get caught up in everything that happened before and carry that into the new year. That makes sense considering it is your last experience, but boy is that thought process counterproductive. No season will be the same as the last, I mean honestly look at any professional team and you can see that. So, when a new season begins it’s so important to make sure that you and your team start on the right foot so that everyone knows that it’s a fresh start. How do you do that? Here are a few tips to allow the start of the season to set the tone that you want.


Get to know your players and their off season:

If you have new players get to know not only them as a person but what motivates them and what their experience is. Ask them what they like and don’t like, why they play and what they respond best to. If you have returning players ask them what they did in the off season, it’s important to know if they’ve been sitting around doing nothing or dedicated the time away to get better. Ask about major life events, especially ones that can distract from their focus.


Set your expectations:

They need to know what you expect from them as individuals but also as a team. Some coaches have their players sign contracts that lay out the rules up front, which is a great way to make sure that they are being held accountable and have a standard all season. Also notify parents of these expectations because if they are younger players their parents are agreeing to these expectations too.


Let them tell you their expectations of you:

To be a good coach and to have a successful season you need to know what your athletes want and expect out of you. There needs to be mutual respect, not just because of your role, but because they feel like they are getting what they need from the experience and they can have open communication. This goes back to knowing your players as well, knowing what they expect from you is going to help you coach them more effectively and ultimately be more successful.


Team Goal Setting:

This encompasses everything above and one more added factor, it allows for the players to be accountable for themselves and each other. When you correctly set goals as a team everyone is agreeing to adhere to those stepping stones to reach the result. So, if a player falls out of line or is not meeting that standard the other players can motivate them to get back on track. It also sets a more defined expectation with some autonomy because they are not being told what to do but are a part of deciding what needs to be done.

Falling Short of Perfection


I am extremely hard on myself when it comes to assessing my performances. Hard on myself to the point that any type of feedback used to automatically be interpreted as failure and I would dwell on that moment for days or instantly want to go into hiding from embarrassment. I would become obsessed with remembering every mistake that I made and could often give myself feedback harder than anyone on the outside. These feelings and reaction to falling short of our own expectations of ourselves are normal. For some it maybe the belief that they aren’t good enough for me however that wasn’t the case. For me it wasn’t that I believed that I wasn’t capable of completing the task or should be performing a that level, it was the feeling that anything less than my expectation of perfect was not good enough. It took me awhile however to realize that I was always setting unrealistic standards for what my performance should look like, no mistakes where ever allowed and even if I couldn’t name a specific mistake it still wasn’t good enough.

It would be a lie to say that I never feel like I’m not doing good enough anymore, but I have become better at myself assessment and coping with falling short of my expectations. It’s okay to want to do better but its not okay to beat yourself up when something is not perfect.

Here are a few tips for how I cope with not meeting my own standards of perfection:


  1. I set boundaries of when I will accept feedback. If I am in the moment I need to be focused on the moment and not on all the things that aren’t going right. I tell my team to give me feedback on breaks, only if it’s something I can immediately implement, if it is not, please wait until I am done and have a had a few minutes to reflect for myself. I will always take the feedback, but it just has to be the right time and right place for me to be most accepting and open to it.
  2. After a performance where I don’t feel like I’ve done my best I interpret the next chance as a challenge not a threat. I challenge myself to improve on at least 20% of the negative feedback that I received from the previous attempt instead of letting the fear of repeating all the negative to sink in. I write down goals and challenge myself to meet them, whether that’s improving on that 20% or repeating a sustain from the last time. Usually a combination of the both.
  3. I learn from my mistakes. We all make mistakes but learning from them is growth. If we realize we did something ineffective we need to be deliberate at trying not to repeat the same bad habit. If we aren’t actually putting in the work to improve we can’t be mad when it goes wrong.
  4. I force myself to find a sustain. Sometimes this is the hardest part and talking to someone who didn’t witness it can really help because they are unbiased. Yes, hearing sustains from others is helpful because they have an outside perspective but can allow ourselves to interpret that however we want but when we are giving ourselves the sustains its solid and we will actually believe it .
  5. It is easier said than done to accept where our skill level really is and not just focusing on where we want it to be. If it is my first time or I’m still new at a performance or task, its self-sabotage to expect myself to never make a mistake. Enjoy the process of mastery don’t expect yourself to ever meet the destination.

Qualities of a Great Teammate

When I work with teams, they always want to know how to make the team better, obviously. The truth is, however, before a team can get better as a whole, the players, as individuals, must learn how to be a good teammate. For a team to be successful, a group of individuals must learn to work as a unit and build unbreakable trust. They must respect each other and put their egos aside so that the entire team can thrive. To have a great team, you must first be a great teammate and the rest will fall into place.

Here are some of the most important qualities of a great teammate.


A great teammate:


  1. Takes responsibility– When things go wrong do not blame others for the shortcoming, you look them in the eye and admit to your faults. Admitting your faults makes it more likely your team will continue to trust you and give you a fair amount of opportunities.
  2. Listens and learns– Know when to keep your mouth shut and just hear what everyone else is saying. Listen to understand, do not listen to respond. Knowing how to receive feedback is a huge part of growth.
  3. Communicates- If you need something say something, if you see something speak up. Nothing can get accomplished if no one is communicating their plan, needs or concerns effectively. Keep in mind there is a right time and right place for important conversations, so that just like you need to listen, your athlete can listen to you as well.
  4. Knows their role– Don’t step on each other toes. If someone is the lead or captain let them play their role. If it is not your position, try your best to not overstep your boundaries. This shows your teammates that you have trust in their abilities to get the job done and doesn’t seem condescending.
  5. Has their teammates back– Do not publicly speak bad about other teammates especially when they are not around. When they are being attacked step up for them and support them.
  6. Committed to the team– When you are on a team, that team should have your loyalty. A great teammate does not speak down or negatively of their team to others and constantly brings their best foot forward every day. For a team to be successful each member needs to bring 100% every day.
  7. Is confident– Not only do you have to believe in your team but individually you need to believe in yourself. Confidence can be contagious, but not only that, how do you expect others to believe in you when you don’t even believe in yourself.
  8. Knows when to fall back– Sometimes you must allow for others to shine even if that means stepping back. Sometimes your opinions don’t matter and sometimes it is not about you so allow others to have the spotlight.
  9. Knows how to have fun– All work and no play leads to burnout, know how to lighten the mood and enjoy what you’re doing. Positive emotions and energy is contagious and will spread throughout the team. Enjoying what you’re doing allows for you to enter flow faster and from there everything just starts to click.
  10. Knows their teammates– A good teammate knows the strengths of their teammates but are also aware of where they may fall short and can be ready to step in and help. They also know the best ways to show appreciation to their teammates and can be attuned to their needs.