How training your brain like an athlete can help your career


People think that training your mind – or focus on your mental outlook Because it can help You perform competitively – just for sport. In fact, it is for anyone who wants high performance. wWith sports, though We can watch this performance in real time. We see it on the field and on the field. We can see the effort. We can see the flexibility. We see the team’s ability to communicate effectively and their ability to work together. We see their ability to execute and their desire to win.


But sports can teach people in all organizations how to mentally train, prepare and execute. I have spent 22 years in professional sports, first as a professional baseball player and professional baseball manager, and later as a mental conditioning consultant for Major League Baseball and National Football League players. I have created mental conditioning programs for the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and University of Notre Dame.

The corporate world is more like the sports world than you might think. Both have a specific purpose and require staff and players alike to embrace their roles and to prepare and execute for said purpose. At ReliaQuest, the cybersecurity firm I work for that often encounters high-stakes incidents, we take the relationship between sports and business performance seriously (we even sponsor a sports bowl at our local Tampa Bay). There are plenty of ideas that organizations can borrow from the sporting world to improve the performance and well-being of their employees.

Create your own scoreboard

In sports, it is clear who will win and who will lose: the statistics do not lie, and neither does the scoreboard. In business, we sometimes have to be more persistent in defining what clear goals look like. But once you get that down, you can really narrow down and focus on the mindset you need to develop to achieve those goals. Then promoting accountability becomes easier, as does working with a sense of urgency. This is how we “record”. Protecting the ball or company assets is vital. Helping our teammates and protecting the customers we serve is a huge win, and a great motivator for future progress.

On my team, we use mental moments To take score, be present, and focus on the task at hand. We do this at the beginning of all team meetings. It’s an opportunity for leadership, or anyone for that matter, to pave the way by introducing the mindset principle, telling a personal story, and then asking questions to see how it resonates with others. It’s time for our teammates to be open and vulnerable if they want to, and to promote psychological safety and communication, which all great teams have. For us, it has created a more proactive and friendly corporate environment for its employees.

Develop a mental routine

How to deal with failure? It’s the nature of the job, right? Rejection appears a lot. Everything that goes with a product—from building it to selling it—is a process that can be overwhelming. Having the ability to literally focus on one step at a time, one day at a time is vital. A mental preparation and preparation routine can help people feel prepared for anything and everything.

In baseball, the game averages 280 pitches, but its score is decided by only 8-12 pitches. Players need to treat every pitch with the same importance, just as the staff needs to treat every incident with the same readiness. In our Operations Center setting, for example, we encourage employees to develop a mental routine that helps them anchor and treat every ticket that comes in as the best. Specifically, I help them identify the three steps in this process: gain control of yourself, make a sound plan, and commit to execution.

Build resilience with your support network

When watching sports, often all we see are the athletes on the field. We don’t see the strength and conditioning coach, or the assistant coach who worked with a player before the game, or the nutritionist who helped prepare the meal plan, or the athletic trainer who helped prepare teammates for the game that day. not see th entire Team.

Resilience is built from a complete support network in sport – and in business. This support gives our employees the ability to react and respond to achieve desired business results. All organizations need to invest in similar networks that give employees the tools they need to thrive and perform, such as mentoring opportunities, generous benefits, and access to mental health support. The winning combination is a strong mindset that builds a strong culture.

Perform like a pro

MWorking in sports and business has led me to realize that success can be achieved in both with the right growth mindset. can help individuals and teams overcome obstacles; It can help develop new skills and accept new challenges. It also provides an opportunity to run towards new opportunities and new ways of doing things to maximize performance.

Deb McMains He is the Director of Mental Performance at ReliaQuest.

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