Day in Live Day 5 – Mindset- Mission Accomplished

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Race days are long and busy. This is the day you get to compete and hopefully realize the benefits from all the deliberate practice and training. It’s not just the specific training over the last 4 days, but often your performance is related to preparation up to 2 years earlier. This preparation involves recruiting the right talent and making sure they mix with your current athletes. Are they coachable? By coachable, I mean, do they understand instruction and how to apply a problem solving approach to “fixing” things. Do they deal with slump properly? How do they recover from adversity? These are attributes that can be taught, good athletes often have this “hard-wired” into their circuitry. It can be taught and approved upon, but some seem to have it. This is the Athletic Mindset.

When I recruit athletes, I am not just looking for athletes with physical abilities, but with athletic mindsets. This mindset is more critical to long-term success than great physical abilities. Don’t get me wrong, physical athleticism is critical. A donkey is never going to win the Kentucky Derby.

The Athletic Mindset skills:

  • Knowing when to go hard and when to turn in back a notch. Going hard all the time is often detrimental. Working smart and not just harder.
  • Problem solving adversity and slumps – quickly. Then applying a clear plan to recover.
  • Taking complex tasks and making them simple and then applying
  • Effectively processing¬†and dealing with adversity along with all of the mental static it can cause. Constant mental static is not conducive to skill development and successful outcomes.
  • Zone out and slow down. Great athletes see things in slow motion, but move quickly
  • Screw your negative critics. Hug your positive ones.
There are many more components of the athletic mindset. Did you know that the above can apply to your business, health and fitness/weight loss program? Absolutely they can. Slumps, adversity, complexity, mental static – they are not just unique to sport. Joe Gibbs was not a racer, but he applied many of his coaching skills to his racing business, and business ventures.
7:00 – 10:00 – Reading calming books and non-athletic type books (I try to develop a calm easy mindset on competition days. Dealt with some logistic issues related to our 30 car crew guys. – Met up with Boris and a good friend for some breakfast.
10:00 – 2:00 – Picked up some technology at the Apple Store to be used on some of our helmet cams. Nice lunch of salmon and spinach + broccoli.
2:00- 6:00 – Start working lots of checklists I use. These include checking out the pit-stalls, looking for anything that could hurt performance or possibly any competitive advantages. Below is the pit stall layout for Richmond. I study this during pre race and develop a plan for race – tracking our athletes and other teams I may be watching. I usually check with our guys for any injury issues, remind them of hydration and nutrition needs.

Pit Stall selection from Richmond with our cars highlighted with arrows. My map for the day

6:00 – 7:00 – I usually try to find a quiet place to review notes etc. I also take this time to read something motivational and calming. Often times this is something from a devotional book/or little motivational and calming stories that put things into perspective. I keep all of this on iPad.
7:00 – 10:30 – Race. I spend my time during race supporting my athletes, scouting athletes on other teams and writing tons of notes from observations.
10:30 – 11:00 – We won. The process pays off. I usually only briefly go to victory lane to congratulate my guys. Headed to hauler to get my backpack and headed to car. This is usually a long distance away and we walk out through the stands and with the fans. Last night I observed a bunch of fans heckling with horrible language and insults, a young guy with a Kyle Busch shirt on. I have never understood how a grown adult can fire off foul language in front of their children. We saw what overly zealous fans can do, but the horrible incident at the Dodgers game earlier this year. A group of fans nearly killed a San Francisco Giant supporter. Well, I had enough of it last night. I usually grab a handful of hats from victory lane and on way to parking lot target out kids to hand them out to. I had one more left, and in front of all of these hostile idiots – I awarded this poor young guy a victory lane hat. I was either going to get my ass beat or shut them off. It was the latter.
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