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Wake Up To The Power Of One

The Inner Game

Who says jocks can’t also be academics?

At DRYWORLD, we love to read and listen to podcasts; Anything to help us further our gains, as per the Law of Constant Learning. Lately, we’ve been working our way through Gary Mack’s bible for the mental aspect of sports, Mind Gym.

The late Gary Mack was a sports psychology consultant and counselor who had an incredible list of powerhouse teams and athletes as his clients (the Alex Rodriguez wrote the prologue). Gary wholly believed in the power of mental resilience and control when it came to excelling at high-level sports. This book is filled with performance-boosting tidbits ten times more powerful than your favorite supplement.

We know that not everyone is a big reader, so we’re here to help you out. Each month on the D-Word, we’re bringing you a bite-sized breakdown of his best tips and knowledge for easy digestion.

“In sports, as in life, talent will take you just so far. I try to attain my goals mentally first.” — Alex Rodriguez

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This is part one, chapter one.

Welcome to the Inner Game: Yogi Was Right

The most important concept of this chapter is this: once you’ve reached a certain level of competency, the mental skills become as important to performance as the physical skills, if not more so. It’s all about determining how much of your game is mental and then learning how to train your mind like you would your body (hence the title Mind Gym).
For example…

Try This Exercise

Don’t believe that your game is as mental as it is physical? Here’s the exercise Gary Mack introduces new clients to as a demonstration:

Sit and relax.

Start recalling the sounds and feelings of performing at your peak. In your mind’s eye, imagine the best day ever: You’re at the top of your game. Every move and decision you make is right; every break goes your way. You’re playing in the zone.

Imagine this is your very own highlights film. You feel no fear, anxiety, or doubt.

Get detailed with it. Where are you? What are you wearing? What is the time of day and year? Who are you with? Who’s watching you play? What do you hear, smell, taste? If you’re outside, can you smell the grass?

Now, let that all fade away.

Imagine your worst performance, with every aspect as vividly as the first. Ask those same questions. Take your time seeing, feeling, hearing, and smelling it.

Let that fade and move into the present. Compare yourself competing at your best and at your worst.

What percentage of the difference in those performances had to do with your physical skills, and what percentage was mental?

Most athletes who complete this exercise realize that their mental state is the largest difference between their best and worst performance. They're in their flow state, or they’re frustrated, angry, distracted, or distraught.

Then, Mack asks this: If you believe at least 50% of your performance was mental, how much time do you spend on the mental game? How much time do you spend reading books or working with a “head” coach?

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Your Mental Gym Starts Now

Gary describes the mind as a VCR. You can replay everything—every little moment, movement, fumble, and success—in high detail, over and over again. Use this to your advantage! Your body treats these vivid thoughts and images as if it is real and happening right now. Mental training enhances performance and improves productivity while also adding enjoyment to something you (we would assume) already love and enjoy. Plus, no matter who you are, be it a high-level athlete, professional sports player, bodybuilder, or someone who runs and plays for fun, you can learn how to use your mind more constructively.

What are the perks? You will:

🟠deal with adversity better
🟠stay focused
🟠stay motivated
🟠avoid fatal distractions
🟠follow your dreams
🟠live life on purpose

Here’s what Gary Mack had to say about mental exercise and strengthening the mind:

“Building mental muscle, like building physical muscle, requires time and effort. The more you work on the inside, the more it will show on the outside. First, you must make a commitment.”

Our commitment to you (besides providing high-tech, stylish athletic wear that improves your performance) is to help you grow as an athlete. We will drop monthly highlights of each section of Mind Gym so you can benefit from Mack’s knowledge and expertise, just like we have. This includes helpful exercises from the “head” doc himself to help build your mental game. So, what are you waiting for? Your mental bootcamp starts NOW. 

“90% of the game is half mental.” — Yogi Berra

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