Dr. Michael Gervais is a sports psychologist. He is best known for working with the Seattle Seahawks and being a higher performance coach for the world famous supersonic freefall skydiver Felix Baumgartner.
I really enjoy his podcast where he interviews mindset all-stars such as Alex Honnold who is an adventure rock climber, Bob Bowman who was Michael Phelps coach, Pete Carroll from the Seattle Seahawks, and many top coaches in the world.
Some of the takeaways I have gotten from listening to the podcast are the following.
- Trust the process. Yes, it is painful at the moment but if you just follow the process and what the coach prescribes you will expand your comfort zone. The results will align if you follow a process and develop the muscles through repetition and trust.
- When he went to coach athletes in the Rio Olympics he noticed from intense observations that through repetition the gold medalists seemed to have prepared more over the last 4 years. He noticed that the athletes really respected each other because there was mutual admiration for the amount of energy and effort that goes into everyone’s daily practices. The gold medalists just simply practiced much more than the rest of the group. Just ask Michael Phelps and study his routines. Not to be attached to failure(or more importantly make it have meant about you) and the interpretation you get from a failure is extremely important in determining your long-term success in world-class athletes. It is safe to say that resilience is key to a long-lasting career.
- He interviewed one of the top endurance athletes in the world and gathered that his pain threshold was highly high. Being able to be in excruciating pain for 10 hours. He still felt the pain like everyone else but was just able to accept that pain is part of the process of being the worlds greatest.
- He interviews Carli Lloyd, one of the women’s soccer’s best players and found that she had the best mentors and coaches. The power of someone else’s belief to help you find your greatness. She like most other high performers started at a young age and was really supported by her parents at a young age. One of the common themes, I have noticed is that the worlds best always hire a coach to help push past their boundaries and to be able to see their blind spots.
- Michael Phelps like most others needed a challenge after he broke so many world records he did not have anyone challenge him so he became complacent for a little bit and questioned if his heart was still in it. After going through some challenges with the media, he found his passion for swimming again and honest, trust, and communication was the key to his success with his coach.
- The value of having a coach is so important because a great coach will know his or her player so well so to push the boundaries but not to the point of death. There is a fine balance between growing and knowing each player’s potential is crucial because some people take criticism much better than others. Knowing this is a very valuable skill people ultimately its all about managing people, expectations, and daily moods.
- Alex Honnold is one of the most fearless people in the world doing free climbing where you rock climb dangerous cliffs without a rope. He basically has developed so much muscle memory through practicing with so many repetitions, first with a rope that it is really it is just another day for him when you look at it long term. We tend to not show the thousands or millions of reps in most cases but we as consumers only get to see the end result so we often take for granted how much work it really takes to get to the top.
- The important of Nutrition and sleep. He says there is a direct correlation to recovery based on the amount of sleep you get based on expert’s research. Some of the ways to help improve sleep are to really understand your body, Do you sleep better when you work out in the morning or in the middle of the day? He says knowing that when people work out and get hyped when going to the gym in the evening and overall just being more aware and mindful of how your body feels. Mindfulness is a huge trend now and it is for a reason. Because mindfulness is proven in studies to increase happiness and productivity in hundreds of examples.
- Lawrence Levy, Pixar’s CFO left all of his corporate experience to learn the ways of Buddhist monks. Meditation is a common practice amongst many C level executives and top athletes in the world to be able to give them space to process and relax their minds(purification).
- He always talks about the importance of active listening. He says the worlds most successful learn better than everyone else. The more you are talking, the less you are learning.