Growing Champions
Message from David

It Helps to Fake It Til You Make It

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This story was told to me by sport psychologist, Dr. Rob Gilbert. A young tennis player walked to the parking lot after losing his match in straight sets and threw his gear in the trunk. “I think I should quit this lousy game” he muttered. “I certainly don’t FEEL like a winner.” Just then an old grey-haired coach walked up and asked, “How was your match?” “It was awful… I should take up basket weaving.” said the boy. 


The coach had a newspaper rolled up under his arm and asked the young player this question: “What if I told you I have an advanced copy of next weekend’s paper and it says here in the sports section that you win next weekend’s tournament… how would you feel right now?” “I’d be excited said the boy!” “Exactly” said the coach. “What would you think about today’s loss?” 


“Well, I’d just blow it off as a lesson learned.” “Exactly”, said the coach. “And how would you feel about tomorrow’s practice session?” “I’d be fired-up, ready to go, and I’d be there early!” “Exactly” said the coach. “Now, I suggest you act the way you want to become until you become the way you act.” “You mean I should fake it until I make it?” said the boy. “Exactly!” said the coach.


Most people understand that our brains affect our bodies. The question is, does it work the other way around? The answer is YES! When athletes act confident and assertive their testosterone level is elevated, and the stress hormone, cortisol, is lowered. When athletes are insecure or stressed, testosterone goes down and cortisol goes up! That’s one reason performances suffer. The old coach was trying to help the boy understand an important principle: It’s easier to ACT your way into a feeling, than to FEEL your way into an action.


Here’s the important part. When we purposefully put our body into a strong powerful posture that expands our physical size, our testosterone increases and our cortisol decreases automatically. When we display weak powerless body postures that shrink our physical size our hormones move in the opposite direction. Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research states that standing in the Superman or Superwoman position for as little as two minutes can significantly increase confidence levels because of the resulting chemical shift in testosterone and cortisol. It just doesn’t pay to act small!


With a little privacy – and two minutes of time - an athlete can use his/her body to act the way they want to become and increase the chances of performing confidently. This works in sports and in the classroom. And the really good news is that if this is done daily, the newspaper article the old coach had under his arm can become a reality. “Act the way you want to become until you become the way you act.” 

Bonus Video Feature:

How Do You React to Your Child's Errors

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Please click here to watch How Do you React to your Child's Errors, and complete your weekly assignment page so you can help your child face mistakes without fear and face you without embarrassment.


Watch the video here

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"The Inner Game of Tennis"
by Timothy Gallwey

With more than 800,000 copies sold since it was first published thirty years ago, this phenomenally successful guide has become a touchstone for hundreds of thousands of people. Not just for tennis players, or even just for athletes in general, this handbook works for anybody who wants to improve his or her performance in any activity, from playing music to getting ahead at work. Timothy Gallwey, a leading innovator in sports psychology, reveals how to:

• Focus your mind to overcome nervousness, self-doubt, and distractions
• Find the state of “relaxed concentration” that allows you to play at your best
• Build skills by smart practice, then put it all together in match play

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Gallwey's engaging voice, clear examples, and illuminating anecdotes will give you the tools you need to succeed.

5 Powerful Strategies for Sport-Parent Success
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Your child's athletic outcomes will be more satisfying and your relationships significantly more rewarding by following the steps in this little book. The concepts presented in this book are a perfect tool for improving conversations and situations in a family with young athletes. It will teach you the five powerful strategies for building an enduring relationship with your child.



Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”

- Wayne Dyer
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