” I highly recommend finding the time to hear him speak, and learn from Gregg. “
Wade Wilson2019 NCAA National Champion Head Softball Coach
Texas Lutheran University
THE GAME SLOWS DOWN WHEN THE BRAIN SPEEDS UP
Today, athletic excellence happens above the neck more than below it
Brain speed is built through a process now described to us in cognitive and behavioral neuroscience and psychology, and it is very different than the way most people go about practicing. The few who do it correctly on a consistent basis we call talented and gifted, but anyone and everyone can do it.
Exceptional dedication to constant improvement is a skill that can be developed. Humans are not born with different limits in brain speed, at least that limit has not yet been found, in the same way they can differ in physical speed.
So, how important are physical things like speed?
While there is much argument amongst sports fans, there is little about who the greatest wide receiver in the history of pro football is by a long shot – Jerry Rice. He shattered every meaningful NFL record, played in 5 Superbowls, won 4 and is in the hall of fame. Guess what – he was drafted 16th in the first round. He had subpar speed for an NFL wide receiver. That is right 15 other pro teams with pro ‘talent’ scouts missed his innate, one of a kind, once a century type of talent. He did not need NFL speed.
What did he have? He is renowned for his work ethic. He was known as the hardest working man in football, but it was not necessarily the type of ‘hard’ work that most people think of. As his hall of fame counterpart, quarterback Steve Young says, “There’s hard work, then there is Jerry Rice hard work.”
One way among many he was able to gain an edge was by an intense year-round conditioning regimen that gave him an extra half step on defensive backs late into the game. The last-minute heroic advantage he exploited many times, and there are many other little areas he developed that gave him these types of advantages.
If he did that at the highest levels of sport, how much less do other athletes need to do to win a championship, become a starter, or just get a lot better at other levels?
Why Won’t Most Athletes Do This Consistently?
It is simple, but not easy. Maintaining intense focus requires a part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, that is responsible for self- control, also called executive function and self-regulation by researchers, and is not fully developed until the age of 25. This is why frustration can run high during practice. The brain can be developed the same way we develop everything else. Dedication and self-control can be learned and strengthened through efficient training if we know what we are doing.
Bridging The Gap
We know what we want our players to do and how to get them there. Then why is there such a gulf between what we ask and what they do? What if the same gap exists between the best learning research and coaching? What if someone could bridge that gap and explain the big picture in immediately useful detail to both coaches and players?
How To Get Better
Imagine if all of your players hung on every word you said and invested themselves intellectually every moment in doing what you ask. You could win a championship, couldn’t you? Understanding the unintuitive, but real way learning works provides an edge to anyone. Adopting it as a team provides an edge to everyone. It is simple, but not easy, needs more than a couple of pieces of advice, and a developed curriculum. In short order real accomplishment fuels more motivation. That is what I teach.
When players understand how this works it becomes very easy to adopt a coachable mindset, or not. One can make a decision to be very good, but can’t fall back on ‘talent’ as to why they are not. What if a couple of your backups became so dedicated that they became starters? Is that an example you would like to have set?
” Truly phenomenal! (He) coached me on everything from habit development and optimal practice structure, to expectations and mindset. . . it totally super-charged my training. “
Evan SzuPhD Science Education,