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Trash Talking At The Masters: Why Mental Strength Is The Key To Success

I’m a huge fan of trash talking, gamesmanship, and head games. If you’ve ever played basketball with me, you know just how much I love trying to get inside someone’s head, seeing if they can beat me mentally as well as physically. Over the years, I’ve learned that true competitors have a truckload of mental strength and the ability to both give and take a little verbal jousting.

That’s why I loved the trash talking at this year’s Masters.

Whether or not you’re a golf fan, you have to appreciate the gamesmanship that goes into the sport’s biggest competitions. Maybe it’s not as openly shared as the trash talking on the basketball court or football field, but pro golfers are masters of getting into their opponent’s heads (and sometimes getting into their own!). Playing golf at this level requires enormous physical talent, but if your head’s not in the game you don’t have a chance.

This is something veteran golfer Rory McIlroy knows well.

Creating A Culture Of Greatness: How Loyola’s Culture Has Allowed Its Success

Forget the big name schools who will be there, the most talked about team in this weekend’s NCAA Tournament Final Four has to be the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. From clutch wins to the storyline of two players who have been teammates since third grade to the legend of their beloved 98-year-old team chaplain, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt (she’s even getting her own bobblehead doll!!), the media just can’t get enough of the fourth 11th-seeded team to make the Final Four. And rightly so. The Ramblers are an incredible story.

But the figure in the story that hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves is Loyola coach Porter Moser. Since 2011 when he took over as coach, he’s affected a culture change throughout the organization that has led to the Rambler’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1985. It was evident from the first time I watched this team in November through last weekend that Moser loves his players and that he’s taught them to love and trust each other.

As I’ve looked at this team, two things stand out most about Coach Moser and the Ramblers.

Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do! Shaquem Griffin Inspires Everyone

In a world of sameness, where most of us are told what it should “look like” to be successful in our space, the NFL Scouting Combine stands out as perhaps the world’s most predictable job interview. One the one hand, draft prospects are told to stand out, to make an impression, but what teams really want is another player that fits their ideal mold for certain positions. That’s why we should all be rooting for Shaquem Griffin.

Griffin is well decorated: a two-time first-team All-American Athletic Conference linebacker, AAC Defensive Player of the Year, National Champion, and Peach Bowl MVP.

And he did all of it without a left hand.

Villanova Sprints To Help Teammates! How To Create A Culture Of Shared Purpose

Congrats to the Villanova Wildcats on their second NCAA Championship in three years! What an amazing achievement.

But, as impressive as their win over Michigan was in the title game, it was while watching the Wildcats play the Kansas Jayhawks in the semi-finals on Saturday night that I saw something truly extraordinary. With seven minutes to go, the Wildcats were up 17 points and Villanova guard Jalen Brunson streaked up the court when he was fouled by a Kansas player. The foul was nothing out of the ordinary, but Brunson lost his balance and tumbled head first to the sideline and ended up face down out of bounds.

As if coming from every corner of the court, all four of Brunson’s teammates ran at top speed to go pick him up. It was incredible to watch...so incredible that I actually rewound the action and watched it again three times! So many teams grow complacent while experiencing success, but the Wildcats (remember, they were AHEAD by 17 at this point!) were still scrambling to pick each other up. Villanova swept through this year’s men’s tournament, winning every game by double digits, yet they were always hustling to help their teammate.

Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon: Great People Choose To Do Right No Matter What

Put most of us in an empty field house, with complete quiet and nothing to disturb us, and almost none of us could make 34 straight free throws. Now, head to the court, heart pumping, the deafening cheer of the crowd and television cameras watching every move, and many of us couldn’t even hit two in a row! It takes a special talent to sink 34 free throws in a row. It takes an even more impressive kid like Jordan Bohannon to miss the 35th.

University of Iowa point guard, Jordan Bohannon, was on a roll. He’d hit 34 straight free throws and was at the line to sink his 35th in a tight game against Northwestern on Sunday. His next free throw wouldn’t just extend the Iowa lead, it would also make history. That was the problem.

In 1993, Iowa Forward Chris Street set the school record for consecutive free throws made at 34. Street would have tried to top that number, but the night before his team was scheduled to play again, Street’s car hit a snow plow, killing him and injuring his girlfriend. His free throw record stood for 25 years, until Bohannon had the opportunity to break it. In a world where everyone wants their name in the record books and clamors for individual validation, Jordan Bohannon went the other way.

He chose to miss.

Some of the Winning Teams Don Yaeger works with


DELL
Chevron
Microsoft
Hewlett Packard
BROCADE