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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

Energy is an Unappreciated Key to Leadership

on Jan 5, 2013 4:53:11 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
Leadership is a topic that we’ve discussed in past posts. There is something about leadership that intrigues me and the great thing about leadership is that is forever changing – it is fluid – and it will remain fluid as every situation, team, organization, individual is different. This fluidity requires different, new and unique ways to utilize leadership. As I think about critical qualities that leaders must have, I can’t help but think about ENERGY. I’m not talking about the energy that comes with drinking 5 cups of coffee or a 5-Hour Energy…I am referring to genuine energy. This is the energy that comes to people as they think about their life or situation. That feeling in your mind that says LET’S GO DO IT and the coinciding feeling in one’s body that answers the mind with I’M ALREADY ON MY WAY! So many people fail to achieve what they want because their mind is willing but their body is weak…or vice-versa. Think about leaders that you respect – whether it's a coach, athlete, co-worker, boss, politician, leader at your church, etc. – what do they have in common? I can’t speak for you, but when I think of leaders that I respect and want to emulate, one consistent trait that I can always point to their energy. I usually find myself thinking “how in the world is he/she able to do what they do?!” Energy comes in many different ways and don’t mistake energy with charisma or the impact that a leader has on you. Energy can be psychological, emotional, spiritual or physical to some leaders. Leaders find ways to tap into energy when others cannot. When they are exhausted and/or defeated, leaders find a way. Without energy – nothing moves, nothing changes and all chances of success are halted. How do you increase and expand your energy? Physically take care of your self – train your body which will increase your energy. Additionally, you can tap into yourself – your purpose. Those who have true goals and truly believe in their goals and themselves can channel these thoughts and create energy. Dig deep and find what is important to you, what is truly important to you…not to others. Once you get to this point you can unify your vision and purpose thus thrusting you on the right track! Hold yourself accountable. Understand your goals and your purpose and get on the track towards leadership! Whether it is leading a team or leading your life, leadership is a must! Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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Don't Stop Believing

on Dec 3, 2012 10:25:38 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
One of the first steps towards success is actually believing that you can achieve whatever you define as ‘success.’ We’ve all heard the classic rock anthem “ Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey…you know how it goes “Don’t stop believin’ hold on to that feeeeeeeeelin’!” Man, I love that song! The power of believing in what you are doing and what you are capable of is HUGE…it is CRITICAL! Fact – successful people believe in themselves and in what they are doing…they believe that they can achieve success, despite what naysayers may say. Part of believing is not letting others deter you from progressing towards success (for more on that please read this). One of my favorite lines in any movie is from Star Wars. Luke is speaking with Yoda in a scene and the dialogue is so simple, yet so profound: [ Luke:] I can’t believe it! [ Yoda:] That is why you fail. I love it. We are powerful beings and we are capable of incredible things, each and every one of us. Our minds are powerful. If we input something in our minds that is lacking the critical and emotionally relevant component of that is BELIEF, then we are doomed from the start. That said simply...why set a goal, lay out the steps to achieve this goal and take action towards achieving that goal if you haven’t convinced yourself that success is actually possible? Believe in yourself. Believe in your goals and dreams. You will not chase your goals and your dreams, you will catch them!   #TeamTRAINlete “ Like” us on Facebook and “ Follow” us on Twitter If you are a Sports Specific Trainer and looking to increase your business please click here.
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There is no such word as CAN'T

on Nov 23, 2012 7:30:01 AM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
Do you value the importance of other people’s opinions? I certainly do. But I think there is a big difference between valuing the importance of others’ opinions and letting those opinions deter or detract you from you going after your dreams. George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, has an incredible quote that pertains to this discussion: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” My challenge to myself and to you is to focus on Mr. Shaw’s quote above and apply it to your life. Quick question, how many inventions do you think have been invented after 1899? How many incredible things have been created by people in the past 112+ years? I don’t know the answer to this question but I think we can all agree that the number is staggering. Another question, would you say the Director of the U.S. Patent Office would be a knowledgeable and very credible person on the topic of inventions? I certainly would. Charles H. Duell, the Director of the U.S. Patent Office, stated in 1899 that “ everything that can be invented, has been invented.” Hmmm. I am certainly glad that the thousands of inventors who have successfully invented items after 1899, items that change our lives for the better, didn’t let Mr. Duell’s words deter them from their dreams. Here’s another one…do you all enjoy movies? I do. When was the last time you lined up and spent money on a silent movie where the actors don’t speak? Harry M. Warner, one of the founders of Warner Brothers Studios didn’t believe that film would get to a place where actors actually spoke during the movie – “ Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – he said this in 1921. The President of the United States is a pretty important person ( to say the least!) and his words are certainly closely followed by the entire country. Well Grover Cleveland, the 22 nd and 24 th President of The United States said “ sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.” Really? One final one…Babe Ruth is often thought of as the best baseball player of all-time and certainly is remembered for his ability to hit home runs. Tris Speaker is a Hall of Fame Baseball player and in 1921 he stated “Babe Ruth made a huge mistake when he gave up pitching.” So I think you get the point. The above examples are all examples of very credible and knowledgeable people sharing their strong opinions about topics within their field of expertise…their opinions were all proven to be grossly wrong. Don’t let anyone stand in the way of you and your quest to achieve your goals. Be respectful and use every doubter and naysayer as motivation to get closer to catching your dreams and achieving success. You control your present and future. Own your life and catch your dreams! #TeamTRAINlete “ Like” us on Facebook and “ Follow” us on Twitter If you are a Sports Specific Trainer and looking to increase your business please click here.
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Counterproductive Thinking: If I could do it all over I would do it differently...

on Sep 19, 2012 7:48:05 AM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
Are you an athlete or a parent of an athlete and ever thought – “if I could do that again – that play, that game, that season, that career - knowing what I know now, I would be so successful!” I’ll admit, I have absolutely found myself in that unproductive mindset. But I challenge each of you (and myself) to think about the idea of that phrase differently… The truth is, we all have the ability to “know what we know now” and use it to our advantage to enable success! Let’s take football as an example – whether you made a terrible play, had a bad game, had a bad season, had an unproductive offseason, or even had a bad high school or football career – it is your obligation to yourself and others to learn from it and improve because of it. Too often we get into a negative mindset that is dominated by thoughts of the past and “what we could have done differently.” In order to be successful we must quickly learn from the past and think about and identify how we will take those learnings to be better today and tomorrow! If you are aboard the never-ending carousel ride of make a mistake – dwell on the mistake – wish you didn’t make the mistake – feel sorry for yourself because of the mistake – make a mistake then hop off immediately! The future is not promised. The past happened, so why not use the incredible learning from your past and make adjustments and changes for your present. Seems simple, doesn’t it? Then do it! There are probably some readers saying, well this really doesn’t help me because my athletic career has been over…how does this help me? Trust me, I am in your shoes and know that feeling firsthand unfortunately. As I think about my athletic career I absolutely have things that I wish I could have done different.I have two options, feel sorry for myself or do something positive with the important learning that I accumulated. First, I strive to take lessons that I learned and apply them to my everyday life. Believe it or not, you can easily apply lessons learned from playing sports to all aspects of your life. Secondly, I choose to ‘pay it forward.’ I routinely speak to young athletes who are looking to reach their next level. I feel that it is my responsibility to share lessons that I have learned and provide guidance for how to approach their daily journey towards their goals. The above notion of taking the learning from your past can and should be applied to all aspects of your life. What good does dwelling on a past mistake or action – absolutely none. Use every lesson, positive and negative, as a way to positively impact your present, which will help set you up for a successful future. Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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Key to Success: The importance of knowing your role

on Aug 21, 2012 5:55:24 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
  Know your role! Having played on many sports teams over the years, at all levels, one thing that I have learned is the importance of knowing your role. The great business mind and bestselling author Jim Collins has a great quote about this very topic – “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” How important is that quote to any high performing sports team?   Everyone wants to be the star, and that is not inherently a bad thing…as a coach I want players who all have the desire to be the best. But we all know that everyone cannot be ‘the star’ and in order for a team to be successful there needs to be a clear understanding by EVERY member of that team on what their specific role is. When I say EVERY member, I mean EVERY player. In basketball, in order for a team to perform at full capacity the athletic trainer, team manager, 12 th player on the bench and high scorer all need to understand what is expected of them and work towards executing it, every day. I know, I know…it sounds cliché and obvious, but the vast majority of the time what seems so obvious is overlooked. I am a firm believer of the notion of “knowing your role” as I have lived it and currently try to live it in all aspects of my life. I think that KNOWING YOUR ROLE is one of the many keys to success. If you know what your role is on any team, organization or in a relationship it should be clear what is expected of you. If you know what is expected of you, it should be clear to you what you need to be doing to achieve and exceed those expectations and be successful in all aspects of your life. My college basketball experience is a great example of this. In my head (the head can be a very scary place!) I should have played more, scored more, etc…but in reality, my role was to lead, be the hardest working guy on the team, and eat up 15-20 minutes a game as a defensive specialist and provide a ‘spark’ off the bench. Did I want my role to expand? Absolutely. I worked hard every day for that to happen. But the truth was I couldn’t handle the expanded role I wanted, though I strived for it. I did however accept and master the role that was given to me by my coach and I drove tremendous value in that role. I gauge my success not off what others did before me, but by what was expected of me in my role. And defining success that way, I had a great college basketball career!   I close with a brief thought about one of the greatest “know your role” players in the history of sports. Robert Horry won seven…yes SEVEN NBA championships…over his career. He earned the name “Big Shot Rob” which is further proof of why he is one of the great “know your role” players ever. Robert Horry never put up anywhere near All-star numbers, but he knew that he added tremendous value to any team he played for by adding a scoring threat and the ability to hit big shots in key scenarios. And he was a HUGE part of each of those 7 NBA Championship teams. Challenge: Know your role. Know what is expected of you. Work to surpass those expectations! Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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Key to success: knowing you are in the right place at the right time

on Aug 8, 2012 4:00:17 PM | By Upper Hand | 0 Comments
We’ve all heard the saying “ success is being in the right place at the right time.” Well my late grandpa had a different take on this saying. His version of this saying is a piece of advice I work to live by each day…it’s a simple addition: “success is knowing when you are in the right place at the right time.” My dad tells a great 'would’ve/should’ve/could’ve' story that occurred during his college days that fits perfectly into this topic. A college friend of my dad’s proposed a new invention that he came up with. A device that people would use in their lawns for weed prevention; it would chop weeds up effectively and help with lawn maintenance…crazy idea, right? Well, his friend needed a modest investment in return for a partnership in this new invention. The investment opportunity was turned down by my dad and many others. What is the conclusion of this story? The “Weed-Whacker” was invented and eventually sold for MILLIONS of dollars. A perfect example of the difference between “being in the right place at the right time” and “ knowing when you are in the right place at the right time!” My dad was certainly in the right place at the right time, but he didn't know that he was there! My contention is that we are all in the right place at the right time; we just have to push ourselves to “know” that we are. As each of us wake up each day we all have the unique and individual opportunity to change the world we live in. We have the opportunity to live our best day and reach our personal next level of success…whatever that success may be! This lesson is especially important in youth athletics and should be conveyed to all youth athletes. Too often we all get caught up in how things did not work out for us and who is to blame for that ‘failure.’ We must push youth athletes to focus on what they can control, keep their eyes open to every opportunity and seize the unique opportunities that each athlete has in front of them. I was fortunate to hear the great College Football Coach Nick Saban speak. One thing he said was he looks at every single individual play as having a life of its own. He is obsessed with winning each and every play of a football game; whether it is a kick return, an extra point attempt or a quarter back kneel, his team has to win it! He acknowledged that he loses many plays, but he learns from them quickly and focuses on seizing a victory on the very next opportunity. In closing, attack today! Attack the opportunities that are in front of you and live your best life. Pass this teaching on to your friends, family and children and watch the impact it has on their lives! Written By:  Eric Blumenthal
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