Website – https://www.strongskills.co/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @brianlevenson
Brian Levenson is the founder of Strong Skills, which providesexecutive and mental performance coaching, speaking and consulting to elite organizations, performers and leaders. He has been fortunate to work with CEO’s, professional athletes, teams in the NBA, NHL, MLS, Division 1 athletic departments, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Homeland Security, Hilton, Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and many others.
He also has a weekly podcast, Intentional Performers, where he interviews a diverse group of elite high performers. His new book, Shift Your Mind, is scheduled to be released in October of 2020.
Don’t miss our free Hoop Heads Pod Webinar Series on Thursday nights at 9 pm EST. If you miss a live webinar you can buy lifetime access to any of our previous webinars for $4.99 on the Hoop Heads Pod website. If you’re focused on improving your coaching and your team, we’ve got you covered! Visit hoopheadspod.com/webinars to get registered. Make sure you check out our new Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman , Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Player’s Court, Bleachers & Boards and our team focused NBA Podcasts: Cavalier Central, Grizz n Grind, Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture Miami Heat Podcast and coming soon Blazing the Path. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Shoot an email to email@example.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.
Grab a pen and paper to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Brian Levenson, founder of Strong Skills and the author of the new book, Shift Your Mind.
What We Discuss with Brian Levenson
- His lunch with Julie Elion, mental performance coach for Phil Mickelson at the time, and how that got him started in the field of mental performance
- Why he loves the blending of sports and psychology
- Seeing the good and bad side of a profession when working with a mentor
- Mentors can be formal or informal
- Mentoring is a two way street with benefits for both parties
- Servant leadership
- Why a two way dialogue between players and coaches
- A great question is often more powerful than a great answer
- His favorite questions are the ones that he legitimately doesn’t have the answer to
- Transactional vs Transformational Leadership
- Great coaches have elements of both leadership styles and need find the right balance for them, the level matters
- Helping others enjoy success
- Why he loves watching coaches after a championship and watching how much they credit their guys versus how much they talk about themselves
- There are brilliant coaches at every level from youth to the pros
- You have to be clear on what your value system is, what your mission is, what your philosophy is, what your vision is, and you have to be able to communicate that to your people.
- Be humble in our preparation and confident in our performance
- How he developed the shifts from preparation to performance that became the basis for his book, Shift Your Mind
- Analysis vs Instinct
- Perfectionism vs Adaptability
- The best coaches find ways to adapt
- You do the analysis and preparation. It actually allows you to step into instinct
- “Choking” is focusing too much on the potential outcome and losing your presence and coming out of the present
- Trust in your own competence, in your ability to do the job
- Focus is directed attention – Your focus can be internal broad, internal narrow, external narrow, or external broad depending on the situation
- Why meditation and mindfulness can look different for different people
- His new book Shift Your Mind
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THANKS, BRIAN LEVENSON!
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TRANSCRIPT FOR BRIAN LEVENSON – FOUNDER OF STRONG SKILLS & AUTHOR OF SHIFT YOUR MIND – EPISODE 373
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my cohost, Jason Sunkle this morning, but I am pleased to be joined from Strong Skills, mental performance coach Brian Levenson, Brian, welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.
Brian Levenson: [00:00:13] Thanks for having me, Mike, really excited to be here. I’m a big Hoop Head, so I’m excited to chat some basketball with you today.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:19] Fantastic. We’re excited to have you on and dig into what it takes to be a great mental performer. Want to talk to you first about how you got into this field? What made it interesting to you and just give us a little bit of your background in terms of athletics and why you ended up in this area?
Brian Levenson: [00:00:36] I was a big sports fan and athlete growing up.
I wasn’t as good of an athlete as you are looking over your bio, but I loved playing basketball. I loved playing soccer, baseball, roller hockey and just like kind of a normal, adolescent boy, I guess, but went to college, didn’t play any sports there and, it’s connected to basketball in some regards coached a little [00:01:00] bit in college, coached a little bit in the high school, and graduated, no clue what I wanted to do.
When I grew up, went into sales for a couple of years. And while I was in sales, I have lunch one day with a woman named Julie Elion and Julie at the time was a mental performance coach who was working on a lot of the top golfers in the world. She was working with Phil Mickelson at the time and worked with other athletes as well.
And we had lunch and it was one of those lunches that just flowed. It was easy when she was talking, it made sense. And she sort of looked at me and said, look, I think this is a growing field. I think you’d enjoy it. Think you’d be good at it. And so I’m happy to mentor you and help you. And I left that lunch and said, okay, it’s great.
I’m not that interested in going back to school right now. I spent my whole life in school. So, stayed in sales for a little bit. And then circled back with Julie and said, look, I think this combines two things that I know that I’m passionate about sports, which a lot of people are passionate about.
Okay, cool. but [00:02:00] helping people and that was the psychology piece. And so at the time I always said, I wouldn’t have gotten into psychology if it didn’t have a sports component. And then I always say, I wouldn’t have gotten into sports if it didn’t have a psychology company. So the blending of the two was really exciting to me.
And, so I went to grad school, I got my master’s in sports psychology. And then when I finished that up, I was fortunate to get to move back to Washington, DC, a work alongside Julie. She mentored me for about a year and a half. We collaborated on some cool stuff. And then she said, Hey, Brian, do you think you want to just do your own thing?
and I said, yeah. And so here I am. So I’ve been doing this work for almost a decade now. And, I love helping people get from where they are to where they want to go. it started in sports. I still work with a lot of athletes and sports teams, but it’s also morphed into working with people outside of sport as well.
so that’s, I guess my story, my background, fortunate to find something that I was good at and that I love to do, at a relatively young age.
[00:03:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:03:00] What did that mentorship mean to you, especially when you think about your work with other people, how much do you recommend to them or talk to them about the need to find a mentor?
Cause I think that’s something that a lot of times. People may discount how important that can be in terms of setting you on the right path and helping you to see where the obstacles in the road might be. So just talk a little bit about what mentorship meant to you, and then maybe how you utilize that in your practice with whether it’s business people or athletes.
Brian Levenson: [00:03:33] That’s a great question for me. The people that I graduated from grad school with, we just had a reunion a couple of weeks ago. And I felt so privileged and I’m going to use that word. I know it’s a loaded term that has a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people, but I absolutely was privileged to have Julia as a mentor.
When I finished grad school, I was in training camp with an NBA [00:04:00] team pretty quickly. I had a pro basketball player that I was working with. I had a pro golfer that I was working with. so for me it was a complete, unfair advantage that I had. To start my career. And that’s why I’m always hesitant to talk about my journey because I’m not hesitant to talk about it, but I want to acknowledge the fact that because of Julie, I had a leg up like an absolute leg up and that’s just on like the business side of it and actually having clients and getting to do the work even more.
So I got to learn what she did, how she did it. I also got to learn what things maybe I did it. I want to do that she did do and how she operated and maybe learn from some of our mistakes. So I think, we think of a mentor as somebody that gives us advice. On the path that they’ve been on because we want to walk in those shoes and we want to go on a similar path, but I think a great mentor will also show you the dark side of what they do.
And some of the [00:05:00] negatives that come with it. So Julie traveled a ton for her work. She was basically on the PGA tour and then I had clients outside of the PGA tour and I just never wanted to do that. And I never had a desire to do that. And I could see her. Getting really tired, just traveling nonstop, working nonstop.
And so I’ve tried to set up my business and what I do a little bit differently. so, the last thing I’ll say on mentorship is I think people now think, Oh, I’m going to go make you my mentor. Or I asked somebody, Hey, will you be my mentor? And I think like anything in life, when I was in sales, it was always about building relationships with people.
And I think if you build a relationship with someone it’ll be more organic and you can listen because they’ll make offers, like people will make offers. People love to help other people. I think that’s innate in our societies. People are also selfish, but people love to help others and [00:06:00] to share what they’ve learned.
And so I’ve had a number of mentors along the way, and some are more formal. Some are informal. Some I’ve known some I’ve just called a mentor from afar. Like I listen to their podcast or I read their book and they’re now my mentor. So I think. We sometimes try to make it so formal. And what I’ve found is that if you listen and there’s an offer on the table, say yes, take them up on it, follow through say thank you, show your appreciation.
And those people will want to do more of it. And I think about my mentors, they’re often the ones reaching out to me now and saying, how’s it going? And I think they get pride in the work that I’m doing and it. Is fulfilling for them. So I think it’s not a one way street. I think I now mentor other people and I’ll tell you, like, there’s a, there’s at least two young men that I think about where I’m quote unquote, their mentor.
I learned so much from them. They are brilliant people. And so I think [00:07:00] the mistake we make is often that we think it’s a one way street. And so, yeah, I love it. Talking about mentorship because I think it’s really important.
Mike Klinzing: [00:07:06] Yeah, I think that what you just said there about it being a two way street is something that if you read books about leadership and you read books about mentorship, you come to the conclusion very quickly that it has to be a two way street where that flow of information is going both ways.
And yes, the mentor is helping the mentee along the way and guiding them and giving them some of their experience. And at the same time that mentee is. Giving the mentor a way to look at things maybe a little bit differently or a different perspective. And to me, that’s where the real value lies, as opposed to thinking of yourself as being up on a pulpit and saying, Hey, this is what you need to do instead.
It’s conversation. It’s an interaction that benefits both parties, as opposed to all the benefit flowing one direction. As you said, when you think back to the beginning of your practice [00:08:00] and what you were doing, what’s something that, from the beginning, when you started to where you are now, something that you feel like you’re.
Better at or something that you’ve learned along the way that’s had a really positive impact on the way you interact with clients.
Brian Levenson: [00:08:18] I’ll answer that question, but one last riff on the two way street piece. Isn’t that kind of everything. If you think about a coach and a basketball player, it should be a two way street.
And we talked about servant leadership and this idea of always serving your players. Well coaches want to win basketball games and coaches want to have a job and, and coaches want to be able to do what they’re doing. And depending on what level you’re at, there are different value systems to what jobs might entail, but at my company Strong Skills, we talk about that. We invest in our people and our clients. [00:09:00] They invest their time and energy into the coaching and training process. And then together, we hopefully create a paradigm shift that moves us from what we call soft skills in the corporate world to strong skills.
So the reason I brought that up is just this idea of collaboration and. I think too often, we think that it’s a one way street and then you have a power dynamic that doesn’t free everybody up to grow. And my favorite moments in basketball are when Tony Parker takes the clipboard from Greg Popovich and is now running plays in the huddle.
Or you see a point guard come to the sideline and, and point something out to their coach. And they have a dialogue it’s a two way street and I’ve been around basketball at the high school, college and pro level. And at every single one of those levels, the coaches that have players that are involved that ask questions that are engaged.
Those are the best relationships. So understand that titles can cause us to think that there is a power dynamic in there, especially when there’s playing time. Right. In basketball, but [00:10:00] I just think it’s important for people to remember that if you are the mentee, your job is also to challenge the mentor.
Your job is also to push them, to hold them accountable, to make it a worthwhile. time investment cause everybody invest their time. and in times our most valuable resource. And so as I was hearing you talk, I just, I think it’s so important that we are always thinking that way. Once again, when I worked in sales, it wasn’t a one way street.
I had to provide value for my clients if I was going to sell them a good. And if I wasn’t creating a. Good experience for them. They weren’t going to work with me anymore. And I think a coach is no different. You have to provide value to your athletes and that’s not just basketball. That’s also life.
There’s a lot of different ways to pour into someone’s life. and then it goes back and forth. And when that, when that marriage is broken or torn or the trust or the communication or the respect is not there. Then you get a divorce [00:11:00] and there’s nothing wrong with divorce is like, when you’re not happy, you should transfer.
You should stop seeing somebody. But to me, the issue yeah. In relationships, and this could be a marriage or coach and a player is when there isn’t a mutual respect when there isn’t communication. and when there isn’t trust and so I just think that that’s really important. We think about the mentor mentee component, in relationship to what you were asking, and the idea of what have I learned, When I was in grad school, they were really big on trying to help me understand this idea that I don’t have to have all the answers.
And a great question is often more powerful than a great answer. And at the time I was learning all these mental skills like visualization and self-talk and goal setting and breathing. And I was so beat up about this stuff that I wanted to share it with the world. And so for a lot of my [00:12:00] athletes that I worked with.
I want to just give them these tools. And so I think one of the things that’s changed for me is that when I’m working with youth athletes, a lot of times, my job is to teach them the how, and really help them get those tools and skills I’m working with college athletes or pro athletes, or people that are in the corporate world and are adults.
A lot of times, my job is to ask them great questions and have them come up with solutions. So I think that’s something I wasn’t aware of when I was younger. I just kind of took a one size fits all approach. And I think today I try to figure out when to ask a great question, when to provide a tool and to understand where those can add value to people and to really listen deeply.
And oftentimes a question can be super, super powerful to unlocking someone’s potential.
Mike Klinzing: [00:12:51] Yeah. That makes a ton of sense. I think actually both answers to the last two questions that you shared, I think go hand in hand in the [00:13:00] sense that when I think about how. Coaching basketball or coaching sports in general has changed over the last, let’s say 35 years, you go back maybe to the Bobby Knight, school of basketball coaching, where it was, this is what we’re going to do.
You’re going to do it. I’m going to question my authority at all. You’re not going to have any input into what we do. This is just what we do. And there isn’t that. Back and forth that flow of, I don’t think Bobby Knight very often was handing over the clipboard to one of his players in 1976 and saying, Hey, go ahead and design what it is that we’re going to do next.
And I think that style of coaching was much more prevalent in the past. And now we’ve shifted it where players do have more of an input input, that relationship between coach and player, and then. You talked about how you learned that asking questions could be critical, too, helping develop insight for your clients.
And I see the same thing. When you talk about coaching [00:14:00] basketball, where it’s not the coach saying, Hey, here’s what we’re going to do. It’s the coach saying, Hey, what did you see? Hey, what are you seeing? What could we do differently? And that. Deepens the understanding that a player has, or it could be a business person, whatever it may be.
I think by asking the right questions. So often you get. The person, whether, again, that’s the player, that’s the client, that’s the mentee. However you want to phrase it, that person gains more insight from answering the question and thinking through that, as opposed to someone just telling you, it’s just like a teacher that if you tell me something great, I may remember it, but if I actually have to do it and.
Be immersed in it. I get so much more value out of that than I do. Just somebody telling me the answer.
Brian Levenson: [00:14:47] You know, Mike, let’s riff on this for a minute cause, this is something I love chatting about. So in my line of work, Yes, there are tools. There are skills you can learn, but the human experience is really complex.
[00:15:00] So when I love to ask questions, it’s not necessarily because, Oh, they’re going to come up with the answer and I’m not, that’ll be stickier for them. My favorite questions are the ones that I legitimately don’t have the answer to. And because I’m asking them about their perspective. And so my coaching is different than a, than an athlete, a sports coach cause a sports coach.
If you’re asking them, Hey, where should you have been on that set or that play then? You should know the answer, right? Your job as the coach is to know where they should be. And so that can be valuable. But if you think about transactional leadership and transformational leadership, I think a great coach knows when to be transactional and knows when to be transformative, a great teacher.
And I’m curious to learn from you as far as what it’s like to be in a classroom, because what do you teach in school? Cool, Mike,
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:51] So I’ve taught. Elementary school right now. I’m teaching elementary phys ed for grades K to six, but in the past, in my career, I taught [00:16:00] third grade for four years in a classroom setting and then I taught fifth grade for about 14 years.
Brian Levenson: [00:16:05] So awesome. So let’s just stick with phys. ed. There are going to be things that you can teach kids in a gym. And that the answer to, and maybe you’ll ask them a question so that it’s stickier for them. All right. That’s cool. That’s solid.
Then there are going to be things where you can model for them and show them. And kinesiology has proven a lot of research that modeling actually can help someone learn. So there is a time to give them the transactional feedback and just, Hey, if you want to do this better, this is what you do. And a great sports coach has to do that.
Like players. Players want that they want the knowledge, the information, the wisdom that’s really, really valuable. And then you have transformative, which I think is much more of an inside out experience. And those are the spaces in between games and practices and the best coaches I’ve been around build relationships with their athletes outside of the court, outside of the field.
And [00:17:00] what they do in those instances is they bring them into their office. They ask them questions that they don’t know the answer to. And they’re learning about who that person is. And there was just a game Sunday night football had the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. And if you think about Bill Belichik, he is more transactional.
In his approach with his guys through your job, I’m going to make sure you’re in the right spot at the right time. Your job is to do your job. I don’t think the Patriots are going to be talking about the next Supreme court work justice in their locker room. Pete Carroll, on the other end of the spectrum on the other sideline believes in transformative leadership.
He always wants to bring out the best version of his guys. He wants to understand who they are. Why they do what they do and how we can bring out the very best of them. And by knowing who they are, we can put them into a position that allows them some to thrive. And so it’s not to say Bill Belichik, who’s probably the best football coach of all time, a great coach.
He certainly is. And that works [00:18:00] for him in football. And I think Nick Saban takes the same approach at the college level. So there is a formula that works in a transactional, area arena. For me, the people I’m driven to and the people I’m intrigued by are the ones that are more transformative. And what I love about sports is the potential for transformation.
And it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to win. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to compete. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about winning or losing. What I love about sports is when you see this human element, when you see this transformative element take place and you see people grow and develop and learn about themselves, I think one of the amazing things about the NBA right now is you’re seeing these guys play at such a high level and care deeply about humanity. And I really believe there’s nothing to say. You can’t do both of those. And I’m the type of person that believes you should have it all in this life. And so why not go after it? but I do think it’s important for, coaches to come up with their own style and understand what is my style?
Is it more of a transactional style? Is it more of a [00:19:00] transformational style? Obviously the level you’re at also matters. Like if you’re at high school level and it’s all transactional, like I’m not too sure that that’s the goal of high school athletics, not minimizing high school athletics. I live in Washington, DC.
We have the Catholic League in Washington, D C and you won’t go to a more competitive basketball conference country. And so I’ve worked with those teams and seen them up close and it is awesome. Yeah. But their job is even though a lot of those kids are going to play division one on basketball. A lot of those coaches job is to teach life skills and to grow boys into men.
And so I know I’m going off a little bit here, but I really love that the concept of transactional leadership and transformational leadership. Okay. And having clarity around what your job is, how you can do it authentically and so that you can be you. And, as I said, Bill Belichik. Nick Saban. I think those guys are more transactional.
I’ve worked with players that have played for those guys. so there’s some evidence to back that up. and it doesn’t mean they don’t love their guys, like at the end of the super bowl. And it seems like the Patriots are there [00:20:00] every year. You always see them, miced up saying, I love you. I love you. I love you.
So you can love somebody, even if it’s a little more transactional, but I find that stuff to be really an intriguing, interesting for anyone who’s in a leadership position, whether it’s a teacher or a coach, of course.
Mike Klinzing: [00:20:15] Yeah. I don’t think there’s any doubt that if you’re in a leadership role that you should care more about just than just the bottom line, it should be about impacting people.
And I think you mentioned it when you talked about high school basketball, and I think in a lot of ways that. The lower, the level that you go, the more important that teaching of life skills becomes because you think about each level in sports that you move up. So you start out, let’s just say with third graders playing basketball while there’s a lot of kids who are third graders that are playing basketball.
By the time you get to sixth grade, some of them have dropped out. By the time you get to middle school, some more of them are gone by the time you get to high school, even more are gone. So at each. Progressive [00:21:00] level more and more kids have dropped out. Well, if the only thing you taught them as a youth basketball coach or a middle school coach is how to shoot a layup or when to run this offense or how to play defense, then you’re doing those kids a disservice because you haven’t had as much of an impact on them as you could.
Had you been incorporating some life skills and some lessons that. They can take beyond the basketball court. And to me, that’s always been a theme. That’s kind of run through our podcasts. It’s one of the things that I probably come around on a lot as a coach. And I’ve talked about it before that when I started out coaching, after I got done with my playing career, it was just about me. It wasn’t really about the players that I was coaching. And slowly over time, that shifted where you start to realize that. Yeah, the game is important yet. Winning is important yet. X’s and O’s are important, but really what’s important is what’s the impact that you’re having on the kids that you’re there to serve.
And it’s not just the impact that you have in the moment. It’s the impact that you have. [00:22:00] 20 years from now when they come back to you or when they realize something that you said that made a difference in their life. And to me, when you talk about trying to get someone to perform at their best, you want them to perform at their best out on the floor, but you also want them to perform at their best in their life.
And that can take a lot of different directions. As we know for everybody, not everybody ends up with a career as a professional athlete or a career in sports as a coach or whatever we all end up in different walks of life. And so you want the people that are part of your organization, part of your team to take something more away from it than just, Hey, I learned the technical skills.
There was also something that benefited me in all walks of life. And I think to me, that’s really what we’re talking about when we’re talking about transformational leadership.
Brian Levenson: [00:22:47] Mike, there’s two things that I want to pull on that you’re talking about. Number one, I, I had a mission when I first started doing this work, which has help others enjoy success.
Therefore I’ll enjoy success. And so when I first started doing this work, I [00:23:00] was linking my success to my client’s success. And that was really dangerous because first of all, I was working with multiple teams, multiple athletes in multiple sports. There was a whole lot of losing a whole lot of losing like sports you’re going to lose there’s no way around it.
That name like maybe Floyd Mayweather doesn’t lose. Maybe Usain Bolt doesn’t lose. It’s very rare that if you’re an athlete, you don’t experience losing. So first of all, it was going to be a miserable existence. If I linked my success to theirs. And second, I think the more that you get into coaching, the more you realize that you don’t dunk a basketball, you don’t shoot a three, you don’t defend it’s those guys.
They’re the ones that actually execute and do the work. And so I always, I love watching coaches after a championship and watch how much they credit their guys, [00:24:00] versus how much they talk about themselves. And it just is pretty telling to me. and I love watching coaches that almost take a step back and let the players celebrate and let them have that moment.
And I think it’s a recognition that this is their moment and they earned it. And it doesn’t mean that coaching is invaluable. Look, I’m a coach, you’re a coach. I love it. I think it’s an amazing profession and it can change lives. So I’m not de-valuing it. But I think a great coach also understands that it’s not about them. And so I really shifted my mission to helping others unlock potential and possibility so that they can enjoy success. And when I took myself out of it, I think it was healthier for me and B I think it was more truthful. It was more honest. It was really at the core of my beliefs.
And then the last thing I’ll say the second thread was we were talking about levels and I think we make the mistake often and thinking that the pro level is, is better than high school level and college [00:25:00] level, not at a high school and so on and so forth. And I’ve worked a lot of high school sports teams and brilliant coaches at that level.
And I’ve worked at pro and college. There’s brilliant people everywhere at every level. And I think it’s interesting because let’s take the Lakers out of this final four teams just cause they have. Two of the top five best players in the world. And then somehow they’ve created a bench of just awesome dudes. They’re just loaded.
Just take them out of it for a minute. and let’s just use them as an outlier, but you look at the nuggets and you look at the Celtics and you look at the heat and you’ve got Brad Stevens, Mike Malone and Eric Spoelstra. And if you listen to what they are talking about, At that level, it is transformational leadership.
Malone’s talking about working hard. Yeah. Playing with joy, Brad Stevens, who many thought would fail in the NBA because he wouldn’t resonate with these guys has always talked about character and the type of people we are, and you’d listen to Jalen [00:26:00] Brown, or you listen to Jason Tatum and you know, those guys are just.
Seemingly from the outside, looking in incredible human beings. and then you go to the Heat where, I mean, I think it is remarkable what Spo has done. He has taken this group and they play with a chip on the shoulder, they play right on the edge, but it’s clear that they value competition.
It’s clear that they’re fearless and it’s clear that they care about each other and Oh, by the way, they’re playing a rookie and Herro there. Bam, who I think is in his second year and they’re giving these guys long leashes to go make an impact. And, I think from the outside, looking in, I’ve always heard so much about Spo and how much he cares about his guys and how much he cares about the culture with the Heat.
if you’re around the NBA at all, you hear about it. And so as we’re even having this conversation, I think it’s important. No matter what level people are at that, they’re [00:27:00] intentional with how they’re showing up for their players, because it matters. And if you want to cultivate relationships with your guys, which at the end of the day is at the heart and at the core of coaching, you gotta be clear on what your value system is, what your mission is, what your philosophy is, what your vision is, and you have to be able to communicate that to your people. And then, Oh, by the way, you have to be thoughtful about the guys that you bring in. I mean, Jimmy Butler bounced around what like three teams, and before landing in Miami, And it’s pretty clear that he’s in lockstep with Spo as far as what they want to do.
And his way is probably not for everybody. but it’s an alignment and you can see that alignment and you can see it in a guy like Jae Crowder. And so I think it’s interesting because. That’s the highest level where talent is Supreme.The Lakers will probably win it all. And it matters.
And by the way, LeBron and Anthony Davis are also seemingly [00:28:00] impressive humans as well. And so, I just think the human element is really important. I’m not someone who minimizes talent. I think talent. Yeah. You don’t win anything without talent and Supreme talent is a game changer. I think no, one’s going to deny it.
It seems like LeBron James and Anthony Davis were playing on eight foot hoops. and they’re just incredibly skilled athletic basketball players that were born to play this. And they’ve worked their asses off to get to the level they’re at. So I think that’s a different beast, but those other three teams maxing out their potential.
I don’t think anyone’s gonna deny that the Nuggets Celtics and Heat are not maxing out their potential to get to where they are. And I think that’s where the coach really plays.
Mike Klinzing: [00:28:39] Yeah. Well, let’s talk about that because when you say that guys have tremendous talent, which we know that clearly LeBron Anthony Davis, these are guys who are.
Gifted beyond what any mortal human being could possibly expect. But when you look at athletes in the NBA, almost everyone is gifted [00:29:00] in some way that could be running and jumping. That could be eye, hand coordination. That could be size. That could be speed. It could be whatever, some combination of all of those things.
And yet we all know that there are lots of players that are walking around that had at least equal. Maybe physical talent, but never maximize that. The way that guys who reached the highest level maximize it. I think of Michael Jordan, I think of LeBron and I think of two guys who were, again, tremendously gifted, had every single possible attribute that you could want as a basketball player.
And yet. I think that what really set them apart is the things that they did to maximize that talent. And I think that’s where some of the things that you do about talking about how someone becomes an elite performer. What they need to do in order to be able to perform at that elite level. There’s a S there’s a layer of preparation [00:30:00] that they have to do.
So I think this is a good time to talk a little bit about your book, which is coming out soon, called shift your mind. And in the book you talk about. The difference between preparation and performance and how those two things are related. So why don’t we dive into that? Maybe just kind of framing it around what an elite basketball player or an elite basketball coach, what that might look like in terms of their preparation and their performance.
Brian Levenson: [00:30:28] And you’re good at segues. I was impressed. So I said, I’ve been doing this work for about a decade. And I think it was like 2013, 2012, the New York Giants and just won the super bowl. And Tom Coughlin was being interviewed. And he said, yeah, we were humble in our preparation. And we were confident in our performance.
And I heard that and I was like, man, that is clean. It is clear. That’s really interesting, like humble and confident. They’re kind of counter they’re kind of [00:31:00] opposite. And what does that mean? No. So I started working with my clients about what does it look like when you’re humble in preparation? And then what does it look like when you’re confident in performance?
And I’m working with golfers hockey players, basketball, soccer. I’ve always liked working with a diverse group of people, even though, shh don’t tell anyone I’m a basketball guy, at my core, I love working with different sports. I love working with people outside of sports because I think you can learn things that are not in your wheelhouse.
You grow, you develop, and then you can bring that to those other places. So a humble enough to prepare and confident enough to perform and. So we started making these lists when I’d work with these clients about how is their mindset for preparation, different than their mindset for performance. And it didn’t matter the sport, they would create these giant lists with me.
And we were doing it as an exercise in one of our meetings. And. It got to a point where I had like 35 of these shifts in preparation and performance, and I’m sitting there see, seeing people [00:32:00] tweet stay humble, stay humble, stay hungry, be selling don’t try to be perfect. there are these sayings be comfortable with the uncomfortable don’t fear failure, and I’m hearing all that.
And I’m looking at our list and I’m saying, well, People in their sports need some of this at different times. And when matters, like when we use fear matters, when we use humility matters, when we are perfectionistic matters. So I started writing and I started to realize like, this should be out there and this should be shared with more people.
And as I started to work with my clients and they got clear on their shifts, they would then focus on a few of these so that when they were performing, they would be. A certain way when they were preparing, they’d be a different way. So the book is essentially nine of those 30 plus shifts because we thought 30 would be a bit much, and some of the shifts are a little redundant and some of the shifts didn’t have enough research or evidence to, to make us feel good about putting it into a [00:33:00] book.
So the ones that we came up with, I’ll just riff on them a little bit here or. Humble in preparation and actually arrogant in performance. So I took what Tom Coughlin said, and I actually ratcheted it up another level. And I’m happy to break that down at some point with you. We talked about work in preparation and play in performance.
We talked about thinking about the future in preparation, and then being present in performance, a perfectionistic. In preparation and adaptable in performance, using analysis in preparation and instinct and performance, experimenting and preparation, trying new things, and then trusting your process in performance, being uncomfortable in preparation, and then being comfortable in performance.
Using fear and preparation, and then being fearless in performance and actually being selfish in preparation so that you can be selfless in performance. so those are the shifts and happy to dive into any of those, if there’s one that you’re like, man, I’m really curious about that.
Mike Klinzing: [00:33:56] All right. So here’s one that jumps out at me thinking at this from a perspective of [00:34:00] our audience of coaches and I’m looking at analysis versus instinct. So. When I think of analysis as a coach. And I think of that being part of my preparation, I think about going in and designing my teams offensive and defensive systems.
I think about the scouting that I’m going to do in prep for a particular opponent. And I can come into that game politely prepared with a game plan. To go against a specific opponent or you think about the NBA playoffs, go in to a series with an idea of here’s what we’re going to do. Here’s how we’re going to attack this team.
Here’s what we think they’re going to do to us. And then on the performance side of it, when the game starts. The other team doesn’t cooperate with your game plan and they don’t necessarily do the things that you thought they were going to do. And it doesn’t always work out exactly the way you prepared for.
So then you have a coach who needs to then rely on their instinct, their gut, their what they’re seeing in the moment. There’s no [00:35:00] time to go spend 20 minutes conferring with your assistants to figure out how are. The Miami heat stopping my best player, Yonis attend to Kupo for getting to the basket. What are they doing?
I have to figure out in the moment, what do I need to do differently? So maybe talk about analysis versus instinct when it comes to coaching in your mind.
Brian Levenson: [00:35:21] And Mike, as I was listening to you talk, there’s also perfectionism and adaptability in your question is how do I adapt? And we always people always say the best coaches find ways to adapt, make adjustments, whether it’s a series or last time or quarter or timeout or whatever it might be.
Let’s go to analysis and instinct. So what do we mean by that? Let’s use distinctions analysis to me is a detailed examination of the elements or structure of something it’s typically a basis for discussion or interpretation. We live in an analytics world today. Analytics is in sports. It’s in companies.
Anywhere you look and analytics is great, it gives us more data, more [00:36:00] information so that we can learn, we can grow, we can develop. but when we’re performing, yes, analytics can help us. Who do we foul? You know, where’s the spot that we want to get to on the floor. But to your point, a lot of times we are in a wicked environment when we’re performing, we might have come up with this perfect game plan, but now we need to rely on our instincts to adapt. And so tell you a quick story. I worry about that, I mentioned that I’m in Washington DC and I had the pleasure, right? When I finished grad school to get linked up with Paul the six High School, which is in the Catholic League, which I mentioned earlier.
And for those that don’t know, the Washington Catholic League tends to have five teams that are vying for top 25 status in the country. so it’s just an. A ridiculously competitive league. They send tons of division, one athletes to the college level every single year. And the coaches that coach on these teams, I’m telling you are whatever level you want to appreciate it.
Well, these [00:37:00] guys can coach at that level. They are incredible well. And so I was fortunate enough, lucky to get linked up with the head coach of Paul the sixth and in 2011. In the 2011-2012 season, they went on this magical run and went undefeated in the conference, which had never been done before.
It was unheard of. They usually beat each other up. If you’ve heard of DeMatha Gonzaga, Bishop O’Connell, St. John’s, these are powerhouse basketball schools that they just, they crush each other during the regular season. So Paul the sixth went on this magical run and they had never won the Catholic League championship.
So the finals are played at American University in a sold out arena. It’s just a really cool environment to me, it’s my favorite sporting event of the year. And at any time level, and I’m sitting up here, hide the basket, watching the girls team play first. Cause I was also working with them at the time and I’m watching them and I watched Coach Ferrelo come into the arena.
I see all these people grabbing at him and trying to get his [00:38:00] attention and we link eyes comes up the bleachers suspects to me, coach, how are you doing? He’s like, honestly, Brian, my head is running a million miles an hour. He was analyzing, he was thinking about all this different stuff and he’s like, I’m just not.
Like clear. And so we sat there on the bleachers in front of a sold out arena, and I had him close his eyes and count to 10. And all he did was just focus on the numbers. So he would go in his head one, two, three, four, and he would just keep counting the numbers. And the rule of the game was if he had a thought pop into his head, any sort of analysis, he had to go back and start at one.
And I think he may have got it on the first or second try. He got to 10, he opened his eyes and he looked at me and he smiled. He’s like, alright, I’m good. And, happens to be a fairy tale, happy ending. They ended up hitting like ridiculous shots late in the game. I look did any of that have to [00:39:00] do with what we did.
Probably not, but the point would be that. He needed a shift away from analysis and more to trusting his instinct, which is his innate impulses inclination or tendency. And that’s more of a gut feeling than a head feeling. And so yes, coaches have to live in this space of analyzing and being in their head.
And then at times go to their gut. And I think coach really has figured out how to do that. When do you use analysis? And it uses instinct and intuition and a couple other things, examples of coaches doing that would be when the Philadelphia Eagles won the super bowl and they ran that play Philly Philly, where they handed the ball off to the running back, Nick foals went out for a pass.
You know, Nick fools went to the sideline before they did that because they had a time out and turned to his coach, Doug Peterson and said, do you want to run Philly Philly? And he’s like, he looked at him for a second, was like, yeah, let’s do it. And you know, in that moment he trusted his intuition. It wasn’t what are the odds of this?
What are the odds of that? He trusted his intuition a few years earlier. Sean [00:40:00] Payton ran an onside kick for the New Orleans saints after halftime, and that helped propel them to the super bowl. So I think coaches often have to take chances and rely on intuition when the lights are on. And when they’re in moments that.
Seemingly are counterintuitive. I’m always blown away by those coaches that in that moment can rely on intuition. So I love data. I love analytics and greatness and championships and beauty and masterpieces. How often are a result of intuition, which by the way, instinct is birthed from great analysis.
You do the analysis and preparation. It actually allows you to step into instinct because you’ve already dotted all your I’s crossed all your T’s and looked at everything. And then similarly, perfectionism and adaptable work the same way. If I’m perfectionistic with everything that I do, and I know everything that they could run, what defense they run, if they like to press it like this zone, if they ever will throw a box and one at our top player.
Then I will know [00:41:00] how to adjust in the adaptable and performance problem is when we bring our preparation mind into performance, where we bring our performance might into preparation. So the issue with perfectionism is if you bring it into performance, it can be crippling. The issue with the analysis is if you bring it into performance, you can have paralysis by analysis.
And the same thing goes the other way. If you’re just relying on intuition and instinct and preparation, you’re not going to give it the detail that it deserves. And if you were just always adjusting and adapting and preparation, then you’re not actually moving toward the excellence of perfectionism. So for me, these shifts are all about when and the last thing I’ll say is a great practice.
So for the coaches that are listening, I’m sure you know that a great practice involves times when your guys are in the performance mind, they’re competing, they’re focused on executing. They’re actually practicing what it’s like to have time and score. And there’s a time to actually work on our craft, to grow and develop whether it’s watching film or working on our footwear, we’re working on a new [00:42:00] move or working on a Euro step, whatever it might be.
So a great practice will blend the preparation mind and the performance night.
Mike Klinzing: [00:42:07] All right. So I want to follow up with that by asking you, how does, or where does the ability to perform. Under pressure or in the clutch, where does that fit into this? I know we oftentimes don’t think of coaches as having to perform in the clutch under pressure, but so often they do, you have a timeout with 10 seconds ago and both coaches got to figure out.
What they’re going to do in that one minute timeframe. There’s not many of us in life who have to make an important decision and we’re given one minute a to make the decision and then to communicate that decision to a bunch of other human beings and try to get them to execute that. So maybe talk about the ability to perform under pressure, both from a coaching perspective.
And then you could also touch on it maybe as a player from a player perspective as well.
[00:43:00] Brian Levenson: [00:43:01] I think about what choking is, because that’s sort of the opposite of performing in the clutch.
Mike Klinzing: [00:43:06] Absolutely.
Brian Levenson: [00:43:07] And it usually is about anxiety. It’s about thinking about the future. It’s about focusing too much on the potential outcome and losing your presence and, and coming out of the present.
So we talked about staying in the now or being where your feet are being present, what I was doing with Glen as he walked into that arena. And that was the biggest game of his career. He had never won the championship. It was packed. He was playing against DeMatha who had a Jeremi Grant, who’s now playing for the Denver Nuggets and had a bunch of other guys who went on to play.
And one guy played at NC state. One guy played a PiTt. We were loaded. And so was his team by the way, super talented as well. but yeah. He was getting too far ahead and needed to ground himself in the present. So, that’s easier said than done, but breathing and mindfulness and meditation are great tools to help someone learn how to handle the present moment [00:44:00] and therefore lock into performing in the clutch.
I think if you study this stuff, you’ll realize that. Most high performers, they perform well in the clutch because they’re not thinking about it as any different than when they’re shooting on a black or in a gym that’s empty. It’s they, they trust in their own competence in their ability to do the job.
And they’re not overthinking so that analysis can really get in the way when we’re performing. And that’s what cause us to choke, which is why we need to step into our gut into the present and think less about the future. Anxiety is typically about ruminating about the future. So if you’re around someone who’s overly anxious, if you listen to them, they’re often talking about a fear or a worry or a concern about the future. So I think for coaches, no different, they spend so much time strategizing a great coaches thinking about leading. They’re thinking about strategizing. A lot of their job is about the future and it’s a chess match. Right. And they’re trying to think about what’s the guy going to do next, but ultimately.
When it’s time to actually [00:45:00] execute, they need to be present. And so I think the difference between a coach and a player, and if you have any thoughts on this, you can let me know because you played at a high level and you’ve coached for a while. Now. I think a player just needs to really focus on executing for most of the time.
Whereas a coach needs to think about strategy and I think leadership is no different. A leader needs to think about strategy. Most of the time, there does come a time where a CEO or a head coach needs to move away from strategy and just focus on execution. So when they’re drawn up that last play, it’s not as much a chess match anymore.
Now it’s more checkers. This is what we need to draw up, and this is what we need to do. And in that moment, they need to be much more present. They need to be future focused and look. Coaching basketball is hard. I’ve seen it up close. Like I don’t envy that job because I think you have to toggle between thinking about the future and what you’re trying to do and focus on the present and what your team needs right now.
And I think a great coach will understand when they need to be in more of a [00:46:00] preparation mind and when they need to be in more of a performance.
Mike Klinzing: [00:46:02] Yeah. I look at it from a standpoint, I think. Both as a player and as a coach, sort of in the same way in that I think the people who perform the best in the clutch are people who are able to narrow that focus down and figure out what’s important.
In the given moment, because I think as a player you can get caught up in, as you said, thinking about what are the ramifications of if I miss this shot or if the other team scores, or we don’t win this game instead of as a player, I think it’s really important. Just say, look, I need to get this done.
Here’s what I need to do in this moment on this play to make sure that the outcome. It’s a good one. And obviously we all know that it doesn’t always work out that way, but I think the best players are able to really dial in on here’s what I need to do in this moment and block out all the other things that are going on around them.
And I think from a coaching standpoint, I know one of the things that I’ve always struggled with is okay, you call a [00:47:00] timeout and. Maybe you have 17 things that you’ve seen that you’d like to be able to convey to your team, because this, if we just made these five adjustments, everything would start going really well.
But you know, if you talk to them and you say five different things, they’re going to remember zero of those things. So you, as a coach in the moment, you have to be able to narrow your focus and say, what is the most important thing that I need to get across to my team in order to make sure that they execute and do what.
We need to do in order to win this play when this game, when this moment, whatever it might be. And so to me, I’ve always found that the ability to narrow your focus in the moment to what’s really most important when it’s a big moment when it’s, when you’re under a time constraint. I think that ability to narrow focus to me is what always stands out and what always separates the people who are the best players and the best coaches.
Brian Levenson: [00:47:54] I really like that. I think it’s really cool. And I think about what focus is so simple [00:48:00] definition for focus is that it’s directed attention. So if you start there, cause the word focus, coaches tell us to focus, teachers, parents, they all say focus, focus, focus. Well, what do you want me to focus on?
And so I love using directed attention. Hey, let’s direct our attention to the baseline or let’s direct our attention to the huddle or let’s direct our attention to the ball. and then the second thing I think of that there’s different elements of directing attention. So use that term narrow. We can be internal narrow, which is the one thing that I think you’re focused on.
Okay. Let’s, what’s this one thing. It’s an internal guy dialogue you’re having with yourself and you’re trying to narrow it in. Then you have external narrow, which is if a shooter is just focused on the back of the rib, they’re just focused on a target. And then there’s external broad, which is a great point guard is going to be seeing the whole floor and knowing where it guys are so that he could make a pass.
Watch Rondo right now he’s in that external narrow mode. and then you’ve got, sort of, internal broad is the other one we haven’t hit on. So internal broad, internal narrow, external narrow, external broad, and internal [00:49:00] broad is really a lot of things. Thoughts, a lot of thinking it’s where a lot of strategy lives, but in the moment that internal broad thinking can often get in the way of us performing under pressure because it’s too much and it’s an overload of information and that’s where we can potentially choke is in that internal broad space.
I interviewed Hakim Warrick for my podcast and people always remember Hakim for the block that he had in the finals for Syracuse, I happened to be in the arena. I went to Syracuse and I was a freshman. So that was a fun moment for me and so they remember his block, but what they forget is that he missed two free throws before that block that could have really put the game away.
And I asked what was he thinking when he was at the free throw line? And he said, my mind was just running a million miles an hour. And I was thinking about all these different things. And I was not narrow in my focus. I was not either focused on the rim. We’re focused on the one thing like you’re talking about, and that’s why we got routines at the free throw line because it narrows our [00:50:00] focus. So when we have close ended action, like a free throw and there’s no defense coming out, we really want to be narrow in our approach. Or if you’re designing a play, that’s a great time to really narrow in your approach and I think he then shifted his attention after he missed the second free throw to coming back and really became external with his focus.
And that’s how he realized that there was a guy in the corner and then he could extend his long arms and block that could change the course of history in college basketball. So I think the idea of shifting your attention is really important. And to your point, I think it’s really important for athletes or any performer to be aware of what do they need to be when they’re.
You know, in high, rugged, intense situations, as far as where they’re directing their attention. And if you notice that you’re being very internally broad, is there something you can do to narrow that focus and come back to either one word or clapping your hands or snapping your fingers to get you back to that present moment and back to more of a narrow focus?
Mike Klinzing: [00:50:56] So I think of that as being, I’ve heard it called a [00:51:00] mistake ritual where you do something. Wrong. You make a mistake in a game and you have some way of wiping that away. It could be something physical that you do. Maybe you just pretend to wipe the sweat off your brow, or it could be, as you mentioned, a word that you take, you can put it away.
You might just say flush it. And then that. Gets you to move on mentally. So you’re ready for the next play to me, I think that’s something that is really, really important. It goes to another one of the shifts that you talk about in the book, which is shifting in preparation, where you’re focused on the future to your performance, you have to be focused on the present.
And when you talked about a Kimora missing two free throws, or you think about guys who are great free throw shooters I think that they’re able to. Like you said, they’re able to block out all those other distractions, just focus on that task that they’re able to do. And they put that routine in place and it allows them to just sort of be there in the moment, doing what they’ve always done over and over again.
And it’s the [00:52:00] people who kind of overthink it. And I think once it gets into your head, It becomes very difficult to overcome that if you allow those other thoughts to come into your mind. So just talk maybe a little bit about how important it is to, to play present for lack of a better way of saying it.
Brian Levenson: [00:52:16] So interesting. I was sitting next to two NBA players and they were, I’m talking about going to Toronto for a game and they were both bigs. So one was a power forward. One was a center and I think the center shot 80% from the free throw line and the power forward shot. Maybe 60% from the free throw line in his career.
And they were talking about going to Toronto and Toronto has a super fan that sits on the baseline and throws a towel up in the air when guys are shooting free throws and the power forward was talking to the center and the 60% guy talking to the 80% guy and was saying, yeah, that guy always distracts me.
And the center goes, who, what guy?
[00:53:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:52:59] Right? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Brian Levenson: [00:53:03] And then by the way, the, but the power forward was an amazing passer. Like he would I like those LeBron skip passes. And I think one of the things that basketball people have so much respect for the Bron is his vision. For sure.
This guy was one of the few guys in the league that could make those types of passes. And the center could not, the center was a guy who just did his job sort of a journeyman center that just. You know, do the little things. And so just there are gifts in everything and there are curses in everything.
And that’s why I think it’s so important to know when to use something and when not to use something, cause we all have super powers. And if our superpower is used in the wrong way, it can really hinder us. And so that player who struggled from the free throw line was great at seeing the floor and making passes.
It. Other people couldn’t see, I think of a guy like Jason Kidd, and one of the amazing things about kid was he always had that external broad vision. And then later in his career, he [00:54:00] became a great shooter and it was clear that he was able to narrow his focus and, and, and change his game. It was really cool element of him.
So at any rate, look, I think, focusing on the future gets a bad rap. I think we often say, be present, but we have to think about our future. We have to envision where we want to go and what we want to be. And often that future vision drives us, motivates us, helps us think of our legacy and what we want to do, but when we’re performing, playing present is huge. And that’s often to your point, what allows us to get back? There is a mistake response, whether it’s clapping our hand, stopping our fingers. We’re having a place in the arena that we can look to to reset. but also training the present, it’s a skill.
I mean, meditation and mindfulness has become very popular when you see the best player in the world doing it in LeBron James, you don’t really have an excuse not to develop some sort of practice just, and I think meditation. Can look very different for different people. It can be breathing silently in a room, but it also can be [00:55:00] just going for a walk and noticing everything that you see.
if you’re in college and you’re on a quad, just taking the buildings, take in the architecture, if you’re in a high school, like just take some time throughout your day to notice what’s going on in the hallways and just observe. and that’s really. What allows us to ground ourselves in the present.
And then the present doesn’t seem so overwhelming because we’re able to sit in it and we’re not so scared of any ruminating thoughts, because we know that they’re just thoughts or feelings are just feelings and we’re able to ground ourselves to where we are.
Mike Klinzing: [00:55:28] Yeah. I think one of the things that always comes to mind and I’ve talked to this point with other coaches is it’s really important.
I think to be, and what I think of. Meditation and mindfulness, I think of the word intentional. You have to be intentional with your thoughts and with what you’re doing. And so often in today’s world, we go a million miles an hour all the time. And I know I’m as guilty of this as anybody. And I’ve read so many things, especially recently just about rec people, recommending authors, recommending people who are successful recommending take [00:56:00] five minutes out of your day.
Take 15 minutes out of your day. Take an hour out of your week and just sit. And think and be alone with your thoughts. And to me, I started to try to do that, and I really feel like it’s helping me to sort of clarify where I am with all the things that I’m trying to do. And I’m sure whether you’re an athlete or a coach that, that intentionality and that ability to slow yourself down can have a huge impact positively on your performance.
Brian Levenson: [00:56:29] And the research around mindfulness is pretty profound. Yeah. It’s shown to help with attention regulation, which is what we’ve been spending the last, I don’t know, 20 minutes talking about, body awareness, emotional regulation, including like being able to reappraise exposure, or, or anxiety. change in our perspective of ourself and building self-awareness.
So there’s some pretty cool research around what it does to the brain and how it impacts us. So, yeah, I think I’m a fan of it. I don’t think it’s a one size fits all approach. I [00:57:00] think too often people are saying, you have to do it this way. You have to do it that way. And if you ask any meditation guru, they’ll say that there is no way.
And. I think the biggest people have different ways of going about doing it. I think it’s just important, especially with technology and things vibrating and, and getting our attention and designed to make us addicted. I think that’s become abundantly clear. it’s important to have some space to just be, and in that being space is often where great performance lies.
So, yeah. No question.
Mike Klinzing: [00:57:30] All right, Brian, we are coming up against our time limit. So I want to give you an opportunity to share with people where they can find out more about strong skills, where they can find out about your book, shift your mind, give us the rundown on where people can learn more about you and all the great things that you’re doing.
Brian Levenson: [00:57:46] strong skills as the company, is www.strongskills.co. We decided not to get the M at the end of that, it was expensive and I just didn’t think it was worth it to pay for the m. This ain’t worth it. [00:58:00] This M is not worth that much. There. 25 of their letters in the alphabet, or we don’t even need another letter there.
So it’s strong skills.co, and there you can see everything. and then I’m a big Twitter guy. I’m @BrianLevenson and my podcast is called Intentional Performers. So the fact that you talked about being intentional resonates with me, and it’s one of the things I’ve noticed when I interview different people is how intentional they are.
And you mentioned the book earlier, really excited about it’s called Shift Your Mind. It’s available now, wherever books are sold, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, any indie book stores should have it as well. I’m really excited about the book, spent four years working on it, have to practice these shifts. I have to practice being perfectionistic in preparation and adaptable, humble in preparation and arrogant in performance.
So it was a real labor of love. I can’t say it was easy, but I think it was worth it. And I’m excited to share it. With everyone and just grateful for you giving me some space to riff with you. I feel like we could go for another hour and looking forward to learning more about you and what you guys are up to and what you all do with your camps.
And [00:59:00] I’m just excited to get to know you a little better in the coming year.
Mike Klinzing: [00:59:03] Absolutely. Brian, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to. This morning out of your schedule to jump on with us. And I agree with you a hundred percent and we’ve gone for an hour and I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.
I get so many questions bubbling around in my brain that I’d like to ask you. So we’ll have to make sure that we get an opportunity to do this again, but to everyone out there, we appreciate you jumping on with us this morning and listening to our conversation with Brian Levenson and we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.