Tuck Taylor

Website – https://www.beastathletics.com/

Email – beastathletics@gmail.com

Twitter – @BeastAthletics

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/neuro.beast/

Tuck Taylor is the Founder of Beast Athletics and Neuro Beast. 

Beast Athletics is considered one of the leading authorities on body transformation and sports performance in the Tampa Bay area. Neuro Beast is a science-based program that is designed to give athletes a competitive advantage by optimizing the way they perceive and process information.

Tuck attended Palm Harbor University High School where he went on to earn both an athletic and academic scholarship to the University of West Florida. At UWF, Tuck majored in exercise science and graduated with honors. His love for basketball and his knowledge of exercise science fueled his passion and desire to enter the arena of health, wellness and sports performance training.

If you’re looking to improve your coaching please consider joining the Hoop Heads Mentorship Program.  We believe that having a mentor is the best way to maximize your potential and become a transformational coach. By matching you up with one of our experienced mentors you’ll develop a one on one relationship that will help your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset.  The Hoop Heads Mentorship Program delivers mentoring services to basketball coaches at all levels through our team of experienced Head Coaches. Find out more at hoopheadspod.com or shoot me an email directly mike@hoopheadspod.com

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @hoopheadspod for the latest updates on episodes, guests, and events from the Hoop Heads Pod and check out the Hoop Heads Podcast Network for more great basketball content including The Green Light, Courtside Culture and our team focused NBA Podcasts:  Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture, & Lakers Fast Break We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Email us info@hoopheadspod.com if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.

Take some notes as you listen to this episode with Tuck Taylor, Founder of Beast Athletics and Neuro Beast.

What We Discuss with Tuck Taylor

  • Being introduced to basketball by watching him play pickup ball at the park
  • Improving his game by playing rather than doing drills when he was a kid
  • His early mentors in the game
  • What he learned playing in the park that went beyond basketball
  • His memories from high school basketball
  • “Your grades are going to help you get into someone’s program.”
  • How he ended up at the University of West Florida
  • “How am I playing better? I’m caring less. But as a mental performance coach, I realized that I was adding so much more cognitive weight to the game?”
  • How to deal with the yips
  • The mental issues for Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz
  • “You havethese absolute needs about your performance and when you don’t meet them, you now are judging yourself, which is you take yourself out of the present moment. You take yourself out of your routine, you insert the what ifs and all those other words that are in your head that have nothing to do with your actual process.”
  • Dropping all expectations about your performance is a mental performance strategy for maintaining your confidence and being able to go out and perform in pressure situations.”
  • “Be able to accurately self assess yourself. And that gives you access to the truth about what’s going on.”
  • “Where am I? What can I do about it? And how can I go about doing it?”
  • “Being able to approach what happened from a neutral standpoint is the most powerful strategy that an athlete can be able to do for themselves to grow.”
  • “The athletes that are able to fail without losing enthusiasm are the ones that are able to think neutrally and get access to that truth.”
  • “Criticism is just feedback on how to get better.”
  • Why pro athletes care about the process more than the outcomes
  • “Winning and losing is not a true indication of whether you’re getting better or not.”
  • BEAST – breakthrough elite athletic sports training
  • The two parts of mental performance – Mental Skills & Cognitive Ability
  • “Giving athletes mental game plans and strategies to deal with different situations, but also increasing their overall cognitive capacity to make them more resilient to mental fatigue so that their physical body does not slow down.”
  • Buillding your “confidence resume”
  • A “failure resume” can help athletes reframe failure and learn from it
  • Self-talk strategies
  • Getting into a flow state
  • Dropping epectations
  • Evaluate yourself from a neutral standpoint
  • Overcoming poor inhibition so you can override what your body wants to do. Good inhibition makes athletes faster learners
  • The ecological approach to practice – random vs. block
  • “The game of basketball is very adaptable. You’re not going to shoot the same shot twice. So you have to be able to adapt to different constraints. And the more constraints you throw at athletes, the more adaptable you make them, the better basketball players you make them.”

Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!

Become a Patron!
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DrDish-Rec.jpg

We’re excited to partner with Dr. Dish, the world’s best shooting machine! Mention the Hoop Heads Podcast when you place your order and get $300 off a brand new state of the art Dr. Dish Shooting Machine!

During the NBA Finals use promo code: CHAMPION22 to get 22% off all software packages!

Prepare like the pros with the all new FastDraw and FastScout. FastDraw has been the number one play diagramming software for coaches for years, and now with it’s integrated web platform, coaches have the ability to add video to plays and share them directly to their players Android and iPhones via their mobile app. Coaches can also create customized scouting reports,  upload and send game and practice film straight to the mobile app. Your players and staff have never been as prepared for games as they will after using FastDraw & FastScout. You’ll see quickly why FastModel Sports has the most compelling and intuitive basketball software out there! In addition to a great product, they also provide basketball coaching content and resources through their blog and playbank, which features over 8,000 free plays and drills from their online coaching community. For access to these plays and more information, visit fastmodelsports.com or follow them on Twitter @FastModel. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spacer-1.jpg

To win a championship or play in college, high basketball IQ is essential. Yet, few players develop this aspect of their game. Get the uncommon skills, habits, and mindset Jamal Murray and other pros discovered at PGC Basketball camps to take their game to the highest levels.

PGC offers 5-day, 4-night basketball camps that include meals and accommodations, and day camps from 9am-4pm. Get registered today at pgcbasketball.com

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spacer-1.jpg
The Coacing Portfolio

Your first impression is everything when applying for a new coaching job.  A professional coaching portfolio is the tool that highlights your coaching achievements and philosophies and, most of all, helps separate you and your abilities from the other applicants.

The key to landing a new coaching job is to demonstrate to the hiring committee your attention to detail, level of preparedness, and your professionalism.  Not only does a coaching portfolio allow you to exhibit these qualities, it also allows you to present your personal philosophies on coaching, leadership, and program development in an organized manner.

The Coaching Portfolio Guide is an instructional, membership-based website that helps you develop a personalized portfolio.  Each section of the portfolio guide provides detailed instructions on how to organize your portfolio in a professional manner.  The guide also provides sample documents for each section of your portfolio that you can copy, modify, and add to your personal portfolio.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spacer-1.jpg


If you enjoyed this episode with Tuck Taylor let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Tuck Taylor on Twitter!

Click here to let Mike & Jason know about your number one takeaway from this episode!

And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at mike@hoopheadspod.com.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Spacer-1.jpg


[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello, and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host Jason Sunkle tonight, and we are pleased to welcome to the pod. Tuck Taylor from Beast Athletics. Tuck, welcome.

[00:00:10] Tuck Taylor: What’s going on?

[00:00:11] Mike Klinzing: We are excited to have you on want to dive into all the things that you’ve been able to do in your professional career.

Talk to you a little bit about athletic performance, mental performance, and just dive into a lot of interesting topics that are relevant for coaches today. So let’s start by going back in time to when you were a kid, tell us about your first experiences with sports and basketball.

[00:00:34] Tuck Taylor: Well, my first experience was definitely watching my dad play on the park and just taking in that whole atmosphere of pickup basketball kind of the interactions he had with some of his friends and just falling in love with the game by curiously, through him.

And then of course being a little boy, you want to be like your dad? So I wanted to start playing myself. So I started in rec leagues running around with him. I was five and then made it all the way up to the collegiate ranks where I played at the University of West Florida at a D2 school out in Pensacola, Florida.

But yeah, that was kind of like, I mean, I was kind of sped up, but I, that was kind of like how I got into basketball was my pops

[00:01:15] Mike Klinzing: Was basketball your only sport or did you do multiples?

[00:01:18] Tuck Taylor: Basketball was my only sport man. Like I dilly dally did some other stuff every now and then, but like, I was immediately connected to hoops.

[00:01:28] Mike Klinzing: Talk to me about how you got better once you. Started to take the game more seriously. What did your routine look like for improving yourself as a player? Let’s say as a high school player.

[00:01:40] Tuck Taylor: That’s, that’s funny. I was just having this conversation with someone, the kids that I work with today and my routine, I was always just drawn to playing and being in the mental performance now.

Like I see why I got so much better by just playing the game as opposed to doing skills and drills, like the traditional skills and drills. But like, I like playing with older guys. I started playing with guys in their thirties and forties right around when I was 12 years old was absolutely horrible out.

There was extremely nervous. Every time I would go out and play. And then, but it taught me and gave me exposure to like the speed of the game, the physicality of the game at a younger age. So I knew what I was up against. I knew where I had to get to. And then as you get older, stronger, you mature, you start to be more and more relevant out there.

But that’s what got me better. It was just playing with older guys, bigger guys, stronger guy. You know, definitely the, the street ball pickup mentality at the park from a social setting. That was good for me as well. Like being able to say I got next and really have necks kids don’t, the kids wouldn’t really experienced that anymore.

What it’s like to like, say you got next, but maybe somebody else comes in and takes your spot.

[00:02:56] Mike Klinzing: Kids don’t understand that today.

[00:02:58] Tuck Taylor: So there there’s this place I’m in the Tampa bay area. So in Clearwater area during my high school, during my high school time I was in high school, there was a place where like all the Pinellas county, but go play.

Everybody would go play. And it was, it was just what you said. Like, if you did not win your first game, you were gonna wait at least an hour before you got back on the court, but the best of the best were in there. So even if you lost again, it’s that vicarious learning, you can start to pick up on things that some of the best players out there with.

[00:03:31] Mike Klinzing: Did you have a guy or two, especially when you were younger, did you have a guy or two that sort of acted as your mentor or kind of took you under their wing? Yeah,

[00:03:40] Tuck Taylor: It was actually one of my afterschool rec counselors. His name Martin. Played at university of Cincinnati. They’re in kind of that Nick van Exel era, him and Van Exel were really good friends.

He had tried out for Chicago Bulls, didn’t make it, and then kinda started moving on from basketball and kind of got into, you know managing rec centers and things like that. But he was one of the guys that will get me onto the court. When I was younger, he was like, man, let him play, let him play. He needs to learn.

He needs to learn. And he would give me few tips and pointers here and there on how to play better. But like your as a younger kid, especially playing in the park, you always have those older guys that you aren’t allies. And he was one of those guys, but he actually was actually helping me get better as well, too, at the same time, like I said, also just being able to adapt to the pickup culture, like being confident and saying that you got next and making sure you got next and being able to interact and communicate with older adults was just big for them.

[00:04:38] Mike Klinzing: Do those places where you play, do people still play in those parks where you grew up playing?

[00:04:42] Tuck Taylor: No, man. It’s like, it hurts my heart a little bit. I I’ll drive past. And like, I remember when…

[00:04:54] Mike Klinzing: it’s so different, I think you look at the way, and this has been a frequent topic of conversation on the podcast with guys who are a little bit older talking about just man, how pick up basketball in general has gone away, but also especially outdoor basketball.

It just doesn’t exist. And I always say all the time, like some of my best memories of basketball are from, are from pickup basketball. And hearing you talk about the guys that took you under their wing, I can go back and think about the times when I was 12, 13, 14 years old, like you were talking about and just remembering that there would be guys.

Would advocate for me and they try to get me onto a cord and they’d be like, Hey, you got to pick the scab. And that it was funny because that, in that era, when I was 12, 13, 14, I got a guy that took me under his wing named Dan borgeous. And he gave me the nickname, Jerry West. And so he just started calling me, Jerry.

He just started calling me Jerry West. He’s like, we got to get west into the game. So it’s funny because as you, there was this one segment of people that knew me as eventually it just became west. It wasn’t even Jerry people weren’t calling me Jerry West. They would just say, Hey west. So there was this whole group of people from pickup basketball that knew me as west.

And so it’s a very small and subtle. Group that I still occasionally run into. And those are the people that will call me west and other people that know me from other capacities have no idea. It’s not a nickname that I carry around with me all the time in real life. But it’s just funny. When you think about again, here were guys that there was two or three of them that every time they were there, when I was a younger kid who probably just, like you said, maybe didn’t completely belong yet.

They were kind of looking out for me and say, Hey, we’ll take, we’ll take west as our fifth guy. And that got me out of the court. And then eventually, as you said, as you get better, you improve, you get bigger, you get stronger, then you start to fit in and you start to realize that, Hey, I can, I can make it here and play against these older players.

And I think it’s something that. Kids miss they don’t get that opportunity. And I think that pickup basketball culture, as you described it, there’s no way that it can be replaced. And I always say tuck that I’m so glad that I grew up in the era that I did, because not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed a basketball and getting to play in great places and travel around and do all the things that kids today get to do.

But man, some of my most special memories are really on, on the playgrounds playing pickup basketball.

[00:07:16] Tuck Taylor: Absolutely. It teaches you how to stand up for yourself. Like, as you were talking about another guy, his name is Dean Willis and he’s one of those guys that I was terrified of growing up, like terrified.

And it’s one of those things you don’t realize until you get older. But like, I mean, he would, he would bully me who bully everybody. But like for me, he also liked me a lot and wanted me to play well. And as I got older and I started to look back, I was like, you know what, Dean made me tell. And like how many kids have that one person at that park that made them tougher.

Like my, my father traveled and the situation at home was a little bit different. So I didn’t really have that like person in high school that was like making sure that I was tough and can like play physical and all those things. And like, he, he did that for me. He was one of the reasons why I was able to go play college basketball and deal with the physicality of college basketball.

[00:08:11] Mike Klinzing: Right. Because kids today, you’re always playing with kids your own age. You’re always playing with a coach. You’re always playing with parents in the stands. You’re always playing with a scoreboard. And so, yeah, you don’t get a chance to have somebody who’s older kind of pick on you and you got to fight your way through that and still prove what you are as a player and who you are as a person.

[00:08:30] Tuck Taylor: And here’s another thing too, is that the older guys, they have nothing else to play for. So those pickup games mean everything to them. And so it teaches you how to. It’s like these guys are really competing at this game. I want to compete like this too. I want to win too.

[00:08:45] Mike Klinzing: Wanting to win is so different that the wanting to win on a playground versus wanting to win in an AAU tournament.

I still think it’s different because wanting to win in a tournament. Okay, great. But if we lose, we still play again at three o’clock. If I lose on the playground, like we talked about earlier, I might have to sit for an hour, an hour and a half. I know there were times where certain parks or certain gyms that I went to on certain days when the best players were there.

And when the gyms or the playgrounds were packed, there would be times where you’d get on the court. And if you lost. You seriously had to contemplate whether or not you should even stay or whether you should just go home. Cause it might be, it might be, it might be six or seven deep on who had winners and you’re like, okay, it’s 10:00 AM we just lost?

If I stick around here, it’s going to be 1130 before I get back on. And who knows, who’s even going to be left on the court at that point. Maybe I should just take off and go do something else. And I remember having those debates a lot at certain places. Let’s put it that way.

[00:09:52] Tuck Taylor: Now, did you play college basketball anywhere?

[00:09:56] Mike Klinzing: I did. I played at Kent State here in Ohio. Yeah. So, so I was there from 88 to 92. I had a really nice career there. I was a three-year starter and things worked out perfectly.

[00:10:08] Jason Sunkle: He lost one of his records this year. He, had a record, Sincere Carrey, be one of his records this year.

[00:010:16] Tuck Taylor: Wow. Did you get the experience going back after like that first year of college and playing at the park?

[00:10:26] Mike Klinzing: Oh, yeah. I still played pickup, but wasn’t that the best ever is after you play college and you go back and play, oh, I loved it.

I just had this conversation with Joe Crispin, who is the head men’s basketball coach at Rowan university. He played four years at Penn state. He almost scored, I think he scored 1,956 points or something at Penn state.

He was first team all big 10 as a senior played professionally, had like 22 games in the NBA and then played overseas. But I was talking to him a little bit about it, and I just said the way that division one basketball is today, where the season ends and then the guys go into their summer workouts and they got the individual stuff and they’re all on campus.

And they’re working with the coaches and I told him, and he echoed my same sentiment was the day after our season ends. I was in the gym and I was in the intermural gym, playing basketball, just playing pickup. Cause I just wanted to play and not have a coach chirping in my ear and just cause I love, I love to play.

And so when our season ended, I looked forward to the opportunity to just go back and play pickup basketball, whether it was just on campus with whoever was in the gym or when I got back home to go and play at the playgrounds where I grew up or go and play in the gyms and find pickup games. Yeah. That was something that man, there was nothing more freeing or liberating then after having gone through a whole season where the thought your coach has kinda got his thumb on you and you’re having to do this and do that and to, to just go back and remember why you play and play for the joy of the game there’s to me, there was nothing better than that.

[00:11:47] Tuck Taylor: Absolutely.

[00:11:48] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. And the system today is just, it’s so different again, because those kids and those coaches, because they have so much more access to their players. Like my season ended, I’ve said this a few times on the pod that they handed me like a two-page ditto said, here’s your workouts for the summer.

We’ll see you back here in August. And that was it. That was it. And obviously that’s not the way it is today. Right. So different. All right. So let me ask you this. What’s what’s your favorite, what’s your favorite high school memory? When you think about high school basketball, what’s, what’s your favorite memory from that time of your life?

What stands out to you?

[00:12:23] Tuck Taylor: So as, as funny, yes, I was just thinking about that today too. Was cause one of my, actually one of my good friends, he posted a throwback Thursday picture from our Hoop it up team. Do you remember Hoop it up? Oh

[00:12:35] Mike Klinzing: Yeah, absolutely. Three on three out outdoors here at Cleveland. It was out in a big, it was down in the flats on a, in a big like in a big parking lot.

[00:12:45] Tuck Taylor: So, yeah, that’s how it was here too. It was at the Greyhound track and Tampa, but me and like three, two of my best friends, another guy on my team, we won back to back years out of our bracket. And like you said, it’s like one of those three on three, especially the way that we play back then, this is we’re talking like late two thousands or no, early, late nineties, late nineties.

So like Allen Iverson just got on the scene. Everybody’s doing that crossover and one mixed tape. So we’re, we’re kind of in that era of playing and just to be in, go out there and just freely create I was just finding my bunnies around that time too. So I got a couple of dunks and it was just, just good, this like a good place as to like enjoy the game outside of like the constraints.

And like you said, of having a coach so that that’s, that’s one of my good memories also. One of my best memories too was the year before my senior year, I went to a high school that was not known for basketball. I was actually in the second ever graduating class out of my high school. So it was a brand new school.

You know, basketball had not been established yet. I wanted to go to a different school where all my AAU teammates went to my mom wouldn’t let me go. She thought was gonna get in trouble, all that type of stuff. When they moved that to more of an academic school, we argued over that for the whole four years.

I was there. So coming to my senior year, she was tired of hearing me talk. She was like, all right, you want to transfer? Go ahead and transfer. And I was going to do it, but like loyalty to the gods that we that we had, I couldn’t do it because we were going to actually have a decent team my senior year.

And so I was like, you know what, if we’re going to be. This whole summer, we’re going to pile into my car. We’re going to go up and down. You as 19 finding pickup games in south St. Pete and you know, Newport, Richard, wherever we can find runs. I want to play with you guys. So when the season comes, where we gel more naturally.

The season went. Okay. We had like who was the first time, the school rec history that we had a winning record. We still have one of the best seasons in our school history. This is 21 years later. They still haven’t really established themselves as a basketball powerhouse. We ended up making it to the district finals, which was big for us.

And, and to the state playoffs first time ever in school history. So there’s a lot of first time Evers and our school history, which was good because we were able to kind of lease you know, paved the way for future basketball players that went to that school, knowing that they had at least one successful team there.

[00:15:10] Mike Klinzing: That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s so much fun to think back on those experiences when you have with your teammates and I think high school basketball, again, compared to college basketball, there was never a moment in high school where I was like, oh, this is. Work, or this is hard or this is whatever, it was just, it was just all fun.

And in college, in college that changes to some degree it’s still fun, but there’s, there’s more of a work aspect to it, for sure. So when you think back to those high school years, and just being with your teammates and all those kinds of things, I can completely relate to that experience that you had.

Let’s talk about your recruitment. Tell us a little bit about when college basketball kind of got on your radar or were you always thinking growing up that, Hey, I want to be a college basketball player because obviously basketball is your main sport that you’re playing, but just tell us a little bit about how you ended up going to west Florida and what your recruitment was like.

[00:15:54] Tuck Taylor: So, wasn’t really heavily recruited athlete. I went to some exposure camps and you know, a couple gotta raise the eyebrows of a couple of coaches and you get the interest from some schools, but no commitment, but I’ll never forget. I was at the USF. And I was playing off the ball and my best friend, twinned the ball on the wing.

I ripped through hard, went through and dunked on someone very first time ever I’ve ever dumped on anybody like in an organized game like that before. And the assistant coach of the school that I ended up going to was right there underneath the hoop, pretty much like watching. And I saw him like, look on his little note pad, write my name down.

I get a call from this guy. And that was a big confidence boost for me. And that was really the only school that gave me a look. And that’s where I ended up going University of West Florida. First impressions are everything. Absolutely. It’s just, it’s one of those synchronistic things like had that not happened.

I might not have, I might not have played college basketball. One of the things I had working for me though, was you know, my mom was always big on academics. So I had a really good GPA. I did decent on my SATs and act. So I was able to get a lot of state funding for having the grades I had and the scores that I had on those tests.

So when it came to actually the financial end of scholarships and things like that, they were able to give me a partial athletic scholarship because I was getting a lot of funding already from the state. So I tell kids all the time, like your grades are going to help you get into someone’s program.

If you continue to have that focus it’s a business at the end of the day, if they can save money by giving you a partial scholarship or a half scholarship that can leave money in their pot to go get somebody else to. So you’re actually a bargain for those guys.

[00:17:41] Mike Klinzing: There’s no question that I think that’s oftentimes overlooked by parents and high school players.

Just how. Grades are everybody thinks off. I can play, I can play. And I’m going to get this opportunity and that opportunity. But if you have a good GPA and you have good test scores and you’re a good student, it opens up so many more possibilities for you to be able to find the right fit for you at whatever level it might end up being.

It might end up being that you’re at a division three school, but because of your academics, you can get a lot of academic aid and they’re looking out for you because they know that you can play basketball. So you have the combination of those two. I think it really ends up being something that kids oftentimes overlook.

So when you think about heading into school and you’re a good student and your mom’s putting an emphasis on education, when you think about that, what were you coming into school thinking that you wanted to do? Did you have an idea of what, Hey, when I’m done, this is where I’m headed or what was your thought process going into college?

[00:18:39] Tuck Taylor: Honestly, I really had no clue. I just wanted to play basketball. Like that’s that was it. That was it. And I was immediately thankful for going to the high school I went to though, because especially my freshman year and sophomore year academically were pretty easy for me. And a lot of my, no, I saw a lot of my teammates that barely snuck in there with their GPA’s and their test score or struggle to get adapted to that part of being a college athlete, when that was a very seamless you know, move for me, I was able to adapt to that pretty easily.

So, which allowed me to spend more time focused on developing myself as a college basketball. Which I, I felt like I was a little behind everybody else on the team on that. So I got to actually spend some time developing my freshman year.

[00:19:26] Mike Klinzing: What was your basketball experience like?

[00:19:28] Tuck Taylor: It was interesting, man.  As a mental performance coach, it’s now interesting to go back and look at those times. And I know for sure I was playing under pretty much in a state of panic, like a panic attack the whole entire time I was having. Yes, it was, it was crazy. And so. That was like my freshman year, my sophomore year.

And then my junior year, I had a bunch of stuff going on outside of basketball. Like my dad had had cancer. Like my dad, they were going through some financial issues with trying to get all that up. You know, I had a girlfriend and things were kind of rocky between us. Things were kind of rocky between me and the coach.

And I was like, you know what? Like just go out and play. And I started playing so much better cause I stopped caring so much about basketball, which was like, I was like, how am I playing better? I’m caring less. But as a mental performance coach, I realized that I was adding so much more cognitive weight to the game, you know?

And I ended up being that season. I’m in the school record book, like third place, I think for like three, three point field goal percentage when like I wasn’t recruited as a tutor or anything, but I was like, I’ll just let it fly. I didn’t care if I made it or miss it. There was no expiration. If I made it or missed it, but I got in my head late in the season when I looked and saw that I was like second in the conference for three point field goal percentage.

We had like two games left and now I went back to my old self again, which brought me down a little bit, but still, still ranked pretty high within the history of the school. It’s funny how.

[00:21:06] Mike Klinzing: Just like I said earlier with high school, everything was completely fun. I never thought about it any other way.

And then you get to college and things are a lot different and you put more pressure on yourself. We actually did a whole episode that I had a situation and this would have been something where I think about having a mental performance coach or just the staffs that colleges have today and the, the resources that players and coaches have that they could go to.

But in high school, I was like a 90% free throw shooter. And in my sophomore year, which is my first year I started, I think it was probably in through to like maybe January. I was shooting, I think like 92% from the line. And we always did this thing at the end of practice. We shouldn’t say always, but we did it occasionally where in order to be able to leave practice, she had to make five and you had to switch five shots in a row.

And somehow in the course of doing that, and if you didn’t make your five in a row, you had to get up at like 6:00 AM or something. And for whatever, for my first freshman year, sophomore year, it was never never an issue. And then I went through where suddenly I just. My shot just completely went away.

So I had like the Chuck Knoblock throwing mental block where it was just, yeah, it was just like, I couldn’t I’d get up there. I couldn’t, I couldn’t do anything. And I ended up having to change my routine. I think at the end of the, at the end of that season, I went one for my last 10 and I was a 90% career free throw shooter.

And it took me, I worked on it all summer changed, changed my form. I could shoot them in practice and still I could bang 97 out of a hundred shooting, practice, shooting, and practice. And then by myself, and then when I’d get with other people or in practice, it’s still like, I could still feel it.

Like I was fighting it. I could still feel it. And I think my junior year I shot like 76%. And then my senior year, I got it back up to 82, but I was never. I was never the guy that I had been up until that point. And somehow I was able to kind of work through it myself. But I think man, if I would’ve had somebody that I could have gone to, like even my coaching staff, I did an interview with one of my assistant coaches, probably about a year and a half, maybe two years ago now.

And he’s like, do you remember when you suddenly couldn’t make any free throws? I’m like, yeah, I remember that. Like I’m like, of course, like of course I remember that. I’m like, well, wasn’t there anybody out there that was, if you guys are noticing it, why wasn’t anybody talking to me about it or trying to help me through it and figure it out?

It felt like I was kinda on this island. And like I said, I somewhat figured it out, but yeah, having the yips was not a good, was not a good feeling. Let’s put it that way. And it’s just, again, that performance anxiety or whatever, it was free throws. It all has been so important to me that like, I’m like, I’m a great free throw shooter.

And it was when I missed and just had that problem. It just never went away. And yeah, it was, it was one of those things that I wish I wish there was resources.

[00:23:49] Tuck Taylor: Yeah, the Yips are… So it’s one of those things it’s so crazy when you think about it. Cause it is something that you’ve been doing your whole entire life and you, your thought process is created a disturbance in the cognitive process of being able to shoot.

And usually it’s when you ask yourself, what if I miss or what if I can’t throw it back to the pitcher or what if I can’t throw it the first base or what if I can perform this gymnastic moves. That’s what happened with Simone Biles? This past Olympics is she got the gymnastics version of the yips.

So there was, there was things that she’s been doing since seven years old that she could not do because she had this cognitive impairment, which would lead, which led to lack of her ability to do fine motor skills that she’s been doing her whole entire life. It’s a phenomenon.

And it’s like one of those things too. It’s like, there’s an actual fear of it, which actually can cause it to it’s like, am I losing it? Am I getting the yips? And it’s like, the more you think about that, the more you lead yourself to possibly getting the hips. It’s also what I believe happened to Ben Simmons is a form of a form of the yips.

And I think the worst thing he’s done is not go back and play. Like you have to, you have to get back on like his lap. Look at my, the, his last game of basketball, which is going to end up being two years from when he played plays again. If he plays again, it was probably his worst game ever. Like imagine leaving.

On your worst game ever. And now you have two years to ruminate over this. So I think he’s actually making the condition worse by not getting back and playing.

[00:25:37] Mike Klinzing: It’s funny that you say that because when that trade went down and Jason will attest to this. So I have always been, I’ll just put it bluntly.

I have not been the biggest fan.

I’ve never been a big fan of James Harden. And honestly, when Simmons, when Simmons came out in the draft in his first year or two in Philly, Jason, I argued back and forth about whether we’d rather have Simmons or unburied. And I was always a Simmons guy, but when that true. And so, so, so, so Jason, so Jason was correct in his assessment, but when that trade went down, I immediately said, I think this is a terrible trade for both teams.

I think Simmons. I went through something, not maybe to the same degree that Simmons did, and certainly not on the same stage, but that mental piece of it, when you’re afraid to go to the free-throw line or you don’t think that you can step up there and make it that’s debilitating. And that affects the way you play and whether or not you want to shoot and take the ball hard to the basket and all those things.

And what I said at the time was it took me probably, I mean the whole summer after this, after my sophomore year. And then I came back as a junior and it still wasn’t where I wanted to, I still had to fight it every single time I went to the free throw line. And then by the time I was a senior, I kinda got it under control, but that was to your point, me coming back, getting up to the line, try not to be afraid, trying to just go up and do what I had always done for an entirety of my life.

And in times where I was away from it. And I wasn’t getting those opportunities. I did sit and stew on that and ruminate on it and think about it all the time. Versus I had to just get back and I had to do it. And so now for him to sit for essentially, what’s going to be a season and a half or 18 months or two years or whatever, whatever it’s going to be before he ends up going back and playing, let’s put it this way.

I’m not sure what he’s going to be when he finally does step on the floor, because it’s not like you can have the physical tools, but if your mind doesn’t allow those physical tools to manifest themselves, you are in, you are in a lot of trouble. And I think he’s going to, I think he’s going to have a hard time.  I really do.

[00:27:52] Tuck Taylor: Okay. I think he’s going to have a hard time too. And what else I thought was interesting about Ben Simmons is if you go back, what, two or three seasons, there’s another player that was rookie of the year that had the same issue in Philadelphia. Absolutely. Markelle Fultz. I love Fultz.

So it’s like, so it’s like, what, what is it about that city for a young person. That is mentally debilitating. Now I know the fans are what they did, Santa man that’s sorta does. It’s only if they believe Santa Claus, they booed Santa Claus. What is, so what is that about?

[00:28:26] Mike Klinzing: Santa Claus made an upset Santa Claus made an appearance at an Eagles game and the fans booed him, and I forget what the, I forget what he was doing. He was doing like, again, he was doing something. I can’t remember exactly what the circumstances were, but yet the city of Philly, that’s kind of, when you think about their fans, that’s a story that’s often brought up that, Hey, if they’ll boot Santa Claus, they’ll boo anybody in Philly,

[00:28:51] Tuck Taylor: If you’re not mentally, if you don’t have the mental and the internal infrastructure to deal with that, it could be debilitating. I think that’s in both of those cases, that’s what ended up happening is like, those guys did not have it in them to deal with the negativity coming from the home fans.

Like if you research. He stopped shooting three pointers in waters because the fans were mocking him. So he wouldn’t even, he would have like a shooting routine and he would start to skip out on the part of the routine where he shot threes and just go back into the locker room, which is like, that’s the thing that’s different.

[00:29:32] Mike Klinzing:  It’s crazy. Yeah. It’s crazy for a professional athlete. It’s but it’s interesting because I can, I can understand where he’s coming from. Because again, I went through something similar and somehow I was able to figure it out and overcome it. I don’t really know how, like, if somebody asks me, Hey, how’d you do that?

I don’t know that I could articulate it in any way, shape or form other than I just kept getting back on the horse. Every time I fell off and I, I never. I never completely got over it. I think I still, I can, I can induce anxiety and myself even today, if I want to. Whereas up until the point where that happened, you could put me in mentally into any situation.

I’m like game seven, NBA finals down, one clock expired. I’m at the line mentally. If you take, if you take 18 year old me, I would have said there is no possible way I would ever miss either of those free throws. And now you could put me in that situation or have me thinking about it. And there’d be, there’d be a moment that if I think long enough about it, I could kind of get that same.

I could get that same feeling of Ooh I’m not sure. And it just it’s, it’s interesting. Just how the mind works.

[00:30:45] Jason Sunkle: I did some research out of Santa Claus. Sorry.

[00:30:49] Mike Klinzing: All right. Lay it on us, man. So say,

[00:30:51] Jason Sunkle:  So the guy who was, this was a 1968 and Sonic the guy who was supposed to portray Santa Claus, didn’t show up like in shows.

The guy that was doing it. And so they picked some random guy from the stands who is somewhat intoxicated to run around the field. And he did a, such a poor job fans in the stands, started to boo him and throw snowballs at him. Wow. Oh, the snowballs

[00:31:16] Mike Klinzing: I forgot about. Yeah. I forgot about the snowball piece of it.

[00:31:19] Jason Sunkle: And it says no one really knows if, whether his Santa was terrible or if he was really that drunk, but he wants to put very good saying in the standard standing tall, got pelted with snow walls,

[00:31:29] Mike Klinzing: Poor Santa. Well, I guess there’s your answer for why Philly fans are tough on their players, but yeah, Fultz, it’s interesting, again, that both of those guys ended up in Philly and they both had those difficulties and it seemed like faults.

He’s probably never going to live up to being the number one pick and be the guy that everybody kind of thought he was. But I know he’s coming back from this ACL tear, but at the end of the season with Orlando, he’s still a guy that for whatever reason, I’ve always been a fan of. And. Seems like he’s got it together.

Like he he’s able, I think he shot like 78% from the free throw line last year. And he’s still, still looks bad on threes, but man, I’m, I’m glad that I’m glad that it hasn’t completely derailed his career. Let’s put it that way.

[00:32:09] Tuck Taylor:. And, and th the biggest thing that athletes have to do when they’re experiencing that, and it’s with a lot of different issues that athletes go through, and the number one thing that, that kills them and paralyzes them is I call them toxic expectations.

So that, like, when you say I have to, or I must, or you had like, these absolute needs about your performance, you now are. And when you don’t meet them, you now are judging yourself, which is you take yourself out of the present moment. You take yourself out of your routine, you insert the what ifs and all those other words that are in your head that have nothing to do with your actual process.

And the more and more you do that, you hardwire your brain to do that. And now you can’t do the simple things that you used to be able to do. So it’s like dropping all expectations about your performance is a mental performance strategy for maintaining your confidence and being able to go out and perform in pressure situations.

[00:33:13] Mike Klinzing: And to your point, it’s almost counterintuitive, right? Like you talked about how important the game of basketball was to you and you carry that with you and you want it to get better. And I was the same way. And man, it was important to me and my reputation as a free throw shooter was super important to me.

And it was always something that growing up as a high school player, I was proud of like, Hey you’re not gonna follow me at the end of the game because that shot’s going in. And then when that starts to evaporate, it’s like this part of your identity. Sort of gets sapped and gets taken away. And then you start putting more pressure on yourself and thinking about it even more and more and more, and to your, to your point, you have to really, you got to let that go and you just have to go up there without expectation and just do what you’ve done.

And as you know, and as anybody who’s played, sports knows that’s easier said than done. And what’s interesting too, from my perspective, is it never affected me as a shooter or as a player in terms of how I played the game when I was just reacting and playing in live action. It only affected me when I went to the free throw line.

So I never ever felt that at all, when I shot a three or took a shot in any other situation, it was just when I had the time to step up to the line and think about it. That’s when it affected me. And it’s just so interesting how the brain works.

[00:34:27] Tuck Taylor: It’s because you had this expectation for how you should be shooting free throws and you probably didn’t have as strong expectations on the rest of your day. And so it’s like, if you go in there and then I have to, I have to maintain this 90 percentile free throw shooting. Well, now you’re adding so much extra cognitive weights in the moment when it’s a free shot, but you’re adding so much more, extra, extra weight to it.

And you’re right. And it’s like, it’s crazy how the mind works. And it’s a lot easier said than done to like, not care.

[00:35:02] Mike Klinzing: It really is. There’s no question about that and who the mind just works in such interesting ways. And when you think about sports and we all, obviously sports are hugely important to all of us that are involved in it, but then part of you also can look at it as.

Come on. We’re just throwing an orange ball through a ring. Like how silly is this? How silly is this game that, that I’m allowing myself to get all, get all worked up. And yet the fact that it’s just a game and I’m sitting here doing a podcast at 52 years old related to basketball and coaching and all this stuff.

So yeah, it’s just the game, but it’s still been a huge part of my life, but it’s interesting that you can shift perspectives and it goes to judge to show that you have to be able to, you have to be able to use your mind in the right way to be able to maximize what it is that you want to do. And your brain can take you down paths that you don’t want to go if you let it.

And you just have to be, you just have to be aware. I think self-awareness is a really big and important trait for successful athletes, right?

[00:36:04] Tuck Taylor: That is the number one thing that I preach to my athletes that I have strategies for is having athletes to be able to accurately self assess themselves. And that gives you access to the truth about what’s going on.

But if you’re emotional about it, if you’re biased about your assessment, if you don’t have the right mindset, when it comes to people that are critiquing you, you push yourself further and further and further away from the actual truth and that’s, and if you don’t have access to the truth, you can’t progress intelligently on getting better.

Like your next move is not going to be an intelligent one. If you don’t have access to the truth, but you have to be able to do that in a sense that’s not emotional. And so I teach my athletes and this is from another mental performance coach. His name is Trevor Moad who actually recently just passed away.

He was Russell Wilson’s mental performance coach, but he, he created the same neutral thing. Which is a quick pivot from like negative, negative thinking. And basically what neutral thinking is you kind of, it’s like a robotic approach to assessing yourself and you ask yourself, where am I? What can I do about it?

And how can I go about doing it? And like is the three most important questions that athlete can ask themselves after when, when it comes to like evaluating their outcomes and their circumstances, because it removes all emotion and you notice that’s not overly positive. It’s not overly negative. It’s right in the middle.

Cause positive thinking doesn’t work either when I gave you, if you go out and you score 20 points and you have 12 turnovers, and you’re just harping on the bag that you score 20 points and you ignore the 12 turnovers you had, you’re not going to become a better place. And vice versa, like on the other end of the spectrum, if you have 20 points and 12 turnovers, and you’re like, God, I turned the ball over 12 times that’s, that’s 24 possible points I could have gave the other team and you’re beating yourself down.

That’s not doing you any good either. So being able to approach what happened from a neutral standpoint is the most powerful thing, the most powerful strategy that an athlete can be able to do for themselves to grow.

[00:38:19] Mike Klinzing: We had Mark Hendrickson on the podcast. I don’t know, Jason, maybe a couple of weeks, a couple months, probably a month and a half, two months ago.

We had Mark on and he’s one of, I think 13 people that have played both in the NBA and major league baseball. And it was really interesting to talk to him because what he said was in all his dealings with athletes in both sports, he said the number one thing that separates professional athletes from.

Even K high level college athletes is their ability to self-assess self-correct and be self-aware where they automatically, they never look outside of themselves to blame someone else or look at the circumstances or make excuses. Everything is always I’m hyper aware of what I’m doing and what the impact is that I have.

And I can instantaneously make corrections in whatever I’m doing, because I’m aware of what my performance looks like and what good performance is. And you just said that lack of excuse, making that lack of looking outside. And it was for lack of a better way of saying it that internal control, like the athletes professional athletes believe that they have internal control over their performance and they don’t look at those external factors.

He said that to him was always the biggest differentiator between the guys that he saw in professional athletics and then players who didn’t make it. It was just that self-awareness piece.

[00:39:47] Tuck Taylor: Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s the toughest thing to engineer and athletes that need to do it cause there’s a maturity factor that comes along with that.

You know, being able to not get wrapped up in the outcomes and be emotional about the outcomes, which takes a different perspective on how you also view success and failure. The athletes that are able to fail without losing enthusiasm are the ones that are able to think neutrally and get access to that truth.

But if you’re losing effort and energy and enthusiasm, when you fail well now that’s the beginning of the end right there, because you’re not going to be able to accurately assess yourself that the pain of the criticism is going to be too much and there’s a book that’s big in the mental performance world it’s called a mindset, the new psychology of success, but basically it outlines like the two different mindsets that successful people have and unsuccessful people have, and like successful people have the growth mindset and unsuccessful people have the fix mindset. So when you have a growth mindset, you understand that your failures are actually tools that are going to help you to give you information on how to grow as a person.

And criticism is just feedback on how to get better. And so when you kind of take on that mentality and you’re not holding your trophies on the outcomes, you’re not so focused on the outcomes. You’re focused more on the process of getting better. And that’s what validates you is the process.

That’s how you end up exceeding what you thought you could be able to do in the first place. Cause it’s just a whole different perspective and different lens that you’re looking through, progression yourself from.

[00:41:39] Mike Klinzing: So while you were talking, I was thinking about how. As athletes, we go through the various stages.

So as a high school athlete, let’s just use basketball as an example. Right? So as a high school basketball player, depending on what state you live in, maybe you play. When I was playing high school basketball, we played 20 games in Ohio. Now I think you can play 22 regular season games. I know there are, there are states where you can play up into the thirties and then you get to college and maybe you play 30 games.

Maybe if you make it into the tournament, you can get up to 34 35 games, and then you get to the NBA. If you’re so lucky to be able to do that, and you play 82 regular season games and you have the playoffs. And so you think about if you’re holding on to the outcomes and you’re emotionally attached to every single outcome that gets harder and harder to do as you go up in levels because.

One game is falling the next, and you have to be able to have that next play mentality, right? We win. Great. We got to move on and figure out what we need to do to win the next one we lose. We got to learn from that to your point, we gotta be able to take constructive criticism, and then we gotta figure out a way to move on if I’m so up and down emotionally after one game, as an NBA player, as a college player, it’s almost impossible to be able to function in that way where the highs are so high and the lows are so low.

You have to be able to compartmentalize that and use that old saying, right, you have to control the controllables. You can’t be focused every single time on did we win? Did we lose? And if we win we’re super high emotionally, and if we lose we’re down in the dumps and we just can’t get ourselves together, you have to be able to develop that even keel.

[00:43:23] Tuck Taylor: And that’s what I do respect about your boy, James. Like James Harden, he can have the worst game of his life, but he’s still out the club that night. Like he’s forgotten.

[00:43:32] Mike Klinzing: He’s putting up behind, he’s putting up behind him. That’s for sure. Yeah.

[00:43:36] Tuck Taylor: Like, you have to, and the more professional athletes that I’m working with, the more I’m realizing how much they really don’t care as much as I thought they would about the actual games now, their workouts, their process, their nutrition, their sleep.

Those are the things that they really take serious. But the actual game itself, it is, it is what it is to do. You know, the funniest thing I used to like be confused about is when the super bowl Sunday and are doing all the media and they asked the cliche question has your preparation changed down?

You’re planning the big game. And they always say the same thing. It’s just another game. And I was like, come on, bro. It’s it’s the super bowl.

[00:44:19] Mike Klinzing: hat makes sense. Right.

[00:44:20] Tuck Taylor: But it’s like, you, you have to have that approach. It’s just another game. Other than that is adding more cognitive weight to the gang.

That’s not necessarily because at the end of the day, it’s just football. It’s just basketball. It’s just baseball. It’s not changing because it’s the, the, the, the, the, a bigger game like that, then the media narrative is kind of, is trying to pump it up to get viewers and all that kind of stuff. But athletes really can’t take that bait.

[00:44:45] Mike Klinzing: That makes complete sense to anyone ho’s been an athlete and played at a high level. I think as a fan, it’s really hard to relate to that because when you think about watching a game and you see a game and, and as a fan, you might be devastated. I can’t believe my team lost game seven in the NBA playoffs.

And then you see the players and they’re shaking hands after the game, and they’re not kicking a chair or doing whatever. And obviously they’re disappointed that they lost, but it speaks to the mentality that you just talked about. It’s it’s the process. Hey, we did, did we do everything we possibly could control?

In order to have a successful outcome. And if we did, we can walk out of there and be able to again, be self-aware be able to reflect on what just happened and figure out, okay, what are we going to do in our next training session or in our next season to be able to continue to improve and get better.

And I think sometimes as fans, we want to see players crush and that’s one of the things that I always had a hard time with, especially early in my coaching career is I think I was I was not necessarily focused on outcomes, but certainly I cared a tremendous amount about whether we won or lost.

And there were times where teams that I coached and you’d get on the bus and they’d be laughing and joking as a coach. You just sit there and. Okay. Be fuming. You’d be so angry. Like how come they don’t? Why do I care? Why do I care more than they do? And now you realize they come back to me as a 25, 26 year old coach.

Now you realize they probably had the healthier attitude than what I had at that, at that point.

[00:46:20] Tuck Taylor: Exactly. And it’s not, it’s not all about winning and losing. It’s about like, did your team get better? I had the opportunity to work as a coach strength coach and mental performance. Overseas for five months in the Slovakian week, I was coaching under coach Ryan Panone.

You guys know who that is? Yeah, we had Ryan off. Yes. Yes. So he’s,

[00:46:42] Mike Klinzing: Yeah, we had Ryan on. Yes. Yes. So he’s with the pelicans G league team.

[00:46:43] Tuck Taylor: Yes. Real good friend of mine. You know, helped him early on when he was building his high school program here at Oldsmar Christian. And he’s always, always been a fan of mine and brought me on board when he got his first head coaching job over in Slovakia.

So we, we went to that together and he had grown so much as a person, as a coach. Cause we I wasn’t always up underneath them. Like I knew him and but I knew that he was a big fan of coaching and I’ll never forget. We had a, we would always set team goals before the game. And we ended up beating this team by, I wouldn’t say at least 25 points.

And so we walked in the locker room. Everybody’s like, yeah, we got another win, blah, blah, blah, blah. He tears the place. He tears the place up out of anger. He’s like we had this many turnovers, they got this many offensive rebounds. We didn’t hit any of our markets. We won by 25, but he was upset. Like we had lost by 25, but it’s like, it’s at the end of the day, winning and losing is not a true indication, whether you’re getting better or not, you know?

And, and that’s so true. Yeah. And there was games too, where like I remember Gamble’s actually a playoff game and we had a little blender at the end. And he walked in happy. He’s like, we did everything we were supposed to do. He was like, we can’t control every single plate. We’re going to have turnover, but we thought he was gonna tear the place up again.

But he was happy because when you looked on paper, we hit all of our goals. And to me, that’s such a better way of going about coaching the game because winning and losing is if you’re chasing that, it’s not always under your control. You know, there there’s things that can happen, but like there’s things that you could control, what you can control and get better at what you can get better at.

And I think it’s a lot healthier way of approaching the game.

[00:48:33] Mike Klinzing: Especially as a coach, I think you need a certain level of maturity and oftentimes experience as a coach to be able to approach it that way. Because the natural reaction is we win. We’re happy. We lose we’re unhappy. That’s the natural reaction.

That’s sort of the way that people generally perceive how sports go. And yet, if you really boil it down and you think about what coaching is all about, and you think about the growth mindset, like you talked about before, it’s look, we could play an opponent that is way better than us, that. Probably never beat on the scoreboard if we played them a hundred times, but we could still play well within the confines of who we’re playing against.

And conversely, you could play really, really poorly against the team that isn’t very good. And I think there’s no better way to make a coach angry than to have a team that plays poorly against poor teams that I think is so frustrating as a coach. When your team plays down to the level of competition, I guess I would guess that if you pulled coaches that that’s one of the most probably frustrating things that coaches feel when they have a team that just plays to the level of its competition, because you want to really compete against yourself.

And that’s really what you’re doing is try to compete against the men, the markers that you put in place. How are we going to get to what we want to get to that’s what’s important because we can’t control. Our opponent, we can’t control the officiating. We have to just control and do the things that we do that we’ve worked on, that we know are important to us.

And whatever happens on the scoreboard is going to happen, regardless of what we’re going to do. If we do everything that we can do, then what happens on the scoreboard is kind of out of our control. And that’s, it’s hard to get there though, as a coach, it’s hard to get to that level of maturity. All right, let’s work backwards here.

Talk, I want to ask you, how do you get to be staff athletics? Give me the quick rundown synopsis from when you graduated from college, walk through your steps to get you to where you are today with the business side of it. And then we can dive into some more of the mental performance stuff, how you’re working with athletes.

[00:50:43] Tuck Taylor: Yeah. So after I graduated I had the dreams, of course playing professionally ended up in California in San Diego for my intern. For school and I had to finish up, I graduated already, but I had to do an internship to like officially graduate. So I did my internship. It was actually at a quote unquote fat camp for kids which was an amazing experience actually.

But ABA team popped up over there. There was the San Diego Wildcats, and so I went to that. Tryout made the team Team than them. The funding played a couple games. Didn’t work out, couldn’t afford to live in San Diego anymore. So I moved back home and I’ll say, great place to live. But holy

[00:51:25] Mike Klinzing: cow,

[00:51:27] Tuck Taylor: I was paying like $2,000 a month and I was living in a horrible neighborhood, like a horrible neighborhood.

But anyway,

[00:51:34] Mike Klinzing: I believe it, that might be my epi, my mind that might be by FA my favorite city in the U S if I could live anywhere, money Mo money, not withstanding. That’s where, that’s where I think

[00:51:42] Tuck Taylor: I’d go hands down, hands the weather,  everybody’s work it out. Like when it rains, it just missed for a little bit.

It’s not actual rain. Like, it’s just, it’s amazing out there. So move back home. And it was kind of just kind of figuring out life. I had been very motivated at my ability to impact. Through my time working at the camp that I worked at. And so I also obviously was into fitness and the strength conditioning aspect from being a collegiate athlete.

So I was like, no, let’s, let’s start your own. And I ended up graduating with an exercise science degree too. So I was like, let’s go ahead and start your own business. So actually, no, I didn’t start my own business. I worked at a gym first and then after build it up, some reps were working with clients and started to start my own business.

Came up with the name Beast athletics, kind of out of out of just like a moment of inspiration of had like a bunch of these moments throughout my business career where things just come to me I call it God or infinite intelligence where you’re just in a state where you just tap into like something that’s going to be huge for you.

So with these athletics beats was an acronym and it came to me one night. It stands for breakthrough elite athletic sports training. So that’s what the acronym beasts. And so start doing that. I had an awesome, awesome, awesome rain of about 12 to 13 years just doing the general fitness, but also these Trent, the conditioning aspect of SA exercise with moms and dads, but also elite level athletes got to work with a lot of great athletes.

You know even some that I played against, I played against Kobe brewer and and college, and to be one of my clients at one point, which was pretty, was pretty funny. But just had a great, great experience. Let’s do that again, that that experience led me over to Slovakia for awhile. But the thing that led me, the mental performance was a lot of my athletes that I know we’re working hard in a gym, they were getting results in a gym.

They were working hard, but their skills and skills and drills coach. But then I will go watch them play and they will not play well in law. I’m like, man, like this kid puts in work and he is not playing well, what’s going on. And so that’s why I started diving deep into neuroscience and I went down a mad or rabbit hole trying to figure out the brain as a result to high-level performance.

In 2020, I ended up releasing a book called beast thinking, which is another one of those things that the divine, the divine bestowed upon me. So beast thinking the beast is acronym in that room for brain engineering, for athletes, students, and teams. And so that’s a book that is pretty much a summary of all the literature that I was consuming at a rapid rate about mental performance.

I ended up making really good friends with one of the athletes that I was working with. His father was a developmental psychologist and he had already written a couple of books and we would have these conversations after every session. And he was like, Hey, Tuck, let’s write a book. I was like, I’ve never done this before, but let’s do it.

And that, that gave me a lot of confidence. Once I was able to like write a book and went out, it’s still, now you can get it on Amazon or you can get it at beastthinking.com little shameless plug right there. But we’ve gotten reviews for it from it. But it’s basically just an introduction on how your brain, how you can use your brain to help improve your performance and your overall quality of life.

And so after Beastthinking I started meeting different people in the mental performance industry, started interning for some of these people. And right after COVID hit, I officially launched a new business called neuro beast. And that’s kind of what I do now. I closed and shut down my gym and went a hundred percent into the mental performance field where I work with athletes from all different sports.

I have golfers, I have race car drivers. I have football. I did NFL pre-draft this year. So we had a bunch of NFL pre-draft guys that I worked, was able to work with. And just really like in the trenches with the athletes, when it comes to the mental performance aspect and just observing and learning from these guys as well has been a, it’s been a great job.

[00:56:00] Mike Klinzing: First question, where did your initial client base come from? Did it come from the athletes that you were working with on the athletic performance side?

[00:56:07] Tuck Taylor:  Yes. So that was kind of like one of those kind of blessings in disguise is that most mental performance coaches don’t have access to athletes like that.

And so what I started doing was doing like almost these hybrid sessions where I was doing. It’s called cognitive training, which I can explain a little bit, but that was, I was infusing cognitive training into my conditioning sessions. One, just to kind of see where he’s acting towards that from a cognitive standpoint, but to also help improve their cognitive ability as well.

And that’s when I, when I started seeing correlations from like athletes that were good and athletes that struggled like by far better athletes have the better players, I should say the better performers have elite level cognitive ability. And it shows they’re able to have better memories that better reaction time they had better inhibition and impulse control.

And so once I started connecting these dots, I was like, all right, for these athletes that have put in the work, I want to be the guy that’s going to help improve these things for them so that they can now be an elite level performer as well.

[00:57:14] Mike Klinzing: All right. So next part of that, when you start thinking about the athletes that you work with, and you mentioned the cognitive training piece, what are some themes or are there 1, 2, 3 main.

Issues that you see athletes facing, what are some of the most common things that you try to help athletes with from a mental side?

[00:57:38] Tuck Taylor: sWell, so we we’ll backtrack us a little bit and kind of like break down mental performance and what it is. Sure. It’s, it’s two parts, it’s your mental skills. So that’s like how you deal with failure, your, your, your mindset, how resilient you are.

How well do you deal with anxiety and different things like that? So those are like those that’s that side. The other side is your cognitive ability and pretty much how resistant you are to mental fatigue. And so a lot of the research that I started diving into was showing that athletes that were experiencing like premature fatigue or extreme breakdown in their skills were actually mentally fatigued, which means that their brain was no longer able to efficiently process all the different moving pieces in there.

And by. So, if you think of that, think about an assembly line that their assembly line was getting jammed. And when the assembly line gets jammed, it sends a signal for the whole machine to slow down so that you can fix it. And so that’s why athletes and that happened to me in college. You get those like game day legs where it’s like, I was just jumping out the gym yesterday in practice, but now I feel like I can’t move.

And it’s because you’re when you’re cognitively overloaded, your body starts to shut down. And so those guts, like the two pieces of mental performance, you have you’re teaching athletes, how mental skills. And so giving them kind of mental game plans and strategies to deal with such different situations, but also increasing their overall cognitive capacity to make them more resilient to mental fatigues so that their physical body does not slow down while they.

[00:59:19] Mike Klinzing: All right. What’s a strategy that an athlete can use that suffering from that mental fatigue, that mental overload, that mental overload you talked about in college, you got the pressure of playing basketball. You got a girlfriend, you got a parent who’s sick, you’ve got financial issues going on in the family.

So you have somebody who comes to the field or the court with all those things that are affecting them, and that are not allowing them to perform at their best. What are some things that an athlete who might be in those situations or for a coach who’s listening maybe knows, or has an athlete on their team that is suffering from that?

That’s trying to fight through it. What are some things that they can do?

[00:59:58] Tuck Taylor: So, it’s two parts. So like, if you think about optimizing the human body, You want to strip any unnecessary fat from the body and you also want to build up muscle mass. So the mental skills part of it, that’s getting the right guests getting rid of the unnecessary fat and the cognitive training.

That’s building up the mental muscle. So it’s a combination of both. When it comes to the mental skill side of things, the, the, the common theme ends up being confidence. It’s the common thing. And for the most part, athletes know how to generate some sense of confidence, but a lot of them, and it’s been my experience that a lot of them don’t know how to get it back.

Once they start losing it, or they’re unable to pinpoint times when they’re losing it, or they can pinpoint times when they’re losing it, but they have no strategy to get it back during that game. So instead of just having a couple bad plays, they end up having a bad game due to like, lack of. So giving them the right mental performance strategies for confidence and for confidence, it starts with first, just a commitment to be confident commitment to your process, as a commitment to your preparation, a commitment to the strategies that’s going to take to be confident.

You have to really break confidence down into treating them like it’s an actual strategy that you’re going to use no different than someone committing to a diet. It’s if you commit to a diet or committed to eating better, there are certain foods you don’t eat. There’s certain foods you have to eat.

There’s certain times you eat. Confidence is the same exact thing. So first you need to know, you have to make that commitment. The second thing is that you need to know where you get your confidence from there’s different aspects. There’s different ways that you gain confidence. The most popular one is from past performance outcomes.

Like that’s the, one of the most important things are important. Things that influence someone’s confidence. So your positive past performance sounds come. So one of the things I do with athletes is I have them create what’s called a confidence resume. So it’s like all the good things that you’ve done.

Write them down on paper. So you can kind of keep inventory on those things. At the same token, I also make them write down a failure, resume what the failure resume. I make them write down the things they failed at, but what they learned from that failure, which helps them reframe. Failure. So that’s you know, this knowing the origins and being able to understand where you generate confidence from another origin of confidence is verbal persuasion.

So like self-talk also external talk. So creating good self-talk strategies that are gonna allow athletes to bounce back from you know, events and failures that might lead to more and more poor performance. So we have the commitment, we have the origins, and then we talk already talked about the next one is dropping expectations.

So removing all expectations from your performance and replacing that with process-based goals. So instead of worried about how you’re playing or if you’re playing well, you’re worried about what can you do in this moment? What’s, what’s your job? What’s your role in this moment? And as you know, as a player, when you kind of get into that flow of just paying attention, what you need to pay attention to.

You make a good second, a great second and great seconds turned a great minutes and great minutes turned into great hours. Then now you’ve played a good game because you’ve been present with each aspect of the game. You almost lose even the awareness of what the score is because you’re so deeply ingrained into the, the flow of the game.

And so that’s what happens when you drop expectations, you’re able to trust your instincts and trust your abilities to be able to play up to the standard that you know, that you can play in. The last thing is we talked about too, is evaluate yourself from a neutral standpoint. Now you have to be able to evaluate yourself neutrally and so that you can get access to the truth on how you can continue to get better.

And so when you do all these things, that’s going to generate what I call authentic conflict. Like true confidence, not cockiness, or like, you’re just trying to boost yourself up in the moment and all that type of stuff. It’s like actual true competence when you kind of go through that process and it works wonders, but it’s a process just like anything else.

So definitely from a coaching standpoint, like instilling confidence into their players from a player perspective, making sure you have strategies for confidence on the cognitive and the stuff in the things basically to get better at and more resilient to mental fatigue is you have to increase your, your capacity.

And that comes from increasing the amount of decisions that you make every single day. And so that’s where cognitive training comes in there. I have drills that I do that athletes are making upwards to 350 decisions in one. And so the more proficient they get at doing that, the more accurate they get at making little decisions and increases our total cognitive capacity.

And now you put them into a basketball game or a football game and a baseball game. It seems so simple because they’re not making 350 decisions in one minute in basketball. So they have the ability to focus and deal with everything that’s thrown their way. Nothing’s going to cognitively overload them.

Even when things get bad, they still have enough space cognitively to deal with all those things.

[01:05:17] Mike Klinzing: That makes a lot of sense. When you think about those two pieces, I like the analogy of you have one part of it where you’re taking something away where you’re losing the fat and you’re trying to eliminate that piece of it.

And then on the other hand, you’re trying to build the brain muscle to be able to have the skills that you need in order to cope. When you think about this from a coaching standpoint and. Looking at, let’s say you have a coach and there they’re looking at their athletes and they’re trying to figure out which of my athletes have a need.

And obviously the answer to this question is everybody has a need to improve their mental performance. But when you see a player that’s struggling, are there things that maybe a coach could look for signs that you’ve seen in your experience of a player who’s struggling beyond just the fact that Hey, their performance is going down.

Are there things that maybe a coach could notice where they could maybe get into it and get to the player before it spirals into something bigger,

[01:06:16] Tuck Taylor: Poor inhibition or impulse control. So being able, so when you think about inhibition, it’s your, the brain’s ability to kind of like override what it wants to do and do the correct.

So when basketball, a good example of impulse control or inhibition was if someone throws a pump fake at you, sort of jumping kind of with the natural instinct would be to jump, you able to stay down and defend them accordingly. And so the inhibition and why I say this is the experience I had with NFL pre-draft was like very eyeopening.

So I have an actual drill it’s called the Stroop task. That measures reaction time and more importantly, inhibition you’ve might’ve seen it before. So Stroup is when you see the word red, but it’s, it’s spelled out in green letters and the answer to that is green. All right. So you have inhibit reading, read and answer green.

So there’s an app I have and I use, and I do that, and it’s a part of an assessment tool, which part, how we increase cognitive capacity. Cause that drill, you can, you can get up to about 250 decisions per minute, doing, doing that drill. But the, the, the S the. Thing that was like shocking to me was so we have these kids that are coming in for NFL pre-draft are working on getting ready for the combine.

The guys that had the highest Stroup scores ran the fastest 40 times relative 40 times. So for their position, I’m like, there’s no way like this correlates, this makes no sense. But as I actually sat back and thought about it, when you look at the whole process that we were in is that these guys were coming in, they were, they had to learn how to run the 40 yard dash.

It’s a skill or a certain amount of steps you have to take. There’s certain amount of yards. You go with your head down. There’s certain ways that you throw your arm there, shin angles. There’s a lot that goes into it. You’re not just running and. The way that you run for the 40 is not how you run playing football or running back, never runs with his head down like you’ll get paralyzed that way, running, running, and football.

And so what, what I saw was the guys that had better inhibition were able to acquire skills faster. So they acquired the skill of being able to run the 40 yard dash faster, which why their times improved the best they ran the fastest times at camp. Literally like the, the drill, like a good score would be like high six, like anywhere from like 60 to 70 is a good score on the Stroop.

And all the guys that had the sixties and seventies ran faster forties, the guy who averaged the best out of everybody, like he would average like a 65 or 63. He was a division two player. Mind you was the, one of the only players of Sonic contract out of that whole. He ran a fast 40 times because he was able to acquire the skill.

Yeah. And so I think the main assessment that the answer to your question is figure out those kids that have a hard time acquiring those skills. And it’s because they probably have poor inhibition. And if you can train their inhibition and work on inhibition, they’re going to be able to pick up on a lot of things faster, because they’re no longer going to be fighting with their brain anymore.

They’re going to be able to respond to what they have to respond to without necessarily you know, having to fight the override that they have to fight. When you’re acquiring the skills, you you’ve taught basketball before. It’s like you teach shooting, the kid keeps them sticking his elbow out, like tuck your elbow wins like, well, his body wants to do it.

So he has poor inhibition. He can’t override what his body wants to do so he can do it. The correct. And there’s some players that pick up, pick up on it right away and they become better shooters. And then you can move on to the next skill, the next skill, the next skill, like young athletes and amateur athletes.

They’re just in a race to acquire the most relevant skills possible. It’s all about who can acquire the skills to be a pro. And if you can acquire skills better than the next person, well, that gives you a better chance to be a pro. But if you acquire skills slowly, that could be what, what keeps you out of the league?

[01:10:31] Mike Klinzing: That’s also a self-awareness thing, right? It, where it is, where I’m an athlete. It dovetails, I think, with what we talked about earlier, where if you, yeah. Okay. So I’m trying to teach a, ten-year-old how to put their elbow when they’re shooting. And there are some kids who intuitively get it, they can look at what they’re doing.

They can self-correct, they can figure it out and they can get that elbow in the right place. And then there’s other kids, like you said, that you could tell them a hundred times, a thousand times. And it just for whatever reason, whether that’s mental, whether that’s physical, whether that’s being resistant to the coaching, whether it’s continuing to want to do it their way, whether it’s just a struggle that they just can’t for whatever reason that there’s some kind of block there, both of those types of players, both of those types of athletes exist.

And clearly if you’re a player who can quickly change and incorporate what you’re being told or changes that you can make, or eventually you get to the point where you can self-correct and that’s where you’re really like, okay, let’s take shooting. For example, if I’m a pro athlete, right. And my shot is so fine tuned that I know, Hey, I’m missing short tonight.

So what adjustment can I make? Maybe I need to just make sure that I’m raising my elbow. An inch higher before I release the shot, or maybe I need to make sure that my balance and my feet are spread the correct amount to make sure that I’m getting my shot to where it needs to go. And I have perfect, perfect balance.

Those are things that when you’re 8, 9, 10 years old, when you’re a high school player, you probably need a coach to be able to help you to start to see those things and feel those things. And then eventually you get to the point as you become a more developed athlete, where that becomes almost second nature that you can self-diagnose.

And I think that’s kind of, it all kind of goes together, right? It’s it’s a process of learning at first. Somebody has to show you how to do those things. How show you, how to do that correction. And then eventually you get to the point where the best athletes. They can do that. Yeah. They still have coaches.

They still have people pointing them out. Cause they’re always trying to learn right. Growth mindset, the best players, the best players want to be coached. And yet at the same time, those players are super skilled at being able to self-assess of, Hey, what was I doing wrong? Why did I miss tonight? What could I do?

Even in the course of a game, like my shot’s not going in, I missed three in a row. What adjustments can I make to be able to make that next one? And to me, all those things flow together beautifully.

[01:13:00] Tuck Taylor: And when it comes to like teaching athletes skills, one of the biggest topics right now is it’s called the ecological approach.

And  it’s kind of under the realm of mental performance, but what it is, it’s really getting away from standard repetitions and putting athletes in situations where they have to kind of discover the right way to do these things. So like, one of the things I hate to see is when athletes are just taking shots off the gun and the same exact spot, all right.

That is like the complete opposite of the ecological model. The ecological model would have an athlete shoot a mid-range and then shoot a deep true the three and maybe should have deep three and then shoot a shot from the corner. You’re mixing these in because adaptability is what, you’re, what you’re trying to, what you’re trying to develop, not shooting really good from this one spot.

You want them to be able to shoot good from all the spots on the court and for them to develop that they have to develop that perception that changes from shot to shot. And that’s what really makes. And when you, when you research really good shooter it was under my understanding that like good shooters, they shoot the shame, same shot every single time.

Now there are certain things about the shot, like your release point and things like that that are going to stay at Stan standard. But when you really look at the best shooters outside of their release point, the degrees of freedom of their body angles is different on every single shot, which means every single shot they’re making an adjustment for it.

And that’s shooting the same shot every single time. So when you practice that way and negates the whole, your whole ability to be an adaptable, adjustable athlete, and that’s why the ecological model is so popular right now, we first saw it with dirt and weak skis skills trainer, where they had dark shooting off one foot jumping off this and all this gimmicky look and stuff, which actually works because it’s, it’s forcing his brain and his body to adapt to constraints.

And the more that stuff you do, and yeah, the more the stuff you do, the better athlete that you’re your injured.

[01:15:07] Mike Klinzing: The block versus random practice, right? Where you can teach a kid, Hey shoot. A right-handed layup coming in from the right side at a 45 degree angle. And man, I could do that. And that eight year old is knocking those in 10, 12, 15, 20 in a row.

And then you put that player in a game and they have no ability to adjust or adapt or do anything. And it’s, it certainly is. It goes back to, I think, even from a coaching standpoint, when you think about coaching your team and you can do drills that look good, where it looks like, Hey, we’re getting better because we’re getting better.

Not necessarily at playing basketball, but we’re getting better at being able to do the drill. Versus we play three on three with constraints. So we do small sided games. We give advantage and disadvantage to the offensive defense. And now suddenly we’re taking a skill and we’re trying to put it into context and that’s something where it seems again, Almost counter-intuitive that like, Hey, look, the kids gotta be able to learn how to make a lay up before we can put them in a game and have them try to make a layup.

And when the reality is that, teaching them to make a layup. Yeah. Teaching them to write the way, the way that we learn. That’s just not the way. That’s just not the way that we learn. And when you’re in a dynamic environment, like the game of basketball, or pretty much any sport, you have to be able to make decisions to go along with the skill.

And so often I think we try to drill skills in isolation, as opposed to putting those skills into context in a dynamic environment, like the game of basketball is, and that’s where I think the challenge lies is how does learning really take place? And real learning is messy and sloppy science. It’s not, let’s put everybody in three lines and just have them make layups.

It doesn’t work that way.

[01:16:50] Tuck Taylor: And it takes buy in from the athlete as well, because athletes that are shooting from that same spot that make five in a row, they think they got that. When really they did, they got better at shooting from that one spot on the court. But if you move them slightly left slightly, right.

That they have to, like, their brain has to reconfigure where they’re, where they’re shooting from now. And so, like you said, like learning is messy and that the thing that coaches need to be careful of, it’s called the challenge point theory where you, you can add constraints, but you have to add constraints to a certain limit.

You want to still have the athlete be successful right around like 80% of the time. Because if they start failing too much, they might, they might start losing motivation. Right. So, but they in there, if they’re succeeding all the time, they’re not really getting better because there’s no. That it, that variability and the drill that’s, that’s causing them to get better failures, just that feedback for them to get better.

And so I consult with a lot of coaches and stuff now, and it’s too, once they kind of understand it and they see the research and they start to see what Steph Curry’s trainers doing and what Kevin Durant’s trainers doing before the game, or like, why are they doing this weird stuff before the game is because they are trying to prime an adaptable brain.

The game of basketball is very adaptable. You’re not going to shoot the same shot twice. So you have to be able to adapt to different constraints. And the more constraints you throw it, athletes, the more adaptable you make them, the better basketball players you make. And what you’re doing

[01:18:24] Mike Klinzing: there is you’re, you’re combining the physical with the you’re combining the physical with the mental where absolutely I have to do, I have to do things differently because that’s how I’m going to do I’m in a game and I’m not only training.

My physical body to do that, but I’m also training my mind to be prepared for, Hey, I’m never going to stand in a game and shoot 10 shots in a row from this spot, with this same exact pass with my footwork. Exactly the same. Instead I have to move around and I have to do different things. Cause that’s the challenges that I’m going to be presented with a game.

And that’s, it’s a lot harder to practice that way. It looks, it looks much better when I just stand in one spot and I can make nine out of 10 or eight out of 10, or as a coach, I can put my players in a situation. I think this is something that youth coaches struggle with is you have to be, you have to be able to, you have to be able to explain to parents who maybe aren’t educated about the process.

What you’re doing, where it used to be, right. The coach that just scrimmage or whatever, just that guy just rolls the balls out. Right. That used to be the saying probably when you were playing or I was playing like that guy doesn’t coach, he just rolls the balls out and let him, let him, let him play as opposed to the guy who’s down at the other end and has all these precise drills.

And they’re doing three man weave, and they’re doing this and that. And you’re like, well, okay. But how does that, how does that, how does that translate to actual basketball? And so the one guy who, who theoretically was doing all the great coaching with his drills versus the guy who was just letting him play.

We have to learn the game within the context of a dynamic environment. And sometimes you have to, as you said, you have to educate players, but especially at the youth level, I think you have to educate parents about what they’re seeing and what they’re doing. So they understand that, Hey, you’re not just standing on the sideline, eating a sandwich while you’re your teams practicing.

If that makes any sense,

[01:20:12] Tuck Taylor: It’s been so funny. So once I kinda got hip to that model I started working on my game that way God never had really used that, that the ecological theory, like to like deliberately do it you have some drills that do it. Like you’re like you’re running a mandrill, your tool like the different drills that have constraints, but like purposely doing it to like, to, to hardwire a new skill.

And so my girlfriend, she played college basketball as well. We still get out and we play, but now when we play, we do one-on-one with constraints. And so like, It is so crazy. Like I’ve gotten so much better in a short period of time. Like playing that way. Like when we go out and we play pick up, now there’s things that I’m actually able to do in the actual game that I feel confident doing, because we were playing with constraints so long and you take those constraints away.

You put, you put that athlete out there now that you can hoop now. And it’s also my theory. Why like early in sports, a lot of good players were coming from the inner city. While you think about the inner city, some of the facilities, they were playing that in the parks, they were playing that probably had constraints.

Like you played in the hood before. Sometimes one rim is a little bit harder than the other. And one might be a little crooked or there might be a pothole over here. Nobody goes over there. So you have to there’s different constraints. There’s different constraints that you have to do, or you play like a big game of 21.

Whereas like eight, nine people like you have to adapt to like, all right, I can’t just make a beeline to the hole. I got to figure out how to score with four defenders. Like, those are the, some of the best ways to like get better king of the court with constraints, three dribbles. Like we, we just, me and my girls did today.

We did a king of the court 3 dribble max, and you had to start out the drill with the drag dribble. So your first dribble has to be a drag dribble. So really you only have two dribbles to create off of, but you’ve figured it out. You figure it out somehow and once you figure it out, that’s how you know, you’re actually acquiring that skill.

When you put you in there, you put you back into an open environment without those concerns. You, you can do it a lot easier now than if we just sat back. And we just did with no defense drag dribble, drags up. Like you’re not really acquiring a skill that way,

[01:22:27] Mike Klinzing: That circles back to the very beginning of the conversation that we had, where you talk about the demise of pickup, playground, basketball, where you could go out and you could play freely and you didn’t have to worry about what a coach was going to think or what your mom was going to think or what the scoreboard was going to say.

Yeah, you want to win. And part of it is figuring out, well, what do I have to do to be able to help my team win? And sometimes you’re the best player on the team. So you got to score a lot. Sometimes you’re the worst player on the team and your job is just to play some defense. It gets some rebounds and pass to the guy.

Who’s the best player. And. You get yourself in situations where you play different roles on the playground, and that gives you an opportunity to try and work on different things. I, I mean, I know there were games where I got to the point where when I was maybe a junior in high school, I just stopped calling files and pickup games refused to call.

I just, I just refuse to call a file and people on my team would get mad at like you got you just got hammered. I’m like, look, I’m not, I’m not calling it. It’s my job to get better and try to figure out ways to finish. And so I think trying to put yourself in those kinds of dynamic environments makes you a better player.

It just gives you an opportunity to experiment, to try different things, to be a creative player. Whereas just going out and going around a cone eight times with whatever move. Yeah. You can do that. You look better in the drill, but you don’t ultimately. Get better. And you got to figure that out as a player, as a coach, what’s the best way to be able to have the learning translate to a game.

Cause ultimately anything that you do, it’s worthless. If it doesn’t translate to a game.

[01:23:56] Tuck Taylor: Exactly. Exactly. And knowing what I know now, my skin crawls, when I see coaches still doing the standard cone drill and pre telling the kids what they’re going to do when you go to this call and you’re going to cross over, when you get to this call, you’re going to go behind the back.

It’s like, that’s super easy. I’ve never happened with basketball where like, someone’s triple, you’re going to do when you approach a defender. So it’s like, we have to start to, and it’s the old school mentality has to be able to change and adapt to new ways of learning. And the more we learn about learning, we have to adapt skills training to do that.

And so like, I love knowing what I know now. I love working on my game more because the other stuff, honestly, to me, will be boring. Like the, the, the, the thing about working on my game and getting up 500 shots and doing all this kind of stuff. I was like, man, that sounds boring. But going out and playing king of the court three dribbles, you have to start out with the drag dribble sounds real fun to me because I know I’m gonna, I’m going to start doing something that never did before. You’re putting yourself in the environment where you have to adapt. I’m going to have to make better decisions. Now I’m thinking more intelligently as a basketball player now, too, instead of just mindlessly this, throwing up a bunch of shots.

And so my girl, oh man, she is a killer. Now she’s so much that she says it. She said, I’m so much better of a player now than I was in college. Like she’s she’s right around 27, 28. But she goes out there and she kills these kids. Like somebody who’s kids are like high school all-stars and my girl goes out there and she’s destroying as is.

So it’s so funny. It’s especially with her being a girl, a female out there playing with dudes that she’ll she’ll make the first shot. Right. I was like, oh, she could play a little. And then there’ll be a little embarrassing. Nobody wants there’s no, there’s nothing really in, for a guide, the guard, a girl and a, in a pickup situation.

Cause if, if you score on her, you’re supposed to score in her, but she scores on you. It’s a big deal. So I’m like, nobody wants the Gardner in the first place, but she’ll make her first shot. They’re like, oh, I gotta play a little defense. So I’ll make her a second shot. It’s like, oh, I got to get on her to get on her.

And she still has a counter for that. And they’re like, who is this? Who is this girl? Where’s he come from? She’s playing with so much more. Like, I call it. Just playing with so much more wiggled in our game. The confidence level that even like try some of the things that she has seen on TV, her game used to be this very like basic, very fundamental.

But now she has like a little bit more as I call it a wiggle, more wiggle to her game where she’s able to score in different ways. She knows how to score on bigger, faster, stronger people as well. But it’s all from how the constraint of plan against me. I’m 6, 4, 250 she’s like five, seven. So she plays against me all the time.

So now when she goes into places against these other kids and she, she destroys them but it’s a Testament. What we talk about, it’s like when you play with constraints, when you play rules, when you do these small side and short-sided games, that’s what actually is helping athletes acquire true basketball skill.

[01:27:03] Mike Klinzing: And it’s more fun like that to me, right? The reason, the reason why we started playing this cause we liked playing. The game. It’s not that you like to grind out 500 shots from the same spot it’s I like to play the game. So if you can make your practices as a coach, more game-like, if you can make your skill workouts as a player or a skill development coach, more game-like one.

It’s going to be more fun until you’re going to translate more to the actual game, which as we’ve said, a bunch of times learning that translates to the game is really what you’re trying to go for. You’re not just trying to get better at a drill. You’re trying to get better at skills that you can actually translate, and it’s going to improve your performance in the game.

And to me. That’s really what it’s all about. That’s really what it all comes down to. We are coming up your tuck, believe it or not on almost an hour, almost an hour and a half. So what I want to do is give you a chance before we wrap up to share how people can find out more about you, how they can connect with you, whether you want to give social media website, you can give yourself another plug for the book, whatever you want to do.

And then after you do that, I will jump back in and wrap things up.

[01:28:10] Tuck Taylor: Yeah, so you guys can find me on social media. So my personal page is @realtucktaylor. The neuro beast page is @neuro.beast. You want to purchase the book? You can look for it on Amazon, just type in beastthinking or go to beastthinking.com to the buy the book.

The book is a great book, especially for the it’s written for the middle school and high school athlete to really start to understand the mental side of the game. But yeah, other than that hit me up. I offer, we have a coming up soon June 20th through the 23rd or actually doing I’m doing my first online event is called confidence code.

So we kind of talked about earlier, how confidence is one of the lowest hanging fruit to help improve mental performance. So it’s a four day event. It’s the 20th or the 23rd. We break down confidence and we’re giving you the actual performance strategies that the professionals use to help gain, maintain, and regained confidence.

[01:29:12] Mike Klinzing: That’s good stuff. And if anybody out there is listening, make sure you take advantage of what Tuck’s doing. As you can tell from the conversation tonight, he is well-versed on not only being a well conditioned athlete, but also a mentally strong, mentally tough athletes. So Tuck, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule tonight to join us really and truly appreciate it.

And to everyone out there, thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.