It is “Time to Focus”

IMG_1710Each week I see college and professional athletes fill time between training and games with Minecraft, Five Nights at Freddy’s, FIFA 15, Clash of Clans, or Candy Crush Saga. If you guessed these titles to be top iTunes Apps you would be correct. I can’t say that I have played all of these but I can say I am very curious about why they are played.

I am so curious that I decided to design my own App with the help of a young programmer Brett Ponder. Our first goal is to translate boring psychology theory into a fun and purposeful game format. So far the feedback tells us we have succeeded.

Users have said TIME TO FOCUS is addictive and raise individual’s mental focus. So using TTF is not only fun it improves intangible skills such as mental focus and mental processing. How does TTF do this?

The app engages visual, emotional, and physical skills during every round. When these three senses are stimulated at the same time by the use of movement, color and a time challenge the brain is activated and challenged very quickly. When the brain is exercised in this manner you have a quick rise in your brain’s processing power.  Well that is enough psychology because unless the app is FUN and creates a desire to compete those gamers that I know will not download TTF.  So here is how TTF is FUN and competitive.

The App asks you to find as many numbers as you can in 30 seconds. The App will randomly select a starting number and then you will find that number and continue to find the next highest numbers as fast as you can in 30 seconds.  For example if the start number is 7 you will find 7 then 8, then 9 and so on.

If you get 10 numbers or more that goes toward reaching the next level and all you need is 5 double-digit results out of 10 to get you to the next level. Once you get to the next level adding colored squares to distract you and some numbers that spin increases the challenge.

At each level the new challenges are added.  TTF is a challenging App that continues to make you better one level at a time.

Who should download and play Time to Focus?  Well that is easy everyone of course.  If I had to pick it is anyone who considers himself or herself a competitor.  The competitor who wants to be great every moment like Aaron Rogers or Derek Jetter is constantly creating images of success.  By using TTF you not only enhance creating images of success but you activate the brain to turn thought into action quickly.  A coach would call that twitch or your processing speed.

You can have the best images of success but if you are not quick to take action you will miss the opportunity to be great.  TTF helps your brain practice quick engagement and decision-making by challenging you with movement, color, and the pressure of a time limit.  It seems simple to comprehend so start playing TTF and see how more active your brain will be taking action on your images for success.

Go to this link and download TTF

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/time-to-focus/id905781224?mt=8&uo=4

Social Awareness Radio, Adam Ritz Making a Difference

If you have not heard the Adam Ritz story I will not spoil his message and yet I will encourage you to tune into his radio broadcast and look for an opportunity to hear him speak. Adam tours the country stopping at University campuses to send messages that share social awareness insights on professional and college athletics as well as behaviors needed to live purposeful and positive life.

You may want insights on how to be responsible when using social media or looking for the words to impart wisdom to your college age son or daughter about managing relationships and Adam will be a great resource for support.

Here is a sample of his radio show.

The Adam Ritz Show featuring Lowell Wightman at the NFL Combine 2015

 

Adam-Ritz-with-Sports-Psychologist-Lowell-Wightman

 

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Parental Support Gone Overboard

I believe I was fortunate to not have too much parental support growing up. However there  were times when an extra seven cents would have been nice to get another popsicle. I think that dates me.

It does not matter if it is seven cents or unlimited funding too many resources and/or support can distract kids from displaying a genuine interest and desire. Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal you may find interesting.

The Problem for Sports Parents: Overspending – WSJ

It has been my experience as a parent that being present and NOT too quick with spending money kept my child’s attention with their sport. In addition we were able to try more activities and sports without exhausting our financial resources.

I agree with this article and would add that parents and coaches ask the athletes to take ownership of their sport emotionally, financially and physically.  I bought my son his first pair of hockey skates and when he wanted to upgrade he came up with the money.  As he continued to play I was always present, despite how cold those stands get at 5am ice time. That was my commitment as long as I saw my son maintain his commitment and passion for the sport.

Lastly let your children guide you by their earnest participation and desire to improve. Remember you do not play the game for them. Guide them to discover the level of their personal ownership and desire for their sport.

CPA Mindset Compared to the Professional Athlete

What does the competitive professional athlete have in common with a Certified Public Accountant?

A recent blog posting from Bill Sheridan at the Maryland Association of CPA shared how the mental conditioning for professional athlete can be applied to the competitive and demanding performance of Certified Public Accountants. Follow this link to discover Bill’s thoughts and insights.

Mental Conditioning- CPA vs Professional Athlete

NFL Combine 2014- Lessons for the CPA

 

Jeff Foster took over as the NFL Combine President and Director in 2006. His remarks during an NFL Network interview highlighted how far this event has come and what the future may hold (2014 NFL Combine).

2014 NFL Combine

2014 NFL Combine

As I watched the athletes go through their physical drills their psychological testing and finally their interviews I wondered how would this job interview process translate to finding the highest performing Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

The Lucas Oil Stadium would be a great place to have the CPA examination to test the skill of the CPA. However at this time the CPA is not tested for their physical skills or their psychological framework prior to being employed.

Lucas Oil Stadium 2014 Combine

Lucas Oil Stadium 2014 Combine

That being said Lucas Oil Stadium is large enough to simulate racks of product for an inventory count as well any number of creative drills that may simulate sprinting through airports or chasing after cabs in order to assess physical skills.

An event as large as the NFL Combine creates a distinct and powerful community well before the athletes and team representatives even get to Indianapolis. The event is as much a family reunion as it is the first employment step for a professional football career.

At this time the AICPA may not have a career fair that would equal the NFL Combine but my experience has shown me that a sense of family, teamwork, and professionalism are common characteristics to both.  In addition the CPA and the NFL professionals are always looking for strategies and methods that connect their physical and psychological skills in ways that create excellence.

I have listed seven keys to consider as you connect your physical and psychological skills in ways for you to create excellence.

 Seven Keys for Creating Executive Excellence

Creating a foundation for success that results in team and personal excellence requires an investment in yourself to be your BEST on a daily basis.

There is no ranking or ordering the steps to success there are only conditions necessary to be present for each individual to deliver their best.

  • Accept Failure and Adjust
  • Promote the Positive to yourself and everyone you trust to support you
  • True SUCCESS is not a number or a medal it is an EFFORT equal to the best you can be each moment
  • Adapt to Change because it is a constant
  • It is a PROCESS to excellence not a finish line
  • It is Completing each task you Agree to start- Integrity.
  • A Daily Plan with Specific Goals

“Your Success is personal and unique and when you share it with humility it will grow without hesitation.”  Lowell Wightman, Mental Conditioning Coach, 360 Mindset

Every source of energy is potential until it is ignited into action. Coach Wightman is your mental catalyst igniting your potential to take action on those goals that will make you great.  Connect @coachlkw or coachlkw@gmail.com

NFL Combine 2014 Behind the Scene View

Three Reasons for the NFL Combine

Centralization

In 1977 at the urging of Tex Schramm, Dallas Cowboy President & General Manager (1960-1989) two national scouting organizations centralized the testing and evaluation of college football players pursuit of a professional football career. Prior to 1977 team General Managers and team Scouts scheduled individual meetings for each recruit they were interested. National Blesto and Quadra Scouting Organization came together and centralizing the evaluation and testing process and in 1982 the first National Invitational Camp was held. Then in 1985 this event was titled as the NFL Combine.

Reduce Team Costs

Centralizing the measurement and testing of college prospects reduced the travel cost as well as the evaluation and measurement expenses. There are 14 measurements or evaluations done at the NFL Combine.

Standardized Testing & Measurement

Prior to 1982 college football draftees were measured separately using tests and measurements chosen by the team interested. This process created opportunity for measurement error and evaluation results that maybe biased.

NFL Combine 2014

Jeff Foster took over as the NFL Combine President and Director in 2006. His remarks during an NFL Network interview highlighted how far this event has come and what the future may hold.  Will football fans be allowed to attend the NFL Combine?

2014 NFL Combine

As I walked to and from the Combine sessions I saw fans waiting patiently for a coach or NFL player to walk by providing opportunity to request an autograph. Outside the Lucas Oil Stadium the mood was very focused on the professional behavior necessary to find the next Pro Bowl player that helps deliver a Super Bowl Victory. In every hotel lobby from the Omni to the Marriott coaches, scouts, and GM’s were catching moments to review and recap strategies and player profiles before an interview session or watching the players go through their exercises.

I met Weston Richburg (OL37) at the Intercontinental to wish him luck and review mindset management as he prepared for his evening interviews. The interview process is so clearly defined and highly weighted by teams that Draftees practice sample questions prior to the interviews.  Weston is a great example of players who are serious about the preparation process and yet not focused on how to package their skills and risk looking staged or insincere. Talking with professional scouts you will find out the intangible factor like interviews are essential and yet not measured like a 40 yd dash.

Richburg at College Press Conference

Richburg at College Press Conference

During the physical exercises I watched Jadeveon Clowney excel with physical performance then field questions from the media about arriving late and questioning his desire to prepare for NFL competition and challenges. How does a GM or Coach know that Clowney’s desire to play is genuine and ready for the NFL.

I spoke with several NFL franchise executives that are aware of the risk they have when they draft a player and they misread the intangibles evaluating player core values. Jeff Foster has added psychological evaluation (Wonderlic) that evaluate tendencies toward behavior type but do not quantify a player’s desire for core values . Simply put discovering “Who is this Player?” and “Why are you here?”.  The NFL Combine has an efficient evaluation process that quickly and effectively processes over 300 applicants for interviews and consideration by 32 potential employers.

 Coaches Perspective

An event as large as the NFL Combine creates a distinct and powerful community well before the athletes and team representatives even get to Indianapolis. The event is as much a family reunion as it is the first employment step for a professional football career. Media and market awareness teams have been in Indy for a week or more prior to the start setting up equipment and technology.

As the coaches arrive they have brief moments to visit with colleagues and in some cases teammates from the days they were in the league before observing Draftee performance .

Joey Porter as CSU coach

Joey Porter as CSU coach

This was not the case for me since I did not play professional football but I did go to dinner with my friend Joey Porter, Pittsburgh Steeler alumni and 4 time Pro Bowler.  The 2014 NFL Combine is the first time Joey is on the Coach’s side of the table. During dinner Joey and I reflected on his time with the CSU Rams and the impact mental conditioning and mindset management had on the team.

As our conversation continued we discussed the differences between college coaching and NFL coaching and the one common process for both and that is building player trust. Building trust is supported by getting to know the player so that you may intuitively anticipate their response and behavior. At this point we both laughed as Joey pointed out that each coach will walk away from the Combine with a slightly different impression of each player’s intangible traits.

Measure Core Values

At the Combine, are there measurements for core values and desires, i.e., motivation, for each Draftee?

Jeff Foster in his interview with NFL Network remarked about the partnership with Microsoft and Under Armour as two great resources for processing player data and standardized equipment for each player. The point being is to support an accurate and fair evaluation. The Under Armour role in fairness is quickly understood and by the way the underwear was very sharp.

The Microsoft role was also easily understood because the updates and transfer of player data to the coaches as well as on the NFL web site was quick and complete. That being said this support has nothing to do with measuring a player’s core values or measuring how they are motivated and by what or who. The NFL Combine currently uses the Wonderlic Tests as a psychometric measurement tool.  All data with the help of the Microsoft partnership is shared with each NFL franchise and added to the scouting reports generated from the previous college football season.

During my dinner with Coach Porter we discussed how coaches and team scouts use all of the data to assess player attributes, traits and skill while not relying on any one or group of measurements to dictate their choice.  This is a very complete process but is not exact or guaranteed to predict future performance and yet it is taken very seriously. Once a Draftee is selected millions of dollars are committed with the hopes of a large economic return. A successful Draftee selection will equate to greater ticket sales, merchandise sales, and concession sold during each game. The reverse consequences not only cost the franchise current dollars but the lost future revenue potentials are multiplied as you wait for this Draftee’s contract to expire or be traded.

The NFL Combine has centralized, standardized, and cost effectively managed the evaluation of human potential, but they are still looking for more accurate tools for measuring human desires and the core values that drive them to exceed expectations. The Wonderlic test identifies a number that measures the potential for success in a given profession or in this case position (QB, Running Back, WR, etc.). The Wonderlic test is a vocational intelligence test and provides a number for evaluating one’s ability to think and process quickly. A scout for an NFL team asked me if there is a test that measures following instructions, listening skills, or being organized and I said yes. The RMP 16 (www.360mindset.com) numerically measures human core values and desires. So a player like Clowney could be profiled to discover why he is late for important meeting, i.e., what drives him to do that, and that discovery would begin to prescribe training for him.

The best coaches I have met rely on intuition that is flavored with how players execute when challenged by the toughest competition. This data is real and concrete for a coach. That being said the championship coach is always looking for tools and training to stay on top. The NFL Combine provides coaches with great resources and insights. So, congratulations Jeff Foster and the entire NFL Combine team you deliver a great event for discovering NFL excellence.

RMP 16 – Measuring What Drives You

RMP 16

RMP 16

 

I am so proud to announce that I have successfully completed my training as a Reiss Motivational Profile Master. What this means for my clients is an instrument that will measure needs and desires that drive human behavior. Simply put identifying what you want and how much you want of each of 16 desires.

Dr. Steven Reiss has spent the last 30 plus years studying what drives human beings. In his book, Who Am I?: 16 Basic Desires that Motivate Our Actions Define Our Persona, he lists the 16 factors that over 7,000 participants identified as their primary needs to be satisfied. His research and findings have been independent peer reviewed over 1,700 times. This type of scrutiny confirms the highest scientific integrity and statistical validity.

What will this profile offer you?

The RMP 16 offers you insights into “who you are” with specific measurement define your degree of desire. The measurements will create a framework for you to perform with greater focus while understanding what desires have the greatest influence on your behavior. You will have a road map for being your best.forleaders

With a road map you are now made aware of where the pressures and stressors maybe found. With this knowledge you can anticipate situations and behaviors of others in order to avoid discomfort and stress. This is not a crystal ball but it a legitimate measure of who you are. Here are the 16 need constructs that are measured.

The 16 basic desires make us individuals. Although everybody embraces all 16 desires, people prioritize them differently. How you prioritize them reveals your deepest desires and intrinsic motives.

Acceptance, the desire to avoid failure and criticism.

Curiosity, the desire for understanding.

Eating, the desire for food.

Expedience, the desire to act out of self-interest.

Family, the desire to raise children and to spend time with siblings.

Idealism, the desire for social justice.

Interdependence, the desire to trust others to meet one’s needs.

Order, the desire to be organized and clean.

Physical Activity, the desire for muscle exercise.

Power, the desire for influence or leadership.Donell Alexander with 2pt Convert

Beauty, the desire for romance and sex.

Saving, the desire to collect.

Social Contact, the desire for peer companionship.

Status, the desire for respect based on social standing.

Tranquility, the desire to be free of anxiety and pain.

Vengeance, the desire to confront those who offend.

The results include an easy-to-read report about your deepest desires, intrinsic motives, and core values.

How do I use the RMP 16?

Here are several examples of how you can use the data and Profile Master Evaluation.

  • Identify those personal attributes that expose you to stress and pressure
  • Numerically measure your desire to compete
  • Are you a team participant or a loaner?
  • How much recognitions do you need in order to perform at your best?

Athletic and Career Coaches can use RMP 16 data to place the best team into the contest or focus on those professional traits that allow executives to sustain excellence. Executive leaders can anticipate personnel conflicts and apply human resources cost effectively 1-2when they are not guessing regarding the needs of their staff.

Profile Master Evaluation

After receiving your RMP 16 profile and report you are given a personal evaluation from a RMP 16 Profile Master. Your personal evaluation will compare and contrast your 16 profile factors while asking you questions about your personal performance goals.  The primary evaluation objective for the Profile Master is to offer you methods and strategies enhancing your performance while reviewing the report you are sent with your profile data.

Conclusion

I have spent many hours studying Dr. Reiss’ research as well as many hours of training with Dr. Reiss to become a Profile Master. As a mental conditioning coach quantifying performance results is a common practice for physical activity (time a race, how much weight can you lift, etc.). Measuring desire and/or those needs that determine your desire to perform was not available until Dr. Reiss completed his research. There are no psychometric evaluation instruments that quantify human desire, i.e., intrinsic motivation, but now the RMP 16 is available. Measuring human traits that determine core values provides a greater probability for predicting the direction of human desire and outcomes.

 

 

Positivity

Untitled-6I have been snowboarding for five seasons and loved every minute of each run. Well there are moments in the beginning when your butt and hips send reminders that starting any new adventure may have challenges. I accept that and remind myself on each run how fortunate I am as I take in my surroundings at Copper Mountain, Colorado. My son encouraged me to snowboard after we moved to Colorado. His initial reasoning was snowboarding is something we can do together. I now have four grandchildren, from my son, and two of the four boys snowboard. I now have even more incentive to enjoy snowboarding.
So during this trip to Copper Mountain I was reflecting on how I improve my boarding technique and feel more relaxed as I snowboarder. I am a confident snowboarder but I am not always positive. I know I am not relaxed when I allow thoughts to enter my head that are not encouraging or optimistic, i.e., POSITIVE.
When I am not positive I hesitate and a hesitating snowboarder is like a hick-up for an opera singer.Your movement is not fluid and your technique will lack confidence.
I was having some great runs on a trail named Ptarmigan when I realized that positive thinking establishes my confidence. I was fluid with my technique and very relaxed. I also realized that positive thoughts diminish if not eliminate apprehension that may arise from seeing a roller or bump ahead. The positive thoughts created actions that were natural and quickly implemented. As a coach once told me just do it don’t think about it. Perhaps that is where Nike got their slogan.
I am very intrigued with the comparison of Confidence vs. Positive Thought. I now believe positive thinking should come before a feeling of confidence. I can manufacture a confident feeling and possibly not deliver the results declared in my feeling of confidence. However, positive thinking is part of your performance or task. For example I am going down the Ptarmigan run and I am thinking positive thoughts about my technique, the snow quality, making a turn, and I feel more confident as the run continues. I also find myself more relaxed and less fatigued at the end of the run.
I believe you can be CONFIDENT without positive thoughts, but the personal development and execution of the action(s) you are confident about may not be preformed at your best without beginning with positive thinking. I enjoyed more than one run down the Ptarmigan trail and each one was better than the last because I kept drawing upon positive thoughts. I did not allow doubt or hesitation to enter into my behavior.
Rock On and be your Best! Bring on 2013