Link to Video

2019 Wharton People Analytics Conference: Ceci Clark, Major League Mental Performance Coach of the Cleveland Indians and Meg Popovic, Director of Player Well-Being of the Toronto Maple Leafs, sit down with New York Times Best-selling Author, Daniel Coyle, to talk about using people analytics in sports and what it is like to climb the ranks as females within the sports industry.


Quick Video

In a lot of recent conversations the topic of confidence has come up. Its the classic conversation:

  • How much confidence is the right amount?
  • Can you have too much confidence?
  • Does confidence build complacency?

It almost feels like confidence is some magic source that we are trying to find the perfect amount that needs to go into our recipe for success. I am going to beat the drum more of all confidence is not the same. In fact more and more I think there are different types of confidence.

  • Junk Confidence: Build off of past outcomes and fixed mindset ideas (I was born to do this, I am simply better than that other person).
  • Healthy Confidence: Built off of effort, reflection, habits, preparation, learning experiences, adapting and evolving.

When you build junk confidence its a roller coster and think about can have too much of it and it WIILL contribute to complacency. You'll have it and then hit a challenge and there is nothing that will...


Link to the podcast

I had an awesome chance to be on a Facebook live event with GEVA. Click on the link above to view it. GEVA is the Garden Empire Volleyball Association. In this video you can hear many topics Bernie Holliday and I got to dig into while being hosted by Bill Doyle and John Titus. Topics included think box play box, feedback, confidence, setting the SCENE and others.


Link to the Podcast

The Mind Leads Performance: The Mind Leads Performance is a podcast focused on mental skills and performance. Through engaging in conversation with their guests, the hosts, Jon Gold and Andy Harris, dive deeper on all things peak performance. Jon is a mental performance coach and mental health counselor, while Andy is a mental performance coach and K-5 PE teacher. On this podcast, Jon and Andy explore the many different ways in which mental skills can make a significant impact on performance and in life.

Show Notes: On this episode we had on Ceci Craft, CMPC, Consultant with the Cleveland Indians and contractor with the U.S. Army Special Forces. Mike Franco, Mental Performance Coach with the Dallas Mavericks and Andy Riise, retiring U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and Mental Skills Coach with the Colorado Rockies.

On this episode we discuss individualizing for athletes in...



How to Improve the Learning Environment with Modeling

Our actions have more of an impact on the learning environment than we realize. If we understand the power of modeling, upgrade the way we think about it, and become more intentional about it – we can all improve the learning environment for the people around us.


Karch Kiraly – Head Coach: USA Women’s Volleyball

Ceci Craft – All Terrain Project

Key Points

Modeling is powerful

Our actions and behaviors have a bigger impact on the people around us than we realize. In a group setting people are likely to imitate the actions of one and other.

What is modeling?

Every action we display and thing we say is technically modeling. We can model good things, irrelevant things, or not so good things.

Benefits of good modeling:

1. Aligns poster values with practiced values

2. Builds...


Quick Video

I know how important a growth mindset is to anyone's ability to learn and all things.

I have also watched performers try to "maintain" or hold on to a fleeting moment and how terribly that goes.

All this being said I also cringe when people talk about having a mindset that allows you to enjoy failure or mistakes. I don't think that is what high performers do. I am severely dyslexic. I really struggle with spelling. I hate it. I have learned a lot from it but I haven't usually enjoyed the lessons.

So I don't think high performance is loving failures or mistakes but I do think its having the stomach to go looking for your edge or point of failure. Its knowingly walking towards the obstacle or wall you are going to have to climb and also knowing you might not have all the supplies you need to climb it yet. But only when you walk to that wall or find that edge do you start to define the tools you'll need to solve that obstacle. So in a weird way you do start to embrace your edge, your walls...


Link to Podcast

Taking the Lid Off: We'll be taking the lid off talking about leadership from a military perspective as well as veteran-ish issues like transitioning and finding that next chapter in your life.

Show notes: In this episode I'm talking with Cecilia Craft, a mental performance coach that I worked with while at the Special Warfare Center. Ceci's department was then known as the Special Operations Center for Enhanced Performance. She left there and worked with the Cleveland Indians for a bit and is now back there heading up the department. You can find her at the links below.


Quick Video (Played with iMovie on this one)

I don't love the word balance in a performance world. Does it lead to more happiness for most people...probably. The thing I have found, if we are being honest, is that high performance isn't balanced. I'm sorry its just not...and frankly its not even necessarily a happy option. Yup, I am really saying that. High performance is a drive that involves sacrifice, doing things that are uncomfortable, not fun, discipline and being honest with yourself about your next way to improve. All those things often lead to imbalance.

Yet here I am wanting to talk to you about recovery and I'll tell you why. If you want to push as hard as you need to to perform you need to recover deliberately. We get so good at pressing that gas peddle, and probably knowing that's what sets us apart, that we forget the brake peddle has a purpose. IT HAS A PURPOSE I swear.

To me its like overworking your quad muscles and never training the hamstrings...eventually it leads to imbalance and injury. So then...


Quick Video

How many personality tests do you see floating around the internet. How many sports teams have you been on where you define your values or characteristics. And how often do those come up looking like "textbook" perfect adjectives. We are loyal, passionate, determined yada yada yada.

I have often asked myself what my honest answer is. Stubborn is definitely a key trait. Ask my sister how this goes in an argument. At times this trait has hurt me, its stopped me from listening to an opinion that's different to mine or that I don't want to accept. At times its been the reason I can do something someone tells me won't happen (being a female coaching all male sports in the field of mental performance). Candid would be another. Those that have worked around me might call me blunt or candid. I think I am both candid with myself and with those around me. I think feedback is essential to growth and I lost the sense I might be perfect early through failing every spelling test and being...


Quick Video

What if I told you that you were one of the first hurdles to your athlete's performance? That your athlete would be able to do the things you worked hard to do. You don't have to be perfect at them but you have to be willing to go through the process of working at them the same way you wanted your athlete to work at the very least.

Lets take growth mindset as an example. Growth mindset is the belief that we can improve at the things we put effort into. By its very nature that involves working at things we are not naturally strong at.... So, as a coach do you have the tolerance to stomach your athlete working at something they are not strong at? Sometimes to take a big step forward we have to change our mechanics or make an adjustment in our game. What do you as the coach do during this time? Can you stomach your best athlete not putting up results for a while? Can you stomach and sit with them through their frustration and failures and keep the end game in mind? Can you handle the parents criticism, the...


Quick Video

Outlier by definition is a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set; someone who has set themselves apart from the rest.

What is an outlier mindset? Its the mindset that accompanies someone working to set themselves apart from the rest. Many people want to be the best, or be a high performer, but how often do we realize that this makes us different or weird by definition. We have to let go of what is average and move towards a way of thinking that allows us to excel. This mindset impacts our habits, how we eat, sleep, work and think.

What is even stranger in this whole adventure is that there is a regression towards normal. When someone is working to be different, those that are average will pull us, ask us, to be more like them. Someone working to be different is uncomfortable to the pack.

Watch the video to learn more:


Quick Video

Baseball can be a funny thing. The guys at the top levels are the best at what they do. How many boys grew up wanting to play in the Major Leagues and how many guys actually get to do it? So you would think that their confidence is bulletproof right? ...but it's not.

There is something else interesting that happens when you are pretty good at what you do. The world likes to tell you about it. They want autographs, they want to tell you about how great your are. Weirdly enough the world doesn't actually know you though.

Somewhere along the line I started to realize that some of the performers I worked around that were considered "more confident" were not actually performing better. Yet some guys with "lower confidence" were doing consistently well. But why? Isn't confidence important for performance. Isn't that what I had learned? Isn't confidence important to coaches to trust an athlete?

What if not all confidence is created equal?

What if there is junk food confidence and healthy confidence?...


Quick Video

When have you ever seen someone jump out of a 6 foot hole? I seem to be saying this a lot this year. Okay, and I am not talking about your freakish friend who can do a massive box jump. The answer is you don't. You don't see someone jump out of a six foot hole. You see them climb out of it.

Why does this matter? Well I think because when we are going through something hard...when we find ourselves in a hole...we want to jump out of it. We want to fix it and for it to all just be over.. WE WANT OUT. But....that's just not how it works.

So what does this mean? It means that when we are faced with tough times there are first a couple of steps to getting out of the hole that I think are really hard.

The first is you have to accept you are in a hole

The second is you have to accept that you are not jumping out of it

Accept you are in a hole you say? I promise it’s not the same as admitting defeat. It’s having the self awareness to know where you are. It’s hard to climb out of the hole if you...


Quick Video

Reach out your arm. Now turn in a circle and you have created your 3ft world. This is the world that, in reality, we exercise control over.

Explanation from Mark Owens' book "No Hero", and illustrated way better than I can:

For context he is in a climbing course and currently climbing:

"I was officially stuck. I couldn’t go any higher. To be honest, I didn’t want to. For the first time since I started to climb… I’d been so focused on my situation that I’d forgotten all about our instructor. I’d catch him climbing around like Spider Man as he waited for me to set the next cam. It made me nervous watching him because he didn’t use a rope. “Hey man,” he said in a lazy, raspy voice. “Just stay in your three-foot world.” I was a couple of hundred feet up the rock face and I could barely think, let alone decipher his cryptic advice. “What the hell are you talking about, bro?” “Only focus on your three-foot world,” he said. “Focus on what you can affect. You keep looking around, and none of that shit can help...



The Science of Being Better When You’re Nervous

When the performance matters we’re going to feel some pressure, nerves, and stress. Whether it’s a big presentation, a test, or even a date – most people think the most effective way to prepare for these situations is to try and calm down. In this episode, we dig into research that shows why this is exactly the wrong approach and share some effective strategies to help anyone perform at their best when it matters.


Ceci Clark: Mental Performance Coach for the Cleveland Indians. She explains how she helps major leaguers perform better under pressure.

Jeremy Jamieson: Director of University of Rochester’s Social Stress Lab. He explains the science behind stress and how changing our perception of it can lead to better performance.


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