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Mindful : December 2014
mechanics of confidence. “Confidence is the cornerstone of great performa nce,” he explains. “And it comes f rom just one place: what we say to ourselves.” To be effective, it must be “g rounded in credible conversations with yourself,” he adds. “ Which means you have to have a disciplined mind to focus on when you’ve been successful in the past and to bring that success into the present. Part of the training is being mindful, on a moment-to-moment basis, of whether you’re building or taking away from your confidence. The second part is being able to guide yourself back to the present moment and adopt a positive mindset about what is possible.” A good exa mple is Doug Baldwin, a g ifted wide receiver who struggled early in his ca reer with inconsistent performa nce. When he sta rted with the Seahawks, he had a lot of negative thoughts that were hampering his ability to focus. So Gervais taught him to create mental highlight reels based on moments from the past when he had performed extremely well. The effect was startling. “ Every time I slip back into doubtful- ness,” Baldwin says, “I go back to those highlight reels and it puts me in a posi- tive mind. I think, ‘This is what ’s going to happen.’ And eventually it does.” Free safety Earl Thomas takes a somewhat different tack. Working with → Michael Ger vais, a spor ts psychologist with a strong background in mindfulness, is a key figure in Carroll’s mission to improve focus and inspire peak performance. PHOTOGRAPHSBYRODMAR(LEFTANDRIGHT)ANDCOURTESYOFMICHAELGERVAIS(BOTTOM) December 2014 mindful 51