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Three lessons learned in THREE YEARS of Tips!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #156 – Watch or listen HERE.

One hundred and fifty-six weeks ago I started writing what I call Smarter Stronger Better Mindset Tips at the time. COVID and a very different-looking summer were both in full swing and life, as we knew it, had changed abruptly.

My first tip came soon after the death of George Floyd. You remember. Times were tough! (You can read Tip #1 HERE).

About a year into writing my tips a colleague asked, “Do you think taking the time to write and record your tips each week is worth it?”.

My immediate answer was “Yes, it’s totally worth it.”

The next questions were, “Does it help your business?” “Are you getting to work with more clients and teams?” “Do people read them?”

When I thought about why I answered “yes”, I realized it had nothing to do with the answers to these questions and the quantitative data they suggest. I also realized it is one of the best things I have committed to in my career and here are a few reasons why! (I think they are good reminders for leaders and high performers, too!)

1. The first lesson I have learned in this experience is that when you encourage others to utilize strategies, make small changes and think in more productive ways, you better be working on it too! You better practice what you are preaching. This doesn’t mean you conquer it all. It means you think it is important enough and based on solid evidence that you will commit to doing what you are asking others to think about!

When we teach it, we learn it. If you are a coach, think about your last camp. I remember walking around our camps at both CSU and UA and hearing my words being shared with hundreds of young softball players…through the mouths and demonstrations of our athletes. We took this teaching/learning strategy one step further and asked our athletes to teach the incoming freshmen our offensive, defensive and cultural strategies so they had a head start on getting acquainted with the program.

To teach it you must know it. And when you teach it, others better see you practicing it the way you said they should do it!

So, each week as I share this information, it helps me understand it and practice it better.

It makes me better for my clients and my family and it keeps me eager to learn and practice more!

What do those you lead need to teach to ensure they continue to grow and improve in their performance? How can you set up opportunities for them to share information to help those around them…and themselves? What do they need to demonstrate, write or share that will keep them looking for information to improve their knowledge and experience?

2. To demonstrate lesson #2, let’s talk about working out. If you want to work out more regularly, one of the best ways to do so is to become a person who works out.

I know that sounds “duh”, but let’s dig into it.

I just happen to be that person. Working out is part of what I do. Period. I am a worker-outer 😊. It does not change based on my environment, my company or my feelings.

I know it is sometimes dangerous for our athletes to identify too closely with being an athlete. But, in many ways identifying as someone who works out or anything else (or as someone who does not do something) can be very beneficial to our performance and our ability to stick to what we want and need to do to be better.

Research shows that people who identify as healthy eaters eat healthier…longer. When faced with a choice, they don’t depend on willpower. They depend on their identity. People who identify as…fill in the blank….are more likely to stick with the habit they are trying to instill or behave in ways that coincide with who they believe themselves to be.

At some point over the past three years, I became someone who writes weekly tips. I am a writer, which is something I had not identified with before Tip #1 (I’m really a coach who writes, but you get the picture)! I share information in hopes of helping others perform and lead better. This does not change based on my environment, my company or my feelings. It is what I do.

How can you help those you lead to identify with what they want to do or be? Who do they need to identify as...and I don’t mean “athlete” or “student”, I mean “hard worker”, “healthy eater”, “someone who can figure things out”, etc. A lot of people say they are things, but this takes it one step further and sets them on a path to ACT like who they say they are. They begin to measure options in front of them against who they say they are and decide based on what someone who identifies as a champion (or whatever they want to be) would do.

3. Lastly, the most important thing I have learned I learned a long time ago the hard way. Each week, I am reminded of the importance of seeking new information and looking for new ways to use the information we already have. Years ago, I remember sitting in my former boss, Lee Reed’s office and him giving me a compliment of which I was very proud. He said, “You always come in here with a new way to look at things.” He attributed it to my reading (podcasts weren’t a thing yet) and seeking out new information that then challenged my thoughts on things. He thought it made me a better coach.

Fast forward to a time in my career after having a son and my life-changing in many ways, and a time when Lee would have seen something different. I wasn’t reading or seeking information nearly as much and it wasn’t making me a better coach.

When we read (or listen), we come across things that either add to our knowledge base, confirm the reasons we believe what we believe or do what we do, or find things that challenge our current beliefs and encourage us to move in a new direction. This is good for us and those we lead because we are always sharpening our position, finding new ways to share what we now know or know differently. We are getting better and in turn, finding ways to make them better.

As Sheryl Sandberg said .“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have” and as I look back on my career and have experienced it again over the past three years, I wholeheartedly conquer! I just wish it would have been imprinted on my forehead at certain points in my life!

No matter what we do, there are always lessons to be learned. Some the hard way. Some of the best ways. But either way, when can teach something, we can do it…and we should do it right.

When we are something, we stick to it and when we learn something, we get better and so do those around us.

I hope the last three years of Tips have taught you a little something, too! If they have, they are even more worth it! Thank you for being my accountability partner in these three lessons!

I look forward to what we can learn over the next three years!

THANK YOU again for taking the time to read these. I promise to keep learning if you’ll keep reading!

Manage the moments!!


P.S. I would love to hear how these Tips have helped you as a performer and/or leader. Please share your thoughts or ideas for future tips with me at

Julie Jones

Mental Performance Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946

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