Since 2006, our world-class, multidisciplinary team of counselors, doctors, exercise specialists, naturopaths, and nutritionists have coached more than 200,000 people in nearly 100 countries through our coaching and certification programs.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” — Audrey Hepburn "To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." I love this quote; I have it on my fridge. But sometimes it is not the act of planting, but the act of waiting, that really matters. When you live somewhere li
Performance enhancing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
ESPN explores how the pregame PB&J has spread through the NBA-- with fascinating input from director of performance nutrition here at PN, Brian St. Pierre.
"At first bite of a PB&J, receptors detect the food's chemical composition and report back to the brain -- fats! sugars! starches! proteins! salts! -- where reward centers release opioids and, after a few minutes, endorphins, which briefly reduce stress. It's an effect, St. Pierre notes, that's similar to sex. They also lower the body's heart rate, a bonus for an anxious hunter or a player just before tip-off."
That's one signalling pathway for a few biological processes. If there are variations at any one of those green boxes (in other words, if you have any genetic variation, which you probably do), it can affect the rest of the flowchart.
Clients' lives are kind of like this. Complex.
And obviously clients' bodies are definitely like this.
As a coach, you have to look at things with "two brains":
- - - -
1. Recognizing, respecting, and understanding complexity.
AND AT THE SAME TIME...
2. Helping simplify, clarify, and prioritize. Looking to find the ONE thing clients need to know, focus on, or do right now.
- - - -
You might even map this complexity out with a client on a whiteboard or piece of paper, or with post-it notes.
"Before we settle on a next step, let's look at all the moving parts and get a sense of them."
Capturing this complexity can be helpful. (As a client told me yesterday, "When I wrote it all out into a big list, it seemed like a lot... but also not so bad really.")
You can use complexity to encourage compassion and strengths.
"Wow, there's a lot on your plate here. No wonder you're having trouble recovering from workouts!"
"How do you manage all of this? You must have some great time management skills!"
But always end simple.
"OK, looking at this, there's a lot here, right? Let's not get overwhelmed. I have some ideas for which thing we might start with. Is there one thing in particular that jumps out at you?"
"Let's not worry about this other stuff right now; we can get to it later. It strikes me that for you, THIS factor is the crucial one. What do you think?"
- - - -
Remember that clients don't need "experts" to show that they know every step in the MAPK signalling pathway.
They need COACHES to help them find a way through.
To most people, healthy movement = exercise. As in cardio, crunches, and fitness models. But moving your body is about so much more, like improved thinking, stronger relationships, and expressing your purpose in life.
There's a lot of discussion in the fitness industry about whether crash dieting can cause metabolic damage. In this article, we'll take on this interesting topic and separate fact from fiction. We'll also teach you exactly why crash diets might be linked to struggling to maintain your weight in the…
You love nutrition and fitness. That's why people come to you -- all the time -- with nutrition questions. If you're not always sure how to answer them, check out this guide. They'll help you respond with clarity and panache...every time.
Performance vs. Mastery goals: Do you know the difference?
Performance goals are a lot like outcome goals. But they’re usually associated with external validation such as wanting to get good grades from a teacher, win a competition for the fans, or race against a standardized time.
Just like outcome goals, performance goals are often limited by factors outside your control:
-It could be rainy and windy on the day of a marathon. That’s out of your control, yet influences your time.
-You could get a head cold, an upset stomach, or mega-period-cramps on the day of a powerlifting meet. You may not perform well or set that personal record.
-You could show up in top form at a bodybuilding competition. But your opponent could show up in better form.
Of course, performance goals can be fun for a while. They can push you to achieve your best.
But it’s incredibly demotivating if they don’t work out. Every time you don’t achieve the performance standard, you may think you’ve “failed” (regardless of whether it even makes sense to meet that standard).
And performance goals put our happiness and satisfaction in the hands of someone or something else. Like pleasing a coach. Beating a competitor. Matching an arbitrary number. Having lots of social media “likes”. Or getting a gold star.
We never really feel like we accomplished something because we’re always looking over the fence.
Mastery is different.
Mastery emphasizes the process of getting a little bit better each day at a particular skill. You don’t expect to be a black belt a quickly as possible. But you do expect to progress… a little at a time.
Mastery focuses on the joy of learning and the value in intrinsic (inside-yourself) process. External validation becomes irrelevant when you’re focused on the pleasure of doing the activity itself. Mastery is gratifying because no matter what others think or do — whether you’re judged poorly or you’re outperformed — you can still feel good about your own personal progression.
Truly, mastery is motivating no matter what else is going on.
But wait, you’re thinking, I’m an athlete.
Or maybe: My clients are athletes. Athletes are defined by performance goals.
They might be during competition. However, during the day-to-day grind, the best athletes we’ve ever worked with have focused on mastery almost exclusively.
The intrinsic pleasure of a growth mindset, of learning each day, and of making improvements is what keeps them training for years. And top performance comes from mastery.
After a disappointing play, or game, or season, mastery-oriented athletes don’t question the value of the activity, or of themselves. They don’t feel like losers. They see losses as essential learning opportunities.
And let’s imagine a situation where performance can’t get better. Let’s imagine that an athlete is winning everything, performing their absolute best — at the very top of their class, with few competitors to challenge them. If there’s no one else to beat, what do you train for? Mastery.