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The absence of love is fear!

June 12, 2015

As a high-performance coach I have the opportunity of working with many professional athletes. One of the most difficult challenges they face, is how the very things they love gets poison. There’s never an adequate definition for what love is. But what we can find out is what love isn’t! When I am speaking of this love I am not speaking about the love of external things. In order for there to be love there must be a two-way relationship if there is not if it’s one-way it’s pleasure. Love is not pleasure! The essence of love is relationship! False Love is basically a one way relationship. You can say I love my house, My car, cookies, ice cream. Whatever you do, love that can’t have a relationship with you will be of the ego self and eventually create conflict and suffering. What gives us the most pleasure will give us the most pain and a one way relationship is based on pleasure. Think of any psychological suffering you have in your life, and you will see what  gives you a tremendous amount of pleasure always leads to pain. The pleasure you get from it is something you become attached to and then in that attachment you FEAR losing it which isn’t love. The psychology of external control is a psychology based in fear because trying to control other people psychologically creates fear. When you try to control another person you are doing so because in your life you feel out of control. Being out of control you focus on things and people outside of you and practice criticism, humiliation, blame, guilt, and many other habits to control people. Human beings throughout history cannot come to terms with the flaw in external psychology. We all know this basic truth but refuse to see that when we are  unhappy it is because of a relationship in our life is in trouble. We make it about everything else because the fear of  seeing that truth create the  psychology that is preoccupied with evaluating others. When you look at how hard it is to change your self and you face that you come to terms with another truth the impossibility of changing others. This loss of power in their life,  often creates the cycle of doubt therefore  having little or no confidence to meet life  challenge. The next thing sphere does to justify its righteousness is to create the sorrow of self-pity. Most people lives in the sorrow of their own self-pity because they do not want to be responsible for changing their own behavior. All throughout history you can easily see that our greatest challenge facing human beings is our inability to get along with each other. Our daily relationships are filled with conflict insecurity and anxiety creating fear because feeling inadequate we choose the psychology of external control. When I’m working with many professional athletes it is amazing how the very tools that got them to the highest level they give up, because they can’t please the coach. Giving up on themselves entering the cycle of doubt they get caught up in their own self-pity and this kills the love of the game. Being  disconnect they often practice external psychology and push people away they need which leads to a character meltdown. This is often when so many athletes sleep around on their partners turned to drugs, alcohol  gambling and then I’m called in to help them put their lives back together. The greatest problems are not the drugs alcohol gambling or affairs the greatest problem is there disconnectedness from the people in their lives they love want and need. This state disconnectedness create the cycle of anger or depression which leads to the state of self-pity which is the source of all fear. In this state of self-pity we have tried hard to change other people and it doesn’t work and then we’re caught in greater self-pity. When you have love and you’re doing anything out of that love you’re full of passion creativity, and enjoy what you’re doing because one gets some sense of meaning and purpose which fuels our confidence. I Skype athlete from around the world professional soccer, cricket , Australian footy, NHL hockey players. The common denominator in all of these people is when they’re in the state of fear they Not only do harm to themselves, and teammates, they also poison the relationships with the people in their life they love and need the most in their personal lives. The source of all happiness which is our mental health, is the ability to bring all our total energy into the moment. In this moment we are connect to what we are doing is our way that we are able to respond adequately to the challenge before us. When you’re in a state of disconnectedness you are continually reacting to information taking it personally and acting out of one’s self pity which creates conflict and strength fear. When there is this connection there’s a deep sense of love and whatever action you do out of this love is a innovative movement. That movement bring it own order in the mind because it is  efficiency and effective action without regret. Love strengthen relationship which is the ending of fear between any single or group of people. In order to end fear, one must understand it.In that very understanding is the movement that ends fear! Helping athletes and organizations integrate this in their life opens the athlete, the team, the organization ,to unlimited possibilities.

 

Coachbri

 

 


The Happiness Trap

April 23, 2015

What is it that each human mind is looking for?

Humankind for centuries has gazed up at the stars has sought religion, politics, crystals, tea leaves,yoga, astrology etc…. Why? Since the dawn of time we have been trying to find out if there is something deep and lasting and true. Have we not been looking for something to assure us to equip us, with the feeling that we’re okay we’re safe. Most human beings are occupied was trying to find some type of security or gratification. Unfortunately for most of us pleasure and the avoidance of pain is at the root of our existence. We are all caught in a very miserable condition, the inability to have relationship! Therefore we are constantly caught in the cycle of unhappiness and then seeking a way out of unhappiness to only be caught in another psychological insecurity that lets us down and throws us back into our miserable state of confusion , insecurity and anxiety. Then for most of us dealing with the pain of relationship and in adequacy in ourselves return to drink ,drugs and entertainment. We spend so much time distracting our self by reading everybody else’s book or theory and refused to read our own book which is our behavior in relationship to others and material things. And then for most of us we get caught up in the biggest distraction of all the spiritual. Start creating false realities of supernatural existence because we do not want to face the lack of relationship and purposelessness of our own existence. When we face the pain relationship with other human beings and ourselves as well as our relationship to material things we feel a deep sense of superficiality an insufficient. Driven to the state by own lack of understanding we begin to seek God and or some refuge in some teacher, guru , therapist, or philosophy. We never really face the fact that the seeker and what he is seeking is in fact the problem and is the entity that needs to be understood. In order to move beyond ego-self, ego-self must be fully understood with all its chicanery images and expectations. What we do not realize is that this damaged was done in the early years and all the way through our lives.These were reinforced by the key relationships in our life as well as ourselves because most of us have been raised in an external psychological environment. Very few people are interested in their own transformation Unfortunately most of us are never given the opportunity to confront it until later on in life when we are totally distraught and let down by the people in life who are supposed to protect us and love us. Then when the breakdown happens we again look to them rather then examining our own mind and heart and see that very situation we were afraid of we have created. How disconnected you feel is an expression of how disconnected you are they are one in the same. For most human beings this is a shock because they do not see the damage of external control psychology in their life! Because the very parents and siblings you have were also crippled with external psychology. They to had little chance of surviving and freeing themselves from the misery of external psychology that was created by their parents and added to by themselves. Each one of us is doing life and is caught in the incoherencies of the psychology of external control. Raised in an alcoholic family as I have been and suffered through some sexual abuse those incoherence these go even deeper . When the ones you want love from or are supposed to give you love and care and support plus choose alcohol drugs etc it hurts! But the main thing that distorts your perception of who and what you are and who and what you’re looking for. These people who raised you are at the effect of own distortions caused by their pain of external control. You learn to create a world that rejects you and you constantly set up situations in your life the reinforce your not worth loving. What I hope I am conveying to you is that we have all experienced abuses one way or another but it amounts to the same thing. Everything thought creates within the field of consciousness which makes up your psychological self is the common denominator of everyone’s misery.
The miseries in our life keep coming back to us because of the significance we give to our thinking! The self who and what we is always the seeker of happiness. Happiness cannot be found in any direction self takes because it is a byproduct of loving connection! Love exists only when there is freedom from the thinking process itself. Seeing clearly your relationship to someone and something is based on the thinking process will always be a living hell. Relationship begins when one lets go of the thinking process and the totality of it, because in that process is anger, resentment, judgment,fear,insecurity hatred and violence. That very process is where we live our lives and then we get upset when that’s what we end up with! We are all caught in the matrix of our own confusion created by external psychology, no one can lead you out of this process it is your journey and very few people are interested in all this! Most human beings are chasing pleasure therefore increasing pain! That is also another story that self lives in. True happiness is not based on motive it is the result of a loving connection and the flowering of self-knowledge which is wisdom. Self-knowledge is not an accumulative process it happens in relationship and the ending of external psychology and all the pain it causes.
See you Friday night or Not!

brian


NHL and the changing of coaches why so much turnover?

April 20, 2015

Old-school coaching                                                                                                                                     ( please forgive my dyslexia)

NHL organizations are finding it difficult to find coaches that are able to connect with athletes and get the best out of them. There is lots of evidence pointing to the fact that long-term coaches, build more stable programs and success increases. However today more than any time in our history hockey has become an affluent game. NHL Players for example no longer have to work during the day and play at night! It’s no longer $100 to join the team, now parents are paying approximately 2000 to 20,000 a season depending on your level of play, that 20,000 is a conservative figure on some AAA stacked teams.
When you look at old-school coaching you get a direct and look at external psychology and today’s athletes no longer put up with it!

What is this external psychology? it’s basically humiliating athletes! It’s a sophisticated word for bullying. As a high-performance coach with over 200 professional athletes on my caseload you would not believe the stories I could tell you of how this external coaching impact players lives.

Old-school coaching has basically five premises that are forced upon athletes by the coach. Anytime these premises or conditions are forced on athletes the athlete disconnect from the coach as it kills the meaning and purpose to what they’re doing.
In the old-school coaching practice these basic habits of criticizing, screaming, humiliating, guilty, blaming, punishing, rewarding, just to name a few. An old school coaches believe that they can actually motivate people.

Most professional coaches do not receive any internal psychology training whatsoever, and as Larionov pointed out “the problem is more philosophical and starts way before players get to the NHL. It’s easier to destroy them to create.”

External psychology coaching is all about tearing the athlete down and then putting them back together while supposedly building character and is team building. You only have to read Theo Fleury’s book and see what coaches do that totally destroy the human being inside the player. This notion of external psychology breeds the environment of fear. Today’s players as in most workplaces will not perform in such environments.

Coaches today or having tremendous problems motivating athletes because motivating an athlete is impossible. If you can motivate someone that motivation is coming from the individual at a high cost. I’d love to ask some of these coaches if the wife is still complaining about certain behaviors they do and how many times they’ve talked to them about it but their husband the coach doesn’t change. Every time an player does something for a coach because they were bullied, they learn to dislike the coach a little bit more. This then leads to a broken,non-repairable relationship.

In the world of hockey today there are more external coaches then internal coaches which puts the game of hockey in jeopardy. It’s becoming far too expensive for owners to continually move coaches because players refused to play for that coach! Players underperform and then draft selections begin to look irresponsible.
Every time there is a coaching change the whole team has to go through the stages of storming, norming, and performing which takes time and is expenses because team play is relationship based.

This phenomena today is everywhere, employees no one no longer look for monetary gains to satisfy their needs they want something more from the workplace! Any idiot can buy skill, talent and a persons time but the player has to give you their work ethic, commitment and their creativity. Creating an environment based on internal psychology and the conditions for quality always gets the best out of people. You may not win the Stanley Cup every year but it least it puts you in contention.. Fans want to be entertained by skill, puck possession, creativity finesse, speed,intelligence that’s what sells the product of hockey. Hockey on a professional level is about selling tickets as hockey players are entertainers and compete for the entertainment dollar. If we’re going to compete for that entertainment dollar our product has got to be juicier, leaner, more creative and offer relationship at a higher quality than other sports.

The only way I know how to get athletes to perform at higher levels is to teach them internal psychology and the conditions for quality. This then puts them in a position with the acquired skills where they organically cultivate the relationship needed in order to be successfulThese relationships are internally driven and removing all external psychology Is paramount in building quality teams.

A majority of the coaches in the NHL are not the players that were the icons of skill and finesse and puck possession. To quote Larionov “Most coaches in the NHL weren’t offensive dynamos” From the article does the NHL crush the creativity of players by Greg Wyshynski cites three theories on why these coaches end up behind the bench.
One is nepotism the second temperament basically saying that these coaches are task Masters disciplinarians and screamers. The third theory he states that players like Kurt Mueller and Adam Oates make great assistant coaches and I believe is true. However Kurt Mueller and Adam Oates along with Wayne Gretzky could transfer their knowledge to the game if they learn internal psychology and began to practice it in their organizations. I disagree with Greg Wyshynski if any of our great finesse and creative players learn internal psychology they will become amazing coaches.
As a high-performance organization facilitator I have been coaching organizations teams for over 35 years I have seen remarkable change. People can change and by learning a new psychology which also needs to be taught to the wives and girlfriends of the players. These relationships are overlooked and their impact on the player performance Is paramount. We all know the saying happy wife happy life. The more players practice internal psychology with their wives and wives practice it with their husbands the quality of the hockey environment becomes more need  fulfilling.

Peter Senge in the book the fifth discipline tries to emphasize this by saying asking the question does your organization have a learning disability. The success in any team is based on that team’s ability to evaluate itself and adapt. Internal psychology teaches organizations from GM to coaches to players the map of change. I believe Wayne  was the greatest player ever, if he learned internal psychology he would be able to communicate his knowledge passion and understanding to the game and create dynasty.

Like Larionov said: It’s easier to destroy than create. That’s because you can see the steps to destruction better than the spark of creativity.

Coaching with internal psychology allows coaches and organizations to learn the conditions for quality. Quality is on the mind of most people in everything they do, they recognize it when they see it. If we want to compete with the entertainment dollar quality comes out of creativity.By learning internal psychology you can focus on the spark of creativity and learn how to tap into it! That will always sell a lot more of tickets!


What is happening to hockey in Canada?

January 20, 2014

What is happening to hockey in Canada? As you know, this has been a question that has been asked for decades. As a high-performance coach, I have worked with business teams, sports teams, executives, individual athletes, dancers, and actors from around the world in multiple sports and business venues. I think I have a fairly good understanding of what happens when we move away from a developmental mode and prioritize winning. The clear distinction between a developmental model and a winning model is that winning is about performance now, short term gains, nearsightedness and performance based with high pressure, and of course short learning time that creates huge gaps in learning.

A good developmental model on the other hand looks at long-term gains, farsightedness, low pressure, and greater learning time so that transitions within skills, knowledge, and execution can be accomplished.

 

What is wrong in hockey or any sport is always the psychology behind it. Every generation is part of the same old problem because the grass roots of the game are not found in the principles of coaching but founded on principles of “Win at any cost”. This winning at any cost is the result of parents’ self interest and greed. We sacrifice their children’s fun, learning, skills and development because of the money investment in their child, getting a scholarship, making team Canada, and, if you have son, the ultimate: making the NHL.

 

Having two sons in the NHL, both played junior hockey, both decided to skip university or college and it has been a good choice for them. However, as a high-performance coach it has been an interesting ride doing damage control with both my sons from the external control coaching that is rampant in hockey where winning at any cost becomes the premise for competing.

 

I have spent the last 35 years of my life as a high-performance coach traveling the world, dealing with coaches, athletes, and administration on how to have a more effective and competitive culture. In all the countries that I’ve worked in, I find that Australia seems to be light-years ahead in the area of sport training and ethics by fully committing to a developmental model for athlete performance.

 

One of the most respected and decorated coaches in Canada is a track coach Andy Higgins. What makes Andy so successful and what makes the athletes around him so successful is he puts the developmental model of the person ahead of the athlete. I don’t believe Andy practices any external psychology when he works with athletes. It is the psychology of external control that creates the downfall in any sport worldwide. Unfortunately hockey uses the axioms of external control and I’m just one of the people that helps pick up the pieces in an environment that is sometimes torturous to our young men. Every year I deal with 40 to 60 young men who end up in some situational crisis because of the coaching they have seen that is unbelievably detrimental to the athlete as a human being.

 

I have worked with many players in the NHL, AHL, OHL, AAA, AA, A…all the way down to E levels, helping them recover from the brutal coaches who use external psychology as their modus operandi. If you are a coach or a GM and are reading this article, it might be a good idea if you consider what’s being said because this is the psychology that is poisoning your operation at every level it’s practiced. And what is more difficult to understand is that there is a different psychology of internal control that people can learn but it takes longer to learn it but the benefits and payoffs are enormous and extremely cost-effective.

 

The consequence of external coaching results in an atmosphere of win at any cost. Therefore in that attitude it makes the parents, coach, athlete focus on outcomes rather than the process of constant improvement. The outcome of winning outweighs the process of developing

 

Brent Sutter, who has a keen eye from his perch as owner, general manager and coach of the Red Deer Rebels said “There’s too much focus on winning and losing at such a young age.” I agree with Mr. Sutter and I believe this statement to be true. However, that difficulty arises because of the psychology that is practiced in the grass roots of hockey in our schools, work places, homes, and all the way up to the NHL, is external psychology and boss management.  We fail to understand that our brains are conditioned to external psychology and it is part of our evolution that it exists and if human beings are going to take the next leap in our development, we have to change our psychology.

 

Teams in Europe who are developing their hockey programs will naturally catch up to Canada as all nations catch up to other nations in sports when they pour money into programs. Easily put, it gets harder and harder to win as other teams learn and improve. It is the same as the BlackBerry company, who once lead the market share, others catch up and it gets hard to be successful unless you do something different that your competition isn’t. It is the same as in the free-market: the competition gets better and better until you have to learn to do things differently and produce a better product.

 

Human society in North America is suffering with affluence. Where there is affluence, there is greed! Look what this greed has done to hockey! Because only the rich can play the sport, we have cut off a huge cross-section of young children who have always been the backbone of Canadian hockey. These kids, who have to grow up with tremendous adversity and triumph over so much, developed character traits that deal with pressure more effectively. So now the question becomes: how do you get the best out of kids that are spoiled and can’t handle adversity? Don’t get me wrong here – I think every child should be spoiled. Most of the kids that I see in my private practice for counseling aren’t spoiled, but they definitely have been raised in external psychology environments.

 

External control psychology is the psychology that destroys every family, marriage, sports team, and business team – anything to do with human relationship. One of the biggest signs of external psychology are its practices of blame or fault finding.

 

There are people, teams, and organizations that have taken that leap and very little external psychology is practiced. Organizations that practice external control kill creativity and leadership. My example of this is BlackBerry. I have been a BlackBerry user for years but you can see that they slowly fell behind because they couldn’t keep pace with innovation and creativity and leadership because they probably practice most of the habits of external control when coaching their people within their organization. External psychology is always at the root of every human endeavor that fails; you can’t have people be creative if they are in fear of losing their job, their sense of well-being, or their meaning or purpose for existence.

 

The TSN analyst Bob McKenzie noted on Sunday, “My theory is that it’s between the ears, Canada is fearful of losing.”

 

External Psychology is driven by 5 basic conditions that affect everything we do! If any of these conditions dominates your thinking you are an external control maniac, and eventually you will destroy the environment for yourself and others to be a successful team. These five conditions of external control are psychological habits in human behavior that are real weapons of destruction because they maintain our glorified self-interest and give us the feeling that we are right and know what is best for other people.

 

Condition 1. Human beings are conditioned to believe that you can motivate somebody my external means. This means that we are basically stimulus response machines. And we are not! Just because someone yells at me or mistreats me, I don’t have to mistreat them back. The counter condition of internal psychology is: I am not responsible for how other people treat me. I am only responsible for how I treat others.

 

Condition 2. External psychology believes that whenever I am upset or unsuccessful it is always someone else’s or something else’s fault. Human beings are blamers and we avoid responsibility for our part. The counter internal psychology condition we need to learn is that whenever something goes wrong or I am unsuccessful, I must look at what I am doing or how I’m thinking and change that and take full responsibility for my part in things. Unhappy ineffective people blame other people. Happy effective people self-evaluate!

 

Condition 3. External psychology teaches that whenever things go wrong or I am upset, not only is it other people’s fault but I go around wanting other people to change. The counter in internal psychology condition is whenever things go wrong and I’m upset I should change myself.

 

Condition 4. External psychology teaches that by the time I am a teenager I’m beginning to know what’s best for me. I start to individuate and become my own person and begin to choose my own friends, my own music, the people I want to hang with, and my sense of individuality. That isn’t the problem. The problem of external psychology in the fourth premise happens when I get this major insight that tells me not only do I want to know what’s best for me, I also know what’s best for other people. This is probably the most damaging premise of all because once you know what is best for other people and you shove it down their throat, they learn to dislike you more and more, thus you end up destroying the relationship with them. The internal psychology counter to this premise is learning that you only know what’s best for you and back off trying to think you know what’s best for other people – let them self-determine.

 

Condition 5. External psychology teaches that you are the house you live in, the car you drive, the amount of money in your bank account, the letters after your name, and your particular religious or political belief system. Internal psychology teaches that all you are is a human being. You have a right to be happy, a right to be here, a right to live the way you want to live but you are by no means more important than anyone else.

 

How these five conditions are practiced in your organization or on your team is self-evident. Below are the habits of external control where most people live their lives.

 

The most damaging of the habits is called criticism. Most people believe that there is such thing as constructive criticism. You have only to ask yourself the last time some person gave you some of their constructive criticism and you said, ‘Gee, thank you that was wonderful. Now I feel terrific and highly motivated.’ Criticism is a real fun killer because one of a human’s basic needs is to learn and criticism kills learning because criticism kills fun. Bobby Orr, in an interview with the CBC, commented about minor hockey not allowing kids to have fun. He indicated that coaches today put their own kids first, as their main interest. There’s a high-level of truth to that because of the conditioning of external control psychology.

 

The counterbalance to criticism is praise and catching people doing things right and giving them feedback after asking them if they want some feedback. Giving people feedback without asking their permission is disrespectful.

 

The next external control habit that people use in relationship is blaming. Human beings are blamers. We blame every time we are unable to really look and self-evaluate and be part of the solution instead of escaping the problem. Brent Sutter, making the comment that it’s got nothing to do with coaching, is again practicing external psychology. Coaching is definitely a huge part of the game.

 

The next external control habit is humiliation. People use humiliation to control other people. This is the essence of racism, sexism, and any sense of discrimination. The counterbalance to this habit is learning acceptance, it’s celebrating differences and allowing people to feel comfortable with what they value. In hockey, humiliation is used all over the place. Old-school coaching is about tearing individuals down and then so-called putting them back together. This philosophy is Neanderthal.

 

The next external control habit it is punishment. If punishment worked on criminals, institutions would be empty. Punishment deters cooperation, insight, and intelligence. You see this in the hockey world were coaches punish for losses using the old bag skate. Most old-school coaches find this militant mentality works because it satisfies their need for power and diminishes everyone else’s need for empowerment. Internal psychology teaches this: let the players determine where they have to improve and where the team has to improve and take full responsibility by generating practices that are fulfilling to the athletes, through discussions. Yes, believe it or not, the kids playing the game know more about the game than the coaches behind the bench. This is a hard reality for coaches the face. The coach’s job is to get the players on the team to buy into the game plan that he believes in, and using his best research of the teams they are playing, show the players he has the way to succeed.

 

The next external control habit is rewarding. Rewarding people to control them is the essence of how most people parent and coaches use to motivate. Rewards are often used within the business world and what ends up happening is people may like the rewards but dislike the rewarder. People or athletes get the feeling that the coach/manager is always dangling a carrot in front of the person’s face. The internal control habit is helping people identify one’s qualities to manage and creating environments that are need satisfying to build people’s sense of autonomy and skill. Learning or improving your skill set is its own reward.

 

The next external control habit is guilting. This again is often used as a means to gain control of people by getting them to do what you want them to do regardless of if they want to do it or not. Using guilt as a means to gaining what you want in a relationship will always cripple the relationship. The internal control habit is practicing self-evaluation through open, honest discussion that creates meaning and purposeful relationships and work processes to develop the skills, product, or situation analysis.

 

The next two external control habits go together – nagging and complaining. These external control habits destroy relationship but people often put up with them because they see the person as venting, which never corrects or changes the situation. People just tend to hide from people who are always venting or nagging. Nagging and complaining are just mental states that reveal a person’s lack of skill in coaching to address the immediate pressure in the situation.

 

 

If Canada wants to build a dynasty in hockey or if a team wants to become a dynasty at any level there are certain things that are a must.

 

  1. Train all people in understanding what external psychology is, how it plays out in the relationships with other people and the organization, and teach them a new psychology of internal control. This must be taught to every person within the organization. The people within the organization must commit to removing all external psychology language that shows up in boss management as a means to how they govern their organization.

 

  1. The organization must create a caring, safe, supportive environment that has the best interest of the people within the organization in mind. This means that the longevity and security of the people within the organization take the priority. You must rid the environment of fear and coercion. The easiest thing to do when teams are not performing is to fire the coach, or when the team is not performing trade players. This creates within the team the feeling of insecurity, and where there is insecurity and the survival need of people is threatened, you cannot create a dynasty.

 

  1. Meaningful, purposeful work has to become the forefront of every operation within in the organization. Accountability and improved performance have to being drawn out of the people within the organization in a way that builds relationship, support, and cooperation. The only way this can be achieved is by the people who are doing the managing practice internal psychology and remove all external psychology language and conditions from their daily practices.

 

 

  1. That open and honest discussion about quality and what quality looks like becomes the central theme within the organization. Nothing is acceptable but quality, whatever quality can be determined by at that time. This means that CEOs, GMs, coaches, and managers are responsible to create environments with players and employees to discover what quality looks like and how it is best achieved by constant improvement of the systems in place. Quality management is when coaches and managers all work to improve the system, never the employee or an athlete.

 

  1. Everything done within the organization always feels purposeful and helpful and good for everyone within the organization. There are very few teams that operate on all these five conditions but some teams do come close. In 2013 I did some work with the Detroit Redwings and I believe that the people running the organization understand internal psychology though they haven’t fully seen its necessity but it is behind the success of the organization.

 

The other difficulty with internal psychology is that it means that change has to happen from the top down. People have to really look and evaluate not only what they’re doing but how they do what they do and that brings about a revolution within the organization. People are terrified of change especially when they have to share power and responsibility with other people. The bottom line is that people don’t give their full effort unless they have power and responsibility in anything they do.

 

Let’s take a look at Wayne Gretzky, probably the most brilliant hockey mind that ever was. Wayne couldn’t coach because he doesn’t understand internal psychology. He really doesn’t understand how he pulls out of himself what he does and how he did because no one has ever shown him. If Wayne Gretzky understood more internal psychology and brought internal psychology to an organization, he would build a dynasty that would dominate the National Hockey League for decades. I would not say he would win the Stanley Cup every time but what he would do is put his team in a position where they could win the Stanley Cup and that’s what a good organization does, puts their team in contention. Internal control psychology clearly helps people and organization understand the factors within their control and also helps them to perceive the factors that are outside of their control and manage them respectfully. It would take approximately three years to turn an organization around completely and get them headed in the right direction practicing internal psychology. One of the most important facets of internal psychology is the realization that you can buy people time and skill but they have to give you their work ethic, passion, and creativity. Learning internal psychology coaches these three main ingredients out of athletes and employees but fear keeps most owners, GM’s, coaches, and managers in the dark ages.

 


Athlete’s Workshop in Kelowna

March 4, 2012


Coaching (Motivation, Punishment and Rewards) – External Control and the Poisoning of Team Culture

October 17, 2011

I often receive calls from coaches who, after being exposed to a workshop I have given or coaching with me, come to a point where they are pulling their hair out trying to either motivate some athlete or they can’t understand how players can be so individualistic and self-centered and choose not to play as a team.  What we don’t understand as coaches is how deeply we and the players are entrenched in the world’s psychology of external control. This psychology is the psychology of having power over other people as a means to cover up one’s deep personal insecurity. All throughout history, having power over other people has put humankind in a perpetual state of conflict and war.  External psychology, the hub of human misery in coaching, damages the team culture by slowly or sometimes quickly eroding the relationships between coach and players or players and teammates.

In any successful endeavor that human beings tackle, the ease and effectiveness of learning and succeeding is based on how well the people doing this endeavor get along. Players learn how to play together in supportive, caring environments at a rate that is ten times greater than in environments where coaches play head games, power trips, punish for poor performance, or reward for good performance.  This sounds strange in any culture to people who are external psychology people. They are lost when you tell them that honesty is the best policy, something they have known and have heard instinctively but is seldom practiced in their life. The exception would be for relationships in their lives that are very important to them where they tend to be more honest with themselves and the other person. Punishment is so ingrained into our psychology that whenever we don’t achieve what we want from ourselves or another person, we punish. If punishment were a method to correct behavior, our criminal institutions would be empty. But in fact most are full of repeat offenders.

Coaches have always asked me, without “bag skating” or doing “suicides” or other forms of punishment, how do you get a team to cooperate and play together?  When I ask them what they are doing now, they say the same thing they have been doing for years – bag skating (a horrible term for skating people to exhaustion), suicides (a horrible term for getting players to run till exhaustion), taking away their playing time (taking away the thing they love) – it makes no sense whatsoever.

Most GMs, except for a few, practice nothing but external control psychology on the coach because the common practice to achieve quality is misunderstood by most people trying to develop it. So coaches are often rewarded with bonuses for wins, which means that most people love the reward but hate the rewarder. Motivation is often very low for people you dislike. An external control coaching style often dangles carrots or gives incentives that destroy team culture because they often pit people against each other creating external pressure.  Most people feel this external pressure any time you feel that someone is trying to get you to care about something you don’t care about or see the value in. Then things become adversarial and one or both people practice the habits of external psychology.  These habits are always in the forefront of our minds because they are so well learned and we think they are part of our human nature. But they aren’t.

Below are descriptions of the habits in order to show you what I mean. Often when people get frustrated by other people they do one of the following external psychology habits. Remember these are well learned, not our nature.

1. Criticism. When you criticize another person you harm the relationship. This is the main habit that kills team culture.

2. Humiliation. Coaches often use this to center a person out and use them as an example. When teams use hazing as a means to build a team and you hear other athletes say that it does no harm and everyone goes through it, or “I made it through it!”, obviously they didn’t. If you asked them, “Well, why not haze in your family then, to increase your family bonding?”, Children’s Aid would take the children and they wouldn’t be allowed to parent. No loving parent that I know would willingly want his or her child to be humiliated.

3. Guilting. Coaches and parents often use this as a means to control the athlete or child and the damage it does it sets in motion the process of head games and the cycle of doubt, which destroys players’ and children’s confidence in themselves and others, which is one of the building blocks of trust.

4. Punishing or rewarding to control. This habit more the any other confuses the issue of how to get people to self-evaluate. Punishing allows and excuses the undesirable behavior because the person punished thinks, “Now that I have been punished, things are over and I don’t have to look any deeper at my behavior or take any responsibility for my attitude and effect on the team”. When the person gets a reward the same effect is created in a different way. It still becomes all about me and achieving my short-term goals and less about the how I achieve them. Therefore the person rewarded thinks “I can do a lot of damage and hurt the culture but I get the reward so I did what you asked so we are even, so go work on someone else”. Any time we focus on the outcome without deepening our understanding of the process, we move away from strengthening the culture.

5. Blaming. This external psychology habit is so pervasive in our culture we often don’t catch ourselves doing it. This is the habit shown when shit happens and players look at others or external things in the environment to excuse their poor behavioral performance. Coaches often use this habit in ways that blame player or bad calls by referees and don’t see how blaming anyone but himself or herself is acceptable. Blame is always about evaluating something you have no control over and therefore futile. Blame is an action that takes the pressure off in a way that harms the relationships and kills trust and collective responsibility. For a team to be a team, blame must be removed and when shit happens we all must see our part in it through self-evaluation. Blame is about evaluating others therefore killing the process of learning. Players that can learn a lot can perform better as a team than players who can’t learn.

6. Threatening. This is a habit that forces people to become defensive and instills fear. Fear is a quick motivator but a cultural cancer. It will only last a short time then the coach or GM places the player or coach’s job on the line and greater damage is done because when you attack a person’s livelihood you are messing with their means to survive and therefore strengthening fear.  Fear based environments create aggressiveness – not towards the other team but the players, coaches, and GMs that turn on each other.

I challenge any team at any level to learn internal psychology, teach it to your whole organization and within four years you will have not only a winning program but a team that is a contender for the cup on a regular basis.

Coachbri


Sport Testing Hockey Combine

June 21, 2011

hockey combine sm

My name is Brian O’Reilly. I am a high performance coach.  I have been working with athletes and teams all over the world and I am sick of the travel so I have dropped Europe and Australia and have been working closer to home, the U.Ss and of course Varna in Huron County. What I have been establishing over the last five years in the GTHL, OHL and in Varna is developing the total athlete program from the physical side to the mental toughness side (focus, behavior under pressure and practice and game prep as well as recovery from injuries, mastering emotional states, visualization and training character development, which helps athletes take the lesson they learn in a sport and transfer them over to life lessons).

I am now at the point of working with the Alliance in developing a high performance identification program which shall be introduced this season. I am holding the first hockey combine in Goderich during the first week of my Hockey Boot Camp, which is made up of players from A to AAA, NCAA, ECHL, RHL, AHL, and NHL players. I have worked as a National team coach for five years on the world tour and am a NCCP Level 3 coach. Over the past five years I have worked for the National Coaching Institute, under the direction of Andy Higgins, teaching internal psychology and motivation to Level 4 and 5 coaches. This On Ice  Hockey Combine is the first step in getting kids tested in the strict elements specific to hockey, and to start a database to see how we compare provincially as well as nationally. Please look at the image above and let your kids know about it. I will make all the results available to you.

If we don’t measure ourselves we are just guessing.!

Register here: http://www.sporttesting.ca/register.php

Hope to see you there! Bri


There is No Recipe for Winning

February 8, 2009

The coach had assembled the team in the small warm room. It was a place they met often. Today, because it was 38 degrees outside, the room was especially hot. Soon the air conditioner was put on and it quickly offered some relief from the heat.

The athletes arrived and we all began to debrief. The athletes first described the match and their thoughts on technical things of the game. The atmosphere in the room held many emotions and all were hiding what they really felt. They were in a space where self-deception was going to divert from the problem and render people ineffective. The chat went on for some time and everyone avoided the heart of the matter. It is amazing how clever people can avoid the real questions and what really is going on within a group of people who have no regard for their potential and living up to it.

Often athletes who have some success are the hardest to work with because they think they can win or have the recipe for winning. The fact is that there is no recipe and every journey must begin each day new and fresh and the level of commitment to what you are doing must be in place.

We put so much attention on the technical things, facilities, tools etc to get away from the fact of team building and the competitive edge. It is not natural to be competitive. It is something that is put into us. It is a ruthless thing that easily can become twisted in the sense of power over other people and situations that can breed a heightened level of superiority. This level of superiority invites fear because it forms an image of the player based on success. Any time you identify yourself with your performance in anything, you invite fear and it cripples the love of the game and destroys it. These athletes were masters at building all kinds of “off ramps” with each other and scared to really reach their potential.

The thing we fear the most is the work we must do to be an effective team. Excellence is learning all the factors that prevent you from giving your best effort. Many people dream of winning Olympic gold but only a handful have the heart to do the training to achieve it. Fewer have the insight that winning is a quest for excellence, the dismantling of their brainwashing to end all fear. Where there is fear, all love is not. Love and excellence is our natural state.

Coach bri


A Team Using Internal Control

May 28, 2008

It was a quiet evening in Osaka Japan. The subway had very few passengers and when one arrived at the station and entered into the night there was a tingling rain. The air seemed heavy and out in the night air the city seemed to be slowing down on a busy work week. The team I have been working with has been very successful and tomorrow we will play for a chance to win a medal. The players have been practicing internal psychology with each other after a long period of going external on each other.

No matter what we do in life, nothing is ever perfect. Perfection does not exist, especially in the psychological field. I think the Japanese know this because perfection is not the goal but constant improvement is. When dealing with material things, constant improvement has its place. But when dealing with human beings, perfection becomes a problem and a virus to relationship and performance. Each relationship we have in our life is undergoing a change. It is our ability to be aware of the movements going on in people that strengthens our relationship with them. Whenever you’re unaware of what’s going on in the people you care most about or people you have to accomplish some project with, you are greatly increasing the chance of conflict and ineffectiveness.

The problem in all human relationships is that they are a process, not an outcome. When you focus on the process, a relationship moves in the direction it moves and one begins to look at themselves with the awareness of how to stay connected to that person. When you focus on the outcome, you come to points in the relationship where you say, “we’ve already dealt with this” and this is a constant issue. When you see relationships in this way you are setting up the disconnect because, again, relationships are not an outcome. You can only understand human relationship by observing it, not criticizing, judging, or comparing. In relationships there is no such thing as a rival; every living thing is undergoing a change. We cannot understand that change but we can be aware of the movement of change and be sensitive to how it affects us and the relationship or relationships around it.

What actually happens with human beings is the constant need to create an environment that works for both people. Often when one environment doesn’t work for one of the persons in the relationship, they become critical of the other person or practice some external psychology on them. They do this instead of looking at themselves and their own self-evaluation and understanding what isn’t working for them and what they can do in order to change their environment so they can feel more effective in it. The last thing we want to be is ineffective. And when we feel ineffective then we often poison the environment and practice the habits that destroy the relationship or make the situation significantly worse. The way we poison the environment is when we practice any of the four premises of external control psychology.

The first premise of external control psychology is responding to information personally. When we do this we stop listening to the person and whatever emotion they are expressing, we take what they’re saying into our head and create the disconnect. Now I’m not saying that one should say whatever they want when one is upset. It is very important to be aware of the fact that when you are upset you should be very careful what you say because you can poison the environment. I would repeat a very old saying: It’s not what you put into your mouth that defiles you but what comes out.

The second premise is that whenever we don’t feel good we blame someone or some situation for the way we feel. When we do this what we are really saying is people and situations have the power to make or break me. Some people love to live into this because they then are not responsible for the situations in their life.

The third premise of external control psychology is this notion that when I don’t feel good and I want you or the situation to change. This is a very narcissistic view of the world and people go around trying to change other people and situations all the time to accommodate how they want it.

This leads us to the fourth premise of external control psychology that probably does more damage than all the other three premises put together. The third premise is about changing things outside of us and the fourth premise leads into people who know what’s best for them beginning to know what’s best for everyone. And often the problem is they let people know about it! And when you do this you make huge disconnections with people in a relationship. We often call these people ‘know-it-alls’.

If you look at the world truly you can see what’s happening in your own house, in your own backyard, in your own neighborhood, in your own town, city, province, and country. You will see one or more of these principles being practiced everywhere. All of these principles are really about laying a power trip on other people. When I take information personally it’s my way of fighting back from the person who’s come in at me. When I’m miserable and blame them for how I feel what I’m telling them is that they have to change, which is a pretty powerful position. When I start telling them how to change, well that’s even more powerful. But the most powerful of all is when I know what’s best for people or a situation. This is when you often hear the phrase, “Well who died and made you God?”

What I am really amazed about with this team is their development as people. They are true athletes that are beginning to recognize that the breakdown of other teams, even technically, often does become injected into the relationship between the people on the team. And then the team members start practicing external control psychology on each other. When this happens you can actually see the disconnect between the athletes and the team is unable to respond to pressure situations and therefore they can’t perform at their best.

It kind of makes a lot of sense: if you want to have and see people succeed in life, build environments for them that are caring, supportive and loving. Stay away from criticizing, blaming, threatening, ‘guilting’, humiliating, rewarding and punishing to control (just to mention a few of these external control habits!). Success in any endeavor that human beings do is dependent upon the health of the relationships. Healthy relationships adapt quicker than poor relationships. Healthy relationships support each other in times of trouble and find a way to succeed. Healthy relationships have broad shoulders, suspend judgment and are sensitive to the needs of the person. There is no arrival point!!! Just always live every day as a fresh beginning.

Coach bri


Driving Assholes Out of the Workplace

May 1, 2008

I see that you have a very different way of dealing with the girls that you coach. I pick my daughter up here, three times a week, and I love to come and watch. You seem to be different than most of the other coaches. You seem to be able to coach more performance out of them. The quality is higher when you are around. I am heavily involved in the business world, and responsible for many managers who report to me daily. I do know what it’s like to manage people, but one thing that seems to stick out is your relationship with the girls. They seem to really like you. I have watched this now for about two weeks. I’ve heard you are Canadian, and that you went home, and I never got a chance to talk with you. Now you are back, and I was wondering if we could have a beer some night and talk. How long are you here for?

I am just heading to China, and I’ll be gone for about a week. I will return to Australia, and then I’m off again for another couple weeks to Korea and Japan. I do have a couple of hours now, if you’d like to talk now.

That would be great. My daughter won’t be ready for a few hours, and I can go for a run later. Can we go across the park and sit on a bench there? It’s a very nice park.

Sure, I will meet you there.

Drive around to the back of the park. It’s quieter there.

When I arrived, the park was absolutely beautiful. There were several gum trees hanging over a pathway. Two trees seem to invite you with their large drooping branches, offering their shade from the hot sun. The magpies were busy, many of them making lots of noise to let you know that you didn’t belong here, that you were the intruder. We sat on this old bench made from wood that I had never seen before. The handsome friend named Jake told me that this bench was of the actual tree that actually occupied this particular spot. It was part of their conservation to use the trees and everything within the park to add to the parks caveats. He then began.

I am under a lot of pressure at work, and I manage many people. I have the task of reporting to three different upper-level managers, and all of them are very different. And at times, I often feel lost and frustrated and feel like quitting my job. I have talked this over with my wife and she feels I can do whatever it is that I feel I must do. She is very supportive, and I am well aware that quitting my job would have a large impact on my family. But the money is great, but most times my headaches are greater. I was wondering watching you, if there is a different way to do things.

Sir, if you can pick up what I’m doing that is different from other coaches, you have a sensitivity that says you are well suited for managing people.

I know I’m good at what I do and I do treat people well in the company. Most of the people I work for like me and they perform well. That is not the pain in the ass.

And what is it sir?

The assholes I work for.

Can you tell me about that?

Reporting to three bosses is hard, one boss is great. He is really smart. He never tells you what to do. He gives me advice when I asked for it. Anyway, he is always interested in me as a person. The second boss is a total lie, so he is always trying to find ways to put me down and point out all my growth areas, and he is such a hard ass.

Sorry, what is a ‘hard ass’ to you sir?

A person who is just negative and has always got to have things done his way. He has the last word, no one questions him and he is beyond learning except, of course, if it’s someone higher than him. Then he is a suck up. The third boss is a massive asshole in a different way. He is a Mr. Know-It-All and is always critical of everyone’s ideas. You can’t nail him down on anything. He was always complaining about a better way to do things. And when you ask him for his feedback he is always afraid of giving it to you. He never wants to put himself out there and take a risk but he expects everyone to take risks around him and then when they don’t go well, you receive his reprimand. He holds onto valuable information, and then things go wrong, even if it could be a quick fix. So he becomes the one that looks like he’s the knight in shining armor because he’s withheld information from people that’s critical to their success. He creates so much dependency. He constantly destroys the economy of people when it comes to product management. He never manages the product, he only manages the people. I believe he cost the company thousands of dollars, but he’s invisible to the CEO, because he constantly sets himself up to be the savior and is always playing head games with everybody. Sorry, I know that I’m venting!

No sir, not at all.

So, that is the life at work and I’m sort for talking about all of this with you, even though I never really met you. You just seem like a good person to talk to.

Sir, may I point out something? The culture in your work is so common. It is put together by an external psychology. This psychology gets in the way of quality all the time, and it is what most of the world practices, except for a few like yourself and the first person you report to.

Yet he’s a great guy and if it wasn’t for him, I would have left my job years ago.

Sir, what this guy is practicing is an internal psychology.

Okay, he’s different from others. What do you mean by internal psychology? Can someone learn this internal psychology?

Well, yes, of course, but very few companies are interested in it because it means that they have to really examine not only why they are doing things but how they are doing things.

But if you don’t do that, you don’t or can’t improve.

Yes sir! Internal psychology is the psychology of we, not I. The first manager you talked about does these things and so tell me if I am correct in my assumptions.

All right, this interesting!

First, he’s a friendly guy. He’s warm, sincere. You always know where you stand with him. You always know what he will do for you and what he won’t do for you and you trust him.

Yeah, that’s for sure, he asked, but he is also built trust in me. He is okay with me making mistakes as long as I own them and come up with a different way of doing things.

Good. Secondly, he never uses fear of threats, punishments or rewards to control.

Never, as a matter of fact. He is the reason I was promoted. He is always encouraging me to apply for new promotions and new parts of the job.

The third thing: He also works on improving the system and never tries to work on the employees by trying to get them to improve. He helps them get the learning pieces from their mistakes.

That’s for sure, you know this guy?

The fourth thing is always asking for best effort, and he’s always asking people to evaluate their own work.

Shit that’s amazing, it’s almost like you know this guy. Last week two employees that work under me came to let me know that they have had a session with that good manager. They decided they were moving in the wrong direction, and what they were doing didn’t have enough quality in it, and then they both stayed late and came in on the weekend and will have the project in on time.

Yes sir. The fifth thing is not only does he give his best effort, but he is always doing things that are constructive for everyone and for the organization. He is always throwing the light on what is the learning piece and focused in constant improvement.

That’s what I see when I watch you coach. Other coaches want performance, and then they lose it on the athletes. You just talked respectfully, asked questions, they respond, and you can see their performance produces higher quality. I heard another coach talking about you the other day, and he said he loves coming to practice and working with you, because the athletes work so much harder and are so much more coachable. I wondered if you did know this guy because you seem to be cut from the same cloth.

No sorry sir, I don’t but this I do know. It takes a very insightful CEO to embrace what it is that I’m doing. It is a business culture renovation, and most people fear change, because it means there is no room for hassles in the organization. When you teach internal psychology to the employees and managers, the assholes eventually get exposed. And they either jump on board by change, or they leave the company. These mean-spirited people hurt and poison and they are highly destructive to accompany in ways that most people can’t even imagine. Just as your first boss affects the company in positive ways, you can even imagine people who like people who work harder for people they like, but this is nothing new.

So, you teach this stuff to companies.

Yes sir, but very few CEOs are interested. It means you have to change in the middle, and then in both directions, up and down. So the whole organization changes in both directions.

Why do you say it starts in the middle? I don’t understand this.

Sir, in every organization, there is a core of people that do a majority of the work. Most of these people exist within the middle of the organization. All roles and positions in a company that is driven by internal psychology have equal value. It is important to change at the very core. The organization must identify the core people in every department, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the managers. Core people are the people that other people get along with and enjoy working for and with. These people have what is most important in any successful organization, and that is character.

Well, how do you define character?

Sir, the word integrity means integrated. Well integrated people are people who are able to give the knowledge and action their proper significance. What I mean by this is that you can have all the brains in the world but if you don’t have compassion, sensitivity, and awareness, you’re basically an ignorant person.

This is a very different way of dealing with people, but I do see what you mean. I would say what I like most about my boss is that there’s no bullshit. The way he talks and the way he speaks is without contradiction. The other two bosses say one thing and do another. There’s a feeling with the first manager that he’s always got your back and is not afraid to get to know what you think, why you think it and where it leads you. The other two really don’t give a damn. It’s all about them.

Yes sir, I know. Learning an internal psychology not only makes you a better employee, it makes you a better person, spouse or parent, and anything that brings integration within the individual develops his character.

This has been a very interesting talk. I want to thank you.

You’re welcome, sir.

Can we meet again when you’re back in Australia?

Yes sir, I’d love it, take care.

Coachbri