Outside the box: Ryan O’Reilly avoids penalties as he leads Avs in goals and toward playoffs

March 29, 2014

Outside the box: Ryan O’Reilly avoids penalties as he leads Avs in goals and toward playoffs

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly (90) moves the puck around Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)Zoom Image

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly (90) moves the puck around Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The Canadian Press

2014-03-28 18:34:00

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Not once this season has Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly cross-checked an opponent.

He hasn’t interfered, high-sticked, hooked, tripped, elbowed, boarded, roughed, charged, speared or slashed anyone, either.

Well, at least not while the officials were watching anyway.

The Avalanche are 73 games into the season and O’Reilly, the team’s leading goal scorer, has yet to be sent to the penalty box.

Making it through an entire season without so much as even an unintentional hold would be quite an achievement. According to the Avalanche, the last NHL player with a minimum of 70 games to go an entire season without a penalty was Butch Goring of the New York Islanders in 1980-81.

“Just a lot of good luck,” O’Reilly said of his penalty-free ways.

The player nicknamed “Factor” figures to be just that in the Lady Byng race, an award given to the player who best exhibits gentlemanly conduct.

And what better way to display that than by staying out of the box. Consider this: When Hall of Famer and current Avalanche executive Joe Sakic won the Lady Byng in 2000-01, he had 30 minutes in penalties. Last year’s recipient, Martin St. Louis, had 14 minutes.

“I couldn’t care less (about zero penalty minutes) as long as we win,” said O’Reilly, whose team is on the verge of clinching its first playoff spot since 2010. “If I get a bad bounce, I get a bad bounce and I’ll deal with it.”

He chuckled at the thought of going to the box in one of the remaining nine games.

“The boys would just kill it off,” he said.

The 23-year-old O’Reilly has had some close calls this season, where he thought for sure a penalty might be whistled on him. Like when he interfered with a Detroit player earlier in the season.

“I stepped into him. Probably should’ve been called,” said O’Reilly, who was Colorado’s second-round selection in 2009. “It depends on the game—some games they call everything, and some games they let a lot go. Just depends on the night.”

Honestly, has he high-sticked anyone, even accidentally, this season and gotten away with it?

“No high stick,” he said.

How about a cross-check the refs didn’t call?

“I don’t think I ever cross-checked,” he said.

Stick butted someone?

“Nothing like that,” O’Reilly said. “I can’t remember anything.”

His last penalty actually was April 21, 2013, when he tripped a St. Louis player.

And it’s not like O’Reilly plays conservative, either. He’s among the league leaders in takeaways this season.

“Ryan plays a very honest game,” teammate John Mitchell said. “Just because you’re working hard, doesn’t mean, ‘Oh, you’re going to take a penalty.’ He’s always looking for the puck first.”

O’Reilly is known for his devoted practice habits. Long after everyone leaves the rink, he’s still out there, picking up all the loose pucks on the ice.

Not by hand, of course, but by flipping them with his stick into a bucket. That little exercise comes in handy when he’s in the corners, prying the puck away from opponents.

“Young kids need to learn to play like him when they’re growing up,” said Mitchell, who will be back on the ice Saturday against San Jose after missing four games with a back ailment. “It’s not about going in there and getting that big smash, that big hit. I mean, it’s nice to get that bump. At the same time, you go in there and get a quick stick-lift and steal the puck.

“Those D-men, they’re going to protect the puck and take the hit. If you go in there thinking puck first, you’re going to catch some guys by surprise.”

O’Reilly’s season has certainly caught some by surprise. He’s always been viewed as more of a defensive forward, but has a career-high 26 goals.

“He’s playing a strong game,” Avs coach Patrick Roy said.

O’Reilly feels mentally strong, too, thanks to yoga. Before practices, games, even before bed, he’s doing some sort of meditation.

“A great way to practice focus,” O’Reilly said. “You’re always looking inside yourself to see the areas you need to spend a little more attention, or pay more attention to. I think it’s definitely helped with me, playing-wise and staying healthy.

“But I don’t think (yoga) has anything to do with no penalty minutes. I think that’s been lucky.”

coachbri I am in a difficult place full of anxiety, I can’t seem to get my mind out of this negative thought process can you help?

January 27, 2014


When you see that your mind is fragmented and it is always looking for new angles and new things to think up, your mind will continue to be out-of-control. You yourself must take full responsibility for your own internal life. What is the difference to be preoccupied with one problem of sex or another problem of whether you love Your girlfriend or whether you want to your sport  or thinking you’re a turnup. The whole futility of existence is created by thinking, thought moving in any direction is pointless and self-centered but it is the only thing that thought knows to do. This is the prison in which you are caught. The only way out of the prison is to see that trying to get out of the prison is the problem. To understand that you are the maker of the prison in which you yourself are caught is awareness that awareness is the ending of the prison. Most people believe they are their thinking process they identify who they are with their thoughts. Obviously you are not your thinking process just because you think you are Wayne Gretzky that doesn’t make you Wayne Gretzky. Thinking is always cunning and clever.  If I told you to stop thinking about pink elephants right away the only thing you would be thinking about is pink elephants. Thinking has it’s place only in technological matters and solving technological problems. The fact that thought is always chattering shows us that we have no space inside ourselves to understand ourselves and  in a confused state. Thought has built the prison of it’s own making called the self. That self is the accumulation of experience memory and knowledge stored in the brain that is always active and moving. Whenever one pays full attention to the thinking process without trying to change thinking slows down and will stop. Please do not take my word for it, try it and sees what happens. In the observation of thought, thought stops! To listen profoundly to what thought is doing and at the same time be aware of what is happening outside of you is the beginning of meditation. That meditation is the actuality of being present to what is happening within and without. You cannot practice this because any practice of this is just an action of thought to keep itself active, and the root to all of our problems. The art of awareness is to constantly be attentive to the fact that you are not aware, so that every thought as it arises is seen for what it is it’s origin it’s flowering and conclusion. Only when is the brain quiet so that the mind can act. That mind is not a personal mind, that mine is universal uncontaminated by the thinking process available to everyone. Very few people are interested in all this because they have to give up all of their assumptions and beliefs to discover a single truth. That anything thought creates is disorderly when it is outside the field of technology.

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.


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May 2, 2013


Coaching Athletes from the Inside Out

April 29, 2013

Coach Bri: Hi Coach, how are you doing today?

Coach2: Not so good Coach Bri, that’s why I have come to see you!

Coach Bri: Well what seems to be your struggle today?

Coach2: I’m so angry because we didn’t go to the second round of the playoffs and I believe we are a much better team than the team we lost to!

Coach Bri: Well maybe you were but you’re not now!

Coach2: I knew you’d say something like that!

Coach Bri: When did you think things began to derail or go pear-shaped?

Coach2: Well that’s what I’m here to figure out. I really have no idea!

Coach Bri: Okay let my friend I’ve known you for years and you’ve been coaching for years so I don’t but we need to rethink this!

Coach2: That’s why I’m here, I want to understand what happened!

Coach Bri: Okay, when did you start noticing a change on your team or in your team?

Coach2: That’s just it I’ve been racking my head about this and I can’t figure that out!

Coach Bri: Overall the players on your team, who are you most disappointed about or disappointed with?

Coach2: While I really am not sure, there are three or four guys that I don’t think played very well!

Coach Bri: When did you notice this, was it during the playoffs, that series?

Coach2: No, it was the last game of the series in the first round!

Coach Bri: Okay, what happened?

Coach2: It was our final game in the first series, what I remember is one player in particular showed up late. Now I have had many run-ins with this player during the season for his tardiness. I thought I had managed the situation very well and then he does this!

Coach Bri: What is the best you’re referring to?

Coach2: Well he’s always a kid who always pushes the limits on everything and I have to always stay on top of him and he was really playing well for us in the first five games!

Coach Bri: Okay what did you notice?

Coach2: What do you mean what did I notice?

Coach Bri: Hey, this is an old problem it sounds like you’ve done quite a great job with this kid but during the playoffs something happened?

Coach2: His attitude was changing and I knew it!

Coach Bri: So, what did you think when his attitude was changed?

Coach2: Oh shit, I remember thinking I don’t want to upset the apple cart now let’s just get through this round and everything will be okay!

Coach Bri: Now I’m going to ask you this question and I need you to answer it honestly do you think you can do that?

Coach2: Yeah I know what question your going to ask me? Who am I really mad at right?

Coach Bri: Wow, it’s close enough I was going to ask you: who are you choosing to be angry with?

Coach2: Well what you taught me my first response is I’m pissed with the kids but the fact is I’m really angry at myself!

Coach Bri: That is great self-evaluation. Tell me about being angry at yourself.

Coach2: I knew that this kid was having problems. He’s high-maintenance, he’s been a problem all year! But he has also been the player that made the difference all year, we couldn’t have won without out him!

Coach Bri: Are you sure about that?

Coach2: Yes, in those big games he was the one that always came through and set up the winner or scored that game-changing goal!

Coach Bri: Ok, so what have you learned?

Coach2: I think I made the choice to stop coaching him! Now I am angry because he knew it, I know it and I even think the team knew it!

Coach Bri: So what tells you that?

Coach2: I know I dropped the ball because that day he came in the dressing room the 2nd game of playoff I knew something was going on in him! And I didn’t do what I normally do was pull him out after the game and find out what it was!

Coach Bri: So, what were you thinking about?

Coach2: Just Winning!!!!

Coach Bri: So, what do you think the message was that you sent to him?

Coach2: Well winning matters more than him! But it does, doesn’t it!?

Coach Bri: I’m sorry I can’t answer that question for you! But I can ask if you were to do something different what would you have changed?

Coach2: I know where this is leading but I have a right to coach the way I want?

Coach Bri: You sure do! But what has happened on this team when you have used internal psychology with them and removed all the external control habits?

Coach2: Why am I pissed right now? I just want to say screw this I hate coaching and quit!

Coach Bri: Well isn’t that what you did? In some sense anyway?

Coach2: Yes, I know your right!

Coach Bri: Hey, I don’t want to be right coach! We are in this together. We started something with this team and you are and I were excited about it, and so were a lot of people. You did a great job but you know and I know that wasn’t enough!

Coach2: I get that! I’m just thinking how throughout the year you have been talking to me about quality and building an environment where they get it’s safe, and we care about one another and in a flash it can all come tumbling down, like a house of cards!

Coach Bri: Yes, but what would you have done different?

Coach2: Another thing that I am pissed about is the captain of the team asked me if I want him to talk to him. Then I said no! I told him I would and I didn’t. So I lied to him!

Coach Bri: Yes you did. Why ?

Coach2: Because I was afraid to upset the hockey Gods. No really, it was because I thought that addressing it wouldn’t be the right thing to do at this stage! You know winning and all!

Coach Bri: Can I ask you a question?

Coach2: Sure, but I am worried about what it is!

Coach Bri: What has been the main thing you have being working on all year with this team?

Coach2: Making sure we, in all situations, define quality and work towards it!

Coach Bri: Ok, so now you are telling me that if you were managing a company and you have this product it has taken you all year to turn it into a quality product but the day you are putting it on the market you notice a major flaw, you launch it anyway! And hope for the best!

Coach2: I wouldn’t have a job long if I did that! I get your point!!

Coach Bri: So what  would you have done different?

Coach2: Why do you keep coming back to that damn question?

Coach Bri: I can ask it another way? What did this situation teach you?

Coach2: Well, it taught me a lot of things. It reinforces how important environment is-all the time, it tells me about constant improvement, it tells me about taking responsibility for what I do, and the importance of relationships in all situations no matter what!

Coach Bri: That’s fantastic my friend, we have come a long way!

Coach2: I think I need to go back and do some more training. This stuff is a lot deeper than I thought. There seems to be all kinds of layers to this internal psychology.

Coach Bri: Yes Coach, we’ve scratched the surface!

Coach2: Thanks so much for your help Coach Bri. I like the fact that I can always be authentic and pull out the bullshit with you. This sure is challenging!

Coach Bri: Yes, but you love it! It’s all about the quality of the relationships.

Coach2: Touché

Parenting is One of Life’s Blessings

April 29, 2013

Parenting is one of the greatest things we do as human beings. Parents truly have a chance to really make an impact in this world. However, parenting is such a difficult task that very few people want to do it or can afford to do it because they have to work to earn a livelihood. There is nothing more need- fulfilling, that I can think up, then when you have a successful relationship with one of your children.

In my life I am blessed with four amazing kids, however, I trusted my wife on how to raise those kids because of the background that I came out of. There was a lot of external psychology practiced by my parents on us five children in the form of corporal punishment or violence. Every time you use corporal punishment as a means to discipline, you are instilling the fear factor into your children. Any relationship that is based on fear is basically corrupt, disconnected, and ends up disrespectful. When the person you fear is around, you kind of walk on egg shells. You are very careful as to what you say or express.

Power-tripping people, like authority figures who use their power as a means to control others, use the psychology of external control in most of all of their life with the people in their life. The difficulty is when you parent this way, by the time your teenagers start becoming teenagers, they often rebel so strongly to gain control they put themselves at risk. Being a family counsellor for over 30 years often you see the same scenarios of parents who partied really hard when they were young and had very poor relationships with their parents. Now they come for counselling because their children are out of control and are partying, breaking rules and asserting their independence and the parents often want to kick them out. The situation often goes like this:

I ask them this question: “When you were young what was your relationship like with your parents?”

Response: “Well it was terrible. I didn’t like them at all!”

Me: “What didn’t you like about it?”

Response: “They were always so controlling and on my case!”

Me: “How would you describe the relationship you have with your child?”

Response: “Well it isn’t very good!”

Me: “What isn’t very good about it?”

Response: “Well they don’t listen to me, they don’t follow any rules and they’re partying too much!”

Me: “So what do you do when they break the rules and don’t follow your direction?” Response: “Well we end up in a huge fight and they usually go do what they want or storm out of the house!”

Me: “When you were a teenager, how did you deal with your parents criticism and telling you they knew what was best for you?”

Response: “Well I think I do know what’s best for my children because I’ve been through all this I know what it’s like to party get in trouble with the law because I’ve done it I know!!!”

Me: “I’m sorry but I didn’t ask you that question, my question was how did you deal with your parents criticizing you and telling you they new what’s best for you?”

Response: “Well I told mine to fuck off and I left home at 17!”

Me: “What’s your relationship with your parents now.”

Response: “We don’t have a relationship!”

Me: “So is what you are doing helping you to get closer to your kids and have a better relationship or is it pushing you guys farther apart?”

Response: “Well I guess farther apart!”

Me: “What do you mean by you guess?”

Response: “Okay, farther apart.”

Me: “Are you interested in changing that?”

Response: “That’s why we’re here!”

This is where I stop the counselling process that I use. The point is, so many parents go to counsellors in order to get their children externally controlled. They often believe that the counsellor has some kind of magic that will force the children to behave in a way that the parent wants them to behave. What the parent doesn’t see is that most of your behaviour is caused by impaired relationships in a person’s life where they can’t satisfy their psychological needs and are in some type of pain. As parents it’s our job to stay connected to our child all the way through their life so they want us in it. I counsel a lot of seniors in old-age homes that are so miserable because their family has nothing to do with them because of the external control psychology they practiced with them as children.

There is hope however, and that hope is that we can learn a new psychology of internal control. I have given my life to this and I see how powerful it is when people practice internal psychology and the relationships in their life improve. External control psychology is the psychology that runs most of our schools, most of our businesses, most of the coach-athlete relationships, and unfortunately most of our marriages. This damaging psychology is the source of all the mental illness in our society. Once you teach people who suffer from mental illness a new psychology they are able to satisfy their needs more effectively and they give up their mental illness. To most people this is an absolute shock because the medical world is trying to establish a scientific basis for behaviour by creating the myth of chemical imbalance in the brain. Fortunately, there is a tremendous movement within the American and Canadian counselling association, a body of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counsellors that are now speaking out against the pharmaceutical industry.  Finally, we are exposing the myth of chemical in balance and mental illness, and the pseudoscience of behaviour that psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies have produced for the sake of profit. You only have to go to YouTube and look up psychiatry the hoax or psychiatry and pharmaceutical companies and you can see a host of information exposing this scam.

Parenting is one of the greatest opportunities we have in our life. We develop and nurture our children’s character when we practice internal psychology.  This internal psychology empowers people with choice while also empowering them to learn and embrace failure as a means to success. External psychology empowers towards self-destruction because it is used on children to dominate and humiliate which destroys their character.  People who have no character live a life of fear and anxiety because they have not developed the internal strengths or internal processes to learn from mistakes. How sad is that that our children can’t make their own mistakes learn and grow.



Choose a Remarked Relationship

April 29, 2013

Internal Psychology and Building a Dynasty

April 24, 2013

I have been coaching teams for over 35 years. One of the most difficult things to understand is why, in most situations, the coach, the GM and the owners don’t understand the complexity of building a dynasty. Dynasty-building isn’t something that is controlled by external forces; it is completely internally driven by the people in the organization all the way down to the coaches, players, trainers and even the people who sell tickets, the ushers and the people selling refreshments.

The goal of any business is to make money by providing a service or product that is of the highest quality at the lowest possible cost. In the area of providing entertainment, especially in sports, you are trying to sell fans an authentic, quality experience. The only way you can do that, game in and game out, is to make sure that the people providing the experience, from GM to athletes and all people involved, are on the same page practicing a psychology that is authentic, empowering and connecting.

Humankind has been using a faulty psychology of external control as a means to become successful. The psychology will offer some success in many areas but it takes tremendously strong people to be able to withstand the damaging effects of the psychology within any organization. Eventually what happens is you get people in the organization that are the axiom of external control and people no longer want to work with them, so they stop performing or look for work elsewhere, which is again very costly to an organization.  I have been training teams and organizations with internal psychology and it does create enormous problems with in an organization. The biggest problem of all is that it exposes the people within the organization that our boss managers.  These boss managers practice the five conditions of external control that end up damaging all the relationships within the organization, eventually leading to failure. These five conditions of external control are interwoven in the psychology of external control where we practice the behavioural habits that are the source of the dysfunction and the motivation killer.

If I were to ask anyone a question about where in their life they have had the greatest success that is long-lasting, most people would say with their best friends. Now why is this so? Is it not because when you have a best friend the psychology you practice with that best friend is a psychology that connects you to that person? Your best friend is a person who doesn’t practice any external psychology on you whatsoever and it’s the habits of external control that would poison the friendship. The reason why someone is your best friend is because they do not criticize, humiliate, blame, punish or reward you in order to control you. If you go to a best friend and you have a problem when you give them the information about your problem they don’t jump down your throat- your information isn’t a stimulus to them. Therefore you feel listened too. When you’re having a difficult time, your best friend doesn’t blame you for your misery. They may ask you questions and help you sort that out. A good best friend never tells you how you have to change they ask you what you would like to change. Best friends rarely know what’s best for you, they always help you discover what you think is best for you and they provide the support you need in order to test it out. Best friends also don’t take the credit for your good choices, they put all that credit on to you and are often proud of you for what you’ve accomplished.

When I teach internal psychology to teams it doesn’t take long before the athletes come to this level of empowerment because they truly understand what human performance is from the inside out. They also begin to see that in any situation regarding human relationship there are choices that take you towards being a better team and choices that take you to becoming a disconnected team, and disconnected teams fail.  In everything that human beings do, the success of what they do is determined by the quality of the relationships with the people they are doing it with. Most human beings in any job they do, they do it because the money they receive satisfies their needs to survive in the world in a way that is with their own comfort zone. If you are apart of a professional sport, the window to earn a livelihood is often very small and therefore, survival is on your mind more so then a person you is who is in a steady career. Because the window of opportunity is very short, it is more important for coaches and GM’s to change the psychology from external control to internal control, because it fosters the relationships needed to provide a high-quality, authentic experience for the ticket payers. Teams that can provide an authentic, intense sport experience will often engage the audience in ways that get people to get behind their team.  The importance of relationship is astronomical.

Like a good marriage there is nothing more satisfying than to be in a relationship with your employer where both people are happy with the level of empowerment, which provides a quality experience for the ticket holder. Who wants to work hard for a person who criticizes them, blames, nags, humiliates, centers them out, or continually knows what’s best for them?  Who wants to work for an employer that doesn’t have their best interest in mind? In helping one small business in the community with a scheduling problem, I suggested that the employees make up their own schedule and they did. It empowered employees to get along, work together and figure it out. Within a short period of time the scheduling issues disappeared.  Learning internal psychology is a difficult thing to do because we are so deeply conditioned when things are not going right in our life to practice external control. But we can learn something different and if you do your organization will thrive and your level of happiness will increase, because the new way of doing things will satisfy more of your basic needs.


Conflict and the need for change

April 18, 2013

At the heart of every human being there is the fundamental need for change. The only problem is this change within our consciousness must come about through the process of insight. Most human change that happens now is the same as it has been in our past; we seem to only change in the field of technology.  For example, thousands of years ago there was the wisdom of the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, Copernicus, Newton and then up to this date Einstein, Feynman, Bohm, Bohr and, of course, Stephen Hawkins. It is quite evident that humankind is willing to shift theory and technological matters. From the fact that I began this article on a smart phone instead of a painting in the wall of the cave, one can see the linear progression within technology.

However, for as long as we’ve been on the planet, the most difficult thing for human beings to do is to get along with each other and stop all the wars, the hunger, the deception of our politicians, the self-interest of multinational corporations, our own personal greed and violence with each other.

When we speak of human beings needing to change that change that is needed is deep within us. We know the ails of being greedy, violent and self-centered, yet each generation repeats the same pattern of the generation before it in an enthusiastic fashion. We still cannot solve the riddle of how to get along with each other. One of the institutions that is supposed to bring about some sense of stability within human relationship is marriage. Marriage is now at a divorce rate of close to 60%.  In the past 50 years we have had genocides that parallel what Hitler did in World War II and response to these genocides has been minimal because they happened in places where US or less powerful nations had other interests or no interest. Our school systems are loaded with kids that are dropping out at phenomenal rates and education is becoming something only for the wealthy. In my work in schools in Canada and abroad, the relationships between the educators and students are full of conflict. Education has become a process where the education is about fitting in to the economic environment and not about developing the whole or total person.

In the area of mental health, the client patient relationship is now determined by pharmacology. This is probably the greatest dehumanizing process humankind has faced in his evolution. When you convince people, without any science at all, that they have brain disorders that are physical in nature and convince them that they need brain chemicals to fix their disorder, you create a travesty deeper than the Holocaust itself.  My wife and I, running a group home from 1995-2012, dealt with children referred from many children’s aid societies that came with long diagnoses and all kinds of brain drugs. Once we got the kids off the brain drugs and away from psychiatrists things seem to improve in their lives and we were able to teach them some internal psychology that allowed them to heal themselves and make better choices.

Another important area that proves humankind’s level of deterioration is parents’ inability to get along with their children through creating environments for them where they feel loved and have a sense of autonomy.  A large aspect of my family practice is counseling families with teenagers that are out of control.  In most cases, the psychology that the parents practice on the children and the psychology that the children practice back on the parents is the root of the difficulty.

Another important component of living your life is finding a place where you can work and earn a livelihood. In the workplace most managers or bosses practice external control psychology on their employees, which brings about great unhappiness within the relationship.

Relationship seems to be the cornerstone of humankind’s existence, but unfortunately we are having tremendous difficulty bringing about relationships that are free of all conflict and that nurture and create a level of effectiveness that works for both people.

We can’t seem to get our heads around the fact that society is human relationship in action. We have divided the world into the world of the ego self, and the outside world at large, and then add the spiritual world somewhere either out there or inside us.

This ego self is made up of personal content that one receives from the outside world, such as your culture, family, your name, or the environment you were raised in. It is this content that gives you a sense of who and what you are. It is all put together by the psychology of external control. For example, you have beliefs and values and your own contradictions within them, and therefore as human beings we are at war with ourselves. We seem to live a contradictory life- we want one thing at one time and then behave in another way that contradicts what we say we really want.

You can see this more evident in the outside world because everyone seems to want peace in the outside world, but everyone behaves in a way that sets up conflict. Through the clash of ideas, the class of culture, the clash of beliefs, the clash of values, the clashes of identification, all of this constitutes one bloody big mess.

Then, the next thing we do is to become romantic and philosophical and bring into existence some supreme being outside the real world- a world of the spirit, a world of God, or some supreme human being that is going to fix all the planet and fix all the problems of humankind.

Every human being has a center. If I were to ask you who you were, you would tell me, “I am Canadian” or, “American” or, “Russian,” and that is based on outside knowledge that you have a simulated. If I asked you to tell me about yourself, you will identify yourself with the knowledge you have gathered from the outside. That knowledge contains your political views, your religious views, and all the content of the things that you value that you have gathered from the outside world. The self that is you is in fact in your life suffering from the basic human problems that we all have like fear, loneliness, jealousy, hatred, prejudice, violence, and conflict. And so far, you have not been able to solve any of your personal problems in relationship. They always come back and will come back to haunt you. You have not changed fundamentally and therefore, humankind has tried to invent a system outside of itself called communism. Not being able to find a new psychology, we have shifted our attention to solve the problems in the outside world and we haven’t been able to solve one problem in the outside world regarding human relationships. The ego self, being in the state of disorder and realizing it cannot change itself and its own psychological problems, tries to fix the world outside. We have failed miserably at trying to fix the problems in the outside world. The fact is that we can’t co-operate with each other to fix the problems in the outside world, so we invent a spiritual entity and look at that for change. Man’s greatest deceit is his fixed position of self-inflicted misery within himself, the outside world, and the hope in God.  Hope is sowing seeds of change so that we don’t have to take responsibility for our lack of relationship with each other, the earth and ourselves.

So the questions become how do we really change ourselves and where is the crisis that needs to be changed? That crisis is within our own consciousness. That consciousness is the content of who we are, and what we think we are is put together by the thinking process itself. Thought forms an entity called self, in this self is the all-important fragment of our consciousness that is superior to all other fragments within our consciousness. It is because our consciousness is fragmented that we have developed a world that is fragmented. Humankind really believes that with the right type of knowledge mankind will be able to live peacefully. But that is one of our greatest delusions. Knowledge is not the saviour of our fate; it is the cause of our misery. We have more knowledge now then we never had, and all that knowledge does is maintain our division and disconnection.  We are divided inside ourselves because we have identified who we are with the syncing process and the true existence of our being is not a thinking process, it’s a feeling process-an awareness process. Knowledge prevents awareness and handicaps us to observe and face the challenge that is relationship. Because we are divided within ourselves and in conflict within ourselves, we manifest our external world based on the same conflict. The world inside me becomes the world outside of me and the movement between the two is the misery of my condition. All human beings are caught in the never-ending cycle of trying to change. Yet all my life experience in relationships comes to the same point where I feel and live into the lack of relationship. It is the feeling that my life goes on smooth sailing then some how I am back disconnected to the people and relationships in my life that I want and need.  Then, being frustrated with my inner life, I tried to change the world outside of me. Then, when it becomes completely pointless because the outside is too massive to change, I invent a relationship with a self-invented God. Whatever image I have of the divine, it is created by the think process, which is the self.  The ego self, as in each generation before, has invented some utopia to end the inner conflict, but it only increases it. Each individual self refuses to see that his consciousness is put together by the content of thinking. That content of thinking is the cause of all my conflict in any relationship. The same process occurs in the world outside of us- the content of my thinking is in conflict with the content of someone else’s thinking and this process leads to division and violence. The fact is, I have to ask myself a fundamental question: if my content of consciousness is to change how will it change and what will bring about that change? Humankind has been trying to change human consciousness forever through the effort called will. These are the ways of the self. Something that creates conflict and self does so because it’s put together by thought. Thought can’t be the thing that ends conflict. Where there is effort there is will and that will is the result of resistance within consciousness. The ego self is always trying to be about a change within itself, but it cannot. To see this is to give up trying to change and become a witness to what is going on inside of oneself and face the music of the disorder of thinking. Only then can there be a new movement unrecognizable by thought and self.