In this Season Finale episode of the Full Force Life Podcast–Coach Jason takes the hot seat and gets interviewed by Special Guest Host, Shane Austin. Shane is an Extreme Focus Coach and Professional Quarterback who questions Jason on the power of state management, dealing with adversity and creating a compelling vision. Full of fun, laughter and insights from two high-level athletes and mental skill trainers–an episode you don’t want to miss.
We are doing something definitely different, something new. With the wrapping up of the World Series, I’ve decided to call it a season as well as far as the podcast. We’re going to be taking a little bit of a break over the next couple of months. I’ve got some really cool projects that I’ve just started doing. Something that’s going to help serve young athletes to develop these mental skills to take the big speeches and the motivation and everyone who talks about why mental skills are so important, why the mental side of the game is so important and actually put it into a format, into a training system. An online program that is not going to just be about why it’s important or talk about how other athletes do it, but do a step by step program that is going to train each athlete who follows along. It’s going to build. It’s going to strengthen. It’s going to develop their own mental skills. It’s going to condition their peak state.
What I wanted to do for this last episode of the season is bring in a special guest host and interview me for a change. Let me take the easy side of it and I don’t have to come up with the questions or take the notes and just follow along. At first, there was no else I’d rather ask than Shane Austin, Extreme Focus Coach but also a professional quarterback. I keep seeing the work that he’s doing. As time goes along, he and I keep becoming better and better friends as well. I love how he sees things, how he helps people, and just the true leader that he is whether it’s on the field or off of it. He’s an impressive dude. I asked him. When I asked him he’s like, “I love to help you out but why do you want me to interview you? Why don’t you just talk like the normal ones?” There were some feelings inside and I knew that being asked different questions, I believe you want better answers, you need to ask better questions. Sometimes I talk, I talk, I ask myself questions all the time about how to better help people, how to better run my business, how to live a higher quality of my own life. Sometimes we keep asking ourselves the same questions over and over and over again and I didn’t fully get it.
I knew that this was important. It’s something I needed to do was that bring someone else to come interview me because what I found out after doing this podcast which is phenomenal, you’re going to love it, we have a freaking blast on it. By being asked new and different questions, questions in ways that I would never ask myself, new stuff started coming out. He put me in a different state. When you put yourself in a better, a higher quality state, a peak state, you get new insights, new distinctions. Better distinctions than you’ve ever had before. Him leading me and taking me to that place, I was able to articulate. Just remember, recall information that I hadn’t thought about in years. That was why I want to have a special guest. That’s why I asked Shane because I knew Shane would ask some pretty darn, intelligent questions and be able to pull and extract some new ways of helping people, some new stories, new ideas. I think this is going to be an episode that you’re going to love, you’re going to want to listen to over and over again. I’m just smiling thinking back to it as well, just the amount of fun that he and I had. Big thanks to Shane Austin, Extreme Focus Coach and former guest on the show. We were thinking back it was episode number nine, more than almost 30 episodes. What a blessing, what a gift to be able to do this for so long.
Probably, I’m not going to take too much of a break with the podcast. I’m going to do plenty of recordings so we can hit you guys strong with great guests, great content come sometime in the spring when the seasons are kicking back up on both in the softball, baseball world, and other sports as well. Feel free. Repetition is the mother of all skill. Go back. Start the podcast all over again. You’re going to hear new things. 38, 39 episodes, you are a totally new and different person than you were six months ago. When you go back and you listen from the beginning, you’re a new person and you’re going to hear new things. New things are going to be relevant to your life. New things are going to be important in your life. You’re going to start picking up and making your own new distinctions. I cannot wait for what’s in store for you in 2018. Not only with the podcast but with the online training program and a lot of the other things. The peak state clinics that are beginning to pop up all across the nation, exciting things. I just feel so grateful, so blessed to each and every one that has helped me along in this journey and that includes you.
Without any further ado, I guess it’s time to call up our special guest host. He can make the introductions on who is this 15-year pro, former Texas Ranger, very large guy who loves to talk. We will see you on the other side.
Listen to the podcast here:
Guest Host Shane Austin interviews Jason Botts on Peak State
This is Shane Austin, a special guest host on the Full Force Life podcast. I’m excited today because we get to turn the tables a little bit here. Jason is usually the one hosting it and he has given some great questions but now, the tables have turned. Jason, you are now the passenger. This is my show today. I get to ask you some questions. We’re going to pick your brain a little bit today. Are you ready to go?
When I wanted to do this special guest host thing, there were thousands of people that I probably could have picked. I wanted to reach out to you because I knew you could deliver and I’m glad that you are proving me right.
I’m a little nervous. You put a lot of pressure on me. Hopefully, you can coach me through how to handle pressure. Maybe we can get through this together.
That’s why I picked you because I know you can handle pressure. All those late game comebacks as a professional quarterback, I know you can handle. When the clock is ticking, I know you can come through. You are the man to be put on the spot. I do know that.
I was fortunate enough to be on your show as a guest. It was a while ago. I think it was last March. I think it was all the way back at episode nine. My background is in football. I also do the Extreme Focus coaching. Jason works with a lot of baseball players but today, hopefully we can bring in the best of both worlds and how we can apply it to wherever you’re at right now today. Let’s jump right into some questions now that you’re on the other end. I hope you’re a little nervous. Maybe I’ll just tease some up at the beginning, give you some slow pitches but then I’m going to start bringing in the heat and hopefully, we can get into some good stuff today. We’ll give you some slow pitches right off the bat. How are you doing today?
I am doing phenomenal. I’ve been just waking up in a great mood, great state. I’ve had the boys and we’ve got into this new routine where we get up, we get dressed, we get fed, and then we actually get to dancing. We have a little dance party. We hoop and we holler. Lincoln, my eight-year-old son, out of nowhere created a list of goals. It was dinner time. It was a Friday night. I’ve rented a movie and I was excited about renting this movie and he wanted to write down his goals. I was like, “We’ll go and do that.” Performance coach Jason was tired. Daddy was tired. I just want to sit down, finish my dinner, and watch a movie that we had picked. I think it was A Dog’s Purpose or something like that. Lincoln wrote down his goals and they were beautiful, beautiful goals. He wrote down what he wanted to accomplish by the age of eighteen. He wanted to deadlift 440 pounds. He’s really got into working out. I know eight year olds don’t really workout but in his mind, he’s doing his pushups every day. He likes to go on for runs and sprints.
His next goal was, “I’ll beat dad in a basketball game,” by the time he was eighteen. I’m like, “I’ve got to put that on my list that by the time Lincoln is eighteen, he will not beat me in the basketball game.” He put down the third goal was he wanted to score a goal in soccer. He just started playing soccer, his first year this year. He wants to score a goal. Number four was he wants to buy a Lamborghini. We started a Lamborghini fund in our Star Wars coffee mug. We’ve been putting in our spare change towards the coffee mug. What was interesting when we woke up the next morning on Saturday and the reason why I go into that whole explanation is we do our dance party and then I started teaching about the power of affirmations and reciting them out loud. He’s been going through the morning routine with me. I’ll bring my goals as well. We dance. We put ourselves in this great energy, this great state and then we read these goals. We were in the garage pretending that we’re driving a Lamborghini around and stuff. I’ve been on fire over the last few days after doing that with the boys. It’s just been absolute blast. That was a long answer to, “How are you doing?” This could really work out. I like this combination we got going.
If that’s not just a preview of how the depth we’re going to get into today, I don’t know what it is. I got to say your boys are going to be absolute beast. I can’t wait until he’s lifting 200 kilograms. I don’t know if he’s on the metric system yet.
That’s right. I know you saw the post because I didn’t say it was 440 but he didn’t. He’s initial writing it down was 200 kilograms. I was like, “Lincoln, where are you learning this stuff?” I was like, “The only reason why your dad knows how much weight that is, is because I spent four, five years playing outside of the country in Japan, in Mexico.” I can do pretty quick translations when it comes to going from kilos to pounds. I was like, “You’re really going to confuse a lot of people, Lincoln, if you keep using the metric system.”
I love that they are already setting goals. It just shows it doesn’t matter how old you are. These principles, everything that you’re teaching and coaching can really apply to any age and at any depth, which is so beautiful. Thank you for that post because that started off my day right. I was feeling some type of way that entire day, just in a good mood. If you’re not following Jason Botts on Facebook or Instagram or any of his social media platforms, you definitely have to. Not only is it great content but it is hilarious, some of the things that you go and post.
I can tell you I’m already going to see the problem that lies in today’s podcast. Maybe we’re going to have to make it a back and forth type thing. You talk about that and I just want to know, what’s your morning routine? The coach in me is starting to come out already. The podcast host is coming out. Give us an example of your morning routine on your best days.
I do wake up with affirmations like you talked about. One thing that’s been a struggle for me is right when we wake up, we want to just go right through our phone. We’re just drawn to it. It’s easy to do because there’s so much going on. It’s like, “What happened on social media? What happened to my emails?” All these different things and we allow life to just start dictating our day right off the bat. One thing I’ve really been practicing on is getting up earlier but also not touching the phone. Just being able to compose myself before the day starts so that way I can dictate my day rather than letting my day dictate me. I start it with the affirmations, end each day with the affirmations and saying, “I am,” whatever it is not, “I will be.” That’s one of the ways that I get my day kicked off. I usually go into workout as well and that makes you feel good and fuels you to the rest of the day. That’s a little idea of how my day starts.
I told you this is going to be a problem. I was writing down notes that entire time. I’ve already come up with other questions I wanted to ask you but let’s just keep moving forward.
I’m asking the questions here. This is my show today. This is the Full Force Life podcast by Shane Austin. One thing I noticed in following you and listening to this podcast, which is a great podcast, is you talk about state management. I want to ask just if you can dive in maybe more depth on that and how you get into that peak state or what that really means to you.
Thank you for listening and thank you for mentioning that. I appreciate that. When it comes to state management, when I do the travel, I do the speaking, I do the clinics, one of the first things I always explain is I get everyone to raise their hand if they agree with me. I try to get them to buy-in to this belief. From your past experiences, when you think of your best performances that you’ve ever played in and people who are unfamiliar but we call them peak performances, the best of the best, the top of the mountain, the peak, you only can have those peak performances when you put yourselves in your best state. I call it the peak state. I have this belief that says, “You’re never going to outplay how you feel.” A feel is a broad term but think of it you’re never going to outplay your attitude or the mindset or your mental preparation, the level of focus you bring, and the level of confidence that you bring. All this tie in to what I call the peak state.
The higher the level of the peak state that you can bring to it, the chances are you’re going to have a better performance. It’s not guaranteed but the one guarantee I can say and I’ll ask this question to the group as well is if you’re in a defeated state, we all know what a defeated state is, and we know what it looks like. They have their head down and their shoulders are slouched and their breathing is shallow. We’ve all been there before. Even professional quarterbacks, professional baseball players, we get defeated from time to time. When you get to a high level though what great athletes are able to do is they keep it shorter. They’re able to keep those times when you go into the defeated state. Instead of it being three hours, you’re there for three seconds and you’re able to snap yourself out.
When I talk about state management is how do you manage how you’re feeling? If you go to a defeated place because you just struck out again for the third time, how do you snap out of it and put yourself back into a peak state? For me, there’s a couple of different things that you can do. When I travel around to the clinics, I teach four of them. One of them is the ability to let go of everything. They know about RESPA. Shane, you know about RESPA. It’s teaching a very specific breathing pattern that I started doing now. If you’re able to breathe deep and full, it automatically lifts your body up. You can’t be head down, shoulders slouched, and take deep full breaths with the breathing pattern that I teach. It’s impossible. That’s the first thing. It lifts your body language up.
The next part is learning how to control your body posture. We described what a defeated person looks like. If everybody makes in their own mind what a confident person looks like, we all have this image. We know what it feels like. We’ve been there before. Their head is up. Their shoulders are back. They’re breathing full and deep. They have this great thoughts going. What most people don’t realize is your body language, your body posture is in this cybernetic loop between different parts of your brain, the confident part of your brain. Every time you’ve ever felt confident and happy, you’ve been standing tall and shoulders back and your head is up. That confident part of your brain has been working along with it. It’s been linked together. When you’ve been in a defeated place and a poopy state, as I like to call it with the eight and the six-year-olds that I have, the poopy state, the defeated place, your head is down, you’re breathing shallow, your shoulders are forward and just that defeated part of your brain and we’ve all been there before. We know what it sounds like. It’s slower. We have these worst thoughts that we’re not good enough or that we suck. We know that voice.
When we’re able to change our body language, we stand up taller and our head is up. It automatically triggers that loop and it reactivates that confidence. That part of our brain that sees everything in a more positive light. It sees things how it is. It sees things a little bit better than it is to give us direction, to give us that motivation. Just that belief that we can do it. That is just a small taste of what I call state management.
Body language is what I’m getting more and more fascinated. It’s not a matter of performing well before you’re allowed to carry yourself confidently. It’s more when I’m learning how to train young athletes is carry yourself confidently. Put yourself in that feeling of confidence and you’re going to develop a competence that’s going to give you an even deeper level of confidence in your skills. Shane, you go through adversity. You go through the setbacks and trials. If you’re able to show up, be more present, work more diligently through those times with this feeling of confidence, then you get through those adversities, those tough patches of life and then that build what I call the deep self-confidence, that self-image that we all want to talk about. That we all try to raise our kids to have. For me, it all starts with putting yourself in that feeling of being confident right here, right now about how to use your body and even how you use your focus. I know you and I have had this conversation in the past of the fake it until you make it strategy. Acting as if you can role model yourself. If I was completely confident right now, how would I stand? How would I move? What would I be talking like? What would my voice sound like? What would be my hand movements? When confident people move, there’s this purpose. There’s direction to them.
I think back to the long, long time ago. Alex Rodriguez, hopefully everybody who follows baseball should know who the great Alex Rodriguez in terms of his unbelievable career. Any young kids, he’s the one dating JLo right now. You know him that way. When he signed with the Texas Rangers back in 2001 for his mega contract, he came to this advanced Minor League camp that we had at the time. There was only 30, 40 of us Minor Leaguers. It was actually my first spring training, twenty-year-old Bottsy at the time. He had this great talk. So many other things that I began to learn from the mental side happened during that day because he’s someone who not only understands the game but he understands the mental game. He can articulate it in a manner that I’ve seen very few players. I’m going to put this intention out there to get to interview and just at least ask him questions so I can learn more from him. I remember so much of that talk that day.
One of the things that really made an impact with me that day was back in Port Charlotte, Florida when we had this spring training, there was a Minor League clubhouse and a Major League clubhouse. All the Major Leaguers would go and Major Leaguers get ready for their day. The Minor Leaguers go to Minor Leaguer side but we all use the same parking lot. We all park our cars, our beat-up Fordtrucks parked next to Pudge RodrÍguez, the hall of famer, his custom Bentley. Sometimes Pudge would fly his helicopter from Miami and land on one of the back fields. There’d be guys like Rubén Sierra and Alex Rodriguez and they had these Lamborghinis and these Ferraris that they would just rent for the week. I’d park my beat-up ‘92 Ford truck right in between those two of those and be very, very careful not to ding a door. Hopefully, they didn’t ding any mine. I wouldn’t be able to notice. I had so much scratches on it.
What Alex said that day that stuck with me all these years and as I began to learn the actual power of how you carry your body and it makes so much sense was he goes, “You park in this parking lot I’m sitting back outside the clubhouse and I’m looking in and I see the cars pull in. I see people stand up and I see people walking towards the Major League and the Minor League clubhouses. I can tell 100 yards away.” That’s the distance from the parking lot to the clubhouse. “From 100 yards away, I can’t tell who people are but I can tell who’s the Major Leaguer and who’s the Minor Leaguer just by how they walk, how they carry themselves. I can tell if they get here and I realized it’s a Minor Leaguer sometimes that happens. I can tell what Minor Leaguers are going to be big leaguers someday because of the way that they carry themselves. The confidence and the strut.” That ties into the “Fake it until you make it.” You don’t have to develop the skills and the competence before you’re allowed to start carrying yourself this way. On your best games, you are already doing it. Step into it. Pretend you’re someone else who is more confident. Pretend you’re an Alex Rodriguez or a Mike Trout.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve worked with kids especially at the younger ages where I think maybe they’re a little too young for sessions. The parent will reach out to me. The coach will reach out to me. They’ll say, “They’re having mechanical issues. They’re having focus problems. They’re not believing in themselves.” I go, “Tell them that I said to go pretend that they’re Mike Trout when they take batting practice today. Or go into the game and pretend that they’re Mike Trout. I know their swing might be different. It might not even hit the same side but just have them pretend.” Sometimes that’s enough to get someone back on track because you pretend like them but you’re actually really feeling that confident yourself. You feel confident. You put yourself in that peak state. You give yourself a chance to have a peak performance, a peak result. Sometimes that’s just a fast enough shift to get the ball rolling and then you stop doubting yourself and everything’s great again.
The great thing about that is we all have that confidence from within us but it might take that, “I’m going to be like him.” It’s like everybody growing up wanting to be like Mike. Wear the Air Jordans and go do that. You always have that within you. It’s just sometimes you have to unlock it in that certain way.
I’m so grateful that you just said because this just happened. To give you an example of a coaching situation where this applies is first session, and she was fourteen years old softball player. She’s going out on a Sunday. She got this big showcase. I’m trying to teach her, “This is how you’re going to carry yourself today. You’re going to stand taller. You’re going to have your shoulders back more. Head’s going to be up more.” What I did end up having her do was I walked her through a couple different examples and try to get her get to this feeling of feeling confident, stronger and stronger. I had her pretend that she was her favorite softball player. She gave Kelly, I can’t think of her last name, who she suggested and that belted up even stronger. She felt more confident when she was pretending that she was standing like her and thinking like her and having the same beliefs as her.
I go, “Seven years in the future.” I wanted her pretend that she’s seven years in the future. She’s at the Division I school that she wants to be in. She’s a national champion. She’s being interviewed by ESPN. I was like, “I want you to stand like Trisha. She’s 21. She’s a national champion. She’s had the walk-off home run to win it all. She’s being interviewed by ESPN. I want you to stand like this 21-year-old Trisha would. I want you breathe like her. I want you to move and have your voice sound like her. I want you to just think for a second all the thoughts that she would have about herself, about how great she is.” Then I started having her say them out loud in a strong voice. She’s like, “I’m a great person. I’m a great player. I’m strong. I respond to adversity as their challenges and I can overcome anything. I can do it all.” This is the beautiful moment that I had. I know you’ve had these ones. It makes you so grateful for this. I go, “How does that feel?” She’s like, “It’s like I’m the person that I wanted to be.” I go, “No, Trisha. This is who you really are. If you can access it right now in this moment, this is really who you are.” That’s what popped up in my mind when you that. We all have it. If you can pretend it, if you could fake it, you really, really are it. It’s a matter of you just accepting it and stepping into it.
You see some of the greatest athletes, greatest performers in the world. You wonder what it is that makes them so great rather than good and that confidence within themselves is so powerful whether or not they’re the underdog or not. If you think of Muhammad Ali going into fights where he probably shouldn’t have won but he was so convinced beforehand. He even said it ahead of time. He was sold in himself. He wasn’t selling himself. He was sold on himself that he was going to win this fight and it was already over before it even started. You see that time and time again by the best of the best. It comes with that confidence. That’s a great thing about it.
One thing I got to say just from my own career and I’ve noticed because you’re talking about body language, the opposite effect of that and how it affects your teammates. We had this player that was just an absolute stud. He would be in the NFL right now physically. He had all of the tools, all of the weapons. When I first started playing with him I’m like, “Why isn’t this guy making it in the NFL? What is it? Because he’s got all the tools.” Then, I noticed when we started playing together in games, he’d be great but as soon as something went array, something went bad, and it got him out of his game, he took off his helmet. He was down. This was a guy that teammates looked up to. I noticed the entire team. It shifted the energy of the entire team just by one person’s body language. I had to pull him off to the side underneath the bleachers basically and was like, “Everybody is watching you and your body language right now. You’ve got to pick it up. Even if you’ve got to fake it right now, even if you’re feeling terrible maybe right now, you need to show it for the rest of your teammate because that can spread. That energy is going to spread whether it’s good or bad.” Let’s always remind ourselves especially in a team sport of how important that body language is. Do you have anything else that you’ve noticed within body language?
There are so many different principles from the body language and then it affects the energy, the self-talk, and there are so many different ways to go with that. The body language is so important because I found it’s the fastest way to change anything. In sports psychology, they talk so much about positive self-talk but as an athlete and other athlete’s they’ll know and they’ll understand. When you get in those big moments and there’s a part of you that is up against this challenge. Say you’re facing the pitcher. He’s throwing 98 miles an hour and you haven’t got a hit in three days. You walk up to that batter’s box and you’re in the batter’s box. In your mind you go, “I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I’m good and I can do it.” The back of your brain is like, “BS. You haven’t got a hit in three days and this guy is throwing 98 miles an hour. You’ve got no chance.” What I found is if you can really put this feeling by using your body, by acting as if that link goes to that confident part of your brain. How you use your body activates the confident part of your brain. If you put yourself in the right state, you just automatically shifts into the right thinking patterns, the right focus. For me, it’s the fastest way to get it done. I’m glad I went that route.
It just shows we’re all human. We all have those thoughts. We all get into those where we have doubts and we’re feeling the pressure. We can utilize these tools that you’ve talked about to help shift our state so that way it’s not so results-based. It’s more of the process-based, which provides that long lasting success. Puts you in the position for that success like you’re talking about. I want to talk about you work with a lot of baseball players. You play baseball and all that stuff. These different principles that you teach in all of your podcast and all of your coaching calls, does this just apply to baseball? I think that’s a softball pitch. Maybe I just teed that up for you. I think we both know the answer but I want to hear your take on that.
That is one of the really fun areas of what I get to do especially on one-on-one situations. When I do the speaking and I do the big clinics, I get to do this podcast, I try to throw out all different types of scenarios on how any type of principle might work, whether we’re talking about RESPA and breathing. I always ask a large group, “Where is another area of your life that you could be using this RESPA other than just before you deliver a pitch or you step in the batter’s box?” The unanimous answer to, “How else can you use RESPA?” is “Before I take a test I guess,” which makes sense because it’s a stressful situation but it’s just funny that 99% of the time and we’ll talk about before you take a test. There is literally in any and every situation can you use some of these principles.
The real fun part of my job especially in the one-on-one situation is after working with someone for a long time and they get on a great momentum or we take them to the next level whatever it is, maybe they get more open about something going on else in their life outside of sports. Or they get so good at softball or something or baseball that I started asking them more about school and how it’s going. It’s just interesting because I see more and more with young athletes how I call it the pattern of success. We all have these patterns of how we put ourselves into a great state. How we utilize our focus, the different things that we’re focusing on and basically also as well as how we speak to ourselves. We have these patterns that produce great results but when we get the results that we don’t want, I guarantee you 99% of the time you’re following a different pattern. You might not even be aware of it. You might not even realize it.
That’s one of my jobs as a coach is, “Let’s figure out what you do, how you use your body, what state you’re putting yourself in, how you’re breathing, and what you’re focusing on, how you’re talking to yourself to put yourself and deliver this great result of going out and giving up one run in seven innings as a high school pitcher. Now you just gave up seven runs, what was the same pattern? What were you actually doing differently this time?” What I started to find out more and more is some of these athletes who maybe they’re stellar on the softball field, maybe they’re stellar at pitching, but then it comes to hitting or playing defense and they don’t follow the same exact pattern. They do something different and they’re getting completely different results. Now, they’re beginning to tell themselves the story. Shane will definitely understand the power of beliefs and they’ll get into talking about, “I’m just not as talented. I’m not as skilled.” They have all these poor beliefs that started developing when really the problem has nothing to do with their ability. It has to do with them not following the same pattern of how they use their mind, their brain, their body even and they’re getting different results.
What’s been really fun over the last couple of weeks is I’m starting to see that same pattern show up with school work. It’s funny because I think of two very specific clients that I’ve worked with for more than a year, they are stellar on the softball field. They have big accolades, big Division I commitments. They are studs. Then you get them talking about one of their AP classes or something like that and they go into this defeated state that I talked about. I’ll see them on camera or over the FaceTime session. I’ll see them in person maybe and this tigress competitor turns into a little lamb and has all these stories and all these excuses, “There’s too much work. The teacher doesn’t understand me.” I go, “If you had that same mindset, that same mentality that you’re talking about your schoolwork and you took that on the softball field, you’d have no chance. You know that. Pitching-wise, you’d have your head beat in,” which isn’t the prettiest metaphors but that’s the first thing I thought in my mind. I was trying to tone it down a little bit for what I normally probably would say. Here they outweigh these great competitors that are in their great states when they play softball and then they get into their classes or they have issues with their friends or whatever it is and they go into a different state. They don’t put themselves in the same place where they compete. They’re not as resourceful. They’re not doing whatever it takes to find a way.
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed lately is one, give them that little pep talk. Two, it’s usually we worked long enough that they’ll snap and back into it but, “Do we need to break it down? Are you focusing on what you want to happen? Are you focusing on what you don’t want to happen every day you walk into that class? Go back to step number one. Are you breathing or are you relaxed? Are you doing RESPA before you even enter that classroom? Are you thinking about everything that happened yesterday and how much you were upset at the teacher yesterday? Are you dragging that into your class today before you even walk in the door? Can you take that deep breath? Let all that stuff go, release it and start with a brand new mind. Can you go in?” Your teacher might be terrible. I don’t know. I’m not there but I’m just saying, “Can you let go of everything and start completely fresh like it’s a brand new game? It’s a brand new at-bat, this class. RESPA, let everything go. Can you put yourself into a peak state where you’re open, you’re ready to learn, you’re anticipating, you have an energy of expectancy as I call it, that you’re excited something great is going to happen. That you know you’re going to learn something. That you’re going to get a little bit better today no matter what. Are you focusing on all the great things that are going to happen that could happen?”
That’s the type of stuff I’m talking about that I’m seeing differences. What’s really fun for me is when we take something from the softball field and you apply it to school or you apply it to their home life. Hopefully people’s minds, whatever area in their life that maybe they want to get better at, that when I talk about those steps of breathing and going into a place of expectancy, focusing on what you want to happen, as opposed to what you don’t want to happen, hopefully their mind went to where it needed to be in their area of life. It is a little bit bigger than just sports in my mind.
You’re creating the full package rather than just being one dimensional and applying it to just one area. These tools can be used in any areas. As athletes, we go into gym. If we’re just to do upper body and neglect the legs, we might get a little top heavy and fall over. You might look good in a tight t-shirt but you’re not going to have that performance from the legs. Likewise, when you’re working out physically or training physically and you don’t add the mental preparation, you don’t add the state management that you’re talking about, then you’re just one dimensional. When you bring that full package together, that’s when you put yourself in the best position. You’re in control of at least the controllables. You can’t control everything. You can’t control like the teacher that you’re talking about. You can’t control different factors but you can control one thing, your attitude. You can control that state of mind that you brilliantly talked about. It just goes to how you do anything is how you do everything. You apply it to all areas of life. You become a winner in everything that you do.
Winning becomes second nature. Chip Kelly, when he was the coach of Oregon. I don’t know if he still does, when he brought Oregon to their national success and they were on the spotlight, I found out that he was having his players every single day make their bed to start off their day. That was such a simple thing but he had a big thing was win the day. It had nothing to do with football. It was just win every aspect of your day and then winning becomes second nature. It becomes a habit. It almost becomes an expectation. He was developing that state of mind just from a simple practice of making their bed in the morning and getting into that routine because it takes habits. Not just doing it once. Not just the motivational speech. It’s the habit and the application of this. The integration of it on a daily basis. Would you agree?
Absolutely. When you talked about winning as an expectation, what I’m always looking to do is how do we take someone’s best state? The best feeling that they’ve ever been in when they played their very best. How do we raise it up a notch? It’s my belief that if you can raise up that peak state, if you can raise it to a higher level, then you’re going to increase your performance automatically. You’re going to take your game to where it’s never have been before. One of the things that I think I’m beginning to see more and more is one of the ways that you push it higher and better than it’s ever been is put yourself in that place of expectancy. I understand we’re all going to lose and losing is important. That’s when we really grow. That’s when we really ask ourselves the most important questions of, “What do I really need to get better at?”
I just thought for the first time I love how the more and more I do these years of going on and I still think of random stories that pop up from my own life. The moment that changed my entire career, I tell the story all the time about the first moment that changed when I was fifteen. I took this dream of being a Major Leaguer and I wrote it down on a piece of paper one night. Without knowing what I did was I made it a goal. I wanted to have it by the age of 25. My first time I got called up was at 24, just a couple of weeks before that. I didn’t realize at the time that I made it a goal by this happening. I got specific. I got detailed. It just turned on the power of my brain to find what I need to do to make that happen.
I was just thinking just a few days ago for the very first time probably even bigger moment. I never thought about the biggest moment that turned my athletic career around was out of high school in 1998. I’m All League. I would think I was MVP of the league. I was All County. It was a small town in the middle of nowhere, California, as I always call it but I was all everything. I was very blessed. I got drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 28th round. They had kept tabs on me for years. The little bird-dog scouting the area. He used to go to my basketball games. He knew the heart that I had, the competitor I was. Even though I wasn’t on anybody else’s radar of being a professional player at the time, he saw something in me. He brought in his area scout. He saw something that he had seen and they selected me. At that time, they used to have what they call a draft-and-follow which means you get to draft a kid and send him to a junior college and you would retain the rights until before the next draft. If you draft the high school kid and you send him to a four-year university, the moment they enter a classroom for their first class, you lose the rights to him. It was different back then with junior college. They could actually go to the junior college. You could talk to him the entire year. It was a great way to take kids who are raw but who had talent and just keep up with him and then give him another year and then right before the next draft, you could offer him a contract if you want to.
They actually wanted to talk to me. I have been playing a hundred games at summer for our Travel team. They wanted to sign me before I even went to junior college. It was out of the blue. It caught me off guard. The talks didn’t even go deep because I was just so caught off guard. I was planning to go to junior college. I haven’t even turned eighteen yet, I don’t think because I was young for my grade. We decided to go to junior college. A lot of things happened in that year. I got better. I had a great year. Come before the draft, they decided not to offer me a contract. Then I got drafted in the 46th round by the Texas Rangers. I didn’t really drop on the prospect list. Once you get drafted past the 25th round, it’s all even. 25 to 50, there’s not really any difference in talent. It doesn’t really mean much but it was a punch to the gut. They didn’t want to sign me. They want me to do the same thing. They want me to go back to college.
To give a little more of that story was, at eighteen years old, I wasn’t in shape. I’d go and I’d hit a lot but I don’t think I’d call myself a hard worker at the time. I didn’t lift weights. I wasn’t very fast. I wasn’t a great athlete at this point. In fact, I remember during that first year, my “advisor” who’s an agent, as an amateur they just advise you and you’re not signed with him. He was telling me that I wasn’t athletic enough. I had to work on my athleticism to be a professional player. I wasn’t athletic enough. I didn’t have fast enough bat speed. My hands weren’t fast enough. This is coming from my advisor, who I guess at that time of my career I thought was supposed to pump me up or something to make me do better. He was giving me the hard truths, which was great for me because that moment was the punch in the gut. I was scared that all these dreams I had of being a Major Leaguer someday were gone. They were over.
I remember just being at my home in California at my mom’s and going on this run and coming back in and just like eating the plate full of spaghetti with no sauce, no butter on it. That was my picture at the time of being eighteen year old of making a healthier meal choice. I’m not thinking of starting taking creatine and working out. That’s when I started developing this true passion and my body completely transformed in the next several months, in the next year. I started doing sprints every single day. I started jump roping every single day. I got so tired of people telling me I was un-athletic or that I wasn’t fast enough or I didn’t have fast enough hands. One year later, I was a completely transformed athlete. All those habits that I created that year, they’ve stuck with me ever since then.
Going through adversity, going through failure is a must. It has to happen. If you are such a phenomenal athlete that it doesn’t seem to happen before anytime you’re in high school or any time before, it’s my belief, it’s like a yin and yang thing. From what I’m seeing and what I’m beginning to learn is that there’s probably another area of your life where you’re going through it. That’s why I think these principles are so important. It’s not just about on the field. It’s about off of it as well and taking control of how you feel. You change how you feel. You change your state. You’re going to change the results you’ll get.
I have no idea what the original question was but I know that I wanted to share that story about eighteen, nineteen-year-old Bottsy. The most important thing that ever happened to me was the moment I got punched in the guts and things didn’t work out the way that I wanted to. Failure, setbacks, adversity, they are gifts for us. If you don’t just sit around and complain about them and point fingers and blame other people why things didn’t work out but you look at yourself in the mirror, and even if it was everybody else’s fault, who cares? I think of other situations in my life where everyone was telling me that I should be upset at somebody else and I just kept looking at myself in the mirror going, “What can I do?” I can’t control anything about the past. I can’t control anything about this other person. All I can do is look at myself in the mirror and go, “How do I make changes to get different results in the future?” That’s just something I want to definitely pass on to everybody else as well.
I don’t remember the original question either but I fell in love with the story because it’s so true of just how adversity and challenges if you see it as a gift, which is so beautiful. It really truly is when you stop pointing the finger and point it inward. What is this teaching me? What is the lesson here? One, we’ll have to have a separate podcast just to learn your workout regimen so I can look like you. As for your vision, you stayed true to that vision. When you had the hurdles and you had the setbacks and the “advisor” telling you that you weren’t good enough and all that stuff, you were able to latch onto that vision and be able to go through the ups and downs and stay latched on that vision. Is that would you say? How important is vision?
That’s such a beautiful thing, I had to relate that all. That vision was in place. I remember crying. I had actually gone out, I’d hit in the morning. It was the first or second day of the draft. It had to be the second day because of how low I was drafted in by the Texas Rangers at the time. I went out and hit that morning with some friends. I come back and my mom tells me, “We got a phone call from the Rangers from the scout. You got drafted in the 46th round.” I remember just crying and being so upset and probably being in a poopy state for that day and the next day, how over many days. That vision pulled me out of it.
The idea of the vision has become so important to me. I think I talked about it a little bit on last week’s podcast. If anybody hasn’t heard it, it’s worth carrying again in my mind. The vision is what I pick up from young players in terms of the kids that are the best athletes have the clearest visions. I’m seeing it over and over and over again. From your vision, if you can be specific and see where you’re going to be in five or ten years and maybe you don’t end up that route but there’s something pulling them. The power of the vision is it pulls you to it because you know exactly what you’re wanting to become. When you know what you’re wanting to become when you have this image or this movie in your mind of what type of player you want to be in five to ten years, then you know what choices to make when they pop up. What choices are not going to serve you? You say no to those situations.
When you have a really crystal clear of your vision like that story and you know why it’s so important, you want to do whatever you can to make it happen. When you get punched in the gut it’s like my story and you face that adversity or those setbacks, then it gets you back up on your feet and say, “I’m not giving in. I want this to happen so bad. These are all the reasons why.” The most important part that I’m seeing with this vision and the most important thing that I think about when it comes to the vision is that it’s like the chicken and the egg thing. I don’t think you have to be this great athlete and then have the ability to articulate the vision that you want. I think the vision has to come before. Where you sit down and you say, “This is how I want things to be. This is who I want to be. This is how I want to react to certain situations. These are the beliefs that I want to develop. These are the thoughts that I want to have. These are the actions and the capabilities I want to be able to do. I want to have fast hands. I want to have these great swings. This is exactly what it’s going to look like. This is how my throwing mechanics. They’re going to look like this player.” The more in depth you can do all of those things, it triggers our brain what to pay attention to.
When you’re on your journey, now you start picking up things that you’ve never seen before. You never noticed they were always there. It’s the example of that people are really young maybe you don’t know what it’s like to buy a car but you want to buy a car. Then you buy that car and then you see that same car everywhere you go. It happened to me when I finally wanted to buy a little Jeep and have fun. I buy a Jeep and all of a sudden I noticed that it’s probably the most popular vehicle on the road. Everybody’s got a freaking Jeep. I never noticed that before until I decided to get one. When you determine that you want something, when you determine that it’s important to you, your brain starts pointing out options to help you achieve that. You’re going to start overhearing conversations three tables down because your brain is going to alert you and say, “Someone’s talking about something that could help me improve, help me get the vision that I want.”
I think I talked about last week on the podcast was I had a scout buddy. I was at this huge tournament a couple of weeks ago and he wanted to know. He’s an amateur scout, which means he sits down in the houses with the families and the player and just ask some questions, get to know them. He’s got to base his decision, tell his bosses, the organization which kid in his gut thinks is going to be the better player even though they’re all the same and equal talent. He’s like, “Do you have any questions with this mental stuff that could help me figure out mentally who has it?” I’ve come up with a few things. I was like, “I’ll tell you right now number one is their ability to describe you what type of player, where do they see themselves five, ten years. Maybe don’t say vision. Vision might be a little heavy for them. Say, Where are you going to be in ten years?”
If you’re talking to an eighteen-year-old kid, and in ten years he doesn’t see himself and he doesn’t say anything about playing in the Major Leagues or playing baseball for that matter, he might not be the one guy you want to invest a lot of money in. He doesn’t even see that path down there. The reason why it’s so important is like the examples that we gave, the vision, it gives the motivation, the ability to persevere because it’s so, so important. I’ve got to find a way to make it happen because anybody’s road to the top to be the very best, to get to the Major Leagues, to get them to go on and maybe become an All Star, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s not easy for anybody. Some guys out there make it look easy but if you sit down and you talk to a Trout or a Harper, they will tell you that it’s not easy even for them. It’s their ability to create this vision that create that drive to wake up every single day asking themselves, “How do I get just a little bit better?” That all starts with this vision. If it’s not there, like I told my buddy, if they can’t articulate it very well, if they give you these vague statements like, “I just want to be the best I could be.” When times get tough, they’re going to drop like flies. It’s so simple. Just to take the time asking them those questions that I mentioned before, maybe pause it or rewind it.
I was thinking about this and I haven’t had the chance to talk about it on the podcast, I haven’t had the chance to make a post about it, make a video or anything but it’s really important to me because of this topic of burnout. I hear it all the time. We got all these Travel teams. People play more sports. People play more specialty in one sport and they keep talking about burnout. These kids are dropping out because they don’t want to play. They haven’t been playing too much, which is total BS. The burnout I do believe exists, but if you look at every single situation that I’ve come up so far, and I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule. There are always exceptions to the rule. More times than not, you will see burnout after players hit a long period of adversity that they couldn’t find a way to overcome. They started failing. Maybe it jumped up and they never knew Travel age. I think back to the guys at the professional level who were first-round draft picks.
Our team invested millions of dollars in their talent and they quit after three years. You look back it was the first time that they had ever failed in their life. They didn’t have the ability to overcome the setbacks, the adversity, the challenges that they were facing. Burnout might exists, maybe you can play too much baseball. When I retired at fifteen, I was starting to deal with the challenges that I had never faced. I could not find a way. I retired at fifteen years of playing because there were certain adversities that I couldn’t overcome anymore. I was tired of it. I just could not handle every day not being the same player that I had been a couple of years before. I didn’t have the same power. I had a good average but it wasn’t as great as I had been in the past. Those little challenges, I was beginning to not be able to handle it anymore. When I finally made the decision I want to do something else, a large part was because I use the description, “I got burned out. Fifteen years professionally, I’m burned out now. I’m done.” I know if I could physically have played the way I could have a couple of years before, I would still be going strong.
I think we all burn out at some point but it’s when the challenges and the adversity come up. Seeing things as a gift through those tough times is one way to get through it. I give the strategies of the GPA. One thing that you’re grateful for, one thing that you’re proud about, one thing that you appreciate about yourself as a way to keep your state up high through times of challenges. This vision as well that we’re talking about is going to pull you. It’s going to drive you to get up every morning and find a way to get through it all. What I just said about the idea of burnout and think of experiences, think of athletes that you’ve come across that they quit out of nowhere. They burned out they might have said. They usually come over these massive challenges, adversity that they came up with. Can you think of anything like that?
I was going to say a lot of people have noticed that, and kids that I’ve worked with that have burned out is because of that exact reason that you’re talking about. Either there are just so much challenges coming within their sport, within their coaches, within their parents putting on the pressure, whatever it is. They haven’t developed the tools and the mental fortitude to be able to overcome those challenges. I’ll tell you one thing when you’re talking about vision, the ones I’ve noticed with the stronger vision are the ones who can handle the most challenges. The ones who can overcome the most challenges are the ones who are the most successful.
Creating a vision is just the simplest thing but it gives you all this drive. It gives you all this strength. Whenever I do a lesson, whenever I do a clinic, whenever I try to engage someone, I give them that assignment. Maybe that needs to be this assignment before we part our ways. What would be the important things that you would have someone do? If you have a fifteen-year-old player, sit down, and create themselves a vision, what are some things that would come to your mind, have them add to it or how to do the process or even talk about the process?
One thing that’s so important in identifying your vision and this goes beyond just sports, but it’s identifying what does my perfect day look like? If I were to just have everything and money wasn’t a factor, the level of success, the level of athletics that I’m at right now wasn’t a factor, what does it look like? If it is sports, if it is playing at the top league, then that’s going to help identify, “My perfect day is being able to play on game day in front of 70,000 and millions watching back home.” Maybe that is. Maybe that’s not something that resonates with you but it’s got to resonate from within to really hold true. I don’t know if you want me to get into the whole process right now.
We talked about the process on your interview, right?
That was so long ago, maybe.
I’m 99% sure that I asked you to explain the process. For the sake of that 1%, can you give us a little rundown on the process because this is an amazing tool? I know it definitely could help the listeners, the ones that are new to the show. Maybe they are just too lazy to scroll their phones down, three scrolls to find episode number nine because I think we’re at 38 now. Can you give us a quick little preview or little review of the process?
Process is amazing in just unlocking that creativity from within, that brilliance from within. I truly believe we have greatness all within us somewhere. Some of us lock it down and some of us are able to allow it to show up. Sometimes I say, “Just surrender to that greatness.” This process is one that helps do that. It’s five steps. The first step is you surrender yourself in nature. Nature is such a powerful thing and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a rural community or if you’re in an urban setting. You can find nature somewhere. It’s just finding three things, three maybe small details that you normally overlook but see it in a greater detail, greater beauty, and just appreciate the nature around you. It’s such as simple as that. Then you go into really getting yourself into that energy, into that higher state, and that state management that we’re talking about where you just circle yourself with this positive energy. However you want to visualize it, a white light around you. Just positive vibes. You go through at anybody you can think of, any of your loved ones: your family, your coaches, your teammates, even your enemies, whatever it is, your dog. You start surrounding them with that positive vibe, that positive energy, and circle all those that you love around with that energy. You get all lifted up in that. Step three you just happen to gratitude. You just totally get into that state of being in appreciation rather than depreciation. You start appreciating all the blessings in your life. You just start listing them out. It’s amazing what kind of energy that puts you in, what kind of state that puts you in when you get into that power of gratitude.
Then, you just close your eyes. Step four, just visualize. Start visualizing success. Visualize where you want to be and just that power of seeing it happening as if it’s happening right now. Even if it’s something in the future, maybe it’s something in your distant vision but you’re seeing it right now and you’re owning it and you’re being it right now in this visualization. As soon as you open your eyes you go into step five. You just start writing. You just have a pad of paper or even a computer, laptop, whatever it is. You just start writing, putting the pencil to paper and letting your thoughts just go out onto the page without any judgment. No worries of grammatical errors or “Does this sound dumb?” You just let it go. You don’t hold yourself back at all. You just unleash any thoughts that are coming to your head. If you have a question that you want answered, answer that question. Whatever answers come to that. If you have just no direction, just see what comes out of it. A lot of times the answer shows up. Whatever that maybe. Something that you’re struggling with, some challenges. It’s really just a way that we can, “I need to face this challenge. I need to face what I’m fearing right now and figure out what’s the message in this. What’s the lesson in this?” I tell you when you do the process, the answer tends to come out. That’s in a nutshell the process. Since we’re both Extreme Focus coaches and we use these BEAST principles that you’ve alluded to a few of them, can I just ask one last question, you can just rip it off top of your head, what is your favorite BEAST principle?
No doubt, the lion, core. The symbol for courage. When I speak especially with the people that I do work step by step through the principles, that’s the fifteenth animal trigger. At this point, you’ve worked on fourteen different triggers, principles, steps, all geared towards mental skills, performance, fulfilment, enjoying your life. It’s the whole map to being successful and fulfilled. I love telling the story of the lion and fighting off the crocodiles and the show of courage, I make the point that courage is taking those steps towards the things that scares the most. When you talk about that story of the lion and the crocodile and how he runs them off finally by going after them, I tell that. Because 90% of the work that I do is young athletes, twenty and under, and I’m brought in under the context of I’m helping them perform better in athletics. There’s always an understanding at some level with the coaches and the people who put on the events that this goes way deeper than sports. These are skills that they could use in any area of their life. I’m very grateful we were able to touch on some of that stuff today.
The point that I make with the young athletes when I get to the trigger of the lion is remember courage. You can have all the mental skills, all the knowledge of what to do, and how to see things and all of the stuff that I just taught you, but if you don’t have the courage to go out there and face your fears and apply them, they’re all useless. For me, that’s the biggest one. It’s the most important one. I usually tell them, “I’m 37 years old. I played until I was 35. I played professionally for fifteen years. I played since I was six or seven years old. It was 30 seasons I think I counted up one time of playing baseball. All the big moments and being on TV and playing in front of 60,000 people and going to Winter Ball, which is probably the most stressful times ever because if you have a bad two, three games in Winter Ball you get released.” By that time I’m playing Winter Ball, I’m actually taking care of family, not just myself. I have that on my shoulders as well. The biggest, most pressure-filled moments you’ll ever have during your career, if you ask any big time athlete, they never happened on the field. The biggest challenges, the scariest moments, times that made you the most nervous, the most afraid, all these times that you need mental toughness, mental skills, you need the ability to act, to walk right towards what scares you the most, to have true courage, they’re going to come outside the white lines. They’re going to be in your family, in your career, your finances, your relationships, in your health or maybe someone’s health in your immediate family. Those are going to be the scariest times of your life. That’s where you’re going to need to be strong, to be mentally tough and to be courageous. That’s my animal trigger. I’m a Leo too, so there’s a little bit of a connection there too if we get into astrology.
You re-answered one of my original questions, do you just apply this to baseball? It applies to all areas of life. The courage is so important to producing that confidence. Courage is not fearless, right?
Absolutely not. I think I learned that from you on one of those BEAST mode on calls I believe.
Some people would say, “I’m fearless.” That’s not courage. Courage is facing fear and being able to step through that fear because we all do have it, whatever that maybe. It’s usually more in life than on the field or on the court. The sports are just helping us learn those principles so we can apply them to every single are of our life. I’ve had a blast today being the guest host of the Full Force Life podcast. This is exciting. This is actually my first time ever hosting a podcast so I hope I did okay.
Anybody who has any questions, comments, criticism, sarcastic remarks as always love to hear feedback on the show. You could find me at info@JasonBottsPeakState.com as well as send me a message on Facebook. I got the business page @JasonBottsPeakState as well as the personal one @JasonBotts and @BigJasonBotts on Twitter and Instagram as well. You did a tremendous job and definitely if anybody wants to reach out to Shane, where they can find you?
You can find me on social media as well. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and it’s just @ShaneAustin10. Extreme Focus is our company and you’re an Extreme Focus coach. We just love working together and really just bouncing out ideas off of each other on a constant basis. That’s what’s so fun, the coaches that I get to work with. Until then, aim high, swing hard, and smile often. This is Shane Austin having the pleasure to be the host of Jason Botts’ podcast, Full Force Life.