I sent this to my rugby team (The Cincinnati Wolfhounds (CRFC)) earlier this week before our season opener tomorrow. We’ve been rebuilding our team over the past couple years as we had a mass exodus of veterans due to injury and retirement – brittle bones and canes in rough terms. Along with this rebuilding we’re working on changing the team’s culture and mindset.
I started rugby in 2001 or 2 while I focused on my swimming career. After high school I gave up swimming scholarships to get into trouble and be a drug addict. Getting back into my engineering degree a year later while working 2 jobs, fighting the legal system, and getting over drug abuse I made it a point to try to always improve; in every aspect of life I could think of, and at least one area every day. It was extremely difficult and only possible with the help of family and great friends. In order to get on a better path it was necessary though.
In 2006 I went to live in Japan for a coop and got back into rugby after a couple year hiatus from the sport. The game motivated me to set and achieve goals. It gave me the comradery that was lost after swimming. It set a foundation to build my life on – as my first coach, GMaul, said “Rugby is a lifestyle”.
Since then I’ve been fortunate to play with UC, Ohio, Kudus, Raleigh, and the Hounds. All of which have helped me be a better person, player, friend, and teammate while maintaining that there is always room for improvement.
I tell you all this background not because I’m low-key boasting or looking for anything, rather I want to impart transparency and my real desire to always be better. I believe what is below fits well with what our team’s leadership is trying to grow in our team – mental toughness.
We are at a point where we can say we are past the growing pains as a team, but there is always room for improvement; in personal growth and team growth. Hell, even club growth.
I’m going to share some of my tips/tricks and resources.
I constantly look for new knowledge plugs, methods to improve mind/spirit/body, mentors, leadership techniques, and skills. I don’t always have it right, but I try to get it 100. If you have any suggestions please pass them along.
To accomplish some savage and legendary mindset practices the first things I want to share are 2 books by Ryan Holiday Please listen/read to these asap as multiple pro teams have used these as a foundation for their mindsets in the past couple years before winning national championships including NFL and NHL:
The second thing for tough mindsets is finding solid mentors and people to look up to. For this category I currently follow:
Aubry Marcus for mind/spirit clarity and getting the most out of what we are given.
Wim Hof breathing technique to stay healthy, confident, and happy – many studies have been, and are being, conducted of the effects.
Joe Rogan for “Powerful” lifestyle, knowledge, and points of view. If you aren’t familiar with his podcast he is constantly having long conversations with experts and his friends about topics spanning the gamut.
Tim Ferris for life-hacks, minimum dosage, expert knowledge, and gear. He is the reason I put 25lbs of lean muscle on in 2 months after my knee reconstruction and was still fit to play 80 minutes of every game that season (aside from rugby practices I only worked out 45 minutes a day 2 days a week).
Jason Ellis for inspiration on getting though shit, and for humor. Plus his open-relationship girlfriend is super-hot and is always naked on his snapchat.
Also, the Rock is just a badass dude who hustles his ass off and is reaping the rewards.
Pavel Tsatsouline for kettlebell workouts. This summer I didn’t run at all (aside from a stupid triathlon (which I didn’t train for)), and still started this season fit by using his exercises and methods.
Finally, I sent out my schedule earlier this summer (please let me know if you’d like to have a copy or have me help you make one) – having a schedule, using these techniques, accomplishing at least 3 of my 5 morning routines, and surrounding myself with good friends and mentors has helped me get though a lot. I’d like to encourage you to try some of these, and start building your constant-improvement plan if you haven’t already. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to talk with me about them. I will do my best to be a good resource when asked.
Some other things that have really helped me through my journey to this point:
WHY/HOW/WHAT (I’ve got it tattooed on my right arm so that when I meet someone new I remember how to effectively communicate)
If you’re into scientific backgrounds on diet and health Rhonda Patrick is a gem.
A variance in music
Getting into nature and away from the bullshit of everyday life sometimes. Prioritizing it. Life in extremes to build a solid balance – exertion to recovery. Make things difficult, so that rest is much more appreciated.
Yoga and meditation.
There are lots more, so I would love to hear what works for you and trade ideas.
Again, I obviously don’t have everything right, but I’ll try to achieve it. The things I’ve talked about so far have really helped me, and I want to share them with you, bc if it helps you than it could help others; and we all want to be better individually and as a group.
Let’s kick ass, be powerful mentally and physically, and gentlemen off the field but savages on the field. Let’s be legends.
Thanks for getting though this, and stay well!
PS: Many of the items and topics presented above will be touched on throughout the lifespan of this blog. Not in any specific order, but in a state of flow; when it feels like it needs to come out.