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<<First Name>>, Welcome back to The 90%!
In honor of baseball's opening day (April 7th), we revisit Yankee great Yogi Berra's thoughts on the mental game, "Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical." While many people only remember Yogi for his malapropisms, he was the primary reason for the Yankees' sustained success in the '40s, '50's and '60's. They won 10 World Series with him behind the plate. You can learn more about the leadership of the 18-time All-Star in The Captain Class by Sam Walker. It's an excellent read.

The NCAA basketball tournament, aka March Madness, may be the greatest sporting event on earth. The win-or-go-home stakes, the enthusiasm of the players, cheerleaders, bands, and coaches, and the inevitable upsets make for storylines like no other. One thing is certain, a team doesn't reach this point of the season without having a core of coachable players. Each player on a college roster was probably the best player on their respective teams since grade school. While that could lead to a sense of entitlement and an outsized ego, the most successful teams are comprised of the most coachable players. Check out this infographic to learn more about coachability.

On the topic of March Madness and coachability, the Kansas Jayhawks' run to the title reminded me of this gem (2:13) from head coach Bill Self. He makes some great points about being coachable. One is that how we talk about our own leaders, bosses, or coaches will influence how our kids think about those people. Another interesting thought from Coach Self is that coaches are selfish. They're not going to engage in favoritism, because they want to win more than anyone. Check it out.

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have found a simple and quick prevention for choking. By squeezing a ball dynamically in the left hand for 10-15 seconds, a relaxation effect is stimulated in the brain, thereby allowing a move to be performed fluidly. To date, they have seen positive outcomes with tennis, badminton, beach volleyball, soccer, golf, tae kwon do and gymnastics. You can view a full interview with the lead researcher here.

I'm not a fan of "hacks," but this technique seems like a simple and rapid approach. For those who are curious, the research has focused solely around right-handed players squeezing their left hand. Squeezing the right hand doesn't seem to work, but it has not been studied with left-handed performers.
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