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How To Develop A Winning Mindset

The word "Mindset" being circled on a whiteboard.As a keynote speaker, I have had the pleasure of working with many world-class individuals and organizations. Although they were from diverse backgrounds and businesses, they all had something in common – A winning mindset! The word mindset is defined as, a mental attitude that predetermines a person response and interpretation of situations. Another way of saying that is…

Winning is more about how we choose to think versus the circumstances we face!

Here are four characteristics that can help you develop and maintain a winning mindset.

  1. Play to Learn
    How do you maintain a winning mindset when you lose?  Champions have the mindset that if they lose, they see it as a win because they learned something valuable. This allows them to interpret an experience that could be seen as discouraging, into one that fuels determination.  Look at times in your life where you have failed. Would you take that experience back in exchange for the lessons you learned? Likely, the future success you have had in part can be attributed to the wisdom you gained from your previous setback. You win every time when you play to learn!
  2. Risk = Opportunity
    An integral part of a winning mindset is seeing opportunity and risk as partners. In other words, you can’t have one without the other. I always wondered how some people found the courage to continually take risks. It’s because they understand that being risk-averse also means being opportunity-averse. Once I understood this, it became must easier to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. Here is why; I realized that risk can produce butterflies, but passing up a great opportunity will make you sick!  It is all about how you interpret risk and opportunity.
  3. Winning happens during practice
    The will to win begins with preparing to win. My tennis coach Tony Fisher used to say, “Practice like you compete, so you can compete like you practice.”  Peak performers are always looking to better their best and they understand that practice is the difference between mediocre and magnificent! They continually improve because they not only practice when they feel motivated, but they also practice when they don’t feel motivated. The great Roger Federer says, “You don’t stop practicing when you are a champion because practice is why you are a champion.”
  4. They Quit
    People with a winning mindset make a habit of quitting! Now, I realize this seems a bit counterintuitive from what we believe about success. However, winners know to quit any attitude or action that is not moving them closer to their goals. They say, “DO” to whatever is contributing to their success and “NO” to whatever is delaying their success.  Tim Ferris, author of Tools For Titans calls this creating your “Not-to-do” list.  We are all busy; therefore, it is important that we separate what we could do from what we should do.  This can only be accomplished when you have absolute clarity of your goals. Once you establish exactly where you want to go, there becomes a clear divide between what you could do and what you should do.

Posted by Roger Crawford in Opportunity, Mindset and tagged ,

To Achieve BIG, Think Small…

At first pass, this title may seem contrary to what we believe about success. Likely, we have been told that achievement is a result of having lofty goals. While I agree that we should all have big dreams, it is important to remember that it is the small steps that make them come true. Tim Ferris, in his new book Tools of Titans, puts it this way, “Big changes can come in small packages. It is the small things done consistently that are the big things.”

When I began playing tennis, my ultimate dream was that someday I could play professional tennis. However, I quickly learned that my first match wasn’t going to be on Center Court at Wimbledon. If I was going to reach my full potential it was going to happen point by point or day by day. This realization helped me understand that most big achievements happen by thinking small.

Have you experienced any of the following in your own life that… 


Posted by Roger Crawford in Uncategorized, Dream Big, Achieving Positive Results and tagged ,

How to Ignite 2017!

It’s not every day that you nearly set a television news anchor’s hair ablaze!  I had the honor of being selected to carry the Olympic Torch in San Francisco. My run began in picturesque Union Square and finished in historic China Town.

As I was nearing the end of my relay segment, I unexpectedly found myself jogging alongside Dan Rather, who was at the time lead anchor for CBS News. He asked a few questions about how it felt to have the privilege of carrying the Olympic Torch, while keeping up with me stride for stride.

I was beginning to feel fatigued due to the emotion of the day, as well as carrying the torch for nearly a mile with two hands instead of one. With every step, the torch slipped lower and lower. As I was answering one of Dan Rather’s questions, I leaned towards the microphone and the Olympic flame came dangerously close to singeing his perfect TV hair. He did a bob and weave to avoid the flame, like a boxer avoiding a punch!  I felt relieved that despite his plentiful hair spray, he did not light up like a Roman Candle Firework! 

What I learned that day besides being careful when you have a flaming object in your hands is the meaning of three Latin words engraved on the rim of the torch. Citius-Altius-Fortius. These words translated into English mean faster, higher and stronger.

As we begin the new year, here are three accelerants to take you higher, faster and stronger in 2017! 


Posted by Roger Crawford in Motivation, Goals, Success and tagged , ,

Taking Lessons From A Champion!

During this year’s U.S. Tennis Open, I had the great pleasure of spending time with eighteen-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova. A long-time admirer of her sports excellence, I wanted to learn more about the invaluable mindset and methodology that made her a champion. In reviewing her statements about success, here are four “lessons” from the conversation with Martina we can be inspired by and learn from.

Roger Crawford with Martina Navratilova

“What matters isn’t how well you play when you’re playing well. What matters is how well you play when you’re playing badly.”  We have all experienced occasions when it just “isn’t our day”, however when this occurs with champions, they find a way to win. High achievers move past the problem and look for the solutions.

“Once you start believing in yourself, anything is possible.” We perform consistently with who we believe we are. Something I share with audiences is; “What you believe about yourself is what you get out of yourself.” Champions understand that their most valuable resource is their mindset.


Posted by Roger Crawford in Success, Playing From The Heart and tagged

How To Think Like A Champion!

Bob and Mike BryanAt the beginning of this year, I had the honor of being the opening speaker at the Grand Slam Tennis Coaches Conference held at the Australian Open. It was an unforgettable experience to stand before some of the most accomplished tennis coaches in the world. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet many of the top tennis players in the world such as Roger Federer, Samantha Stosur and arguably the greatest doubles team in history, the Bryan brothers!

As I listened to other coaches delivering presentations on thinking like a champion, I was struck by how universal these principles are. The ideas they shared can greatly increase results both on and off the tennis court. Here are a few to consider.

1)  Have a target before you hit the ball. 
An important aspect of a winning tennis strategy is deciding exactly where you want to place the ball before you hit it. It you swing at every ball with no clearly defined plan, you will surely be defeated. Some players hit the ball as hard as they can and pray it goes in. Before we attempt to achieve any goal, we must precisely know what we want to accomplish. If we do not have absolute clarity, then we are relying strictly on hope and luck to achieve our goals. Having a clear aim before you take action, is the first step towards turning the impossible into the possible.


Posted by Roger Crawford in Success, Think Again!, Challenge your thinking! and tagged , ,

How Passion, Power And Possibility Reveal Your Sweet Spot!

Tennis-racquet-sweet-spotIf you have ever taken a tennis lesson you have undoubtedly heard the pro say, “Watch the ball!” Here is why, the coach wants you to strike the ball as close to the sweet spot of the racket as possible. To put it simply, the sweet spot is the area of the racket that will give you the maximum power with the least amount of effort. In other words, you could have the same swing, preparation, and strength, but if you miss the sweet spot, you will lose momentum and velocity.

The goal of hitting the sweet spot is relevant off the tennis court as well. Haven’t we all admired someone who has achieved exceptional results, and yet somehow they made it seem effortless?  If we closely examine their success, we will likely find they work within their sweet spot. Your sweet spot is more than a skill, it is your unique power, inspired by passion, and driven by a sense of what’s possible. Take time to do some self-reflection to see how your passions, power and possibilities can help determine your “sweet spot!”

Passion: Here is a compelling question. What do you enjoy so much that you would do it for free? For me, it is speaking, and I am sure meeting planners would like to know this before they book me. It is important to understand that no one can escape doing tasks that we don’t particularly enjoy, but are necessary. A task is something you drag yourself to do; a passion is something you are driven to do. High achievers design their lives so the majority of their time is spent doing what they love, and is therefore more productive.  They understand that it requires less effort to overcome their obstacles and stay inspired when they are working within their sweet spot.  The reason being, goals require an intellectual commitment, whereas passion requires an emotional commitment. When we are emotionally invested in our work, we feel motivated and energized!  


Posted by Roger Crawford in Discover Possibilities, Possibilities and tagged ,

How to Dispute Negative Thinking

How to dispute negative thinkingWhat I have learned from positive thinkers is this. They have negative thoughts like everyone else. However, they have learned to dispute or argue with their pessimism. In other words, they don’t allow negative thinking to gain traction or momentum. When you surrender to negative thinking – the more powerful it becomes. This is important because negative thinking is truly destructive to our future potential. Negative thinking can prevent us from taking the action necessary to achieve our goals and objectives. In addition, negativity undermines our confidence and may even cause us to give up at the very first sign of difficulty.

The next time you are in a cycle of negativity, here are some questions that can help you break free!  

What is the evidence for my negativity?
Make a commitment to avoid jumping to conclusions about our circumstances before we analyze the facts. If you don’t have real evidence, you could be assigning meaning to what’s occurring without validity. One way to combat negative thinking is to resist giving significance to unclear situations. Negative thinking is frequently caused by a lack of understanding, or not having all the information. Positive thinkers build their fortitude on the facts.


Posted by Roger Crawford in Challenge your thinking!, Attitude and tagged , ,

How To Get Unstuck & Get Moving!

How to get unstuckArriving at my hotel at 2 p.m., I had hoped to change into a suit before my presentation that afternoon. However, the front desk person informed me the rooms would not be available until 4 p.m.. Since the event was at a nearby Country Club, I figured I could use their locker room when I arrived. As I drove into the parking lot, it was teeming with hurried golfers and enthusiastic conference attendees. When I inquired about using of the locker room, they informed me it was fully reserved for the golf tournament in progress. Thinking it could be very awkward for some unsuspecting audience members to see their conference speaker in his underwear before the conference, I made a decision I would soon regret… 


Posted by Roger Crawford in Overcoming Obstacles, Opportunity and tagged ,

3 Ways to Outthink Your Obstacles!

smart-thinkingHave you ever heard someone attribute one’s success to luck, connections or serendipity? It implies that this person seemingly had an obstacle free path to achievement. In rare occasions, this may be true, but most often it is a person’s ability to overcome adversity that was the key to their success. They did not avoid or ignore obstacles, but learned to outthink them. To “outthink” is defined as thinking better or more accurately than others.

When faced with an obstacle, remember these three things:

Be Positive:
We can outthink our obstacles by anticipating both happiness and success. With this positive mindset you increase your confidence so that you can overcome any adversity or difficulty. When we believe in our ability to outthink our obstacles, we can more easily explore our resources to arrive at a solution. Haven’t you found that the more positive you think the more positive results you get? By choosing to outthink your obstacles by staying positive, you will have a greater sense of what’s possible and begin to open your mind to new options! 


Posted by Roger Crawford in Overcoming Obstacles, Think Again! and tagged

The Difference Between Getting Knocked Down and Getting Knocked Out!

Special Olympics EventI wish you could have been there!  Several years ago, I had the privilege of serving as a coach for the Special Olympics.  One of the extraordinary athletes I worked with was a young woman named Emily. She was unforgettable because of her sparkling smile and focused intensity while practicing her event. When we first met, Emily understandably seemed preoccupied by my hands.  She would look at her ten digits, and then glanced at my three digits.  Finally, she thought, “this dude needs a little encouragement.” Emily said to me with tremendous empathy, “Roger, I also have a handicap…” Of course, I thought she was referring to the fact she had Down syndrome, but I was mistaken.  She said, “You see Roger, I had my appendix out last year!”  Emily’s remarkable perspective is one we can all learn from and be inspired by. She was truly confident and empowered by her athletic accomplishments, and was focused on her abilities, not disabilities.

During a Special Olympics event while participating as a coach, I witnessed something that I recorded on my mental DVR, so that I could savor this memory repeatedly!  The athletes prepared to run a relay race and knelt down into their starting blocks.


Posted by Roger Crawford in Never Give Up!, Success, Resilience, Teamwork and tagged , ,