Blog | Neuromuscular Release Work - Part 2
  • I Know You Got Talent – It’s the Other Thing I Wonder About

    I was watching the movie The Devil’s Advocate, and was struck by a perfect description of Mental Toughness. Al Pacino is trying to seduce a small town lawyer from Florida to join his firm in New York. Here’s what Pacino says: “I know you got talent. It’s the other thing I wonder about. Pressure. Changes […]

  • Balls to the Wall, Man

    Ever heard the phrase, “Balls to the Wall?” It always kinda confused me. You’re out on the field or on the court, and some guy’s yelling, “Balls to the Wall!” I never knew what the hell it meant. And I guess if I gave it any serious thought, it would have brought up some pretty […]

  • You Gotta WANT It

    My old High School football coach had some memorable quotes. Some of em…not so positive. I remember him yelling at us in the locker room: “No matter how good you are, you’re all replaceable.” Or telling us, “The more negative energy you have, the better football player you’re gonna be.” He was like an alcoholic […]

  • Mental Toughness In a Head-On Collison

    The good word from a Tension Blaster member, Tyler: “I’ve just completed the 9 week Heavy Tension Blaster cycle and I have got to say that I’m impressed. My anxiety has lessened a lot. For example I was almost in a head on collision with another car. In the past when something like would have […]

  • Power Naps of the Champions

    There are plenty of reasons I look up to Royce Gracie. For one, he was the guy who cleaned up on all the early UFCs, proving to the world the unbelievable power of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But what really amazes me is something I heard in an interview with him. He said he was so […]

  • Loosen Up, Stop Thinking, and Perform

    Sometimes I get some flack for being so hard on the ‘positive thinking’ crowd. Truth is, I don’t really have anything against positive thinking. If I’m gonna have thoughts rattling around my skull, I figure they may as well be positive, goal-directed, achievement oriented, etc. That’s all good. It might even be helpful sometimes. But […]

  • Yoda’s School for Mental Toughness Jedi

    I loved the original Star Wars when I was a kid. Especially the scenes where Yoda trains Luke to become a Jedi. Go figure. As it turns out, that Jedi stuff is pretty close to Mental Toughness training. So let’s see what we can learn from Master Yoda: “Unlearn what you have learned.” Whenever I […]

  • LSD and Mental Toughness and No-Hitters…Oh My…

    This is one of the craziest stories in sports history. On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, took some LSD with his girlfriend. It was his day off. Well, he thought it was his day off. About an hour after they took the acid, Dock’s girlfriend opened the newspaper. “Dock,” she […]

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Power Naps of the Champions

There are plenty of reasons I look up to Royce Gracie.

For one, he was the guy who cleaned up on all the early UFCs, proving to the world the unbelievable power of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

But what really amazes me is something I heard in an interview with him.

He said he was so relaxed about competing he’d be napping a couple hours before big fights.

Yes, napping.

His trainers would worriedly wake him up, trying to get him to warm up with them.

“Okay, okay,” he’d say. “I have nothing better to do.”

Wow.

Meanwhile, flashback to me before a high school football game, racked with nerves and trying to visualize my way into confidence. I wasn’t taking any naps.

Part of Gracie’s confidence came from the fact that he possessed a truly superior technique, and most of the world didn’t know about it yet. Eventually he got beat, but for a while there no one could crack the code.

His dad, who taught Jiu Jitsu to all his sons, said he wished there was more serious competition for them in the world.

“But it’s not them that’s good,” he said. “It’s the art that’s good.”

And that, right there, is the secret. It’s the art that’s good.

If you have a proven technique, and you’ve mastered it, you don’t have to work yourself up into the right mindset. Mindset is irrelevant. You just get out of the way and trust your training.

The same goes for NRW. It’s the ultimate method of Mental Toughness training, because it doesn’t matter who’s doing it.

It’s the art that’s good.

Check it out here:

Tension Blaster Workout Series

Loosen Up, Stop Thinking, and Perform

Sometimes I get some flack for being so hard on the ‘positive thinking’ crowd.

Truth is, I don’t really have anything against positive thinking.

If I’m gonna have thoughts rattling around my skull, I figure they may as well be positive, goal-directed, achievement oriented, etc.

That’s all good.

It might even be helpful sometimes.

But it’s not enough.

It’s not enough to get you out of bed to go train. And it’s definitely not going to give you the nerves of steel you need to perform at your peak when the pressure’s on.

Look: when it comes to thinking, the choice isn’t between positive thinking and negative thinking.

The real difference is between thinking, and not thinking.

Why is that?

Thinking exists for one reason: to solve problems.

Your brain detects a problem, and comes up with a solution.

And how does your fancy brain know that there’s a problem?

Same way an alligator does: it gets scared.

There’s fear. There’s tension. Your brain gets the signal, “I’m hungry,” or “gosh, that thing looks like it’s going to eat me.”

If you’re a crocodile, you have a few solutions to any problem: get away from it, kill it, eat it, or make sweet crocodile love to it.

That’s the primitive response.

If you’re a walking, talking human being, you have a more sophisticated survival mechanism: you can think about your problems. (If you’re like most people, that’s all you do about them…but I digress…)

But thought is built on that primitive response.

It’s powered by that primitive response.

Unlike the crocodile, we always feel like we’re under attack.

We’re always trying to solve a problem, even when there isn’t a problem. (Which is most of the time.)

We’re always thinking because we’re always tense. We’re never totally relaxed.

That’s useful when you’re a vulnerable, soft-bellied human surrounded by predators.

Not so useful when you’re trying to perform at your peak.

To do that, you need to be calm.

You can’t be tense or reactive.

You gotta get loose.

Cuz when you’re loose, you’re not thinking at all.

You’re just doing.

You’re just performing.

Without resistance.

With total flow.

With True Mental Toughness.

Get some here:

Tension Blaster Workout Series

Yoda’s School for Mental Toughness Jedi

I loved the original Star Wars when I was a kid.

Especially the scenes where Yoda trains Luke to become a Jedi.

Go figure. As it turns out, that Jedi stuff is pretty close to Mental Toughness training.

So let’s see what we can learn from Master Yoda:

“Unlearn what you have learned.”

Whenever I get started with a new client, first thing we have to do is wipe out everything he thinks he knows about Mental Toughness.

Then we use NRW to wipe out all the bad habits, thoughts and emotions stuck in the body tension.

Wipe the slate, unlearn what you’ve learned, and you’re well on the way to true Mental Toughness.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

The root of every problem with performance is fear.

Call it whatever you want: nerves, stress, tension, yips, anxiety. It’s all just primal survival fear, locked up in your nervous system.

No matter how complicated a performance problem seems, the root is always simple.

And if you want to really make something happen, you have to follow the chain reaction all the way back to its root.

And then pull the root out, once and for all.

“A Jedi’s strength flows from the force.”

True dominance, true Mental Toughness isn’t about making things happen.

It’s about allowing.

As you dissolve those tensions, you release a hyper-potent life force within you.

That life force moves you. Gradually, you learn to let go and trust it. The more you do that, the more you get in the Zone. And you become far more powerful than you ever could by holding that death grip of tension, and trying to force everything.

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”

A personal favorite.

If you’re gonna do something, do it.

Nothing works unless you do.

Didn’t matter how wise and powerful Yoda was. If Luke didn’t do the work, Luke didn’t get the results.

Same goes for you.

Of course, here in the ‘real world,’ we can’t all fly off to Degobah for a Master Yoda Jedi Training Retreat.

We gotta somehow fit all this in to an active life.

Hence, the Tension Blaster Workouts. You just add em to your training regimen like you would any other workout.

Do the work, and your inner Yoda takes care of the rest.

It may not help you lift an X-Wing out of a swamp with your mind.

But increase your Mental Toughness, it will:

Tension Blaster Workout Series

LSD and Mental Toughness and No-Hitters…Oh My…

This is one of the craziest stories in sports history.

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, took some LSD with his girlfriend. It was his day off.

Well, he thought it was his day off.

About an hour after they took the acid, Dock’s girlfriend opened the newspaper.

“Dock,” she yelped, spitting her coffee all over the breakfast table (probably). “You’re playing today!”

In five hours, he was supposed to pitch against the Padres in San Diego. He was in L.A.

The two sped to the airport, Dock got on a plane (you could just do that back then), and he arrived in San Diego at 4:30, in time for the game at 6:05.

And he pitched a no-hitter.

Dock said he only remembers bits and pieces of that game. Sometimes the ball seemed really big, sometimes really small; sometimes he saw the catcher, sometimes he didn’t. At one point he dove to avoid a non-existent line drive.

But somehow, in a situation that would throw almost anyone in a freak out of epic proportions, Dock Ellis was able to perform.

How in the hell did he do it?

Maybe he was just a natural. Maybe he was one of the rare breed who were born with high levels of Mental Toughness.

Or maybe there was something about the intensity of the situation that made him rise to the occasion.

But ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. Because with Mental Toughness, the real hero of the story is you. And the question is always, how can you get to those levels?

How would you react in such a crazy situation? Would you rise up to your highest potential, or would your head explode? And how can you prepare for the unexpected?

The less stress you carry around day to day, the more insanity you can handle without freaking out.

With low stress levels, even the craziest situation can come along, and instead of grinding you down, it’ll lift you up.

You’ll start to crave it.

Mental Toughness Warriors always do their best when everything’s on the line.

That’s the thrill. That’s the adventure.

The more you can handle, the more you long for it.

The risk.

The challenge.

Seeing what you’re made of.

That’s what it’s really about. Sure, winning’s nice. But it’s really all about the adventure.

Get some here:

Tension Blaster Workout Series

What Is NRW?

Whatever your sport or skill level, Neuromuscular Release Work (NRW) can improve your game and life dramatically by blasting your tensions and releasing the primal energies within. If you're looking to improve your mental toughness, competition readiness, focus, motivation, and turn your nerves into confidence, NRW can help.

Contact

Riley Holland

8954 N Portsmouth Ave.

Portland, OR 97203-5976

Who Is Riley Holland?

footerRiley Holland is the world’s leading expert in Neuromuscular Release Work (NRW), and is recognized as an authority on the mental game by athletes and sports psychologists alike. He has studied a wide variety of methods, both ancient and modern, for relieving stress and tension and increasing mental toughness. Now he coaches and teaches NRW, which he has found to be the ultimate method of mental training. Read More...