• 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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What Is Mental Toughness?

The biggest problem in training mental toughness is figuring out what the hell it is.

After all, how can you achieve something when you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve?

And worse, most so-called definitions of mental toughness, the mental game, or mental training for sports are overly complicated, confusing, and misleading.

At this point, you may be thinking, “Okay, Riley, you better have a clear, simple, and useful definition yourself…”

Well, I do. And that’s what Robert Grossman interviewed me about recently.

When you listen to this interview, you’ll learn:

  • What mental toughness really is (and why it’s a lot simpler than you think…)
  • Why your brain thinks stress is a saber tooth tiger (and how to kill the saber tooth tiger in your head…)
  • Why most methods of mental training don’t work 
  • Why issues like focus, confidence, negative thinking, and motivation aren’t the real problems (and why trying to fix them can cause even more problems…)
  • How to get to the root of the problem of mental toughness by taking away the power source of anxiety 
  • How draining your chronic tensions with NRW makes “stress”  work for you instead of against you 
  • Why there’s really no such thing as confidence 
  • How to tap into an enormous wellspring of raw, primal power that will act as a perpetual inner source of motivation 
  • How to get back to the perfect mental toughness of animals in the wild

Listen or download the audio interview here:

Download mp3 (Right-click & select Save Link As… to download)


CLICK HERE to download the PDF transcript


The Path to Mental Toughness–and Beyond

People often ask me about my own experiences with Neuromuscular Release Work–how I discovered it, why I chose to pursue it, the kind of impact it had on me.

Usually I don’t like to talk too much about all that. After all, NRW isn’t about me. It’s about you. Your experience. The impact you’re going to make on your mental game. I’m just the guy who can show you how to do it, and help you through the transformation you’ll go through if you do the work.

Still, I understand the impulse to want to know a little more about me and my background.

That’s why I let me friend and colleague, Robert Grossman, interview me about my personal story.

Listening back, I realized how helpful it would have been to hear this when I was just getting started.

In this interview you’ll hear:

  • Why I went on the search for the ultimate method of mental training
  • How we have to overcome our evolution to develop mental toughness
  • How I explored most methods of mental training (and why I dropped them and kept looking for something that worked…)
  • The extreme results I experienced in my first experiments with NRW, and why you have to go to war against your tensions
  • How I met the last surviving practitioner of NRW and became a leading expert
  • The coincidences that brought NRW into the wide world of sports
  • How NRW trains athletes for inspired performances–and how to get out of the way and let your body do the work for you
  • How you can get started revolutionizing your mental game quickly and easily with the NRW Tension Blaster Mini-Workout

Listen to or download the audio interview here:

Download mp3 (Right-click & select Save Link As… to download)


CLICK HERE to download the PDF transcript.


P.S. Robert Grossman’s the guy who taught me everything I know about business. He has an amazing grasp of what it means to do business in the 21st century, especially for people in the wellness field. Now that we’ve entered what he calls the New Paradigm of Business, he’s helping tons of people take advantage of the new opportunities and empowering them to follow their passions. Check out his website here.

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.


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...