“To survive 14 NFL seasons, play in 201 games, catch 936 passes and gain 13,781 receiving yards, a man must possess… something. A secret, a formula…” –Sports Illustrated, 11/24/14

Steve Smith’s achievements as a NFL receiver, late of the Carolina Panthers and now of the Baltimore Ravens, certainly stand out of their own accord however they are all the more impressive when you realize Steve is only 5’9”, a virtual midget in a land of giants. Steve has 13 Mind Tricks to which he attributes much of his success.

Several things struck me about Steve: 

– A love of reading: “I actually love to read,” he says, citing business texts such as The Richest Man in Babylon and motivational works like A Tale of Three Kings and The Last Lecture among his favorite books.

– His commitment to learning and financial discipline: “Early in his career Smith watched teammates go broke, their bank accounts drained by lavish purchases and poor investments. He made a few himself. Then he hired a financial guy; he interned at Morgan Stanley in consecutive off-seasons; he attended a financial seminar in London. Smith wanted to buy a Bentley, and eventually he did, but not until he accrued enough interest on his salary to buy the car outright—passive income, he notes, schooling a reporter on financial terms. That took years.

– Mind Trick #5: Collect Quotes from the Bible, football coaches, and philosophers; refer to them in moments that require inspiration, affirmation, guidance.

For full the full Sports Illustrated article:

Steve Smith’s 13 Mind Tricks to Keep Focus

1 Eat Fruits and Vegetables

2 Low Impact Spin Class

3 Practice Disengagement; Leave the field on the field

4 Play Angry

5 Collect Quotes; Refer to them in moments that require inspiration, affirmation, guidance

6 Internalize Slights

7 Sell Yourself

8 Get Foot Massages Regularly

9 Expect Nothing, Want One Thing

10 Play Hurt: Availability is as important as Ability

11 Marry Well

12 Be Honest With Yourself

13 Leave Gracefully

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier