Big Dawgs Coach, Henry Torano is really well known as a coach who is outstanding at helping his clients “get their mind right.” We discussed some wonderful questions surrounding how to understand if you need to investigate what’s happening between your ears and how you can improve your mental game as you become more aware of where you really sit with it.
How Can You Tell If Somebody Is Struggling Mentally?
Henry said “it depends” a lot on this call. That’s so important to remember because everybody reacts to stress differently, and everybody also reacts to their visceral reactions to stress differently. That said, Henry said that people often “dance” around challenging topics. When Henry sees somebody who won’t get to the truth of a tough situation, they are dancing, and Henry knows that he needs to address it.
How Do You Address Somebody Who’s Dancing?
Henry said that he’s tried a lot of different things and timeframes to address his clients when they’re not facing realities - dancing - but he often feels like he’s “missed” on the long side and that he should have addressed it sooner.
Henry said that the way to address dancing is to help them see the truth of the situation, whatever it is. Henry often asks empathetic questions to his clients when he senses that they’re dancing. A tactic Henry employs is to ask “I’m noticing “x,” is that something you’ve been seeing/feeling? You said this and then you said that...I’m wondering if you’re feeling….”
Henry never wants to be perceived as criticizing, so he tries to have his clients answer these questions and find their own solutions because they will adhere to them much more strongly.
People respond in numerous different ways, and Henry said that some clients are more aware than others that the issues are/were happening. Many clients may just not want to admit that they are experiencing these challenges for whatever reason. Henry likes to say “I’m here to tell you the things you may not want to here” because his clients need to face the truth in order to make substantive changes.
The Conversation Floodgates Open…
When Henry asks great questions, many times his clients will begin to search their minds for other scenarios similar to the one they’re currently facing. At this point, most clients will work hard to begin to solve their own problems, while talking it through with Henry. The power behind them solving their own problems helps them build true self-confidence which is the gift that keeps on giving in performance and life.
When people see this truth and begin to put doable and consistent solutions into their daily habits, they begin to progress. This can happen very quickly like it did in the case of one of Henry’s clients. Within 1 day, she had completely changed her mindset around her feeling extremely weak. The context of this story is that she was a strong CrossFitter and then needed to take a step back because she had some challenging life issues that came up. Part of taking that step back was losing some of the strength she’d built up along the way. Initially, she was very upset that she was weaker than she once was, but Henry helped her reframe what was important and why it was important to her, and strength simply wasn’t her focus. Her being ok to not be as strong as she once was completely transformed her mindset to a place where she immediately began feeling better, and all of this happened in 1 night. Sure, she had to then solidify those great habits, but she was already thinking for herself with Henry’s guidance so she had a support system to ensure her accountability and success.
How Can You Start To Improve Your Mindset Even If You’re On Your Own?
Henry is a big fan of asking yourself why 7 times. Perhaps if something feels wrong, you ask “why do I feel badly?” Then you ask yourself why again based on how you answered the first question. Then you ask yourself why based on the answer to the second question. And so on….
If you’re willing to face those truths internally, you’ll feel the stress begin to dissipate because your concerns are coming to the surface vs feeling unknown and scary deeply inside of your system.
However you see yourself at this moment, there are wonderful strategies to improve how you’re approaching your mentality, and it’ll help you significantly improve your performance in and out of the gym to develop strategies to address it! Best of luck