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Russell Wilson’s mental conditioning coach tells him to avoid country music

Trevor Moawad is Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson's mental conditioning coach. (Getty Images)

Part of Russell Wilson’s secret to success, in addition to his talent and physical training, is his mental conditioning coach, Trevor Moawad.

Mental conditioning is in Moawad’s genes. His dad, Bob, was one of the leaders in the self-esteem, positive self-talk movement in the Pacific Northwest.

What is Russell Wilson thinking? 

“It was an incredible way to grow up, but I think really, what I’ve found out in the world of sports, is some of the things that drive the self-help industry, like the power of positive thinking, and meditating, and mindfulness, those aren’t things we really focus on in sports,” Moawad told KIRO Radio’s Seattle’s Morning News.

Moawad suggests focusing on the next behavior, not the next outcome, after something goes wrong.

“You have three bad quarters, you’ve thrown four interceptions, you own that,” he said. “But the next seven minutes are going to be based on what you do, not what you did.”

Moawad’s concept of neutral thinking is the core of his new book, It Takes What It Takes.

“What happened is over. What will happen hasn’t happened yet. What’s happening now is in my control,” Moawad said.

Besides resetting and determining what you can do and what you can control, the second piece of neutral thinking is the language. As Seahawks fans and reporters know, Wilson will seldom say negative things about what happened in a game, even after a loss. He always focuses on what he needs to do next.

“I think that applies to whether I work at Starbucks, Microsoft, or I work in business, or work at (CenturyLink) Field,” Moawad said. “Am I focusing on what allows me to succeed, or am I focusing on success itself?”

To improve your mindset, Moawad encourages people to think about the media they’re listening to, watching, and consuming on a daily basis. He and Russell Wilson both avoid country music.

“You know, country music is great, but it’s so negative that … we don’t want to have that really dictating our internal ad campaign,” Moawad said. ” … That doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it, but if you’re going through a divorce or a tough challenge and you’re listening to sad music, you’re going to be influenced negatively.”

While Moawad thinks people should listen to the news enough to be informed, there’s probably no need to listen to negative reports for eight hours a day, or spend time listening to something that infuriates you. It’s all about balance.

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“At the end of the day you’re responsible for your own success. And what you listen to, what you say out loud, what you consume, what you watch, all those things influence your ability to perform.”

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