Keys to Success

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					Keys to Success
   Important Lessons You Can
     Borrow from Athletics

(from Chapter 1: “The ‘Secrets’ of Success”)
  Recognize the Important,
 Cost, and Benefits of Making
        a Commitment
 The Greeks: “A sound mind in a sound body”
 The single most powerful predictor of
  success in the long run is commitment, the
  willingness and desire to work hard toward
  achieving clearly defined goals.
 Top achievers are more than just willing to
  work hard: they want to work hard.
     Benefits of Making a
   Commitment to Strengthen
     Your Reading Skills
• You will feel better about yourself as a person and
  as a student.
• Your grades will improve.
• You will have more confidence.
• You will become more and more motivated.
• You will have better career opportunities.
• You will have an improved personal life, be
  happier, more sure of yourself, and be more
What is the Cost of Achieving
 These Wonderful Benefits?
 A few hours a week; it depends on what
  “shape” you are in when you start.
 Regardless of your shape, it is a small price
  to pay for very important gains.
 Everyone wants a “quick fix,” but that’s as
  unrealistic for improving your reading skills
  as it is for achieving physical fitness.
“Work Out” (Study) at the Right
 Time and in the Right Place
 Identify the time of day when you are most
  alert and rested.
 Then, study at that same time every day. If
  you give it three weeks, it will become a
 Avoid Negative Self-Talk and
   Negative Verbalizations
 Many students have the habit of negative
  self-talk: “This is too hard.” “I’m not smart
  enough,” “I’ll never get this,” or “This is
  hopeless.” When ever you have a thought
  like this, STOP IT.
 Don’t accept negative comments about
  yourself, and don’t make them.
    Decide What Kind of Person
         You Want to Be

    If you want to change the kind of student
     you are, change the kind of person you are.

    You are what you say and do.
            Train the Way
           You Want to Play
 In practicing your reading skills, you need to do
  the same things in the same way as you will when
  you use them in actual situations.
 This means practicing with the real thing, college-
  level material. It means thinking, focusing, and
  preparing yourself ultimately to use these same
  skills to help master your college textbooks.
 You get out of it what you put into it.
  Train carefully. Train regularly. Train hard.
Expect to Hit Plateaus and Be
 Prepared to Deal with Them
   Learning doesn’t occur as a smooth, seamless,
    steady process.
   Learning involves integrating new information
    with existing information. The brain needs time
    for restructuring and consolidation. It takes time
    for the brain to accommodate new input.
   If you hit a rough spot, keep going.
   Even when you feel discouraged, do the
    assignments anyway.
   Champions keep playing until they get it right.
 To function, your brain needs glucose and
 Drink plenty of water to hydrate and
  oxygenate your brain.
 For your brain to function well, you need to
  feel relaxed, yet alert.
                Breathe (continued)
Use this simple breathing procedure to calm and
refresh you:

1. Take several slow, deep breaths when you sit down to
   study. Sit up straight. Put you feet flat on the floor. Rest
   your hands in your lap and close your eyes. Exhale
   completely through your nose.
2. Now inhale through your nose and fill your lungs from
   the bottom up.
3. Hold your breath for several seconds and then exhale
   slowly and completely through your mouth.

Practice this slowly. You may feel a bit dizzy at
           Use Visualization
 This means imagining yourself doing
  something successful before you actually
  begin it.
 It’s like a move you run in your head.
 “If I can conceive it, I can believe it. If I can
  believe it, I can achieve it.” Jessie Jackson
 Imitate a champion.
 Pattern yourself after someone who is
    Focus on Your Own Game
 If you watch what someone else is doing,
  then you are not focusing on what you need
  to do.
 Learn from others, but improve yourself.
 Just because someone wins the race, don’t
  assume it was easy for them.
    Develop Mental Toughness
       and Maintain Focus
 Stress and setbacks are part of everyone’s
 You have to be tough.
 Everything depends on your mental outlook
  towards life.
 98% of success is in your head.
 Learn to Distinguish between
     Problems and Facts
 A problem can be fixed.
 If you are dealing with a circumstance that cannot
  be changed or fixed, then it’s no longer a problem:
  it’s a fact.
 Because it’s a fact, there’s no reason to waste
  emotional energy feeling frustrated. Let it go.
 Save time and energy for problems you can do
  something about.
      Have High Expectations
           for Yourself
 You have to expect things of yourself before you
  can do them.
 Keep in mind that it is what you expect of yourself
  that matters, not what others expect
 Set your academic goals, and know what you are
  wiling to do to achieve academic success..
    Show Up for Practice--Even
    When you Don’t Feel Like It
 Nearly all “good students” work very hard
  for their success.
 Success is not a matter of luck.
 Discipline is remember what you want.”
 “The only discipline that lasts is self-
    Monitor Your Workouts and
     Evaluate Your Progress
 Monitor your “workouts” in this book.
 Assess your own performance; know why
  you missed an item.
 If you don’t find out why you missed the
  items you, then you’ve lost the opportunity
  to learn—and you’ve wasted the time you
  spent doing the activity.
 Always Give Your Best Effort
 “There are three types of baseball players—
  those who make it happen, those who watch
  it happen, and those who wonder what
  happened.” Tommy Lasorda
 “Shoot for the moon—even if you fall short
  you will land among the stars.” Gil Steinke
 Go for the gold. Make it habit to try to hit
  the ball out of the park.
         Follow Instructions
 Read, mark, and follow every set of
  directions carefully.
 Follow the philosophy of “Do it now.
  Do it right.”
 Following directions is a relatively simple,
  but very important skill.
    Following Written Directions
 Read the entire set of directions carefully,
  even if you think you know what you’re
  supposed to do.
 Circle or box any clues that signal steps in
  the directions.
 Underline key words that tell what you’re
  supposed to do (especially in test directions)
 Carry out the steps in order.
     Get Help from a “Coach”
 Ask for guidance in class and outside of class, too.
 Good coaches--and good teachers--will not let you
  get by with sloppy work, missed “workouts”
  (missed class sessions or missing assignments), or
  a bad attitude. Because they care whether or not
  you learn, they’ll push prod, and nag. They won’t
  accept excuses.
 Good coaches and teachers “see what you can be
  rather than what you are.”
           “Secrets” Summary
   Understand and make a commitment.
   “Work out “ (study) at the right time and place.
   Avoid negative self-talk and verbalizations.
   Decide what kind of person you want to be.
   Train the way you want to play.
   Be prepared to deal with plateaus.
   Breathe.
   Use visualization.
   Focus on your own game.
      “Secrets” Summary (con’t)
   Develop mental toughness and stay focused.
   Distinguish between problems and facts.
   Set high expectations and commit them to writing.
   Show up for practice even if you don’t feel like it.
   Monitor your “workouts” and your progress.
   Always give your best effort.
   Follow instructions.
   Get help from a “coach.”
                 Time to get moving!

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