How using Navy Seal secrets helped me win the USA memory championship.


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*Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be or have been a Navy Seal. My coach was the Navy Seal. I did serve in the Navy (2002-2010) but not as a Seal.

When I was training for the USA memory championships I decided to hire the former United States Navy Seal, TC Cummings to be my mental coach.  People always ask what a Navy Seal would know about memory tournaments and memory competitions.  NOTHING!  But he knew a lot about confidence, focus and discipline.  That’s what he taught me.  In this video I’m going to teach you 5 secrets on how to think like a Navy Seal.  These following steps helped me become a 2 time USA memory champion.

 1.“The more you sweat in times of peace, the less you bleed in times of war”.

TC taught me to train in chaos. This is a philosophy shared by Navy Seals and warriors.  In these memory tournaments my competitors would sit at their kitchen tables and memorize a deck of cards in total silence.  Memorizing in perfect conditions.  He suggested that I buy plastic playing cards and snorkeling gear to memorize under water.  Can we take a moment to imagine you hanging out at the pool eating a hot dog and me walking out of the pool in head to toe snorkel gear with a deck of cards.  My thought process was if I was hard on myself during my training then the tournament would be easy for me, if I was easy on myself during training then the tournament would be hard on me.

While memorizing the deck of cards underwater I had to deal with water leaking into my googles, children throwing beach balls at my head and even freezing water.  I trained so hard that I could memorize a deck of cards faster underwater than anyone could above water in the United States.  When I went to the tournament I didn’t just win that event, I set a new national record.

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2.  A mindset of confidence.

Next thing we worked on was my confidence and my belief in myself, he wanted me to see myself as a WINNER.  In order to do that we went all the way back to when I was 13.  I had a paper route and I delivered more papers than any other kid.  In PE we had a bench set competition where I beat 90 other 6th graders.  We went back to Junior High, High School and even College to all my successes no matter how small the win was.  We put all these moments into a list that he would have me read over and over to program my mind to be a winner.

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3.  Set small goals throughout the day.

Set small goals throughout the day.  This step is also encouraging a winning attitude.  By 5pm I had already completed 10 goals and feeling accomplished.  At the end of the week I’ve completed 70, in a month 200, and by the time I walked into the tournament 1000.  It was programming my mind to know that I hit all my goals and that I will continue to hit all my goals.  I would say that this step was the most important for building my confidence for the tournament.

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4.  A Navy Seal will always face a consequence for not hitting a goal. 

If you miss a set goal the doubt will continue to creep in your mind and make you think you are not worthy of success.  As a Navy Seal, TC would stand in the shower under cold water for 2 minutes as a consequence to not accomplishing what he said he would.  Everyone has something that they absolutely HATE to do, for me that is also cold water.  Once I missed an 8:30am wake up goal so as my consequence I jumped in a pool in the middle of January.  After that, I never missed a goal again.  To be successful and have confidence you need to have a clear conscience.

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5.  Train when you don’t feel like it.

Navy Seals can’t just train when they want to or feel like it.  They train everyday, good or bad.  There was a day in my training that I was sick so I let TC know that I would be missing that day.  He then proceeded to remind me that if I was sick the day of the tournament I wouldn’t miss it and would still compete so that day wasn’t any different.  I pushed forward and trained without excuses from that moment on.  Because of this step I was able to WIN the 2010 USA Memory Championship on 45 minutes of sleep.

By doing what you need to do whether you want to or not, you push yourself to succeed.  Without TC’s help I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my goals and gain the title of a 2 time USA memory champion.  Push yourself, be confident, set goals, and train even when you don’t think you can. For more Navy Seal training tips check out the link below: