How using Navy Seal secrets helped me win the USA memory championship.
*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 United States memory championship I hired a former United States Navy Seal, TC Cummings to be my mental coach. People would always ask my what a Navy Seal would know about memory tournaments and memory competitions. NOTHING! But he knew everything about being confident, focused and discipline. That’s what he taught me and in this video I’m going to teach you 5 secrets that he taught me on how to think like a Navy Seal. These following steps helped me become a national memory champion.
1.“The more you sweat in times of peace, the less you bleed in times of war”.
This is a philosophy shared by Navy Seals and warriors. My competitors in these memory tournaments would sit at their kitchen table and memorize a deck of cards in total silence. Memorizing in perfect conditions. TC taught me to train in chaos. He told me to buy plastic playing cards and snorkel gear to memorize under water. Now imagine hanging out at the pool eating a hot dog and some guy walking out of the pool in head to toe snorkel gear with a deck of cards. My philosophy 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 would have water leaking into my googles, children throwing beach balls at my head and I even trained in freezing waters. The water would be so cold sometimes I would have to wear a wetsuit. 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.
2. A mindset of confidence.
TC wanted me to get my confidence and my belief in myself so high, he wanted me to see myself as a WINNER. So 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.
3. Set small goals throughout the day.
Again this is about confidence and belief in myself. By setting small goals throughout the day, 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 these goals and that I will continue to hit my goals during the tournament. I would say that this step was key for me and my confidence going into the memory tournament.
4. A Navy Seal will always face a consequence for not hitting a goal.
If you miss hitting 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. So for missing an 8:30am wake up goal 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.
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. So that day I pushed forward and trained without excuses. 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: