Building Mental Skills for Life with Zach Brandon

There are many things that have become unsettled in our world. Our daily routines have changed and some opportunities we may have had a few months ago have been put on hold, while others have arisen through the changes. This week, Arizona Diamondbacks Mental Skills Coordinator Zach Brandon talks about the benefits of practicing mindfulness and intentionality, and shares ideas on how to return to a centered place even when the storm is at its strongest.

It begins with a simple tenet of sports — you have to make sure you’re paying attention to the right thing at the right time. Especially in times of change, it’s important to find a way to pause and take stock of where you are, and then adjust your focus. It doesn’t matter if that change is a large life shift or just the transition from work to home in your everyday routine, there’s value in re-centering before you move to something new. Often, our minds can work against us when we get stuck on what’s happened in the past or worry about what’s to come. By acknowledging and accepting the changes, we can find a way to enter into the new space with intentionality and focus. It doesn’t make the challenges disappear, but it can make them easier to navigate.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Switch your focus to be more process-oriented
  • Build transition routines into your day
  • Adjust your expectations when you practice a new skill
  • Find a way to center yourself when you need to
  • Practice intentionality in your actions


“Our physical ability ultimately sets the bar at what you’re potentially capable of achieving in performance, but I think it’s the mind that influences how close you get to that bar and how consistently you’re able to be there.” -Zach Brandon

“There’s all these different moments in life where we get a chance to be very mindful of our focus, be very mindful of when we need to just pause and kind of steady our mind and not allow our mind to get ahead of ourselves. There’s moments where we have to remind ourselves to see things from a different vantage point.” -Zach Brandon

“One of my favorite quotes is this idea that perspective is the only thing that can change the outcome without changing any of the results. And I think right now we’re getting an opportunity to experience that as we don’t really control what outcomes occur.” -Zach Brandon

“Expectations can be really important going into it — just knowing that if you try something like mindfulness or any sort of different mental skills, it’s probably going to take a little bit of time for you to build that into something that feels authentic, to build that into something you can hang your hat on, if you will.” -Zach Brandon

“Mindfully coming back to center with your breath is a way for you to drop this anchor. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to make the storm go away, but it is going to help you steady yourself and weather it. And I think that’s one thing that mindfulness does. There’s a lot of storms that hit us throughout our lives and in a lot of different facets.” -Zach Brandon


You can follow Zach Brandon on Twitter @MVP_Mindset or find him on LinkedIn by searching for his name.

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Episode 202