New York Yankees Award-Winning Strength & Conditioning Coach Dana Cavalea Talks Habits of a Champion

Show Notes

New York Yankees World Series Champion Dana Cavalea teaches why your daily habits and patterns will produce success or failure over time, why you must hate losing more than you love winning, and why daily diligence is the true key to ultimate success.

  1. Dana Cavalea explains why your daily habits and patterns will produce success or failure over time
  2. Why Derek Jeter’s super power was his consistency
  3. Why most people hate consistency?
  4. How accountability keeps your personal goals and growth on track.
  5. He breaks down his Five Drivers of Performance: Mindset, Fueling, Improving, Recovery, and Influence.
  6. Why the repeated release of mental and physical tension is important for your success.
  7. Why you must be a person  who HATES to lose more than he LOVES to win

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m honored to present tonight’s guest.

Baseball. Baseball is a sport is known as America’s pastime. Baseball is a sport where fathers and sons all across this great land would play catch in their front yards and participate in little league games on the weekends.

However, if little Billy wanted to play at the next level, little Billy had to get jacked. And in 2009, no strength trainer was better at getting his players into the best physical shape of their lives than the winner of tonight’s award.

Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the 2009 Major League Baseball Nolan Ryan Award for the most outstanding strength trainer. Voted for by his peers goes to Dana Cavalea:

  1. On today’s show we are interviewing the former World Series Champion New York Yankees Performance Coach Dana Cavalea. He is the author of Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion by Accident
  2. Dana, you are a much sought after consultant and performance coach, what first inspired you to write this book?
    1. I was an underperforming athlete. I came across so many books and felt like I couldn’t get any of the answers because it was all theory based. I decided that, when I made my own book, it would be practical. It would be a sort of handbook.
  3. Dana, in your book you really hammer home the importance of consistency and you actually said during your interview with Good Morning America, “There are set habits that you have to perform each and every day to win a championship life. Most people struggle to do the same thing each and every day. But the reality is that if you want to have success in all that you do, you have to have success in your habits and your patterns each and every day. So you can’t do one thing on Monday, something different on Tuesday, and expect to have results over time. It’s about what you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that yields that ultimate result.” Dana, I would love for you to break down what you mean by this?
    1. It is compounding. We are always searching for the next best thing. There is always a “secret sauce” but really the secret is actually that you have to find the one or two things that work for you and double down on them.
    2. The result isn’t today. It is the compound of your days invested. Just like money.
    3. Most people try things for one or two weeks at a time but you really have to let the roots grow into the ground so you have a solid foundation.
    4. It’s about accountability and consistency.
  4. Dana, in the world of business we’ve had the opportunity to interview huge guests like the legendary leadership expert, John Maxwell, the founder of Ritz-Carlton Horst Schultz and the PR consultant of choice for Michael Jackson, and Nike, Michael Levine and all of you preach the good news of consistency, but most people want to try something new every day. Why do most people hate being consistent so much?
    1. Most people aren’t high performers. It is the upper class of people who actually stick with what works.
    2. When you are in your discovery process, you try many things. When you find something that works, you stick with it and stay consistent.
    3. When you find something that works, why would you keep searching for the next thing when what you have right in front of you is working perfectly.
  5. Dana, in 2009 you were the Major League Baseball Nolan Ryan Award winner as being voted to Major League Baseball’s best strength coach as voted by your peers. How is your approach to personal training different from that of most personal trainers?
    1. I built my program on 5 drivers
      1. The Five:
        1. Mindset
        2. Fueling
        3. Improving
        4. Recovery
        5. Influence
      2. I would work their mindset while we were training
      3. They are often stressed and they pack it into their bodies. When you have tension, it has to go somewhere and when you don’t release it, it goes into your tissue and body.
      4. I came up with a method to release the tension through soft tissue work as well as “CBT”
  6. You also talk about never getting too high or too low…walks us through why this is so important?
  7. Dana, in your book you write, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Why is this so important?
  8. Dana, you worked directly with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and other Yankee greats. I would love to hear from you about the habits that you believe made Derek Jeter a five-time World Series Champion?
    1. The same routine. There was a little tweaking every year to accommodate him as he grew.
    2. When they got there, it was action. They didn’t waste time. There is so much calculation and planning involved.
    3. Whether it is in season or out of season our training never exceeds an hour. That hour was very strict. It was all strategize and calculated. It was a plan where everything was taken into consideration how we planned the workout. The plan was evolving but it was always based on solid principles.
  9. Dana, from your perspective, what made Mariano Rivera a five-time World Series Champion and a World Series MVP caliber player year after year?
  10. Dana, in your book Habits of a Champion you write, “You gotta hate to lose more than you love to win.” What does this mean from your perspective?
    1. If you ask everyone if they love to win, everyone will say yes.
    2. The real successful people have so many reasons they want to win that they actually hate the idea of losing more than they like the idea of winning.
    3. Successful people never want to lose. They can’t process it.
    4. Hating to lose plays a big role. It is not something you can really teach. You have to hate failure. You have to hate losing.
    5. Most successful people come from backgrounds of hardships and they are trying to prove something.
  11. Dan, in your book, you teach 15 lessons about what it takes to become a champion in sports and business. I would love for to share about a what kinds of stories we can expect to find within this book?
    1. It is really a book about your own persona. It is about not letting the external variables in your life that you can’t let influence your internal.
    2. I had a friend (Mariano Rivera) who I looked up to. I asked him how he stayed so calm while playing baseball. He told me:
      1. I quiet the noise
      2. Slow everything down
      3. I throw one pitch at a time
    3. It was an on and off switch
    4. He had control within himself
    5. “In life there are no big situations. We decided what we give life to. We decide what is a big situation.”
    6. Mariano Rivera up close is one of the best. He deals with the same things we deal with but he just has a different perspective. He plays offence on life, he doesn’t play defence.
    7. He is building churches and funding different initiatives to help people live a better life. He deals with the same things that everyone else does, he just knows how to handle his thoughts.
      1. I started as an intern at 19 years old
      2. I had a vision that I was a baseball player but my tallent wouldn’t get me to the Yankee stadium so I knew I would have to find a different route.
      3. I went to where the Yankees practiced and took photos of them through a chain link fence.
      4. I went back home and my coach told me that the Yankee stadium was looking for someone who could hand out towels.
      5. 24 hours later, I was in the middle of all of these superstars. I was in Yankee gear with credentials around my neck. I was interning at 19 years old and became a coach at 23.
      6. As an intern, I was paid in experiences.
      7. I was taking Metrex packages. It was free synthetic food that the Yankees would give me so I wouldn’t starve.
  12. What does your future look like?
    1. I am writing a second book
    2. I coach a lot of CEO’s and Executives and it is taking the same things with athletes and implementing it with business people.
    3. I get them back on track with their life. I help them with their health.
  13. Dana Cavalea, you come across as a very proactive person. How do you typically organize the first four hours of each day?
    1. I wake up at 4:00 AM
    2. The first thing I do is read “Coach Wooden’s Pyramid For Success”
    3. I drink my coffee and water
    4. I write my morning blog that is launched at 6:02 AM Exactly
    5. I then go to the gym for 90 minutes
    6. I have a green shake
    7. After that, whatever happens, I’m good!
  14. Where are you physically located when you are planning out your day?
  15. How to Deal with Being Rejected by Mario Rivera To Be On My Podcast
  16. From your perspective…what dysfunctional habits do most people have that keep them from success?
  17. Dana Cavalea, you come across as a very well-read person, what are 1 or 2 books that you would recommend that all of our listeners should read?
    1. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
    2. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid For Success – John Wooden
  18. What are the most dysfunctional habits that most often keep people from success?
    1. I started when there were no apps or social media. Everyone was present. You have to be present to create a good team. When social media started to hit, the word “Brand” began to grow.
    2. People started to focus more on themselves and their own personal “brand” than the team.
    3. I keep all of the apps off of my phone.

The Big 5:

  1. What are the daily revenue producing activities that you have to do every day?
  2. You have to make a checklist for everything that you need to do daily.
  3. Block out time daily to achieve completion of your daily checklist
  4. You have to start saying no. Write down everything that you are going to say no to.
  5. Write down your F6 Goals
  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Finances
  4. Fitness
  5. Friendships
  6. Fun
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

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On today’s show, we interview the former strength and conditioning coach for the New York Yankees throughout Dana Cavalea s career. He spent 12 years with the New York Yankees Organization winning a world series in 2009 he was the recipient of the 2009 Major League Baseball Nolan Ryan Award, the award that is given to Major League Baseball’s top strength coach as voted by his peers. Throughout his prolific career, Dana Cavalea has had the opportunity to train great athletes such as Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Marianna Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Justin Verlander, and more. On today’s show, he explains why your daily habits and patterns will produce success or failure over time. He explains why Derek Jeter superpower was his consistency. He explains why most successful people hate losing more than they love to win. He explains why most people hate consistency. He explains how accountability keeps your personal goals and growth on track. He breaks down his five drivers of performance, mindset, fueling, improving, recovery and influence, and he explains why the repeat release of mental and physical tension is important for your success.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Tribe nation. On today’s show, we are interviewing the former world series champ, the New York Yankees performance coach and the author of habits of a champion. Nobody becomes a champion by accident. Mr Dana, welcome onto the show. How are, thank you. Thanks for having me, clay. Happy to be here. Hey, I am, I am excited to talk to you about your, your book here. Uh, what first inspired you to write this book, habits of a champion? Nobody becomes a champion by accident.

Man. You know, I always say, you know, I got into coaching because I was, I was an under performing athlete. And, um, you know, when you’re underperforming in anything and you’re type A and you’re always, you know, you’re a seeker and you know, I’d come across as so many books and, and um, you know, I, I, I felt like I couldn’t get a lot of the answers that I was looking for, right? Because everything was so classroom based. And so theory based true. And I said to myself as I was going through that journey as a young man, I said, when I get the opportunity to write a book and share my story, I want to create a, that’s 100% practical and based on real life so people can use this book not just as a book but as a handbook and something they could use as a reference guide to get them through. You know, some of the battles that they’re going to face, whether they’re, you know, just going through life or in business or you know, the athletes in sports are the coaches that are coaching world champion teams. So that’s really what motivated me. I wanted to create a practical resource for people to have in their back pocket, you know, keep it on your desk. I keep mine in my drawer and I’m ready to go. I was watching a, an interview you did on Good Morning America. That blew up my mind.

It was like a knowledge bomb where you said, you said there are set habits that you have to perform each and every day to win a championship life. Most people struggle to do the same thing each and every day, but the reality is that if you want to have success and all that you do, you have to have success in your habits and your patterns each and every day. So you can’t just do one thing on Monday, something different on Tuesday and expect to have results over time. It’s about what you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That yields the ultimate result. Sir, that quote blew my mind. It was so good. You talk to the listeners out there

burdens of being consistent, doing the same things over and over every day. Yeah. You know, it’s compounding. So, so many of us, you know, we’re searching for what’s next, what’s the next best thing? What’s that, that secret formula. And you know, as you go through the online world, you see everything being marketed. It’s the secret recipe of the secret sauce, the secret. And really the secret is find something that works for you and attack each and every day. So you don’t have to do 10 things a day, but find those one, two or three things, true that, that work for you and double down on them and realize that the result is not going to be because of what you did today, but it’s going to be because of what you do today, tomorrow, the next day. And it’s, it’s like money. It compounds. So over time you start to see the fruits of your labor.

And I think so many people, they, they, they’re not consistent because they’re questioning their own formula and they say, well, this didn’t work this week, so I’ll try something else. And then they may do something for two weeks or 21 days. And then, you know, they say, ah, it’s not working as much as I would like, let me go try to find something else. But you really have to let the roots grow in good. Dig deep into the ground so you have a solid foundation to work off of. So that’s, that’s what I see. You know, a lot of the people that I coach, it’s the same thing, you know, it’s about accountability and keeping them consistent on a day to day, um, path that keeps their mission, their vision and their goals right in front of them. Let’s talk about, uh, Derek Jeter for, for, for a second. They did the captain, the guy that if you like baseball, you had to like it. Appreciate Derek Jeter, the consistency or Marianna Rivera. These guys that you worked with day in, day out. Let’s go with Derek Jeter for 5,000 points.


kind of a workout routine and what kind of a fielding routine and hitting routine did you see him do on a day by day basis that allowed him to have success over multiple decades? Well for him, it was the same routine, right? There was a little tweaking as, as each year went by, but you never saw a dramatic change in his routine. So it guy like Derek Jeter, interesting enough, you know, people always say, hey, the best players in the world are the best people in business. They’re the first ones there and the last ones to leave. And what I, I was conditioned that way as a young men. Yeah. But what I saw up close and practical was these guys were the last ones there and the first ones to leave. But when they got there, it was execute, execute, execute. 100% action calculated action. So guy like Derek Jeter, he trained Monday, Wednesday, Friday, three o’clock, never missed.

And if you got stuck in traffic, boom, it was a text message or a call with an immediate audible to, you know, set up the next time that we’re going to do it. Hey, I can’t be there at three but we’re going to do it at five 15 right when I get off the field from Duke, from taking infield and batting practice. So there’s so much calculation and planning involved and a guy like Derek Jeter, he’s just able to check those boxes every single day, every single day. And it wasn’t just Derek Jeter, it was all of those guys that play at the highest level. Now do you, when you were working out with a guy like a Derek Jeter, all you listeners out there want to know, we have a lot of entrepreneurs that listen to this show. A lot of people that are into fitness, you know, are you doing like a 45 minute workout those three days a week?

Is it like hours? Are you in there for hours or you levitating rocks together and what did it look like? Whether it’s in season or whether it’s off season. Our training never exceeds an hour. So in season it’s about 30 minutes out of season it would be an hour, but I was very strict and putting hard goalposts down where here’s when we start, here’s where we end. And the same way at guy like jeep would attack the day with his structure. That’s the way we built out the workouts. It was all strategized, calculated, and it was a plan that took into consideration, gain volume. It took into consideration fatigue, it took in to consideration, travel, stress, injury, all of those things. So the plan was evolving, but it was always built on very core foundational principles. Now, Dana, I don’t expect you to have done copious amounts of research on me, but, but quick backstory. Oh my partner doctor Robert Zellner and I have five kids. I’m 38 he’s 54 has three kids and between the two of us we built 13 multimillion dollar companies. So we felt like an optometry clinic and auto auction and a chain of haircare salons and a lot of things. The point is it’s, we were very consistent, you know, so it’s like get Google reviews every single day, write content for the website every single day. And we just hammer, we call these key performance

indicators or revenue producing activities. And it’s interesting that business owners, we’ll reach out to us and say, clay, what do I need to do? What’s the hack? And I’m like, what the heck is, you need to get reviews every single day. And add content every single day. And I’ve discovered that people hate consistency, but yet they interviewed the founder of Ritz Carlton. He loves consistency. When we interviewed the PR consultant for Michael Jackson, he loves consistency. You love consistency. David Robinson, Hall of Famer, we interviewed, he loves consistency. Why do most people hate consistency so much?

Well, I think most people are not high performers. I mean all those people that you just mentioned, they’re sitting in that top 10% really probably the top 5% it’s that upper echelon and they’re, they’re not searching constantly to find what’s next. When they find what works, they stick with it. So you know, when you, when you were in your own discovery process, I’m sure you were trying more things through, but what we found something that works, you set up, I’m going to grab that. That stays on my side of the court. Oh, I like that. That stays on my side of the court. And then you create these four to five pillars that, hey, these are my everyday, these are my everyday is, these are my every days. And you know, at that point you’re saying, hey, these work, why would I continue to search for, you know, more and more and more? You say, I’m having results, I’m having success. You know, and if you do come across something that’s something is going to have to have much more of an effect than those five pillars that you’ve already discovered that works for you. So it’s going to be very hard, you know, for you to get one of those up because you say, hey, these work, this is, this is a part of my fabric.

Dan, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but in 2009, uh, you received the Major League Baseball Nolan Ryan Award, which is like going to the best strength trainer in Professional Baseball, Aka the, your peers had to vote on this. I’m sure that no one notified you yet. So let me go and get my intro music. Let me get, get ready as I present you with a 2009 award

brace brace. Paul, there’s a spark known as America’s pastime and I believe it’s past time to present an award from 2009 baseball is a sport where fathers and shot all across this great land would play catch and their front yards participate in little league games on the weekends. However little Billy wanted to play at the next level that’ll Billy had to get draft. And in 2009 no strength trainer was better at getting his players until the best physical shapes what the crap who wrote the word shapes. I will get down to the bottom of this. Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the 2009 major league brace, Paul Nolan, Ryan, a wall for the most Dutch standing strength trainer as voted by his peers, ghost to none other than Mike brother from another mother. The man with the plan. That dude with a positive attitude. Ms. Dot. Dana.

Ah, ah, ah.

Hit the freaking a pause button. Genius Pine. I’ll read it again. to training maybe was different than the other trainers. There’s a lot of great trainers in professional baseball. But what was your, what was your differentiator? What was your differentiator? What did you do differently? What, what, what gave you that competitive edge? Yeah, so a couple of different things. Number One, I built my program off of what I call five drivers of performance, where you have your mindset, you have training, you have fueling, you have recovery, and then you have the fifth one which has influenced meaning. If you can strengthen your mindset, if you can get a solid training program that you’re on that’s based on improving weaknesses but also improving strength. If you’re on a nutritional program that provides you the energy that you need to sustain performance, sustain energy and you know, um, last over the course of a season, uh, without fatigue, you’re a winner there.

And then recovery, we put recovery strategies in place to help you recover from playing each game from this fatigue, from the mental stress and all that. So everything I did was based on teaching those five drivers of performance. But what I did differently than everybody else outside. What I would do is I would blend CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy into what I was doing. So guys would come in to train, but at the same time I was really working their mindset at the same time. And in conjunction with that, what I realized is why do players get hurt? Why do players have a lot of fatigue? And a lot of it comes down to stress. You’re dealing with type a high horsepower thoroughbreds that are out there to compete every single night. But that’s takes a beating on the body because you constantly have to be in an Alpha position.

Peacocking sticking your chest up and being, you know what everyone expects you to be and that weighs on you. So what do you do with all that stress? You oftentimes, without realizing it, you pack it into your body and into the body’s muscle tissue. And this is not just for athletes, it’s also executives, CEO, who’s Wall Street guys across the board. When you have tension, it has to go somewhere. So if you can’t release it or you only release a little bit of it, there remains or it gets packed into your tissue and it shows up as tension. And that’s why so many executives and leaders say, man, I’m so tight, I have such bad flexibility. And a lot of it comes down to you have so much tension-packed in your system. All those things that you’ve wanted to say through the years and didn’t say all the politically correct, all of that gets, Oh yes, yeah, in your body’s tissue.

And you know, some guys that shows up is headache. So other guys that shows up is just muscle pain strains and, and, and such like that. But what I did was I came up with a method to release all that, release that tension through soft tissue work and different modalities that I would use, but also the CBT and understanding, hey, if you allow a guy to relax just a little bit, the f the, the thoughts and the words are just going to flow right out of his mouth. And he’s gonna find a therapeutic nature to this whole training experience. So that was really my differentiator. You know, I stuck with the foundational building blocks of speed, strength, power, nutrition, all of that. So we got a result, the injury prevention we put in there, but the real differentiator was free, the guise of tension and therefore you would reduce the risk of injury.

But most importantly you would free the space in between their ears so they would feel relaxed and they feel pretty zen. And imagine again, if you’re a businessperson and you have to execute and you have all that tension, how good are you going to be? How has your energy going to be over time? It’s going to wear you down. And that was my, that was my it factor. You know, you uh, your, your book habits of a champion has so many knowledge bombs per cap and he really, you should be like two bucks, maybe three books. This book is hot and you talk about in the book you’ve got to hate to lose more than you love to win. I would really like to get your perspective on what you mean by that because I do agree, but I think at face value some people might not quite understand that.

What do you mean when you say you got to hate to lose more than you love to win? So if you ask everybody, Hey, do you love to win? Everyone’s going to say, yeah, I love to win. Of course I love to win. But I found that the differentiator is that guy that’s got that chip on his shoulder and he wants to win for so many different reasons that he actually hates to lose. So they, they, they have this, um, the players that come from that, a lot of underdog types have that a lot of like, even a guy like Derek Jeter, believe it or not, you know, he, he is statistically, when you break him down, not the best player in the game, just clench, just clutch, just clutch. But he approached it as if the, you know, the game was almost getting away from him.

So, so clutch, so talented, but always played with a chip on his shoulder. Yeah. You didn’t, he hated to lose. I mean, he’d been want to lose at anything. Whether we were playing cards on the plane or we were had a casino, none of it never wants to lose, you know, and you’ll put your book, you teach these, these 15 lessons there. How much of these 15 lessons, what we mean is how big of a factor is it hating to lose? How has that, is it like the number one isn’t like, oh you got to hate to lose. What does that, how big of a role does that play in your success? I think it plays a pretty big role, but I don’t think it’s something you can teach. It’s just, it comes with the package and it’s something where you know, it’s the person that, you know, it doesn’t, you know, embrace failure.

And again, part of success is understanding failure, but you hate it and you have that with within you. It’s, it’s a, they’ve done research that says, hey, so many people that have achieved extremely high levels of success come from backgrounds of hardship. And why is that? It’s, they’re cut, they’re trying to overcome, prove themselves. So there’s a lot of those things. Now again, later in life, we may have to address some of those things from a psychological standpoint because you don’t know when to stop, but it is a part of success and you know, it’s um, you know, it’s just, it’s just something you see in the fabric of a lot of people. Not, not everybody. I mean there’s always outliers in everything, but for the most part, um, these guys are intrinsically motivated in a much different way. In your book, you, you teach these 15 lessons.

When I’m going to do right now is, is for, for personal accountability here, Dana as our, as our coach. Just so yeah, for personal accountability. I’m buying a copy of the book right now on Amazon and I’m also going to leave a review cause I did go through the ebook with great enthusiasm. Them leaving your review on Amazon. I’m picking up a hard copy right now. It’s happening right now. We’re purchasing this thing. For the listeners out there, it’s that easy. We just click the button. Next thing, you know, boom, they’re shipping and Amazon prime, Amazon prime. Getting it real quick. Um, in your book though, um, habits of a champion, you, you, you do share some stories, you have a lot of insights. Talk to him about what kind of stories and what kind of insights can we expect to find within this, within the pages of this book.

Yeah, we’ll, we’ll ultimately the roots of it all. It’s really a book about your own persona and understanding yourself at a deeper level. Not letting the external variables in life control your internal environment. And one of the great stories I put in there as about Mariano Rivera and I tell this story all the time and I’m at his house one winter and I reference, Hey moe, I saw you first come into baseball and to um, in 1995 I saw you throw your first pitch in the big leagues and I was enamored by you as a kid that was trying to find himself gain confidence. I saw you as a skinny little twerp from Panama and you were out there throwing fire, getting guys out a level of confidence and conviction I had never seen before in a person. And you know, 15 or so years later I got a chance of stretch him in his basement.

I said, mom, I’ve got to ask you a question. I want to know how do you do it? And he says, you know what, I do three things buddy. He says, number one, I quiet the noise. Number two, I slow everything down. And number three I throw one pitch at a time. I said, that’s it. He goes, that’s it. So he ain’t related it to an on off switch, almost like turning the lights on and turning the lights off, turning the volume up or turning the volume down. And that’s the control that he had within himself. And I said, what about the big games? What about the big situations? World series game on the line. And he says, buddy, in life there are no big situations. We decide what we give life to. We decide what’s a big situation. So the book is really built upon you understanding that you have a lot more control than you think, and we hear this all the time.

You don’t control what you can control, but I tried to use stories and real life case studies of people that are experiencing life the same way that you are, whether it’s in sport, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in coaching and giving people a chance to say, wow, I can relate to that person and I can relate to that guy. I’ve experienced that, I have felt that, or hey, I need to get better at that. So that’s what I, what the book is about. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. That’s another chapter. The greatest players of the world, they don’t get too high. They don’t get too low. They are happy about their wins. They don’t get down on their losses, they accept them, and most importantly, they keep a line right through the middle of the up and down and they stay neutral in their day to day psychology.

A lot of our listeners will reach out to us. They’re a day and they’ll say, clay, how have you guys booked? Like Wolfgang Puck, I mean you guys are in Tulsa, Oklahoma. How do you book Wolfgang Puck? Or how are you booking the founder of honest tea? Or how are you getting Dana on the show? And I think, you know, we invite hundreds and hundreds of big name people to be on the show, but if I got depressed every time I got rejected, I would be living in a van down by the river right now. And if I got excited every time we land a whale of a guest like yourself, I would probably need to be taken some downers right now to calm down. I think you just have to learn that, that stoic mindset. And I, I’d like for you to talk a little bit more about Mariano for a second because as I was researching him a couple of years back, he’s actually a better dude than I thought he was.

And I already thought he was an awesome dude. I mean, how, how good of a guy as he up close just took, could you share with the listeners out there, what’s he like up close because that guy, and he seems to be like a really committed family man, a great charity guy. Jesse seems like a great teammate. I don’t get it. This guy is awesome. Yeah, no, he’s, he’s one of the best man. You know. Listen, he deals with the same things that we deal with. He just has a different perspective on a lot of those things and he doesn’t let it get into his soul. You know, he plays offense on life. He doesn’t play defense. And you know, he has thoughts of, you know, now obviously the competitiveness. He doesn’t have to have that on the field anymore because he’s not pitching. So he’s bringing that into the world of, you know, charity, you know, he’s building a learning center here in Westchester county where we are.

He just built the church. He’s always, um, whether it’s public or not public, he’s always funding different initiatives that are to help people live a better life. And you know, that’s, that’s where he finds his joy now. And that’s what that, that’s what excites him. But at the same time, he would tell you, listen, I deal with a lot of the same temptations and thoughts and things that, that the average and the above average man deal would I have just learned, you know, how to handle those thoughts. And you know, at the end of the day, nobody’s these guys, they’re at the highest level, but they’re not immune to the temptations of life. And some of the things that, you know, knock us off course, they just have a system to get back on course faster than the average.

We all know you now is this, is this iconic a strength coach Guy, this best selling author guy. What was your path to landing a job with the New York Yankees working as their strength coach or conditioning coach during their world series years? How did you get that job?

Yeah, well listen, I started as an intern at 19 years old. I had just moved from New York down to south Florida to go to college at the University of South Florida. And I always tell this story, you know, I had a vision for myself. You know, I, I, I was a baseball player myself. I realized that my talent was not good enough to get me to Yankee stadium as a player. So I had to find an alternative route. And you know, I started interning with the football team actually at the University of South Florida and you know, here it is now, February, early February. And I headed over to where the Yankees have spring training. There’s a chain link fence. I’m taking pictures through the chain link fence of all the players on the field. This is amazing. I’m a super fan. I’m sending these pictures home back to New York to my friends and my family.

And you know, that same day I actually headed back to, to the university where I was interning and the head strength coach there Sedena Hey, can I talk to you for a minute? I said, yeah. He said, hey, I just got a call from the head strength coach for the Yankees and he’s looking for someone to basically handout towels, hand out water and clean the weight room. Would you have any interest in that? And I said, you know what? As a matter of fact, I just got back from there and I am very, very interested. So the next day, 24 hours later, I had backup to the stadium. I parked my car, I hit into the main office, they throw a credential around my neck that gives clubhouse on feel the access. They throw me in Yankee shorts and a tee shirt and gear. Next thing you know, that same field, I’m taking pictures of the day before I’m in the middle of it.

Wow. Then Credit Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, all of these superstars. And in that moment, again, my life changed. I was a kid that came from New York that had a dream and then boom, that next moment here I am living. What would be the first steps of that dream? So I was 19 years old and I interned and I worked as an assistant and by 23 I was the head track coach for the New York Yankees, director of performance. And I was, at the time, I was the youngest strength coach and sports in pro sports. So it was an amazing journey and be in 23, you know, I should have been playing, but instead I, I was a coach at a very young age, so it was a, it was really quite an amazing journey.

When you’re interning for the Yankees, I’m not asking you to disclose how much money you made as an intern, but are they paying you in bobble head dolls and they’re giving you shorts? How can you feed yourself? You get a per diem. Anything. Yeah. You

know what? I was paid in, honestly. Yeah. Um, I was paid and experiences, but at the time, you know, you’re in college, you know, I was working at Busch gardens part time. I was the guy in the back of the tram working for seven bucks an hour, welcoming people to the park to make a enough money to pay my gas to get to the stadium. But I was actually paying myself, and I don’t know if you remember this supplement brand back in the day, but it was called metrics and I was taking metrics, packets of protein bars and things like this. And I said, man, this is amazing. I’m being paid and free synthetic food. This is fantastic. I’ll take it right and free synthetic food. Okay, yeah. Now here’s, here’s the deal. You are, uh, you know, no longer coaching on the professional baseball level.

You’re now a business coach, coaching businesses, leaders, organizations. You’re, you’re, you’re kind of, so talk to us about career 2.0 and what you’re going to be working on the next 12 months. What does the future look like for you, Mister Dana? Yeah, the future is simple. While I’m writing a second book, it’s called habits of a champion team. Yeah. So that’s, that’s part too because I had a lot of people in the field of sales and managers and people that run teams in the world of business and sport reach out and say, Hey, you know, I can use a resource to help me manage my team better. So that’s one of the things that I’m working on that I’ll have done in the next 12 months. But in addition to, outside of my corporate speaking and speaking at different universities, uh, to motivate, inspire and empower, uh, based on the habits of a champion philosophy, I coach a lot of CEOs, executives, um, guys on Wall Street, hedge fund managers.

And really it’s taking the same things that I would do with our athletes and bringing it to those high performers. You know, everything from saying, Hey, first thing before we can get you to function better in your business as a, as a business person, I’m, I want you to be a better CEO to yourself. How can we get more energy out of you? How can we clean up your nutrition? How can we get rid of that 20 pounds that you may have that most people, believe it or not over 40 they sacrifice themselves for the first 20 to 25 years of their business career, they gained 2030 pounds. You know, they look like they’re 60 and they’re only 40 45 so I tried to get them back on track and recharge them up so they could be more in life and in their business and to their family and to themselves.

So that’s when I spent a lot of time on. Now I’m basically a personal coach to these high performers that are looking to take their game to the next level. And that’s, that’s what I do now. Dana Cavalea, there’s a book title that I haven’t released yet. I’m gonna put it on Amazon that I’m working on it. It’s a niche. It’s a niche book. Maybe you can appreciate that. The niche it’s going to be called how to deal with being rejected by Marianna Marianna Rivera. Every time I ask him to be on my podcast, it’s a book I’m working on. And if you could just buy it, leave me a start some point that’d be great. But no, in all sincerity, I mean you, you are doing some big things there, uh, with your career. And I have three final questions for you in our rapid fire round, cause I know you have to go do some big things today.

One, you are a very proactive person. So what do the first four hours of your typical day? Well, what, what do they look like and what time do you wake up? So I wake up between four and four 30 in the morning. Got It. The first thing I do, I have a book on my desk. It’s called um, coach, coach Wooden’s pyramid of success. Oh yeah. And so what I do is I try to read one part of one chapter. It’s quick, it takes me just a couple minutes. I read that and it’s just kind of set, sets my tone at the same time. I have a coffee ready to go. I have two bottles of water ready to go. I slammed those down and I write my morning blog, which goes out every morning at six oh two in the morning on leadership motivation, personal health, personal accountability and personal management.

So that’s the, that’s really the start of my day. At that point had traveled my wife to the train. I’d come and then I go right to the gym for 90 minutes and I do a lot of conditioning. I do a lot of stretching. Then I have a green shake and that’s really the first part of my day and tell you the truth. After that, I say whatever happens to me now I’m good and that makes sense because you’ve already set up a winning routine. You’ve already had victories in the morning, you’ve already got the workout in, you’ve already written your blog, you’ve already done the things that matter most. A T I have two final questions for him. If you had to recommend a book for the listeners out there outside of your own book, by the way, which we just purchased. And by the way, every listener out there, I’m not going to say you’re a bad member of our listening audience if you don’t buy the book habits of a champion, but at one one could suggest that you should buy the book if, if you’re, if you’re a great American.

So we have the listeners out there buying your book right now. What is another book that you might recommend for all the listeners that has made a big impact? Is it John Wooden’s book or what book would you recommend? Yeah, I mean I love John Wooden’s book, but um, you know, for me, I love to go back in time, you know, thinking grow rich. Oh yes. Is, is um, you know, one of my, one of my favorites. And um, cause I just think if you could rewire and hardwire your psychology to, to let you know that anything’s possible. And if you have a clearly defined purpose in life, you can achieve anything that you, that you want provided. You know, you’re not trying to get to major league baseball and you don’t have any talent, you know, but you can achieve most things outside of, you know, uh, you know, I’d say professional sports or even you know, music at a high level.

Um, but for the most part, you know, if you have a clearly defined purpose and you have the ability to visualize what it is that you want, uh, you can do anything. So that’s a great book that, that um, you know, reinforces my core belief. No. My final question for you is you’ve seen a lot of super talented people come through the Yankees organization that just are naturally dysfunctional or they’re choosing to be dysfunctional. It’s mentally, you know what I mean? They’re to have all the athleticism. I’m sure you’ve seen some of these, I’m not asking for names,

but you know what I mean. Do you know the make and model, the most talented guy ever? Number one draft pick kind of guy and he just can’t keep it together. Can you talk to us about what are the most dysfunctional habits that you believe are keeping people from their success? So that way our listeners can see if we can, you know, improve in that area ourselves.

Yeah, I think what I saw happen over the years is, you know, I started in the game when there was no app, there were no apps really, there was no social media. Um, so what I found was everybody was much more present and they were interacting really well together, which ultimately is what you need to build a great team. True. But as soon as you know, social media started to come about the word brand be infiltrated the clubhouse, you know, it was a word that you typically hear, you know, if you were to go to a company and you know, I remember being at under Armour quite a bit and they’d always talk about the brand, the brand, the brand, right? You never heard that in a sports club house. And that all changed when social media started to hit. And the players started to think more about the self, then the team. And that was a really, really, um, negative thing because the interactions between each other, we’re not as strong. Everybody was about the pictures, got it. And link their own personal story instead of writing and creating a great team story of winning and, and victory and support of one another. So I take all the apps off my phone, um, and I can only access them through my desktop just because it was a distract, distract. It became a distraction for me personally.

Dana, I appreciate you more than you could possibly know for being on the show and our listeners do as well. And I just want to say thank you on behalf of the thrive nation and, and uh, it’s some point we’d, we’d love to have you on the, on the show again, but again, thank you just so much. Yes. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me, Jason. As we kind of break down what we just learned here from Mr Dana, uh, one thing that I would like to, I’d like to Brag on you while teaching this, the specific principle, it’s not the onetime motivational Aha was that really produce success over time. Yes. You do have to have your epiphany. Yes. You do have to get focused on that big idea. Yes, you have to set the goal that one time. But now that we’ve already set the goal at elephant in the room, now that we’ve already, we’ve set the goal to franchise, we’ve determined that’s our big idea.

Uh, seven years ago when I had the idea to franchise the business, that’s when it started. But talk about the daily habits, the daily things you have to do on the daily at the elephant in the room that make that company thrive, grow and succeed beyond just the big idea. Because the idea was seven years ago. Yeah. But no, on a daily basis as the super manager who’s managing all three shops and working with the other managers. And what kinds of things do you have to do on a daily basis to make sure that the company does not drift on a daily basis? It consists of just getting there at a specific time, grabbing daily checklists for my personal work, grabbing the daily checklists for the shop to run. Um, we have the weekly checklist that help with inventory and accounting, keeping the team inspired, but also it’s as simple as sales, converting new clients and to members, people who aren’t currently members into members.

Getting Google reviews every day. Just staying on top of everything. I’m going to hit home to the big five and if we go to the bottom of our show notes, Jason, I would like for you to type these big five action items on the, the show notes. All the listeners can grab these. Oh yeah. So first thing you want to do. If you’re out there listening today and you want to have success in your life, you want to figure out what are the daily revenue producing activities that you have to do every day? What are the daily revenue producing activities that you have to do every day? So a elephant in the room, I mean it has to do with memberships and has to do with a certain membership conversion percentage. A certain number of Google reviews, a certain amount of content we add to the site who don’t realize, but we add a pages of content website every day, copious amounts.

The last check, I think we have 7,000 pages of content. Oh, the elephant, the room website. So there’s a lot of things we have to do, but I’d ask yourself, what are the daily revenue producing activities that you have to do to, you have to make a checklist for everything that you need to do on the daily. Otherwise you will forget a step. You have to make a checklist. Now as an example, if you’re on like a super diet, I would encourage you to have a checklist and you just eat the same things every day and over time you don’t have to make that decision. You just eat the same things everyday but make a check list of whatever it is that you want to get done. Now the third idea is you want to go ahead and get on a calendar and you want to block out time for the achievement of those things.

So as an example, we recorded this show with Dana Cavalea during a set time that we have blocked out in our schedule for recording, but we had to go back and edit some things. And so here we are at six 10 in the morning and we’re editing this because it’s in the calendar. So I’m not distracted, my phone is off, nobody can reach me and I’m editing a show because it’s blocked off in the calendar. So you gotta get that calendar and block off time for the specific, uh, moments in your calendar where you will get things done. The fourth thing you have to do for step is you have to begin to say no. If she want to go and write down all the things you’re going to say no to write down all of the things you’re going to say no to. So as an example, at five in the morning on Saturdays between five and morning, eight in the morning, I say no to everything.

Everything. So do you want to go for breakfast? No. Do you want to sleep in? No. Do you want to get together and work out with me? No. Do you want to respond to social media? No. No, no, no. That means Friday night. I got to pack it in an eight 30 at night. I fall asleep by 8:30 PM every single Friday night so I can get up and be fresh for recording. All right, now this final, this final little area, this final step I encourage you to take is I’d encourage you to write down goals for your f six areas of your life, not just your business. Write down your goals for your faith, your family, your finances, your fitness, your friendship, and your funding. And write down your goals for your faith, your family, your finances, your fitness, your friendship, and your fun cause. Anything that you don’t measure, you really don’t treasure anything you don’t schedule doesn’t happen. What gets scheduled gets done. My name is Clay Clark. That’s Jason Beasley. We are here on the thrive time show on your radio and podcast download. And we’d like to end each and every show with a boom. So now without any further ado, three, two, one, boom.



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