Monthly Archives: February 2012

'Test Success!' on Bay Sunday

Terrific interview with Frank Mallicoat on CBS Bay Sunday a popular Bay area weekend news show. Frank was well informed and very easy to talk with.  Thanks also to the producer and to the interns for making the whole experience so comfortable   See the clip.

Had the great surprise to meet Alexia Martinique (see pic on the right) now a communications intern whom I knew years ago when she was a bright light of the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas program (Y.E.A.H).  You go Alexia! And thanks Frank!


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Guest blogging at Stanford

TEST SUCCESS! continues to get attention!

Do have a look on The College Puzzle, a college success blog by noted Stanford University educator Dr. Michael W. Kirst.  Dr Kirst invited me to write a guest post, today featured on his website. The article is, “Get a Grip on Test Stress.”

Dr. Kirst’s blog is a most useful resource for college students helping them through the challenges of their college years. Do check it out, and thank you Dr. Kirst for including Test Success! in your mission.

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Dr. B on KPIX-CBS, KRON and more.

"Bay Sunday" with Frank Mallicoat

A full weekend!

Two TV interviews on Sunday.  The first was on CBS (local affiliate KPIX), Bay Sunday with Frank Mallicoat

Next was on NBC (KRON) AM Weekend with Ysabel Duron and Marty Gonzales.

The press release on the book got picked up by HowToLearn.com and a news story comes out on Monday in US News and World Report.

Thank you Sharon Goldinger, Mary Ellen Gross and Javier Perez, my terrific publicists. Your dedicated, focused hardwork is paying off big time.

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What slipped? A Super Bowl reflection

One of the best receivers in the NFL

On Super Bowl sunday the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story by reporter Ron Kroichick about the pressure athletes face in big events. Titled “Handling pressure lifts good athletes to greatness,” Kroichick’s interviewed me and others about what great athletes need to do in the clutch.  What played out in the game couldn’t have been more to the point.

In the post-mortem, Patriots wide receiver, Wes Welker, commented on the pass he missed that could have won the Pats the game:  “It comes to the biggest moment of my life, and (I) don’t come up with it…most critical situation, and I let the team down.”  What happened?  Welker drew a blank. “It’s one of those plays I’ve made 1,000 times,” he said.

That’s the clue and here’s my two cents:  no matter how many times you’ve done something successfully in the past, what matters is what you’re doing right now. This is as true on the ball field as it is on stage as it is when you take an test.

What slipped– besides the ball– for Welker?  I would say it was likely his focus.  Of the three legged stool– calm, confidence and focus– if his confidence was over-strong (“It’s one of those plays I’ve made 1,000 times”)– it could have thrown him off balance, causing him to lose focus at the critical moment. In other words: he wasn’t in the present. The consequence: missing the ball and losing the game.

It’s a hypothesis. But you can test it out yourself. When you do something you’ve done 1,000 times before, take note of how much (or how little) you are actually paying attention at that moment to what you are doing. Are you really in the present or are you on autopilot? You’ll be surprised.  In fact, you might find that you actually have to turn up the focus juice just because you’ve done it so many times before.  It’s not rocket science, but it easily could mean the difference between winning and losing.

P.S. Of course there were other mishaps for the Patriots, and Welker’s is only half the story. The other is how accurate (or not) Tom Brady’s pass was. Remember: he’s done that play 1,000 times too.

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Is there hope for video games? Yes!

What's wrong with this picture?

Had a most stimulating visit this afternoon to College Track at  their East Palo Alto site, where I met with their inspired site director, Sharifa Wilson, their ACT trainer, Ed Harris and College Track’s Director of New Initiatives, Geraldine Sonobe.  College Track is a growing program that works with under-resourced high school students to give them the nurturing they need to get into college. After the meeting I was buzzing with possibility.

I got on train to San Francisco where I met a young Israeli, Shai Magzimof,who works in the game development business. We had an animated talk about video games and my developing them as vehicles to train students in stress reduction (I know, it sounds like an oxymoron).  On the train Shai introduced me to a few games. I found them mildly amusing, especially the challenge of keeping myself calm as the game was pushing my nervous system in the direction of getting over-amped. But of course, I had my usual question: what’s really going on here? (usual answer: not much).   Shai was on his way to hear Fred Markus speak at a meeting of game developers at Dolby Studios in San Francisco, and I asked him if I could tag along. Read more ›

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