Coaching Yourself to Better Health

Coaching Yourself to Better Health
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Florida Coast Magazine – Winter Issue 2020 – We all have a champion inside and it’s our job to bring that champion to life!

Training some of the world’s most elite talent, former performance coach of the World Series Champion New York Yankees, Dana Cavalea shares what it takes to elevate your performance to the next level. He provides insights into how the pros create dominant performances day-in and day-out.

Many spectators believe the best of the best rely exclusively on talent, but in reality they are faced with the same ups and downs as everybody else. There are days when they are low on energy, tired, feeling muscle aches and pains, and flat out just simply do not feel like going to work that day. The difference is, they show up anyway. They deploy a series of tools and habits that allow them to override their natural sense of fatigue, anxiousness, and lazy thoughts. How can you do the same?

Coach Cavalea uses his 5-Drivers of Performance to help players optimize their daily performance and overcome the stress that comes with being a high performance player.

Habits of a Champion Dana Cavalea

Driver #1 MINDSET

These days, many of us suffer from a tired mind. Constant pushing for more output, along with chronic scrolling, swiping, and phone watching can leave us feeling that way.

Combine that with the natural high energy, high expectation pace of a high performer, and we can be left feeling bankrupt of daily passion and vitality. So what do we do? Self-coach ourselves using what Coach Dana refers to as pivots & reframes.

When you catch yourself saying: I feel tired, I don’t feel good, I can’t­­­­–call an audible sequence. I have so much energy, I feel great, I can do it. That immediate dismissal of the negative opens the pathways and channels for positivity. The mind responds to what it is fed. Even if you don’t feel great, override it. This will help keep your spirits up. Pick the best tone for you. For some it may be aggressive, hardcore coaching. For others, it may be a gentler tone. You pick. Coach yourself to victory. At times, you may need to hire a coach to help you get your thoughts straight and hold you accountable to a better mindset.

Driver #2 TRAINING

Know your needs. What type of training is best for you? Well, you find that out by trying different types of training and determining what is best, based on the result. Yoga is not for everybody and neither is a boot camp. It comes down to the type of training you best respond to. Know your real limitations, not your perceived restrictions and then focus on your daily training plan. When it comes to professional athletes, we assess, evaluate, and analyze everything from body fat to movement patterns so we can determine what program and plan works best for them. They are paid on results and they must develop the parts of their body and game which need the most work.

Driver #3 FUELING

We really are what we eat. How we fuel and hydrate will play a major role in our energy and daily vitality. Poor hydration can make you feel sluggish, tight, and even make you more prone to injury. You must learn what foods do to your body and mind. Some bodies need more carbs than others. Other bodies benefit from elevated protein, due to activity levels. Look at fueling as a way to power activity because calories are really just units of energy.

Driver #4 RECOVERY

If we are going to train, we must recover. If we are going to be at work for many hours, we must recuperate. It is similar to digestion: the more we eat, the more time we need to digest. The more we work, the more respite is required. Forget the hustle 365 culture. Rest is key. It will help improve efficiency and work quality. Pro athletes spend a lot of time resting, sleeping, and disconnecting from the sport. That is the biggest difference I see between athletes and entrepreneurs/executives.

Those in business do not have an off-switch. They go until burnout hits them, which is a bad strategy. With our athletes, we make sure they are exposed to recovery daily. Techniques include: sauna, steam, hot baths, hot/cold contrast baths, recovery boots, aromatherapy, cryotherapy, dry needling, acupuncture, manual stretching, and variants of massage. The goal is to help them feel physically and mentally renewed each day. After all, the demands on an athlete who plays for money are very high and recovery is essential.


When you are fully aligned with your health strategy, you then become the most powerful influencer of all–a catalyst and a role model for others to change their own behaviors! The thing we must remember is no two strategies should be the same. We are all different. What works for one, does not always work in its entirety for the other. Find what works for you–so you too can have the best results to lead you to a champion’s performance and influence.  

About Coach Dana Cavalea

Coach Dana Cavalea is a High Performance & Executive Leadership Coach. He is the former Director of Strength & Conditioning and Performance for the New York Yankees. He led the New York Yankees to a World Championship in 2009. In addition to his on-field coaching, Coach Dana works as a performance coach and consultant to companies, organizations, America’s top CEO’s, executives, Wall Street fund managers & traders–helping them to optimize performance, productivity, and sales. He also appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his best selling book, Habits of a Champion. To purchase now, visit

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By: Dana Cavalea on Dec 30, 2019
Tags: Winter Issue 2020
Issue: Winter Issue 2020
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