Be intentional with your time these next couple of days, but don’t be afraid to relax and recharge.  Here are a few ideas to help set you up for success in the coming days:


  • Daily walks — fresh air outside
  • Movement — workouts, yoga, sports, family walk
  • Hydration  — aim to drink half your body weight in oz. of water each day
  • Fuel your body– focus on protein, veggies, and whole grains
  • Gratitude journal — 3 things each day
  • Breaks from screen time
  • Sleep and restoration 

How many can you check off each day?


Article of note:

Boston Children’s Hospital offers some terrific advice for how to support yourself and your teammates on a mental, physical, and emotional basis during this stressful time. 

The Deerfield community invited Dr. Daniel Lerner, an expert on positive psychology, to our last school meeting of the fall term.  Dr. Lerner shared several tips for managing stress and encouraging positive thinking — from mindful meditation and deep breathing to exercise and general movement.  He also shared the following acronym:



Positive emotion — joy, friendships

Engagement – locked in, feeling of flow state

Relationships – community 

Meaning — being connected to something larger than oneself

Accomplishments —  achievements


Dr. Lerner encouraged us to think about PERMA as small buckets of opportunities.  In order to thrive, we need to have a drop in every bucket, although we do not need each bucket to overflow simultaneously.  He also mentioned a few strategies for increasing general levels of well-being.


1- Gratitude journal.  At the end of each day, take a few moments to write down 3 things you are grateful for and the reasons why.  

2- Mindful moments.  Finding time to be still and calm our minds can have a lasting effect on our well-being.  Stillness calms the mind and focuses the brain.

3- Deep breathing.  Take 3 minutes twice per day to do some deep breathing.  This has a similar effect on the body and mind as a mindful moment.

4- Exercise, movement, and fresh air.  These work wonders for the body and the mind.


One last takeaway from Dr. Lerner: Everything doesn’t always have to be great.  Acknowledge that things are hard, especially during this pandemic.  

The phrase, “Keep showing up” was coined by American marathon runner and 2018 Boston Marathon Champion Des Linden.  Des used the phrase as a mantra while training for her historic win — she was the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in over 33 years.  


“Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell.  Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better.  My advice: Keep showing up.” – Des Linden


The remarkable secret behind Des’ marathon win?  She nearly dropped out of the race.  


Article here:



Tom Brady is one of the most successful athletes of our generation. A six-time Super Bowl Champion and 20 year NFL veteran, Brady is still performing at the highest level despite being one of the oldest players in the National Football League.  He barely shows signs of aging and still continues to improve his game each year. 


Brady credits much of his success to his unwavering positive attitude, relentless work ethic, and his ability to fully recover from workouts thanks to his body coach and TB12 business partner, Alex Guerrero.  Brady and Guerrero have developed a series of Home Turf workouts that support their training philosophy — check out one of the workouts below.  Most Home Turf workouts require minimal equipment and can be performed in 20-30 minutes.


Home Turf Workout:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xKmyto8Byu4


Brady focuses heavily on recovery and restoration.  He is famous for going to bed at 8:30 PM, and then beating his teammates to the stadium for morning practices.  In the Active Recovery Guide below, Brady shares some of his secrets to recovery success.


Active Recovery Guide: https://tb12sports.com/blog/active-recovery-training 

Claire Collins ‘15 earned twelve Varsity letters during her four years at Deerfield.  An exceptional student, athlete, and leader, Claire proceeded to row at Princeton University and made an incredible impact on her team and the athletic program.  Claire is currently training with the US Women’s Olympic Rowing team, and she has her sights set on qualifying for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.


Claire recently wrote this article for the Positive Coaching Alliance, and while it’s geared toward sports parents, the article includes a lot of valuable information for student-athletes.  Enjoy!




Thanks, Claire!  

This year, more than ever, we have seen professional athletes and sports organizations use their expansive platforms to bring awareness to social justice issues.  Athletes at the college level and in the NBA, NFL, US National teams, and several other professional organizations have protested racial injustices on a global stage.  General managers and team owners have come together to support their players’ voices in a number of ways, and messaging supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is visible on game days.


The Players Tribune is a media platform commonly referred to as “the voice of the game.”  The Silence Is Not An Option section features courageous personal stories written by professional athletes.  The description for the section reads, “Athletes are people, too.  Listen to their stories.  Speak up for what is right.  Silence is not an option. #BlackLivesMatter”


Access the stories here.


Which story speaks to you?  Share with a teammate, a classmate, a friend or a family member.  What can we learn from these personal accounts?  

Angela Duckworth is a behavior change and psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has dedicated her life to researching why children thrive.  In 2013 Duckworth delivered a TED talk about grit, which has been viewed over 20 million times.  In her popular talk, Duckworth describes the relationship between success, perseverance, and grit.  She also discusses the importance of a growth mindset, which is crucial for success.  What can you learn from Angela Duckworth’s life work?  And furthermore, how gritty are you?


Access Angela’s TED Talk here.


Grit Scale: How Gritty are you?  Take this quiz to find out!

Team culture is everybody’s job – regardless of one’s role on the team, playing status, or experience.  The culture of your team or organization sets expectations for how people behave and work together, and how they collaborate and support one other.  A positive team culture will not ensure on-field success, but a negative culture will almost always correlate with poor team chemistry and performance.


Watch the short video below from Julie Foudy, former American women’s soccer midfielder, World Cup Champion, and Olympic Gold Medalist.  What can you learn from Julie’s team-first approach?  How can you create a more positive culture on your own team?


Julie Foudy Says Team Culture Made U.S. Women’s Soccer Unbeatable 

Many events of 2020 are entirely beyond our control.  The pandemic, virtual learning, cancelled social gatherings and special occasions — these occurrences have little to do with choices we made individually.  However, we have complete control over how we respond to these events in our lives.  What happens when we alter our perspective?  

This short reading from Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way provides an interesting take on perspective for our current landscape and beyond.


Perspective-Ryan Holiday

I first heard about this concept through an article written by Dabo Swinney, Head Football Coach at Clemson University.  Swinney is one of the most successful coaches in college football, and he is well-known for using positive mental training with his players.  The Coffee Bean story is one of his favorites — here it is: 


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.


Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water.  In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans.  She let them sit and boil without saying a word.  In about twenty minute she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.  Then she ladled the coffee into a bowl.  Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”


“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.


She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft.  She then asked her to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.  Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.  The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.


The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”


Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity… boiling water – but each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior.  But, after being through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.  The ground coffee beans were unique, however.  After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.


“Which are you?” she asked the daughter.  “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”


Think of this:  Which am I?  


Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?


Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a break up, a financial hardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?  Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?


Or am I like the coffee bean?  The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.  When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.


When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?


How do you handle adversity?


Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?




Yoga Videos by Lindel Hart and Leslie Crosby:

Workout Videos by DA Athletics: