There aren’t many people who know Russell Wilson better than Trevor Moawad.
Moawad has been Wilson’s mental conditioning coach for the last six years, but the two have developed a friendship that supersedes their professional endeavors. On the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast, Moawad discusses the history of their relationship, their start-up “Limitless Minds” and what sets Wilson apart from other athletes he’s worked with.
During the conversation, I asked Moawad for his thoughts on the tweet that went viral a few weeks back. The post featured a clip of Wilson’s mic’d up against the Vikings on Monday Night Football and referred to it as “cringeworthy.”
“One play at a time. Locked in. Let’s go do this thing together,” were some of the quotes from Wilson in the video.
I asked why Wilson’s approach is so hard for many to relate to, which is why some choose to view it as cringeworthy. Moawad referenced human nature.
“The hard-wiring that we went through physiologically 10,000 years ago never changed. We were wired for fight or flight: to assume negative so we don’t get eaten by a dinosaur,” Moawad said. “Our culture is wired 40 to 70 times more negatively than positively.”
Moawad was keen to note that Wilson is being far more neutral than positive in the video. “Neutral thinking” is one of the foundations of Limitless Minds. It’s the idea that the past isn’t predictive. When bad things happen, it’s real, but it’s not an indication of what’s to come in the future. What happens going forward is based on behaviors and actions over feelings.
Wilson has mastered the practical approach of understanding what it takes to get where he wants to go.
“Consider the alternative,” Moawad said. “What do you want a quarterback to be saying? What do you want your leader to be saying? I think what he’s saying is neutral. ‘Hey stay the course.’ He’s talking about things to do, not outcomes. If you watch Tom Brady mic’d up, he’d have a little bit of a different edge, but he’s equally neutral.
“Russell is an easy target in some senses, but this is who he is. I’ve never judged it because this is who I’ve seen (since I’ve known him). Go back and watch him mic’d up, go back and watch an interview when he was 17 years old talking about the state championship in Virginia. This is who he is.”
What’s most impressive about Wilson, Moawad says, is his ability to not be bothered by the perceptions of others. From fans, to media, to former teammates – Wilson doesn’t concern himself with his detractors.
“The great thing is that Russell has this gene that allows him not to judge the way other people look at him,” Moawad said. “He doesn’t worry about – even all those years with the Legion of Boom and whatever the noise was, he never talked to me about that one time, and we talk every day. I never heard him talk about Richard Sherman, ever, not once.
“What you hear is who he is, and what you see is what he’s willed himself into being. This is the way he chooses to live, and if you’re going to judge him for it and say it’s cringeworthy, that’s OK. But if you look at the outcomes, the outcomes say that through eight years, he’s won the most games that anybody’s ever won through eight years.”
The results are indeed hard to argue with as Wilson recently became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.
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