As a 15-year veteran strength and conditioning basketball coach who’s worked with some of the best players in the world, the corporate space isn’t the first place you’d expect to see Alan Stein Jr. But his fascination with the mental side of the game grew and he found his bigger purpose helping businesses develop genuine leadership, team cohesion, and true mental toughness — skills both athletes and non-athletes can appreciate.
After spending nearly two decades in the industry as a whole and observing pros like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, Alan learned a few things about creating productive habits and cultivating the right mindset for success. The mental game is just as essential to your overall performance as the physical. Ultimately, it can be the one thing that separates the good from the legendary.
In this episode, Alan Stein Jr. shares what he does to stay competitive, how he challenges himself to stay sharp, the importance of sports in school, and the winning mindset strategies he’s learned both on and off the court that you can use to be better than you were yesterday.
Key takeaways from the interview:
TAKE AWAY GENETICS AND NATURAL TALENT. WHAT SEPARATES THE GOOD FROM THE GREAT?
Alan fills us in on what makes the best stand out from the rest:
- Commit to and master the fundamentals. Even when nobody’s watching.
- Execute little things with excellence every single day.
- Focus on the process. Never skip steps.
- Mindset, determined work ethic, living in the present moment.
Alan attributes some of his fulfillment and success to living in the present moment. And admits it’s his biggest challenge. Here’s how to make sure you give the best of yourself to whatever you’re doing:
- Don’t multitask.
- Block out distractions. Put away your phone.
- Focus on WIN: What’s Important Now?
- “Alan, be where your feet are.” When you catch yourself in a past or future moment, look at your feet and remind yourself to stay grounded wherever they’re at.
SPORTS IS ONE OF THE BEST TEACHERS WE HAVE
“I’d be hard pressed to say that most of the lessons I’ve learned in my life aren’t within a few degrees of sports,” Alan says. But he’s seen even the most well-intentioned parents exhibit behaviors in sports that disrupt a child’s growth — a reason why the majority of them quit sports by age 13. As a parent himself, Alan reminds other parents the real focus is on teaching children to work hard, be accountable and kind, be good teammates, and positively contribute to the world.
- Played college basketball
- Coached youth and high school basketball
- Wanted to expand platform and message beyond basketball and focus on the mental side of the game
- Has spent the past 15 years working with high-performing athletes and helping groups, businesses and organizations develop leadership and mental toughness.
ALAN GETTING MOTIVATED
- Has a heightened sense of awareness and makes the present moment his center of attention.
- Appreciates that performance is just as much about mindset and mental toughness as it is about the physical aspects.
- Is focused on making sure his message resonates with everyone in the corporate space — “even if they’re not as big of a basketball junkie” as he’s been.
- The basics have always worked and the basics will always work. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking basketball or business.
- Participated in “Hell on the Hill” — 100x up and down a grassy slope with a 35% incline = 8.5 miles.
BETTER THAN YESTERDAY QUOTES
“It wasn’t until later that I started to appreciate that performance is just as much about the mind and mindset and mental toughness as it is about the physical.”
“As I’ve become more mature and hopefully wiser, I realize that as awesome as the game of basketball is, it’s just a vehicle to get inside somebody’s mind and heart.”
“If the best best player in the game of basketball in the entire world can commit to doing a handful of basics and fundamentals consistently through effort and precision when training, then everybody should be doing the same thing.”