by Dana Cavalea January 24, 2018


I spent my whole Professional Career watching 95mph fastballs fly out of the hands of some of Major League Baseball'sTop Pitchers...

As a young player.. I not only dreamed of being in the dugout, up close and personal with some of the games best talent....but I wondered how an opposing hitter was able to get around on a ball that was not only 95mph.. but moving up, down, left and right across 60 feet 6 inches...


Talentis amazing..

In all my years watching these Greats.. what became even more impressive to me was the disposition of players... especially the Hall of Famers..

Something I like to call, Competitive Confidence...

Some call it ego. Some call it swag. I called it Competitive Confidence..

In a Me VS. You exchange, Pitcher vs. Hitter.. both of equal talent as evaluated by some of the best Scouts on the Planet.. Somebody had to win the exchange..

In some instances, the Game would be on the line.. and the Player with the greater Competitive Confidence would usually beat the other.. getting the big hit or the clutch, much needed 3-strike punch-out.

The Greats though were unlike the rest... 

The bigger the situation... the better they got.

On a cold winter day in Harrison, NY.. I got a call from the Great, Mariano Rivera to head over to his house and "stretch" him out.. 

I immediately ran to make it happen since whenever you are around the Sandman, the chances of you getting better were always high.

After about 30 minutes of him busting my chops for everything under the sun, I asked him something I had been waiting 30 years to ask:

"How do you do it Mo?" 

"Do what he replied?"

"You know... get it done in the big situations.. getting the big outs.. when the game is on the line and it really counts.."

He answered calmly.." Buddy.. I do three things.. #1: I slow everything down.. #2: I quiet the noise.. #3: I throw one pitch a time.. that is it.. Simple."

I couldn't believe it could be that simple.. so I went on to say.. "Yeah Mo.. that is great.. but what about the big situations..? 

He went on to say... (After shaking his head at me).. "Buddy.. there are no big situations.. All situations are the same! We make things big in our own mind."

Wow.. Powerful.. Game 7 of the World Series... First at bat in High School.. First business meeting.. 

All the same.

We have the choice to give something Power over us or not.. 

We have the choice as to how we react to things.

So wherever you are at in your career.. remember.. Don't overthink it.. Don't be more than you are.. 

Stay within yourself.. 

Execute the fundamentals..

A calm mind, a relaxed body, and high levels of Competitive Confidence will take you places you can only dream of.. 

With every success you have.. make sure you always "file the memory" so you can imprint the positive into your mental bank account...  doing this over and over will elevate your Competitive Confidence.. which in turn.. will always give you the competitive advantage..

So let's all commit to be like Mo.. Believe in yourself.. Slow everything down, Quiet the Noise.. and Throw One Pitch at a Time.. (and if you are hitter.. take one pitch at time!)

To your success!


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

2 Responses


February 01, 2023

Very helpful advice in this particular post! It’s the little changes that make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!

joseph D'Andrea
joseph D'Andrea

January 27, 2018


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