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Daddy Hack Mindset!

Daddy Hack Mindset!

I often feel inspired by an individual I work with or a team that comes together in their own way. The great thing about human potential is that we all have the answers in us, although sometimes we need someone or something to bring it out. I’m blessed to have a job where that is my task. As a mental performance coach and licensed therapist, it is not always my role to give the answers or be the expert on a topic. Most times there is high value in the team or individual finding their own answers as I ask questions, listen and reflect back. This past week I heard an answer to a question that I have not been able to stop thinking about. 

I was recently with the softball team at SUNY New Paltz in Upstate New York. The team had not been hitting the ball as well as they would like and there had been a noticeable difference in their approach at the plate. For some, there was a lack of confidence, low self-belief, and a fear of failure. They were approaching the plate as a “threat” rather than a “challenge.” 


Threat Mindset

A threat mindset, in all situations and for all people, causes a cascade of negative consequences. As a softball player, it causes a hitter to play it safe, be tense/tight at the plate, be in their heads, fidgety, either be too slow or rush, take bad swings, and much more. For any athlete or performer, the same rules apply. A threat mindset causes tension in the body, laziness or rushing, poor technique, negative and chaotic thinking, a need to stay safe rather than exploiting opportunities, and having little/unproductive verbal communication.


Challenge Mindset

The opposite of a threat mindset is a “challenge” mindset. People in a challenge mindset are vocal, moving, have a body that is relaxed but tuned, put in the right effort, are aggressive, look to attack, are creative, and play in the moment. 

I asked New Paltz Softball, “what would a challenge mindset look like to them,” and their answer still rings in my ear... “DADDY HACKS!” After a blast of laughter, and their head coach chiming in saying, “uhhhh, “controlled” daddy hacks,” the team seemed to embrace the mindset. I came to learn that a daddy hack was swinging hard, swinging real hard. And I must say, I love it!

All too often I work with athletes that struggle to think of success. They constantly imagine what failure would look like, or all of the things they hope don’t happen. They fear disappointing their teammates, their family, or themselves and they fear the judgment that will come on to them if they make mistakes. Going in with a “Daddy Hack” mindset is exactly what I would hope for most athletes. This mindset suggests that you are diving in, no fear. It suggests that you are envisioning great success. When your mindset is on success, your confidence, and behaviors follow with the same intensity to make that vision into reality. You attack, and are aggressive, but relaxed in your pursuit. Will you succeed every time? Absolutely not… but your chances of success sure do increase. Thank you to SUNY New Paltz softball for giving me this gem, so I can now give it to others. 


See BIG, Swing BIG! Take Daddy Hacks : )


Thanks for reading!

Powell Cucchiella, LMHC

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