Tim Grover | Relentless at Best (Episode 636)

Tim Grover (@ATTACKATHLETICS) is the legendary trainer called upon by athletes like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant when they want to be at the top of their game. He’s the CEO of Attack Athletics and author of Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable.

“Unless you have that mindset, skillset does not matter.” -Tim Grover

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Putting aside inspirational Internet meme bromides, What does it really mean to be relentless?
  • Why does every team need cleaners, closers, and coolers?
  • Relentlessness can be taught; we all have a trigger that puts us in the zone to maximize our pursuit of excellence.
  • Learn how to increase your threshold for high-pressure situations to perform better under stress.
  • Find out how to harness your dark side and not let it control you (while understanding the consequences).
  • And so much more…


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(Download Transcript Here)

Even if you’re lucky enough to possess the extraordinary genetics of a professional athlete, you can’t reach the elite level of your physical game if you don’t first put in place the mental building blocks — the mindset — that will get you there.

Tim Grover, author of Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, knows this better than most. He’s the legendary trainer who the world’s top-performing athletes — like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — call upon when they know their best could be better. Listen, learn, and enjoy!

More About This Show

“Everyone thinks they’re relentless,” says Tim Grover, author of Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable. “And until you actually have something that’s just in your grasp and you can’t get it, and it keeps moving farther and farther away and you continue to pursue it — that’s what relentless is.

“It’s going after something that you know is sitting right there, but you’ve got to work so hard to get to it and you know as soon as you touch it it’s going to go a little farther away; are you going to continue to be relentless? Are you going to continue to pursue it — the end result, no matter what it’s going to take and no matter what sacrifices you’re going to have to do?”

Being relentless in the pursuit of excellence is a concept that’s easily encapsulated in the bromide of an inspirational Internet meme. But the only way to know if we’re truly relentless requires spending sweat and effort by putting it to practice.

This doesn’t just apply to sports. Tim presents an example of two car salespeople working at the same dealership. They have the same stock of automobiles in the same showroom, and they share the same manual. So why does one sell tons of cars and the other doesn’t? They each have similar skillsets, but having the mindset to go past minimal expectations and make the most of the resources available is what will propel one’s success over the other.

Where the less successful salesperson keeps the manual on hand for reference in case a potential customer asks a question about the cars available, the salesperson who relentlessly pursues sales studies the manual like gospel and prepares for any question that might be thrown his way. He knows the information itself isn’t the most valuable commodity at his disposal — it’s the delivery of that information that makes the difference.

“When I started working with Michael Jordan, this wasn’t about getting him to be a better basketball player physically,” says Tim. “Yes, we did get him stronger and keep him injury-free, but this was able to teach him and learn a different mindset to go over and above and conquer the competition…you’ve got to be strong from the neck up in order to be stronger from the neck down.”

Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners

If you’re part of a team, each person on that team has a role that corresponds with a certain type of mindset — and they’re all crucial for the well-being of that team. Not everyone is going to be relentless, and that’s okay. Tim breaks them down into three archetypes: coolers, closers, and cleaners. Can you identify your role?

Cooler: “The individual that shows up at 9:00 and leaves at 5:00…their work is okay. They’re going to deliver exactly what you asked them to do. It’s not going to be exceptional. They’ll be consistent.” (Good.)

Closer: “The closer can deliver the end result as long as too many variables are not thrown at them. You give them a plan, they’re going to give you an exceptional result…they’re going to be the ones that are going to pat themselves on the back and tell everybody what a great job they did.” (Great.)

Cleaner: “An individual that’s going to get you that end result no matter what’s thrown at them, what the variables are, what the situation is. They are so well prepared they’re always into what I call the “don’t think” stage. To get into the “don’t think” stage, there are so [many] hours and years of preparation and study and work and mental fortitude. They know everything about their craft. And no matter what’s thrown at them, they’re prepared for it. It’s like a Navy SEAL — they’re ready for any single variable that’s ever thrown at them, and they’re going to get that end result because they don’t have an option. They have to get that end result.” (Unstoppable.)

Listen to this episode of The Art of Charm in its entirety to learn more about how someone can learn to be relentless even if they don’t start out that way, common ways we distract ourselves from being relentless, why a cleaner typically hates weekends (while coolers and closers live for them), why Tim’s not the first trainer top athletes call — he’s the last, in what ways life is like a competitive sport and why learning how to win is important for everyone, why so many talented people don’t succeed, how Tim quantifies results in the people he’s training, why learning how to harness one’s own dark side is crucial to becoming relentless, some interesting insight into why top athletes really trash talk each other, what it takes to get into the zone that allows us to get things done, how to acclimate to high-pressure situations in order to perform well under any circumstance, and lots more.

To get the Relentless System pre-launch special for AoC listeners, text attack to 96000 and Tim will send you the details!


If you enjoyed this session with Tim Grover, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1161 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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