Why hearts are my favorite suit

Today I’m going to tell you a pretty horrific story.

In my first year of wrestling when I was 10 years old I had a match against a kid named Corey. Corey had been wrestling for 3 or 4 years already so he was way more experienced.

Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t defeat my sprawl that day and I beat him by a couple of points.

I was elated, Corey was devastated.

When you grow up in a small town not only do you know most of the kids involved in sports but the parents all know each other, too. Unsurprisingly, Corey’s dad and my mom went to high school together.

Before the season Corey’s dad told my mom not to have too many expectations, that it’d be completely normal if I didn’t win one match the whole year. I know this because, for some ungodly reason, my mom told me directly after.

Of course, hearing this even at 10 all but guaranteed an unhealthy obsession with getting better.

But this story isn’t really about me, it’s about what happened after our match…

I can’t pretend to know what was going through Corey’s dad’s brain as he was beating Corey under the bleachers after he lost. Battering such a small and kind spirit in the midst of their suffering is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

I don’t know how common this is, maybe something similar has happened to you, but I just know I’m grateful it never happened to me. Knowing what I know now about mindset and the human psyche makes this story all the more heartbreaking.

So I’d like for you to consider this question:

Why is it so obviously abhorrent when you imagine this clearly devastated kid getting beaten by a man who’s supposed to keep him safe…

And yet we never even think twice about brutalizing ourselves when we’re suffering?

Instead of showing ourselves kindness and compassion when we make a mistake that costs us a stack we get pissed off, call ourselves the worst, and wonder why we’re so stupid.

It’s so, so easy to think the only way to improve is to beat yourself down until you never make another mistake again (Trust me, I know better than anyone).

But guess what? You’ll never play a mistake-free session. Ever.

There’s an alternative path I’d like for you to consider…

When you inevitably make mistakes try offering yourself love and compassion. Try reminding yourself that you’re safe and it’s totally ok to feel devastated.

It’s a concept that was brought to my attention by Nick Howard and it’s a path I wish I’d have discovered sooner. If you’re interested in diving deeper, check out next week’s Detox Files #6 and #7.

And the next time you’re angry at yourself or feel like you’re stupid, try to remember this story about Corey. Try to gain awareness of the part of you that’s devastated and suffering…

Then offer that part of you some unconditional love with my favorite suit…


Have a great weekend, Jason Su will catch ya on Monday.

Coach Brad

P.S. I’m launching a team-based program with a mission to improve your mindset and increase your volume at the tables (With a lot of love and compassion, of course).

It’s for serious grinders only.

If you’d like to apply, here’s the link: https://forms.gle/fdgMS5vZjh1aTqN17