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The Ripple Tank

The Ripple Tank

By Mark Cheney
We use The Ripple Tank as a tool to study the generation of ripples of influence. As students of performance excellence, we explore how to get better at the things you love to do. We believe that everything and every day is a performance. Designed for athletes, coaches, students, teachers, parents, and leaders, this podcast looks to share evidence-based research and the creative ideas needed to convey it in a way that is easily understood.
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Ep. 22 - Success Behaviors - We're talking 'bout practice

The Ripple Tank

Ep. 24 - Performance Assets - What do surgery, EOD, and exams have in common?
What do surgery, bomb disposal, and exams have in common?  The need for a key performance asset - poise.  Poise is particularly important in moments when there are consequences for the performance, judgment, high expectations, and/or time constraints.  I think you can see the commonality of surgery, bomb disposal, and exams (excepting the fact that finals aren’t life or death, despite what parents and students might think).  Tune in as we define poise, look at it in different contexts, and describe how to perform with more poise.
December 14, 2021
Ep. 23 - Success Behaviors - Gratitude in all circumstances
This episode’s success behavior is gratitude.  As kids, one of the earliest lessons we were taught was to say, “Thank you,” yet we easily forget this behavior today.  It comes up again around Thanksgiving, and then is drowned out by the flood of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. In the last 20 years or so, psychologists have begun delving into what your grandmother already knew - gratitude is good for you.  In this episode, you'll learn from Lou Gehrig and the Blue Angels.  You’ll also find the six benefits of gratitude, the five types of gratitude, and how you can strengthen your practice of gratitude.
November 24, 2021
Ep. 22 - Success Behaviors - We're talking 'bout practice
In the fourth episode of our series on Success Behaviors, we're talking 'bout practice - deliberate practice.  Check out the difference between Allen Iverson and Deion Sanders and their approaches to practice.  Learn what Anders Ericsson was really talking about (hint: it's not the 10,000 hour rule).  We'll finish by outlining the specifics of purposeful, deliberate practice.
November 09, 2021
Ep. 21 - Success Behaviors - Listen Up!
This episode’s success behavior is Listen Up.  One of the great challenges for Generation Z is understanding what it means to listen and participate. Zoom has made this even worse, as students have become accustomed to a passive online presence.  Successful people are engaged, participating and listening. When they have questions they ask their boss, coach, or teacher for clarification. When it still doesn't make sense, they seek extra help.  In this episode, we talk about how this plays out for future Navy SEALs, students in my classes, and my own experience at IMG Academy.
October 18, 2021
Ep. 20 - Success Behaviors - Keep Up!
In our second episode of the success behaviors series, we look at the importance of keeping up.  Whether it's running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents, conquering the challenges of chemistry, or winning gold at the Olympics, keeping up is essential.  Just because it's simple doesn't mean that everyone will do it.  In fact, keeping up starts with a decision and is reinforced by strategy.  Thanks for keeping up with us on this episode of The Ripple Tank.
September 30, 2021
Ep. 19 - Success Behaviors - The simple act of showing up
We start a new series on success behaviors.  Success behaviors are the actions that "good" athletes, students, or employees utilize.  While they might seem like common sense, society and technology have conspired to make them less common than you would think.  Our first success behavior is showing up.  Baseball stars Jose Altuve and Cal Ripken, Jr. teach us great lessons about showing up.  Learn the fundamentals of showing up, and you'll grow your ripple of influence.
September 22, 2021
Ep. 1.18 - What do coding, palaces, and chunks have to do with memory?
If the ability to learn quickly is a key advantage, what are some ways to do that?  In this quick-hitting episode, we cover a series of memory techniques that are research-based, user-friendly, and immediately applicable.  Approaches such as dual coding, memory palaces, and chunking utilize the brain's strengths to store information in long-term memory.  Learn how to put them to use in this episode of The Ripple Tank.
November 17, 2020
Ep. 1.17 If you want to learn, you have to move
For 40 years, American education has tried to raise test scores by increasing class time and reducing recess, PE, and the arts.  It hasn't worked.  For thousands of years, humans have recognized the importance of movement.  Now, the neuroscience has caught up and shows us that exercise is essential for learning.  Learn the details behind the use of exercise as a learning strategy in this episode of The Ripple Tank.
October 28, 2020
Ep. 1.16 - Learner or Learned? Let's Think about Thinking
Metacognition - thinking about thinking - is an exceptionally underrated aspect of learning.  Mindlessly going through lessons, practices, and meetings is a waste of an opportunity.  Instead, by understanding how the brain works, directing your attention, planning your path, assessing your progress, and reflecting on your learning, you can become a learner, and not just learned.
September 14, 2020
Ep. 1.15 - Retrieval Practice - Proving You Really Know It
Have you ever thought you knew a concept, only to have it vanish when you really needed it?  It can happen when you rely upon recognition, rather than retrieval practice.  If you have to produce on command, then you better practice producing on command.  Retrieval practice focuses on pulling information out of your head, as opposed to cramming it in.  This episode focuses on how to implement retrieval practice in school, sport, and business.
September 03, 2020
Ep. 1.14 - Using Spaced Practice to Improve My Juggling (and other skills)
Like many of us, I learned some new skills during quarantine.  The way I learned them, however, seems counterintuitive.  Rather than work on them every day, I frequently took days, or even weeks, off between practice sessions.  But I still improved, sometimes significantly.  How did I do it?  I was  utilized spaced practice - the distribution of practice over intervals of time.  Spaced practice is a more effective approach to learning as compared to massed practice.  Learn how it works and how to integrate it in our second episode of a series focused on learning.
August 24, 2020
Ep 1.13 - Don Bradman, Interleaving, and Learning
Don Bradman was the greatest cricketer of all time.  Why?  Because he stumbled upon a powerful learning strategy.  We live in a time where independent learning is more important than ever, yet schools don't teach students how to learn, they teach them what to learn.  When the responsibility for education now lies squarely on the student, knowing how to learn is more critical than ever before.  In this episode, we kick off a new series on learning strategies.  Each week, we'll cover a new strategy, and bust some myths along the way.
August 13, 2020
Ep. 1.12 - Check Yourself and Change Your Mindset
As we wrap up this series on mindset, it's important to reminder that we can fall into a fixed mindset just as easily as those we lead.  Learn how to self-evaluate, and more importantly, how to change your organizational culture to that of a growth mindset.
May 11, 2020
Ep. 1.11 - Unlimited Pie: Mindset and the Success of Others
How would you respond to the success of the individual who took your job?  How would you respond to a rival's achievements?  The answer to those questions speaks to your mindset.  Learn how Marcus Mariota's response revealed his mindset as we continue our series on growth and fixed mindsets.
April 25, 2020
Ep. 1.10 - "I yell because I care?" Feedback and Mindset
Do you respond favorably to feedback, or do you get defensive?  The answer to that question might reveal your mindset.  In this episode, we look at how a coach yelling at you might be a good thing, and how the lack of that feedback might not be a good sign.  Tune in as we continue our series on growth and fixed mindsets, and their response to feedback.
April 15, 2020
Ep. 1.9 - Limit challenges, or challenge limits?
Laura Wilkinson is the only American woman to win Olympic gold in 10 m platform diving, yet she was "too old" to start the sport, a "waste of space" on her high school time, and entered the 2000 Olympics with a broken foot.  Twenty years later, her comeback has been delayed by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.  Her view of challenge is the perfect example of a growth mindset performer.  Learn how her approach differs from that of a fixed mindset, and how you can help others develop this same attitude.
April 06, 2020
Ep. 1.8 - Mindset's relationship with failure
Nick Foles says that he has fallen thousands of times, yet he became the MVP of the Super Bowl.  There's only one explanation, and that is his embracing of a growth mindset.  In this episode, we look at how growth and fixed mindsets relate to failure.  The implications are considerable and of great importance to teachers, coaches, and leaders.
March 29, 2020
Ep. 1.7 - A mindset's impact on effort
In the second episode of our series on Mindset, we learn how Freddie Gillespie advanced from limited playing time at a D-III school to starting for Baylor University, one of the top basketball teams in the country.  Along the way, we'll look at how an athlete's mindset determines their approach to effort and hard work.
March 23, 2020
Episode 1.6 - An Introduction to Mindset
We kick off a new series today, focusing on the concept of Mindset.  Researched and identified by Dr. Carol Dweck at Stanford University, the concept of fixed and growth mindsets has broad implications for all types of performance - athletics, academics, the arts, leadership, and even relationships.  Each episode will use stories and examples to highlight the differences between the two mindsets.
March 15, 2020
Episode 1.5 - Measuring and Training Mental Toughness
In our previous episodes, we've talked about the benefits and definition of mental toughness.  What everyone really wants to know, however, is how to measure and train mental toughness.  In this episode, we explain exactly how to measure and develop it.
February 22, 2020
Episode 1.4 - I know it when I see it - defining mental toughness
Mental toughness is a valued commodity among performers, but actually defining it has challenged the field of performance and sport psychology for over 20 years.  In this episode, we'll discover what researchers have found, and then distill it down to a functional definition.
February 03, 2020
Episode 1.3 - The surprising benefits of mental toughness
This episode kicks off a series on mental toughness.  Everyone says that it's important, but few agree on what it is, how to measure it, and how to develop it.  A deep dive into the research literature took me to some unexpected places.  In this episode, we'll lay out some surprising benefits of mental toughness off the field and in the classroom and workplace.
January 25, 2020
Episode 1.2 - Coaching the Generations
If you have taught, coached, or led for any period of time, you're well aware that there are distinct differences in the generations.  In particular, just what are the generational differences that ripple through performance, especially in regards to Millennials and Generations Z?  Tune in to learn more about how to better connect with and coach these generations.
January 20, 2020
What is The Ripple Tank?
Just what is a ripple tank, and what does it have to do with performance?  In this introduction to the podcast, check out some of the ideas driving its origin and what we hope to accomplish.
January 13, 2020