Doug Baldwin on “The Mental Side”

On October 5, 2016 Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks appeared on the The MMQB Podcast with Peter King and shared his views on, “the mental side” of the game. Below are the highlights:

Peter King: Where did you learn that the mental side of the game can help the physical side of the game?

Doug Baldwin: My strength coach at Stanford, Shannon Turley. He won’t take the credit but he’s the guy who put me on the path of the mental side of the game. He lent me a book when I was at Stanford called “Mind Gym” and in that book specially it talks about the mental side of the game. One of the quotes in there from Yogi Berra was, “90% of the game is half mental”…obviously the math is misunderstood.

Peter King: That’s Yogi

Doug Baldwin: The fact of the matter is that the mental side of the game is vastly more important than the physical because at this level in the NFL everybody is an athletic freak and there’s not much that differentiates ourselves from the athletic side or standpoint. The mental game of it is what can ultimately give you an edge over your competition and so I’ve lent on that as much as I could to make sure I had every possible advantage in my toolbox.

Peter King: I’ve covered football for 32 years, vs San Francisco you made one of most ridiculous catches I’ve ever seen. I watched it and thought, “that is phenomenal”. You dove for a pass and brought the ball in with your left hand to your body just as you were about to hit the ground. I want you to describe how you are able to make a catch like that and the work that goes into making a catch like that.

Doug Baldwin: The first part of it is the mental side of it. It’s basically having an absence of thought in those moments. I can’t be thinking of anything else. I can’t be thinking about the past, the future, the previous play or the next play.

Peter King: Or a safety who’s getting ready to bare down on you and hit you hard.

Doug Baldwin: Or that. It’s got to be about that specific moment…

Coach Nelson serves as a high school football coach who is pursuing his doctorate in Sport and Performance Psychology. He has worked for division 1 athletic departments, professional sport franchises, a Fortune 100 company and has won numerous awards for his Leadership abilities.

His mission is to positively influence the world through Love, Effort, Attitude and Discipline (#LEAD). To learn more about the LEAD Philosophy follow him on Twitter Levi Nelson or reach out via email at He’d love to learn about or help you in your journey!