Envisioning success changing lives beyond sports

“See the ball going in before you shoot it!”

His father’s words still ring in his ears as Max Flohr shuts down his laptop and slings his backpack over his shoulder. His basketball career may be over, but he still approaches challenges the way he was once taught to approach the game: the way his father taught him to envision his success as he put up shot after shot in the driveway.

Max played basketball his entire pre-college life, but eventually his love for music won out. After basketball he found that some of what he had learned while playing and training could help him to get further in his life ahead.

“Basketball set the stage for the rest of Max’s life. I wanted him to believe in himself so I taught him to believe in his jump shot,” his father Bruce Flohr says.

Recent studies support the elder Flohr’s teachings, and as he hypothesized, the results have not just been in athletics. A paper published by Daniel Cervone from the University of Illinois at Chicago states that “self-efficacy judgments have been shown to influence performance outcomes in numerous applied settings, including clinical behavior change, academic achievement, athletic performance, and health-related behaviors such as smoking cessation, weight control, and adherence to exercise programs.”

So when someone believes they will do well, they tend to perform better no matter the activity.

Moving Forward

The same tactic that helped him sink his jumpers years ago is now helping Max to gain a competitive edge in his field and stay focused on his personal goals.

Envisioning success inspires confidence, which allows for better performance by athletes. Creating a possible version of oneself in the future that is successful is directly correlated to higher success rates. Therefore, watching the ball go through the net (or watching yourself nail the job interview) in your mind before anything happens can help you to actually perform better when the time comes to play (or to interview).

As a former athlete who had formal training and coaching for years, Flohr uses the psychology he learned when playing basketball and applies it to his everyday life.

The start of college came a few years after the unofficial end of Max’s basketball career, but the same strategies and values he learned to help him score the basketball have helped him to score a job as the head of promotion for KCPR, Cal Poly’s on campus (student-run) radio station. They have also helped him stay confident and driven in his music making career.

“My dad always used to tell me to envision my own success on the court, and success would follow. I guess I just never stopped.” – Max Flohr


He already has the job he wants, and with a large arsenal of original music and a toolbox of keys to success, Max is set to start performing live in the San Luis Obispo area soon.


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