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Play Through the Whistle

During the pandemic, I reflected on how I could make the HiLevel process more effective and enjoyable for people that choose to work with me. Given the intensity required to give your best effort during the pandemic, I was taken back to the early 60’s when our coaches at Georgia Tech were conditioning us to “play through the whistle!” To go all out. To want it. To embrace and love the idea of playing up to and beyond our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual limits.

To “Play Through the Whistle,” back in the day, was to be rewarded with playing time and the grand prize…to be called to a Player! Moving forward I have used “Play Through the Whistle” as a metaphor for making a reasoned choice to work hard and make it fun! Specifically, to have the Skills, Awareness, Acceptance and Capacity to give your best effort and make it fun.


There are three:

  1. Breathing: Nasal Breathing that allows you to Settle down and be calm and have improved accuracy, power, tempo and endurance.
  2. Presence: To operate in the present moment with clarity, confidence and the compassion to take good care of yourself, your family and others…
  3. Focus: To pay attention and concentrate on a narrow view of what you want to have happen and expand your concentration to be more open to the possibilities. In both cases, the physical sensations in your body are associated with proper form, tempo and motivations.

Reflection: As you review your performance, do you feel that you have specific needs regarding these three skills?


In terms of your performance, what are your expectations. What do others expect of you and what do you expect of yourself. The expectations are crucial to knowing what you want to achieve and why. Awareness combined with your breathing will provide the Gratitude for what you want to have happen. Even in the face of challenges.

Reflection: The presence of gratitude will provide the ability to settle down, to be calm, to be clear and confident as you develop a plan…and, then stick to it.


What will it take to perform and get the job done in terms of the breathing, presence and focus required. The acceptance, combined with the breathing, will provide the energy needed to be excited to get up, stay up and to recover and rest when needed.

Reflection: The presence of excitement will provide the focus to build the trust to perform with proper form, power, accuracy, and endurance.


What will it take for you to get better and perform at a higher level? The capacity to be aware of what is expected and accept the work needed to get the job done. To breathe and provide the devotion needed to find the proper lens to see and feel the opportunities for growth.

Reflection: The presence of devotion will allow you to express your truth of what it takes to perform at your best under pressure.

Keep it Real

“Playing Through the Whistle” is one of my most fun times and memories. Working all out can be like that. Especially when you are doing it with and for the people you love and respect.

Check it out! Debrief your performance on a regular basis: See if you have the skills, awareness, acceptance and capacity needed to push your limits. If so, establish the standard of “Play through the Whistle” and include the people that are important to you and enjoy the results.

And if you’d like some help, get in touch!

That’s HiLevel!