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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tony Robbins tells the Red Sox “You CAN win” – and they listen

Fenway Fiction

Secret to their success?

When the Red Sox snapped their three-game losing streak in Cleveland last night, there was one man in the visitor's clubhouse who wasn't surprised in the least: Tony Robbins.

The self-help guru and motivational speaker, who has helped such world-class sports figures as Serena Williams, Greg Norman, and Pat Riley reach their peak performance, was at Progressive Field to help the Red Sox try and do the same.

“He was great; he told us, 'You CAN win, you have all the pieces, you just need to put them together and believe in yourself,'” said Clay Buchholz, Friday's starting pitcher. “When I let up that homer to Cabrera in the first, Tony called me over to the runway and looked right at me with those huge eyes of his. 'You CAN win and you WILL win,' he said, and I couldn't wait to get back out there.”

Buchholz is a believer.

Buchholz wound up pitching a two-hit, complete game victory, after which he enjoyed a beer toast with Robbins in the clubhouse. John Lackey proudly carried both cans over to them, after which he grabbed two more for himself.

Robbins, author of such bestselling books as Awaken the Giant Within and CDs like The Power to Shape Your Destiny was summoned to join the Red Sox on the second day of their crucial 10-game, 11-day roadtrip by team chairman Tom Werner, who credits Robbins for helping him out of a professional slump in Hollywood following his huge success in the 1980s and '90s producing TV series like “The Cosby Show” and “Roseanne.”

“Tony is the real deal,” said Werner. “When I went to him I was at my creative worst, and within two months I was coming up with '3rd Rock From the Sun.' He turned things around for me, and he can do it for this team.”

Werner believes Robbins can get the Red Sox back here.

A big part of Robbins' philosophy is based on gaining clarity about what you want and solving the conflicts between your emotions, desires, and beliefs. “The biggest problem is people want to know how to solve their problems, but what they need to do is create the life that they want – a life of their own design,” Robbins told the team before the game. “You have to start with what you want instead of what you don't want. Start with the end in mind.”

In the case of the Red Sox, the logical end point is the playoffs – but Robbins wants them to focus on getting there a piece at a time. He is taking a special interest in fallen aces Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, the underachieving pitching duo who have won one game between them in two months.

Lester channels his inner Shallow Hal.

“He keeps telling me not to think about the fact I'm 5-10, but to focus on the fact I had nearly a .700 winning percentage coming into this year,” Lester explained. “If he can make Jack Black think a 300-pound girl is Gwyneth Paltrow, he can get me back to where I want to be on the mound.”

Lester's first test with this new philosophy will come Sunday, when he faces Cleveland rookie Corey Kluber in the series finale. There is no word yet on how long Robbins will stay with the team, but it is believed he will fly on with the club to Baltimore and New York.

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