“The Power of Belief!” It’s a tagline that self-help books love to use. And many of them give the impression that if you just believe hard enough, or “fake it” long enough, then unicorns and rainbows will work their magic and make your dreams come true. In short, it’s a tagline that gets a bad rap.
But the truth is that belief does have a real impact on our bodies, our health, and our performance. It’s not just rainbows and unicorns. In fact, there’s nothing magical about it at all. Our brains are connected to our bodies through a complex neural network and hormone release. Belief influences what neurons are stimulated and what chemicals are released.
Nowhere is this effect more apparent than with something we call the Placebo Effect. Any doctor will tell you it’s not just in our heads. The Placebo Effect can be quite powerful—sometimes having more of an effect than the medication being tested.
Here to discuss the science of belief with us is neuroscientist Dr. Scott Frey. He has studied belief for decades—including functional imaging that shows how belief can change brainwave patterns. He’ll discuss with us the hard science behind belief including how our brain is actually “soft-wired,” the importance of context in belief, and most importantly, how we can revise our beliefs when they work against us.
So, get ready to believe in this episode, and let’s make you fast!
Relevant to the discussions in this podcast episode are two links provided by Dr. Scott Frey:
- “Pain Is Controlled as Much by the Brain as by Sensation,” from Scientific American
- “Placebo effects in sports performance and exercise outcomes,” from the book, Placebo Effects Through the Lens of Translational Research
Scott Frey 00:04
Welcome to Fast talk Labs, your home for all things psychology. We’re working on your spiritual development this morning.
Griffin McMath 00:15
Okay, let’s go!
Grant Holicky 00:19
Hey everybody, welcome to this episode of Fast Talk Labs your home for the psychology of sport. This is Grant Holicky. I’m here with Griffin and Dr. Scott Frey, my new old friend because we’re from the same part of the world. But today we’re talking about the significance in the science of belief. What does that science have to show us about what we believe as athletes? And, how can we better understand what’s going on in their minds and our bodies?
Chris Case 00:48
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Grant Holicky 01:46
I want to introduce Scott, you’ve been on the show before I have twice. We’re talking about psychology, we’re talking about people. Tell us a little bit about you as a person, we were talking Off mic about our approach to the world. I want to hear a little bit about your approach to the world how it differs from our wives.
Scott Frey 02:06
Wow, that’s a lot. My approach to the world is curious. I like to be curious, and try to embrace the kind of vagaries and unpredictability. With a curious and open attitude. How’s that?
Grant Holicky 02:23
I like it was beautiful. Was was very deep?
Scott Frey 02:27
Yeah, well, we were gonna get into it before everyone. Before everyone turns off the podcast, I would say that, we’ll do our best to treat this with the respect it deserves as science. And
Grant Holicky 02:39
I think that’s a really important piece that that I want to start with is this idea that the things that we’re talking about today are rooted in science. And I think when it comes to physiology, and that’s why I jokingly opened this episode with the year we get so much in sport about five watts. And what we can do on those intervals, like you said today, you know, those two minute intervals versus the four minute intervals and all that stuff, super important. And we know that it’s important, but how the mind and the body are tied together. And they’re just inexorably tied together, you can’t separate those two things, is something that’s just missed in all coaching, in my opinion, but specifically in endurance coaching. And so, I want to throw this to you, Scott, and wanted you to start with this idea that you kind of present it to us, you gave us a little bit of a blurb and this little simple idea of something you’ve been working on. Yeah,
Scott Frey 03:39
so my world is in psychology, and particularly in human neuroscience in a field that we now call cognitive neuroscience. So we’re the people who use technologies like brain imaging to try and understand how the brain creates mental states. And from that perspective, all of our emotions, all of our perceptions, our beliefs, our thoughts, our memories, all of our plans and intentions and expectations arise because of physiology. They’re not just coming out of thin air. And so when I think about the topic of beliefs, and how those impact an athlete’s performance, I’m really thinking about that is just as much a question of physiology as thinking about how you develop better mitochondria in your muscles.
Griffin McMath 04:33
I think this is so important, because when we talk about belief, and we talk about science, and so many things that we talk about on this podcast, seeing is believing there’s a number for something, there’s a symptom of something that’s physical that we can see our body morph and change, metrics move for so much at the science that we talk about this and when we talk about the science of belief, I think it becomes invisible. Where does it come? come from how is this pass down? How do we change this? And something I know you’re going to talk about later on is imaging.
Scott Frey 05:08
Yeah, I think a real challenge with these kinds of questions, any kind of mental states, memories, emotions, and so forth are that we ultimately have to rely on people’s subjective experience, right? We can’t take a scan of your brain and say, I see that you’re believing this or believing that Right? Right. But we can look at the relationship between your subjective reports of what you’re experiencing, and how the brain is creating those and the relationship between those two things. And that’s really what I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life doing. So
Grant Holicky 05:44
what I think is really important about this is the idea that, you know, we joke on this show, or we’ve talked about the idea of the soft science, right? That mental performance, or psychology, those are soft sciences, and so much of it comes down to what you’re saying, We can’t come up with a brain scan and say, I know you’re believing this. So even if I take an athlete, and I say, What was your mental state and your best performance of all time, if I’m looking to try to, you know, get eyes off, I’m trying to understand individual zone of optimal functioning, I have to rely on that athletes memory or that athletes feelings of when they perform the best. But what you’re saying a little bit is we can tie those two things together to some extent, if I take an athlete, and they’re struggling to perform, and this is a pet peeve of mine, as a coach, I hear coaches say this all the time, this athletes not performing their training at a higher level, they go to the performance and it’s falling flat, and a coach will say it’s all in their head. But one of the things that we know, and I’d like you to elaborate on this is it’s not all in their head, they’re feeling something in their body, it’s real. It’s an absolute real feeling in their body. Now, where that comes from maybe something different, but they’re feeling that as something that’s actual in themselves.
Scott Frey 07:01
Yeah, so what I’m about to say grant is going to sound like a 3am dormitory conversation when you’re a sophomore in college, so brace yourself, but this is how I think about this, you have a brain, and it’s locked away in this completely silent dark chamber. And the only way that brain can get any information about what’s going on in the outside world, or in the rest of your body is through your senses touch, vision, hearing, smell, taste, and so forth. Those impulses come in through the specialized sensory organs that are populating our bodies. And the brain has to try and make sense out of that. And that’s the key thing here, the brain has to make sense out of it. And it constructs out of those neural impulses coming in through those senses a reality. And that’s what you and I are experiencing right now. And in all of our waking hours, the construction of that brain based on those impulses that have been coming in. And the key thing I want people to know here is that that construction of reality is not objective. It’s continually being shaped by our past experiences, our interpretation of a context that we find ourselves in at the moment, and our expectations and anticipation about the future.
Grant Holicky 08:28
There’s one thing I always loved about this, and it just kind of puts it into perspective, you’re talking about the 3am dorm conversation. And for some people, this might be a little bit, just kind of out there. But think about it this way your eye we see by taking in light, and we have rods and cones in the back of our eye that interpret that light, but where the nerve, the optic nerve comes into that there’s no rods and cones, we can’t bring in anything from the outside, we have a blind spot in both of our eyes all the time, no matter what, there’s no physiological way around it. But yet, when you look out in the world, there’s no blind spot, your brain is filling in that hole, constantly, all the time, no matter what. So everything that you look at all the time, there’s two fake spots, fake I put in quotes that your brain has filled in for you. So when when you’re looking at this concept that you’re talking about, that’s just a really bring it home place that this happens all the time it’s going on constantly, our brain is filling in the gaps for us. And that gap fill in, as you’re saying is a product of everything else that’s going on in our lives and in our world. So the brain is the boss, right? I mean that black box, like you said, I love that analogy. It becomes the guide to all of this and one of the things that I want to touch base on because you’ve you’ve talked about this idea a little bit is the placebo effect, because this is going to be a really nice way to elaborate on what we’re talking about and and how that works in medicine, but also how that works in sport.
Scott Frey 10:03
Yeah. So I think this is where we can start to ground some of the 3am dormitory conversation in things that are scientifically oriented audience can really sink their teeth into. So I want to begin with a little history here, because I think it’s really important to understand. So we can look back through the history of medicine all the way back to the ancient Greeks and like the, arguably the first physician Galen, and we can look through his papers. And he was already aware of the fact that how people responded to the treatments that he could offer, or his fellow physicians really depended not just on the treatment itself, but on the patient’s expectations. So the delivery of that treatment in the context in which it was presented in, he saw and appreciated that was making a big difference. Now, we can flash forward all the way to the early part, middle part of the 20th century, not that long ago, especially for those of us like myself are pushing 60, I guess, as the only person in this room who can say that. But when we started to develop a more modern medical science, where we wanted to really investigate the effectiveness of things like drugs and surgeries, there was an appreciation of what Galen had pointed out that the mind and the minds interpretation and expectations of the treatment and what could be expected from that was also influencing how people would be responding to the drugs, or the surgery or whatever other medical intervention might be provided. And so as we developed a modern medical science, not all that long ago, savvy people thought to themselves, it’s really important that we try to control for those effects. If we want to know if that drug is really going to lower your blood pressure, then we need to sort that pharmacological effect out from the belief effects, the Expectancy Effects. And the way they did that was to create these kind of clinical trials, which became the gold standard of medicine. And the critical thing for our conversation is that they created a system for double blinding them. And what I mean by that is that the patients in the study weren’t aware of whether they were getting the actual drug, or some kind of inert substance that looked like the drug, but could induce these kinds of expectancies. And the second part of that the double blinding part is it the people who are handing out the drugs and coding the data weren’t aware of it either. And that double blinding was really important, because that was the way of trying to control for the contaminating effects of beliefs on how people responded to these treatments. an unintentional byproduct of this was the realization that often those people who are getting the inert substances, the placebo, if you will, in these blinded trials, actually showed enormous responses that frequently dwarf the size of the response to the actual treatment and medicine kind of rolled forward. Right. And so we now will approve a drug, the FDA will approve a drug if the response is bigger than the placebo effect in a statistically meaningful way. But you can turn that around and say, Well, how big is that placebo effect. And a lot of times the placebo effect alone is actually larger than the bump that the actual pharmacology gives you. And we can look across a lot of traditional medicines that Doc’s pull off the shelf all the time. And that’s more often than not the case. Now to think about that in the context of Sport and Sport Science, we can get into a discussion about the role that beliefs might be playing in in some of those worlds.
Grant Holicky 14:01
Yeah. And do you want to take a quick step back though, it’s this idea of they’re pulling Sudafed off the shelf right now, right? And I was talking to my mom the other day, and she said, Well, I’m still gonna get it still works for me and not like is that they’re pulling it off the shelf because the FDA says well, Sudafed doesn’t work as a decongestant anymore. But, you know, if the patient believes that it’s working, then maybe it’s working. This is the idea behind that. But the big thing that I want to stop and kind of ask you about here is, but that response isn’t just belief, right? It’s not just that the patient believes there’s a physiological reaction in the body, like we’re doing a double blind study. It’s not just that the the patient’s coming to the doctor at the end, it goes, Oh, no, Doc, I feel better. We’re looking at the results and going, Oh, no, no, they got better.
Griffin McMath 14:51
Right, but just by how much and whatever goal posts that they had set, right.
Grant Holicky 14:55
And so I mean, that’s to me, what’s so interesting about that and what But I think is missed so often in the idea of placebo. Those people are getting well, they’re getting better. And if we alter that to sport, then we can start to say, well, that athletes getting fitter that athletes getting faster because of that. Yeah.
Scott Frey 15:13
And so I think this is where we can go back to that 3am dorm conversation, right, keep on going back. As a scientist, it’s not enough for me to know that something happened. I want to know why, what are the mechanisms, right. And we do actually know a lot about the mechanisms of belief and expectations in terms of Neurophysiology in terms of how the brain is responding. And we’ve gathered that kind of data in labs like my own over the last several decades, as new technologies have become available to actually peer into the brain and look at that. And what we know now is that a lot of these effects that can be attributed to belief set expectations, broadly labeled as placebo effects, or it’s dark cousin, which I hope we’ll talk about which of the no SIBO effects, right? Yeah, yeah, are coming about because of changes in multiple brain neurotransmitter systems. And also in hormone systems. And in the immune system. It’s remarkable. It’s like the brain is really set up in a way that helps to augment whatever other kind of intervention or treatment we’re talking about and in terms of medicine for the moment, but think about training interventions, nutritional interventions, recovery interventions, they’re all the same, right? They’re manipulations. They’re affecting transmitter systems like our endogenous painkilling analgesic system, endogenous opioids, serotonin dopamine networks, II talked
Griffin McMath 16:48
about how clinical trials evolved and the different measures that were taken and how double blind came to be. To me, I wish I could go back in history and go wait time timeout, do you not realize what you’re doing? And that you might actually be trying to mask or almost no, say, study the opposite. But flip the script, turn the perspective, if this is such an impactful component of an experiment that you are trying to strip it away? Then what if we pause? Like I said, flip the script and say, let’s actually examine that? And can we harness that, obviously, in the research that you’ll be talking about, and today, that has begun that has been happening, but I don’t think it’s really made its way into the the general public to understand instead, it just gets shamed as something that can be manipulated, or
Grant Holicky 17:38
it gets described as a miracle, right? Or you gets described as anomalous. That’s maybe the main thing, like there’s somebody who has cancer, and they, you know, just did everything right, and believed and all that stuff. And it was stage four cancer, and everybody gave him two weeks to live and they live for another 20 years. Yeah, we talked about that as the miracle or the anomalous event. But when you talk to those people, very rarely do you get one of those patients that turns around and says, Ah, now I was ready to die. You know, I believe that in a lot of cases, they’re going out finding a naturopath or some of these things that they believe in, and then getting well. On the back side of that.
Griffin McMath 18:15
I’ve got to say, I’m what you call a naturopath, we are naturopathic physicians or naturopathic doctors who have gone to medical school. But no, no, no, I didn’t mean,
Grant Holicky 18:24
I wasn’t saying that. I was saying that is going and finding that thing. That’s not conventional medicine that they believe in, right? Well, what we see as conventional medicine in the Western world, which is kind of not that inclusive, honestly, I have a lot of history around the world with medicine. But my point to that is if I feel like I’m going to go do this is going to work. And I really believe that that means something physiologically to the body and how the immune system say interacts with that. Yeah. And as you said, Scott, that idea that the body is almost set up to augment something, right? We know this in the scientific world that a virus can change genetics, and turn things on in terms of epigenetics and turn on a certain reaction or a certain emotional reaction of the person who’s ill with that virus. And we’re almost seeing the other way around. Perhaps speaking
Griffin McMath 19:20
of these three conversations, we’ll probably have to talk about this after we’re done recording. But as far as the power of belief goes, this is where people like you, we kind of jokingly talked about Oprah before the podcast, right? But there are people like Joe Dispenza, who are doing meditations and having people believe things and then you know, he’s measuring all sorts of stuff in his research, I don’t know extensively, but I’ve listened to it. And man, you feel really good after half an hour, right? So I mean, beyond this power of belief and the significance and where this has come from, how would you kind of wrap up this fundamental understanding of the science of belief? Yeah,
Scott Frey 19:57
I think it’s pretty simple. You In a way, and that is that anytime we experience any kind of treatment intervention, and certainly I’m putting training, nutrition recovery in that, in that bin, there’s whatever those things are doing to our physiology, the kinds of things people are normally talking about here, the sports scientists you bring in, who can really nail those things down. And we can separate that from the effects of belief and expectations if we do these double blinded studies. But in the real world, the way a patient responds, the way an athlete responds, is a mix of the direct effects of that intervention Plus, these beliefs. They’re separable in the research world in the kind of artificial environment of a lab study or a clinical trial. But in reality, how we respond to anything is both placebos are a great demonstration, because there is no actual pharmacological treatment that’s happening. But for every treatment, no matter how effective it is, there’s this additional layer when we bring it to the real world that has to do with expectations and beliefs. And that can go in either direction, facilitating it or diminishing it, right. So
Grant Holicky 21:17
if we look at training, this is something that I used to say a lot, you know, any training protocol will work if the athlete believes in that training protocol. But one of the points that’s really important, and when we make and this is to tie it back to what you’re saying is, I can do polarize training, I can do all based training, I could do all tempo training, let’s say there’s four different five different ways to train the body, all those training methodologies are going to get a response. When we talk in here, about the nitty gritty sports science. In a lot of ways, we’re talking about that last 5%, that last 10%, right, if I take an untrained individual, I can do just about anything with them, and they’re gonna get a huge response. So that last five to 10%. Let’s remember that we’re getting almost all the way there with any of these interventions. So with the athlete believes in what the athlete is comfortable with what the athlete wants to do, and this is why as a coach, I’m going to turn to that athlete if I have a new athlete, and so what are your favorite workouts? What do you love to do? Now everybody in here listening knows I love intensity, but if I have an athlete come to me and say I love three by 20. I feel so strong after I do three by 20 minute LTS, then I’m going to make sure that I’m writing in three by 20 minute LTS into their training plan, because they’re going to get something out of that, not just physiologically, even if I don’t think that’s the right intervention, because of their belief, and because of the combination of that power of that belief in that workout and the physiology gains of that workout. Now we’ve superpowered that workout. Yeah, and
Scott Frey 23:03
I think this is one of the best arguments for what is the value that’s added by having a coach who knows the athlete right. I think it’s probably more challenging when we think about like, pre written training plans that you can buy not to criticize those. But this is the an additional layer that comes from that human interaction that is very hard to replace.
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Griffin McMath 24:11
So this is a perfect moment to pivot and talk about context, because I think this is where coaches, I’ll say, This is my background as a medical provider, where they are able to make sense of the context. They’re able to get a lay of the land, they’re able to, in some cases, diagnose what’s going on, bring all the variables into picture, make sense of it for the athlete and to move forward. So can we talk about context and belief?
Scott Frey 24:37
I think it goes back again to our 3am dorm conversation. Remember that we’re talking about the fact that your brain is is interpreting all of this incoming sensory information from your body, from the outside world, people around you everything, and it is creating your experience that you’re having what we call react already, based on the context, and that context consists of three things, your past experiences, which are unique to all of us your interpretation of the present situation that you’re having the experience in, and your expectations and anticipation of the future. That’s the context. And that is where a coach can intervene. And I think well, many coaches have a very practical understanding of that, in a sense, it’s like the double blind thing, right? We want those coaches to also understand that what they’re doing, actually is just as real is just as based in physiology as those vo two Max workouts are, right. So
Grant Holicky 25:41
that idea Dr. Zollinger, who I worked with, at Adam state, when I went to my masters, he talks about always wanting to deliver the mental strength through the coach, right, and that idea that, that coaches interaction and how that coach interacts, what they’re saying what their response is what the athlete is giving them can guide and move the athlete in the moment. And we talk a lot in mental strength, about brief interventions, that you can always sit down with somebody and do a traditional psychology appointment kind of thing where, you know, we’re going to talk we’re face to face, but so much of what we do as a mental strength provider, or mental performance coach is going to be in the moment, if I have an athlete coming to me, five minutes before their race, I feel like this. And whenever I feel like this, I tend to perform poorly, right? And this comes back to context, right? They’re taking their past experiences, they’re taking their expectations, and they’re combining all those things together in one piece, and now they’ve created a reality. They’ve created their context. So when their legs start to burn, that’s not seen as the normal progression of a heart workout that’s seen within the context of Oh, no, I always feel like this when I’m having a bad day. And this is why I’m having a bad day. So that coach in the place that can say, hey, remember, your legs are always gonna burn, you know, get that one half step ahead. That’s where we can really have an influence on that athletes performance in the moment, with all this that’s going on.
Griffin McMath 27:16
And you’re specifically in that example, talking about changing the meaning behind all or nothing thinking as well, right? I always feel this way. And this is always what happens. And I believe that that it is, and then it coach turning around and going. Yeah, actually, this always will be a reality. And it’s immediately has a different connotation, right?
Grant Holicky 27:36
Think about it this way, if you had a walk to work, and you walked under a bridge on your way to work, and you walk under that bridge 200 times a year on your way to work, and a pigeon poops on you one time when you’re walking under that, that’s going to stick out, right, that memory sticks out, because it’s really unusual. And doesn’t take much before, let’s say 100 days later, a pigeon poops on you again. Now it’s happened twice. And your brain turns that event into every time I walk under this bridge, that pigeon poops on me. And so that’s the kind of power that the context can have. And like we’re saying, you can go, you have to come back and take reality and take logic to that athlete or to that person and go, How many times did we walk under that bridge? So you’re telling me it’s a one in 100 shot? Like that’s not every time that’s very unusual. And our brains don’t tend to work like that. We like the exceptional event. We remember the exceptional event. And so negatively that happens a lot in the brain.
Griffin McMath 28:42
That’s confirmation bias. Right? So the next time I want to describe confirmation bias, I’m going to talk about a pigeon taking a poop on my shoulder. Like
Grant Holicky 28:50
how everybody’s trying to avoid the real word we use
Scott Frey 28:53
a family show. Yeah, and I just want you to remember when you do recall that that that was grants to the conversation here. Yeah, so coaches have the opportunity to intervene in the context, right. And that’s what all the research is trying to strip out, which I get why we’re doing that I get why my fellow scientists want to separate those things. But you have to understand that that can limit their generalization of the results from the artificial lab to the real world. And when you hear scientists saying, yes, but that’s just placebo, or science doesn’t care what you believe.
Grant Holicky 29:38
Well, it should. Yeah, we’re missing something if we say that, right. Yeah.
Scott Frey 29:42
And again, I see it from the angle of physiology because I’m a brain scientist. That’s what I study. To your point, Griffin. Confirmation bias is that thing that keeps our beliefs static and protects them right. And the way that works for all of us is We have a bias to see the things that fit with whatever it is we believe, and not see the things that don’t. And it’s true, you can look at zillions of studies and psychology about this. And it doesn’t matter how educated a person is, how uneducated they are, whether they’re a scientist, a lawyer, or a non scientist, we all fall victim to this little glitch in our software, which is confirmation bias, we look for stuff that fits with our beliefs. And that’s why beliefs can be hard to change, but they can be changed. And they have to be challenged in order to be changed. And that’s another role for a coach to start finding out which of those beliefs are limiting to athletes. It’s one of the things I do in my work with people. What are those friction points? Where are those beliefs? holding you back? And how can I interject and intervene to try to lubricate those friction points, so you can move forward? I
Griffin McMath 30:57
am feeling like I’m having a 3am conversation over here because my eyes are welling up. I’m it’s like David after Dentist. I’m just like coming alive right now. I have never, it seems so obvious. But I’ve never heard anyone talk about how confirmation bias is essentially static that represents static mental growth. How is that not the best way to talk about that with an athlete who’s always wanting to PR always wanting to push themselves and saying, Hey, calling it out, naming it, that’s confirmation bias that shows that your mental perspective, your beliefs have plateaued. And if I as an athlete, I’m not even a professional athlete, but I am obsessed with self growth and you know, continuing to evolve. If someone were to say that to me, like you’re plateauing. First off, that would be such a slap in the face. That’d be a wake up call. And I would say, Well, it’s my beliefs that now need to PR like that, you know, I need to move forward. And I need to advance.
Grant Holicky 31:53
So I was having this discussion with an athlete yesterday, and they were talking about, well haven’t gotten much faster this year. You know, my results are this or that. And what I drew back is triathlete, and I said, Okay, you better swimmer than you were a year ago. Oh, yeah. Are you better cyclists than you were a year ago? Oh, yeah. Well, I can see that number right there. Are you a better runner than you were a year ago? I don’t know. Okay, well, if you’re a better cyclist and a swimmer, are you probably more efficient? Oh, yeah, I am going much more efficient in the run. All right. How do we implement that then. And that’s the confirmation bias of this expectation of where this athlete thought they were going to finish and what they thought they can do. They’ve been doing this for two or three years. And so this is where I swim. This is where I bike. This is where I run. And what that athlete was missing is that as you’re kind of noting, Griffin, that expectation, that feedback loop of Well, I feel this way, which means I’m going to go this fast, which means this and not limited them from being able to take the bike out, like a bat out of hell, like I need, you’re not a great swimmer, I need you to take the bike out like a bat out of hell, and I need you to go catch this pack. That means 1015 minutes for this athlete at 353 60. They don’t want to do that. Because it’s going to feel awful down the road. And how do they interpret that feeling of awful? There’s two ways right? There’s Oh, god, look at this. I’m gonna die. And man, I did it. Good for me. Now let’s go. And so it’s how do we take that as a coach or as a mental strength provider, mental performance provider, and educate the athlete of Yes, break down your confirmation bias pieces. Now look at this, and there’s the growth path forward. There’s the way to turn this into something special. Yeah,
Scott Frey 33:39
the solution for that athlete was not you need to bump up your volume on the run, or you need to get on the track more. I think that the potential for the kind of things we’re talking about here are far more than marginal gains for most athletes.
Grant Holicky 33:56
Yeah, I think this falls quickly into maximal gains. It really does. It falls into that bucket of go out and get on the bike today. It really, to me is pretty basic, fundamental stuff. As a coach and an athlete.
Griffin McMath 34:12
I know before the show, you talked about being the author of our own lives or our own beliefs. And in that way, I wonder not only the people around us, but especially a coach then becomes a co author, right? So you really want to be mindful of who you’re picking and what you’re creating together. But if, let’s say someone has recognized, okay, well, confirmation bias is just such a large presence in my training or just my mentality overall. And I believe you call it belief revision. So how do we go from confirmation bias to belief revision?
Scott Frey 34:45
Well, the answer
Grant Holicky 34:48
and this is where it gets hard. Yeah, no,
Griffin McMath 34:51
let’s get into it.
Scott Frey 34:52
Yeah, no, I think it’s a great point. And the answer is very much like how do we get better at doing those really high? Our efforts we get out of our comfort zone. And we spend time in a state of discomfort. And we know when we do that we get boost to our physiology. Well, this is a way of boosting your neurophysiology. And the way to combat confirmation bias is to challenge those beliefs by seeking out information that conflicts with them, and deliberately exposing yourself to the anxiety and the stress of questioning those beliefs. And that’s true in the world at large. And it’s true in the context of the world we’re talking about, which is how to improve your performance. And I think that’s where a good mental performance coach comes in being able to hold up that mirror challenge, as Grant was saying, the individual with uncomfortable truths. One of the most powerful things in belief revision that psychologists have have talked about that combats confirmation bias is the discomfort, the anxiety, the cognitive dissonance, right, the jargon term? Yeah, that comes about by realizing that, wow, that belief is not really representing facts very well, and not serving me. Yeah, I
Grant Holicky 36:18
think that’s a great point. You know, we talk a lot in mental strength about, okay, what’s going on? Well, I’m anxious, and I’m worried I’m all these things. Okay. What have you been doing in training? We combat that anxiety and those emotions that are apart and driven so much by our context, with logic, with facts. With that, take the breath, take the moment, take that time. And it’s so hard. I mean, Griffin, you challenged us, or challenge you, you asked I do. All right. But in preparation for this episode, you asked Scott and myself for two examples of power of belief, anecdotes, on power of belief, and what we believe. And one of the things that I wrote down is that I have an anger problem, I get very emotional. And I know that about myself as an athlete, and other about myself as a person, I’m a very emotional person. So I can get angry very quickly. Same way, I can get sad very, very quickly. For better or for worse, I’m in tune with those things. But the anger part was so difficult for me because I would get hijacked by this emotion, and it would just go, and you know, there’s that degree of kind of confirmation bias. I’m right, I’m allowed to be angry. This is, you know, legitimate all of those things. But what I’m not doing in any of that situation is slowing down and looking at the other person that I’m getting angry at? What is their context? What is going on with them? Why are they acting the way they’re acting? You know, they’re probably not trying to piss me off, they’re probably having their own moment. And so the way I had to deal with my anger problem is to slow down, take a moment, take logic, look at the world around me, and understand what was going on. Otherwise, I just went the same path, I’d always gone, right. And we talked about the habit of it. This is where confirmation bias kind of rolls into our habit, right, and we can make good habits or we can make bad habits. But, you know, confirmation bias, where an athlete can even be a little bit tied to superstition. Every time this happens, I race poorly. Therefore, I’m gonna race poorly stop, slow down, let’s take a look at what’s going on. And go forward. From there.
Griffin McMath 38:41
I’m gonna pose this question to you, Scott, because what you’re talking about is essentially going on autopilot, right? And when you have a belief revision, or you’re changing habits, you have to create new pathways, right of behavior from belief to action, which requires that keyword action. So first off, thanks for your vulnerability and talking to us about your feelings and your anger. Oh, sure. I resonate. I really appreciate that. But before we hear, you know, yours and my examples, as well, I would love to pause on that, because you’re talking about autopilot and these pathways and kind of what that to steer that ship on a new path. Can you speak to that? What’s happening in the brain between autopilot to belief revision?
Scott Frey 39:27
Absolutely. So one of the things that’s really become apparent, in my time as a brain scientists, which has been very exciting is the fact that the brain is not hard wired, it’s soft wired, and that just as the brain is creating our perceptions, emotions, beliefs, and all the jazz I was talking about, and our behaviors, our actions in the world, it’s being shaped by the repetition of those thoughts, perceptions, actions, emotions, beliefs, right? So if you make a little change to a belief, you confront it with some information and you’re like, oh, you know, I actually am running a little bit better. Look at those numbers. And you do that incrementally, what’s going to happen is that the neural circuitry that is responsible for producing that mental state, that belief is going to start to change. I know that sounds really far out. But you know, I’ve spent a lot of my career studying how changing behavior changes the brain. And I could go into a diatribe about that. But the point is, it starts for us with the behavior gets back to what you were saying, Griffin, we are the authors and in a sense of our own reality, but we’re the authors of our own neurophysiology. We can change our brain by incrementally changing our behavior. And a pattern of belief, a pattern of thought is a mental behavior,
Grant Holicky 41:00
right. So think about it this way, if we’re doing something physically, the more we use that neural pathway, the more myelin we lay around those nerves. And the better and better when we get at that mental pathway, there’s more insulation, it fires, it just wants to go just wants to go just wants to go free throw shooter, they get up there, and they can turn their brain off that just shoot the free throw, the neural pathway is charged to change that habit. And I don’t know if this is actually true physiologically, but what I will say a lot to athletes, if you want to change that physical habit, you need to use that new pathway so often, that that old pathway is seen as less efficient. And that’s hard, you really have to spend the time to do that, I tend to try to describe the mental pathways the same way we can do those mental pathways. But for me with my anger, if I don’t choose the different way to do it, if I am not forcing myself down that pathway over and over and over again, I’m just going to default. And I’m just going to default to being angry, I’m just going to default to being reactionary, I’m just going to default to assuming that person’s trying to get me. And I think that’s a really important piece with what you’re saying this plasticity of the brain as soft wiring of the brain, we can change it, we have to just be committed to that process. We need those people around us that are reminding us, Hey, we can do this, we can do this, we can do this.
Scott Frey 42:26
Yeah, these are skills, just like any other skill, we tend to get locked in this mindset of thinking that, you know, we can think about a free throw is a skill we could think about swim stroke is a skill. And we could think about all the work and incremental progress it takes to get better at those things, thought patterns, mental acuity, all of these things, reshaping of these beliefs. These are skills, their mental skills that can be trained and developed, they’re not something different. And just like changing your swim stroke, is changing physiology from the brain to the muscles. What we’re talking about here is changing your neurophysiology. It’s all physiology, there’s
Griffin McMath 43:07
a book called yourself, John Bishop. And I’m, I would say most of the way through it right now. And not only do I love it, because it’s a very realistic harsh Scotsman narrating the entire thing, who’s just making inappropriate comments the whole time love it, but he talks about the power of assertive self talk. So he doesn’t believe in affirmations he like kind of looks at all this going on, not your guy if you want to look him yourself in the mirror every day. But he goes through a list of them. And one of the ones that we’re talking about right now is the assertive self talk of I am wired to win, always. And then he goes into talking about it’s just what are you winning at? Because right now you are winning at whatever the resultant behavior is, you are doing it so well. Maybe it’s like you are doing it. So well, by missing that morning workout, you are winning. But what you’re winning at is not getting up off the couch. And so being able to say I am wired to win, but what I’m saying I want to win at versus what’s actually happening, that discrepancy is where these skill sets come in. And so using a sort of self talk almost as the catalyst for calling out that discrepancy, and then deciding all of these skill sets that know that we’re talking about now I’m looking into to actually bridge that gap and to steer that ship. It’s a great book. I do recommend that a lot of cursing. Typical episode with Robin Trevor, though, you know,
Grant Holicky 44:31
the way the way they’ve been going lately. Yeah, absolutely. So let’s expand on this. Scott. Let’s look at this idea of encouraging and empowering these. I hesitate to call them positive beliefs, beliefs that can make us successful because they’re not always positive. Right. I mean, I think we find this a mental strength with. I mentioned that earlier. individuals don’t have optimal functioning some people’s individuals eyes off is being really angry at themselves. Maybe not allowed in the law of gravity in that, but that works for some people. So we don’t want to talk about positive beliefs. But what can athletes do to continue to make these empowering beliefs, these beliefs that are going to drive them forward? How do we make them stick?
Scott Frey 45:15
I think it’s the same way we make that swim stroke stick rehearsal practice. And I think that sometimes, what a coach might need to do is create some evidence, when there isn’t great evidence that things are improving. They need to find a way to show that to the athlete, maybe that’s finding a situation where they can have a win whatever a win might be, that can help to begin that belief revision process.
Grant Holicky 45:44
I want to go back to the story that you kind of talked about in the blurb and the story of incredibly high level cyclists believing they were performing for one reason, but they were performing completely on their own skill set and cognizance and ability. When you sent this to us, you called out a couple specifically.
Scott Frey 46:06
Yeah, so Rashard veronik I don’t remember the year 97 comes to mind could be wrong. But he became aware that there was a new substance stimulant that was being used around shared around the peloton, and he sent his swan year to go find the substance and now
Grant Holicky 46:26
let’s take a step back and understand that Rashard Barak was willing to try just about anything at that time. That was the substance,
Scott Frey 46:33
Oh, yeah. And ended up serving as a result of that, yeah. But the upshot is that the Swanee went out to procure the amphetamine and ended up not getting it coming back and injecting some saline into verax backside, unbeknownst to him. And he went out and rode the best time trial of his life. I think he ended up second in the tour. He’s a climber not a time trial is so it was super impressive and raving after the stage about how much that substance had helped him. And it was just sailing. But what the Swanee had done was appreciate the things we’ve been talking about, you know, if we could have stuck frogs head in a brain scanner, we probably would have seen the physiological roots of how that was being manifest. But the more important thing for all of us here is the performance. And it was extraordinary.
Grant Holicky 47:31
Alright, Scott, so you talked about with Gronk, saying that if you took a brain image in you looked at what was going on in his brain, you could see something specifically fire up. So what do we mean by that? Yeah,
Scott Frey 47:44
so I’m going to preface this by saying these are early days. And I wish I could sit here and say, yes, we’ve got this study of World Tour cyclists. And we’ve looked at before and after shots of their brain, in my functional MRI scanner, and so forth. I can’t do that for you. But I can give you some of the neurophysiological background of what we do know about the kinds of things we’ve been discussing. And I’m going to use two examples. I’m going to use the first one from the world of pain, and the second one from the world of dopamine in Parkinson’s disease, because those we really have good, solid biological data. So a lot of the work that’s been done on placebo effects, beliefs, expectancies, and how they change our neurophysiology comes from the world of pain. And very briefly, you can look at our other episode on pain, but there are two brain systems involved in the experience of pain that we have. The first is our nociceptive system, which takes input from specialized receptors throughout our body. Those impulses come up to the brain, and they stimulate particular areas of the brain. And those are giving us the sensory experience of pain. Is it throbbing? Is it sharp? Is it nagging, and so forth? There’s a second system. It’s relatively independent of that first system. And it’s more cognitive and emotional and its nature and involves areas involved in thought and emotion. Areas of the insula areas, the anterior cingulate gyrus, other cordeaux ridiculously difficult to pronounce, brain areas, but there are these two networks right. And together they create this experience of pain that we have the sensory experience, but then the interpretation of what that pain is coming from think about it if you were doing Trevor’s favorite five by five intervals vo two Max intervals in the context of of a workout, the pain would be tremendous, but you’d feel like oh, I know this pain, I’m safe and so forth, and you get through them. But if you were sitting here in this room right now, and suddenly your legs started feeling like that. As you would hit the floor and beg for me to call you an ambulance, right? Context is everything and that context and perception stuff we were talking about earlier, is involved in that insular system and the cingulate cortex. Those are the areas that the leafs are really manifesting physiologically, and in a way they’re acting is kind of filters on those incoming pain signals in that nociceptive system. And together that’s creating that experience that we have a pain. So if we give people a drug, that is analgesic that can lower pain. And we give other people in this study an inert substance that looks just like that drug. And they know the people in this study know they have less a 50 50% chance of getting either, we can actually look at how the actual drug and how the placebo are affecting these brain systems in response to a painful stimulus. And when we do that, we see they’re affecting them in very similar ways. And that the people are likewise reporting diminishment in the intensity of the pain they’re experiencing. In both of those conditions in relation to how the placebo or the pharmacological substance are modulating those brain networks. Primarily, they’re modulating this system that we talked about as the cognitive emotional system of pain, insula, cingulate, and so forth. So that’s a wonderful example, I think, where we can start to tie this to the physiology. The second is in Parkinson’s disease, when you have Parkinson’s disease, you have a very selective loss of neurons in the substantia nigra that produce dopamine, they’re very specifically affected in Parkinson’s disease. And as you lose those neurons over time, you produce less dopamine and you start to develop the symptoms, we think about the tremor, there’s cognitive symptoms that can manifest the freezing of gait, and so forth. And we can do something about that medically, we can give you levodopa, which is a precursor for your brain to make more dopamine, there have been some terrific studies looking at people when you give them lever dopa or placebo. And what you can see in those studies, we can put not an a functional MRI, but we can do a PET scan, where we can actually label radioactively label systems that allow us to see how much dopamine is being produced in the brain. And what we see is, depending on the people in this study, who gets the lever dopa, we see a modulation of the dopamine as you would expect. But what’s really interesting is the people who are just getting an inert substance that they think has a probability of being the dopamine also show a response there. But it’s tied to what they believe the likelihood that that’s a real drug is. So if you’re 75% likelihood that the thing you just took is dopamine, you believe you expect that it’s dopamine, even if it’s not, you’re going to show an increase in the production of dopamine in the brain, even though you haven’t gotten a drug to give that boost, your brain is going to figure out a way to squeeze a little more juice from those oranges.
Grant Holicky 53:18
So this is a great way to tie it all together, what you’re just talking about. That is the best example, I think we can find if that idea that the placebo is actually making your body do something that your body would normally do, it’s producing more dopamine that it would normally do not from a drug, just from this idea of belief. So I think maybe one of the big things we want to kind of finish this or tie a bow on this with is what can we do as athletes to increase that belief that increases our ability to go now and improve the performance, right, and we can get into a million different things. But as you noted with that Parkinson’s patient, if they’re in that range of 70% chance that they’re getting this or they have this 70% chance of believing that they’re gonna get this, that’s when we’re watching the dopamine levels go up. If you’re talking to a patient that has now I’m probably not going to get that the dopamine levels don’t go up. So there’s a precursor here with what the athlete believes if we’re talking about sport, right, so we have to prep that athletes as coaches or we have to prep ourselves as athletes to be ready for the power of belief.
Scott Frey 54:31
Yeah, I think coaches and athletes need to stop thinking of things like belief as tricks or nonsense, and start realizing they’re just as physiologically grounded as anything that else they’re doing with their nutrition, with their training, recovery and so forth. And that that alone is potentially a very important belief for them to have right and
Grant Holicky 54:55
if we tie that into mental strength coaching we have when I talk about mental strength, there’s seven skill sets that we can. And we get into things like self talk things of that nature. But it’s also really important that that athlete finds those mental skills that work for them that are very individualized that they believe can help them. If I take an athlete and I go, we’re going to do self talk, and they’re like self taught doesn’t work. It’s not going to work. So how do we find that individualized program, both physiologically and mentally for those athletes to set them up to prime them, so to speak, to be into this place?
Scott Frey 55:36
Yeah, that’s where the art of coaching as you guys often talk about it comes in the coach is the creator of the context.
Grant Holicky 55:43
Yeah. And they can become that guide for the athlete to help understand that context and move forward.
Scott Frey 55:50
And it can go both ways, right, you can create the wrong context, you can make athletes feel uncomfortable, unsafe, this is the no SIBO, you have SIBO effect right at the opposite of the placebo Boost is the detrimental effect of this kind of negative expectation or negative belief.
Griffin McMath 56:08
I think that you know, in my background with Mind, Body medicine, when you hold certain beliefs, or when you have certain types of self talk to your body does tend to produce some type of physiological feedback or a symptom, but so many people are oblivious to it. And then again, you might feel something but you need to know context like, oh, I may feel really uncomfortable right now. Yeah, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing, right. So being able to understand if you’re holding certain beliefs, or your coach is promoting certain beliefs and in your training environment, your racing environment that make you feel a certain way, you can recognize, oh, I am carrying so much tension in my jaw right now, I am actually really scared. And then being able to work through it with a soundboard like a therapist or a coach or whoever it is to understand. Is that a reliable foundation for where that belief comes from? Or what meaning you’re making of it? Yeah,
Grant Holicky 57:03
I think I mean, that’s a really good point. And I think we talk to athletes a lot about how they’re feeling or you know, what they’re going through. And a great example of this is I listen to coaches say this all the time to their athletes, just calm down, just calm down. And but it’s right before an event, right, we’re about to go to the start of a 200 meter freestyle. We’re about to go to the start of a cyclocross race, we don’t want to calm down, all those nerves, all that anxiety, all those things are feeling they’re a product of adrenaline, we want that adrenaline, we have to find a way to be comfortable with letting that adrenaline come in, we have to then use the mental skills, we have to use the experience, we have to use all of those things. We don’t want to calm down. Because if you calm that athlete down, the start comes and their call, all that adrenaline is gone, all those pieces are gone. So yeah, it’s really important to have this understanding of what is needed right now. And what you are feeling and how those two things tied together. And ad is really helpful to have a guide in that you can do it by yourself. You just have to be very open minded. And it takes a lot of journaling. It takes a lot of this stuff because we’re going to remember things incorrectly. So yeah, I think that’s a really interesting way to tie this all together, the power of belief and the power of coaching and the power of what the athlete does all together as one
Trevor Connor 58:27
burn winner, there is cold. But again, back to conditioning and looking to rev up your training. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time of year to reflect on the past season. Specifically, when it comes to data and recovery to very important metrics in endurance sports, visit fast talk labs and take a look at our pathways on recovery and data analysis. These two in depth guides can help you get the most from your offseason. See more fast Doc labs.com/pathways.
Griffin McMath 59:00
I thought maybe an interesting way to wrap up could be for you to tell us one of Your personal or professional anecdotes on the power of belief. I’ll share one of mine but let’s not leave grant out there on his own.
Grant Holicky 59:12
I’m if I’m fine with it. I often exposed my emotions. I’m okay with it. I think it’s valuable, but I’d like to hear yours too.
Scott Frey 59:19
Can you can you pass the tissues?
Griffin McMath 59:22
Oh my goodness.
Scott Frey 59:23
So I grew up with a lot of beliefs that created a lot of friction for me and held me back a lot. But the one I’ll pick given the context is I grew up thinking I wasn’t athletic. I was kind of an overweight kid. I was really not good at ball sports. I went to a very small school where there were no there was no dominated. Yeah, I know. We didn’t even have a running track. That was a belief that I held for a long time flash forward. You know, I started running in my late teens on my own and realize what a powerful impact it was having on my life. You It was a powerful demonstration of the falsity of the belief I was holding. And I fell in love with it. And that led me to be competing at a reasonably high level amateur level in triathlon cross country skiing, running on and off the track. But my best thing was on trails, and now gravel bike racing, and it’s been 42 years, and I’ve never stopped. So I must be athletic. Yeah,
Grant Holicky 1:00:28
yeah. So let me quit question. How many times have you run the Boilermaker?
Scott Frey 1:00:33
I think I’d probably run the Boilermaker three times. Okay,
Grant Holicky 1:00:36
three, you’ve got me, I only ran at once. And I only ran it the one time because if you’re from Utica, New York, you need to run the Boilermaker. It’s a famous 15 gay. And I did it on no training. And that was a terrible idea. It had nothing to do with belief. All right, Griffin, your turn.
Griffin McMath 1:00:52
Let’s see here. I think one of the ones that always comes to top of mind for truly how powerful belief can be, I was a really smart cookie. Growing up, I was advanced for most things. elementary school, middle school, I tested into a really, like at the time, I think it was America’s number two public high school. And I tested in, and I immediately struggled, you know, I was 14, I started going through puberty, there were hormones, I was tired. It was just also a very different environment where I was finally being challenged consistently and having a huge workload. And my parents wanted to see me succeed and what their concept of success was. So they pulled me out of that high school to say, well, we want her to be a 4.0, like a regular public high school, rather than struggle, maybe at a really top school without kind of consulting me. So I got pulled out of the school. And then I just felt very unchallenged, and just noticed over time, how I started struggling in places that I would have normally really succeeded. So I would get so anxious, because I felt like a failure, failure was my F word growing up, and it still is to this day, and anything. And so I would start turning tests in, I would panic, I feel like I’d run out of time, I couldn’t make sense of the lows in the paper. And I even turned in a test completely blank with my own name spelled wrong. And I walked out of the class, and everyone was still taking the test. So by that time, you know, push forward, never really was able to get to the root cause of those issues, never really was able to kind of push through somehow made it through college, I made it through medical school, but I had two sets of licensing exams that you take during and after school. And the first sets your basic science, I ended up taking that three times I failed the first two times by I mean, I was so close to having passed, but I would made little coping mechanisms for myself that were kind of faulty, I would always start the test at the back and move my way forward to give myself the perception that, hey, you already finished, you already finished. And I had a heck of a time until someone in my life was like, I know you can do this. You’re You’re brilliant. You’re You’re an amazing doctor at the time. Student clinician with all your patients, you’re doing great. I’m gonna pay for you to go to hypnosis. And this person helped me like strips or I did it three days before I did it. Once I did it three days before my exam. I walked in. I was done before most people in both halfs of the exam. And I passed I never had a problem sense. But it was this huge wake up call to me because I just looked at how, you know, again, smart cookie, but just this if I feel like I’m not going to do well or is this perception of failure? I will shut down completely or I have in the past. I think that power belief, right? Because the only intervention that happened was hypnosis, which many people think is bizarre or someone holding up a stopwatch in front of your face and swinging it. So I love that. Yeah,
Grant Holicky 1:03:50
I love that. So this transition says really, really well into our take homes. Perfect. Scott, we always start with the guest. What are your take homes? So
Scott Frey 1:03:59
my take homes are as much for the sport scientists who might be listening to this, as well as the coaches and athletes when I hear people say it’s just placebo. Science doesn’t care what you believe? My answer is it should because everything is physiology, including your beliefs. And just like you can impact your physiology through physical training. You can impact your neurophysiology in ways that can better support your performance. And a good mental performance coach can really play a big role and help to impact performance in ways that are far beyond marginal. Love it
Grant Holicky 1:04:43
Griffin McMath 1:04:43
I think because I had an actual emotional response to this earlier, some of these belief patterns that we have, I really am going to look at this like a highway almost and that if you are not pushing yourself forward like you would at a workout out in the gym on the track, your brain is going to do the same thing it’s going to pull over at the side of the highway, and it’s going to stay there. And where does what does that serve you. So this, and not only confirmation bias as the sign of static beliefs or static mentality, but a lot of these other fallacies that we didn’t even get into today. And I think that, for me was one of the best visuals and also that our brain is soft wired, I think that’s so great. I’m just kind of imagining a jellyfish hanging out and my skull, my hat rack up here, right now. But just knowing there’s always something we can do to move forward.
Grant Holicky 1:05:34
So I think mine is to kind of play off your Scott, you want to speak to the sports scientists out there, I want to speak to the coaches out there. And what I want to say is kind of Griffin, you alluded to it earlier, we as coaches can fire up their belief system of an athlete in either direction, we can create a belief toward progress and the belief towards plasticity of the brain and improvement and those things, or we can very easily create a belief system that is stagnating, and that is holding that athlete back. And I think that’s true. As coaches, it’s true as peers, it’s true as parents, it’s true as friends. And it’s true is just common people in the world, listen to what that person saying and maybe tune in and try to help them move forward and help yourself move forward.
Griffin McMath 1:06:27
So if you listen to this podcast and liked what you heard, we’d love to hear your stories of the significance and the power of belief, what tips and tricks that have helped you. And maybe we can get some feedback and get Scott back on the podcast, back to our three, you know, sophomore in college conversations. And we can talk about actual interventions that might be used. So I’m saying this now as of now you have to come back. It’s been it’s been recorded, and we can get into that. But thank you so much for joining us today, Scott, and grant for driving out.
Scott Frey 1:07:00
Pleasure. Thank you so much. It was a lot of fun.
Griffin McMath 1:07:03
That was another episode of Fast Talk. Subscribe to fast talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcasts. Be sure to leave us a rating and a review. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual. As always, we love your feedback. To data set at Fast Talk Labs or join the conversation at forums.fasttalklabs.com Learn from our experts at fasttalklabs.com today. For Dr. Scott Frey and Grant Holicky, I’m Griffin McMath. Thanks for listening!