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Mental strength training provides NFL edge

Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT) February 4, 2016
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Cam Newton and Russell Wilson have led the NFC charge into the Super Bowl -- and both have been coached by mental strength conditioner Trevor Moawad. Stacy Revere/Getty Images; Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Seahawks quarterback Wilson prepares with Moawad before and during each season. Wilson was able to shake off last year's Super Bowl-ending interception with a stellar campaign in 2015, and was named MVP of the 2016 Pro Bowl. Norm Hall/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Newton, of the Carolina Panthers, does not lack in confidence or mental strength, says Moawad, who helped him prepare for the NFL scouting combine in 2011. Moawad also worked with Newton during the NFL lockout ahead of his rookie season. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Moawad (far right, in glasses) has earned five National Championship rings -- four of them at the University of Alabama under football coach Nick Saban (third right.) Photo by Kent Gidley
Former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson (#14) says mental strength conditioning allowed him to focus in even the most hostile environments. He is seen pointing out the defensive alignment of the Tennessee Volunteers during an away game on October 25, 2008, when Alabama defeated Tennessee 29-9. Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Saban -- who has won five championships, four as coach of the Crimson Tide -- emphasizes a system he calls "The Process," which focuses on mental toughness. Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Former NFL running back Fred Taylor was skeptical when the Jacksonville Jaguars first assigned Moawad to consult with him, but he now describes their meeting as "a total blessing." "He reprogrammed me," says Taylor, who gained over 14,000 yards and scored 74 touchdowns in his career. Doug Benc/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
In 2005, the New York Yankees hired Chad Bohling, a mental strength coach, to be their director of optimal performance. Star outfielder Gary Sheffield was dismissive, however, saying the training was for "people who are weak minded -- it's not for me." Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
One of Moawad's motivational tools is splicing video highlights of his clients mixed with footage of athletes including Muhammad Ali (right,) seen here upsetting George Foreman in the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. STR/AFP/Getty Images
Michael Jordan, who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, is another favorite example used by Moawad to inspire his clients. Ken Levine/Getty Images
Moawad also discusses the highs and lows of dominant champions of the past, including Mike Tyson (pictured) and Tiger Woods, to keep his clients focused.