HAPPY FATHERS DAY from WWE Diva Natalya!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY from WWE Diva Natalya!

WWE Diva Natalya and father Jim “The Anvil” NeidhartMost people know that I have followed in my dad’s footsteps professionally, carrying on the Hart family legacy in WWE. However, what people don’t know, is how much I’ve followed his example outside of the ring. It’s easy for people to think that because of my last name, I was handed my position as a WWE Diva.  The truth is, I struggled a lot to make it to the WWE.  I am grateful for those doors being slammed in my face. I kept going, following my heartbeat, my pulse, and what made me excited to wake up every morning, my love for wrestling. I didn’t realize it at the time, but all of the tiny wars and setbacks would make me stronger than I could ever imagine. My dad reminded me that I would become more skilled learning how to “drive” on that winding road, than on that straight, “perfect” road. So I kept going. I persevered through years of being rejected, trying to make it to WWE. It is true, I am my father’s daughter. Our professions may be the same, but I’ve learned much more about life from my father than I could ever learn about wrestling. Growing up, my father instilled in me several key values that have made me the person I am today. Most importantly, hard work and determination pay off, family will always come first and having fun is more important than winning. After all, in the end, it’s the fun stuff in life that we want to remember!

My father always had goals. Before he came to WWE, he was a world class shot-putter. He went to UCLA on a full scholarship. He played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders. Then, he went on to become a multiple-time WWE Tag Team Champion.  My dad was always working toward something. He had this incredible discipline inside of him. When he put his mind to it, there was nothing he couldn’t do. He showed me that if you never stop setting small goals, big dreams come true as long as you have enough determination and motivation to not give up. He taught me that just because someone tells you can’t do something or a door closes, doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel. That’s when you grab the towel and hit the ground running!  Each set back and each obstacle is a learning experience that provides the knowledge you need to achieve your goal on the next try. My dad showed me that it’s ok to fall down,  because when you get back up, you’ll be strong like an ANVIL.

I’m also incredibly grateful that my father showed me what unconditional love looks and feels like. He has lived through major triumphs and some difficult pitfalls. Through it all, he never forgot the importance of family. My father has always believed that family is EVERYTHING. Winning the Divas Championship was a wonderful feeling and getting to be in the ring during WrestleMania is indescribable. However, I came to the realization a long time ago, that for me, if I don’t build relationships with people that share in my joy and help carry me when I stumble, my accomplishments won’t mean anything. Every time my dad watches me wrestle & cheers me on, I feel like I’m the champion of the world.

Finally, my father taught me the importance of having fun… F-U-N! My father is my biggest supporter, and he is always there to remind me to smile, pause and enjoy the moment. I can still hear his words ringing loudly before I walk out for every match: “Don’t forget to look out at the crowd and connect with them. They believe in you the same way that I do.”  Being a WWE Diva is hard work, there’s no doubt about that. There are long hours, lots of traveling and intense training. However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I really love what I do. My father reminds me to this day how lucky I am that my passion is wrestling because I never have to work a day in my life.” (Insert ANVIL laugh while pulling his goatee!) For that reason, I never gave up on my dream, and now I get to live it every day. My dad pushed me to keep going because he knew I loved this. He knew how much fun it was for me. My happiness made him happy.

Recently, I moved to a new house. I hired movers, thinking I would just sit back and let them take care of everything. I hate moving! My cats hate moving. My goldfish hates moving (Ok, I don’t have a goldfish, but you get it!).  Instead, my father insisted on coming to oversee the move. He took such pride in taking the reins and making sure everything went smoothly. What is normally an exhausting and stressful event turned out to be one of the best days I’ve ever had with my dad. I also schemed up a plan with my dad to break a plastic lion head my mom bought me at a garage sale. I secretly thought it was absolutely hideous. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I did not want it hanging front and center in my living room. Who else could I turn to? Of course, I asked my dad for his assistance! I told him to pretend he tripped over the sprinkler outside and “accidentally” broke this horrendous plastic piece that was truly uglier than any garden gnome I’ve ever seen. Without fail, my dad happily body-slammed this plastic hunk of junk onto my driveway, risking my mom yelling at him if she had caught him. Imagine what the neighbors were thinking!?  My dad did it for me! Mission accomplished! He broke that plastic lion head and my mom’s feelings were spared! Now that is LOVE.  During the move, we worked hard, we laughed, and when he couldn’t quite get the giant couch out the door by himself, I got the other end and we moved it together.

My father has taught me about love, perseverance, reflection, and how to throw a great punch! I am so proud of my dad. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. I’m still working on growing my Anvil style goatee so I can be just like him 🙂

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!  And Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!

Three Easy Steps to Get Your Gamer To Put Their Game Down Without a Fight

Three Easy Steps to Get Your Gamer To Put Their Game Down Without a Fight

NES ControllerWould you like to be able to get your child or spouse to stop playing that darned video game for just a moment so you can talk to them? While nothing works 100% of the time, these three simple steps can help you:

  1. Gain more respect
  2. Have more peace of mind
  3. Get them to stop playing without a fight

If those benefits sound worthwhile, then read on. These techniques are ones I use with my own children and are techniques we use in our business to help manage the play of millions of gamers every year.

Step 1: Know why you want them to quit

Oddly enough, this starts with you. You need to know what your objective is. Being clear why you want them to stop will make it easier for you to counter calmly and smoothly when they ask (usually in a shrill or demeaning tone) “Why!?”

“Because I said so is an answer,” but hardly the most effective. It is better if you can be sincere and clear why you want them to stop playing. Surprisingly most kids do want to help out around the house or spend time with you. However, it will also help you manage your own expectations for how long you will need their attention before they are allowed to return playing. Whether they are done for the rest of the day, or just until they get their chores done being clear and sincere will is where you have to start.

Step 2: Ask if they can pause, know how they save.

Games are different from every other media. Because you must participate players invest themselves into their games. It’s not just an activity; it is a reflection of their hard work, creativity, and passion. That is why games are so hard to walk away from.

If they can pause their game without losing their investment you will have achieved an important victory – the incremental stop. Your goal here is to gain their attention. It is extremely difficult to converse with someone who is not paying attention to you.

Once you have their attention, ask them how they save. Understanding the amount of effort required to return to their current point in the game will do two things. First, it will show respect for your gamer, and people who feel valued generally want to do things for you. Secondly, you will learn for the future, which games are easily saved and which ones are not. Some games cannot be saved in the middle of a race, or a level, or mission.

There is a huge emotional difference between quitting and stopping. If a player quits you may be asking them to abandon their investment, their work, their time their passion. They will strongly resist this. Stopping implies no loss of progress – most gamers can wrap their head around this.

Your goal is to be flexible enough to allow them to get to a place where they can stop – without quitting.

Step 3: If they cannot pause and cannot save – use ground rules.

Some very popular games cannot be paused because they are played online with other people. The game world will continue without them even though their computer or console is paused and they may even lose progress.

Further, some games cannot be saved. Some Zombie games come to mind. Once you are in you must finish it or die trying (the character, not the player).

What’s more these kinds of games are usually played with friends so leaving in the middle of a match not only feels like quitting, there is a social hit among their peers for leaving early. It can carry the same level of stigma as walking off the baseball diamond in the middle of the 4th inning with 3 innings left to play, or packing up in the middle of the second quarter of a football game. You just don’t do it.

Your strategy here is to come up with ground rules for your gamer – when they play one of these games – such as a Massively Multiplayer Online games, let them know they need to check with you to make sure they can commit to finish what they start. If they don’t they run the risk of being pulled early.

Here consistency is the key. If you say they can have the afternoon to play and finish, then you have to give them the afternoon and the chance to play and finish. Other times, when they have to stop, they have to stop. The key is that if they sense you are being fair and consistent you will get a much lower level of resistance when they need to stop.


No system works one hundred percent when a gamer is intensely focused on a brain pleasing activities.  Look video game consoles are some of the most sophisticated technology ever created by our species and they do one thing exceedingly well – stimulate your brain in ways it likes to learn.  Who would willingly walk away from that?

Game Designers furthermore are wizards at creating experiences to capture our imagination, passion, and attention.  So don’t take it out on your gamer if they find it hard to break way.  A twenty billion dollar industry makes a living trying to do just that – make it hard to break way.

However, if you try these techniques

  1. Be clear and sincere – why you want them to stop
  2. Understand how **Pause** and **Save** so they can pay attention to you.
  3. Have **ground rules** for games that can’t be stopped.

You just might be able to get your gamer to stop playing without a fight.

About the writer:

Scott NovisScott Novis is founder and CEO of Game Truck, the leading mobile video game business in the country. Scott has been coaching boys baseball for more than a decade.