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Robert Meland on Practice, Precision, and the Positive Mindset

When you practice something you are passionate about, how often does precision play a role in YOUR success? Does your Mindset and actions, especially in practice, reflect attention to the smallest of details?

Being in the Orthodontics profession where practice and precision are critical to daily success, I notice when others are playing at the top of their game. It’s exciting.

Watching the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and realizing that, for some athletes, watching the medal ceremony and participating in it came down to the smallest of fractions. A 100th of a second here or an inch there while an entire nation holding its breath.

There were many stories on the work and challenges experienced by these athletes to earn the right to compete in Sochi. Improvements in training methods and equipment help bring the smallest details to consideration for these competitors (and come to think of it, our Orthodontics team as well).

The one ingredient that ties it all together is your Mindset. When listening to these athletes begin interviewed, it’s obvious that they have spent as much time sharpening their VISION and BELIEF on a successful outcome as they do strengthening their bodies. That’s what makes the ultimate difference when the pressure is on and the attention to details separates those standing on the medal podiums, watching from the sidelines, or watching from home.

Robert Meland

We recently asked Robert Meland, a Bismarck native and previous Warford Orthodontics Patient who works out with members of the Olympic Biathlon team, 3 questions about the importance of developing strong practice routines and mindsets, not only in sports but in the rest of your life as well.

Question 1: You participate in the Biathlon which requires incredible endurance (gross motor skills) and precision (fine motor skills). When you practice, how do you balance working on both sets up skills and muscle groups?

“Basically, you practice how you play. My coaches are in Burlington, VT, so how I work out is they send us our biathlon workouts for the day which might contain six 2-mile loops with repeats combined with dry-firing my rifle (which means finding a spot on the wall and going through the firing motions) for 25 minutes. It’s really just a visualization of what you are experiencing on the range without shooting rounds. In the afternoons, I will incorpate my strength and conditioning training as well. In an average week, I will put in anywhere from 13-18 hours of training on top of a full time job.”

Question 2: It takes a lot of dedication and faith to get to your level of expertise. What did you do, both mentally and physically, on those days when you were tempted to quit and give it all up?

“With me, it’s pretty easy because this sport and training are actually the things that energize me. I have surrounded myself with everything that makes me have more energy. I am one one of those annoying people you work with that enjoy life so much, they just get more excited to do this stuff. When I get of out bed in the morning, I’m excited to work out. The days that are hard for me are the days where I have to go fly in an airplane to go do what I love. I have a never give up attitude that started when I was younger and carried through my military career. I’ve been in situations where it appears there is no end in site, but there is always a sunny side. I know that it’s your mind playing games with you and that there’s always more in the gas tank. I know moving forward I constantly tell myself that if I get through this I’ll be just fine and I’ve yet to be wrong on that.”

Question 3: It sounds to me that the difference between success and failure for many people is just finding and doing that thing they are passionate about. How does that play a role in your success?

“Yes. I have had the privilege of going through many programs and one of them that I found valuable was the Strengths Finder Training. The thing that we noticed was that three of my five strengths were Influencing Strengths which tend to be competitive, motivated and self-assurance. These are all things that are exactly in the areas where I have found my passion in Biathlon and command in the Military. I’ve been fortunate to gear my life towards these strengths. I also gravitate towards teaching, which helps me share my knowledge with others. I have found that when you put all of these together and work within your passions, you end up working twice as hard without even knowing it. The average person who goes to a job they are not passionate about has to find and take time after to do what they enjoy. Imagine how much you could get done if you really passionate about your job?”

When an athlete’s practice pays off, they win a gold medal for their country and their life changes significantly. You could say they are set for life.

When our practice pays off, YOU (or your child) receive not only an award winning smile, but improved health and an opportunity for improved self-esteem and confidence. A combination that could help you on your way to being set (or reset) for life as well.

How has practice, precision and passion played a role in YOUR life? Please share your comments below or on our Facebook page at

If you have any questions about how braces or Invisalign can positively impact your life, contact us or request a FREE consultation today!