During the break between Christmas and New Year’s , I took my son to a baseball camp in Cleveland , Tn. At the workout there are some college coaches around while they work on some baseball skills. We had a little time before we headed back to Nashville . So , I signed him up  for a one on one lesson with Willie Bosque a scout from the San Diego Padres for a infield lesson . I watched for a little bit as he worked on a nuance of playing infield called the transfer . I got bored and started reading a book until I heard Willie talk about the four Rs’ My ears perked up.. It made sense to me and it immediately hit home after I talked to some new lawyers getting ready for their first court hearing. The rest of the week the posts will be about the four Rs’ and how they relate to a criminal  trial practice.

The First R is Relax.

Before you announce to the judge ready , cross examine the first witness , or voir dire the jury , the key is to relax . Take a deep breath. Gather yourself and your thoughts. There have been trials since Socrates .Here are ten thoughts on how to relax before your first hearing or trial :

  • Meditate. Find a quiet spot at home or somewhere else to gather your thoughts.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Be present in the moment.
  • Reach out to friends or find a mentor.
  • Tune in to your body and mind.
  • Laugh. Laughter is great to relax.
  • Music. Listen to a song that pumps you up or relaxes you. I know of a lawyer who picks a theme song for every case. when he works on the case , he plays the song.
  • Move. Tale a walk. Hit the stairs in the courthouse.
  • Be grateful. You have a law degree. You are representing someone charged with a crime. You are there to help that person.

In sports there are all types of methods to relax. One is to waggle the golf club before you swing. It is a way for the body to tell the mind to get ready . I see one friend of mine doing little Tai-Chi moves in the hallway of the courthouse. Just find your way to relax.