Mind Over Sports

Archive for May 2007

roger_clemens_grimace_faceWhen George Steinbrenner signed Roger Clemens to a contract to play for The New York Yankees this year, he may have caused more damage than good, especially the way Clemens’ contract is worded.

It stipulates that Clemens does not have to be with the Yankees full time, but only when he feels like it. I don’t think it was a coincidence that as soon as that contract was signed, the Yankees went into a nosedive and went from 6 ½ games out of first to 11 games back. The feelings of many members of the team, including reliever Kyle Farnsworth, were expressed by Farnsworth while being interviewed on Chicago’s 670-AM The Score when he said: “Everybody should be here, whether they’re pitching or not…You should be part of the team.” By wording the contract the way he did, Steinbrenner has created a disruption in team chemistry, a distraction for the entire team, and a managerial problem for Joe Torre. But I believe Torre will handle it well by allowing team members to express their feelings, and not repress them, in a private team meeting. If this doesn’t happen, the Yankees can kiss a World Series appearance goodbye, and it won’t be the fault of the manager. Steinbrenner is lucky to have someone like Torre on his staff. If anybody can repair the damage Steinbrenner created, Torre can.

According to the book, The Psychic Side of Sports written by Michael Murphy and Rhea A. White, during the 1970’s, “a number of psychics had come to public attention with claims that they could perform feats of psychokinesis (PK), that is, the power to affect objects by purely mental means…The existence of PK,” according to Murphy and White, “has been scientifically verified in many laboratories to the satisfaction of many reliable witnesses. Theoretically, PK ability can provide that extra edge which might explain some otherwise unexplainable athletic feats. But is there any evidence that PK occurs in sports?

“Most PK laboratory experiments involve influencing the throw of the dice. Subjects ‘will’ specific die faces to turn up, or to fall to the left or right. Willing is often mentioned by athletes. They often make many statements to suggest that at times they can actually ‘will’ things to happen. There are many golf stories about changing the flight of the ball through the power of the mind. Don Lauck notes that for years golf galleries had believed that Jack Nicklaus, ‘could win whenever he wanted, could will the ball into the cup if he needed a birdie at the 18th.’

“John Brodie, (who formerly played for the San Francisco 49’ers) once discussed a touchdown pass he threw to 49’ers end, Gene Washington:

Murphy: When the play began it looked for a moment like the safety would make an interception. But then it seemed as if the ball went through or over his hands as he came in front of Washington.

Brodie: Pat Fischer, the cornerback, told the reporters after the game that the ball seemed to jump right over his hands as he went for it. When we studied the game films that week, it did look as if the ball kind of jumped over his hands into Gene’s. Some of them said it was the wind – and maybe it was.

Murphy: What do you mean by maybe?

Brodie: What I mean is that our sense of that pass was so clear and our intention so strong that the ball was bound to get there, come wind, cornerbacks, hell or high water.’”

I’ve quoted this excerpt from the book, The Psychic Side of Sports, because I do believe, based on my 23 years experience working with individual athletes and sports teams, that you can control what takes place in sports competition if a number of things are happening in your personal life. I call this “Psycho Self-Imagery” or the psi factors. Athletes who are capable of implementing the Psycho Self-Imagery concept have a high sense of self-worth (high self-esteem), they are unencumbered with psychological baggage and have few if any unresolved issues in their lives, they are highly spiritual, there are no distractions in their lives, they are highly focused, and their lives are in harmony. (I might add, that this phenomena is not restricted to sports, but also applies to life itself. Very often, in a family where a new baby arrives on the scene, the family will experience some type of “lucky” event in their lives.)

tigerwoods1I believe Tiger Woods will soon be demonstrating this principle based on the psi factor. It will happen as soon as his new “Tiger Cub” arrives.

And it’s possible that, looking at the video of the most recent Kentucky Derby, we may have seen an excellent example of this phenomena take place right before our eyes as Jockey Calvin Borel guided his dark bay colt from 19th in the 20-horse field to first at the wire by 2 ¼ lengths.

street-senseStreet Sense made it through what appeared to be a congested tangle of horses and riders in front of him and suddenly right before our eyes, a magical path seemed to open for him. As the Kansas City Star reported: “ On the backstretch, Street Sense began making progress past tiring horses. All it would have taken to stop him would have been one fatigued horse staggering in front of him to block his momentum. It never happened.”

It would be interesting to know if the psi factors existed in the personal lives of both Jockey Calvin Borel and Trainer Carl Nafzger the day of the race.


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