Mind Over Sports

Archive for September 2007

hope-solo-goalkeeperAnd it’s the healthiest thing she could have done for herself. Not only will speaking up enhance her own performance in her sport, but if she had kept those feelings bottled up inside herself, she could have actually become ill.

Athletes who have a high sense of self-worth, such as Hope Solo, speak their piece if it’s an issue that’s important to them. And certainly her being replaced as goalkeeper by Coach Greg Ryan was a major issue for her, as it should have been.

Be sure to review the article on this website (www.mindoversports.com) that discusses the USA’s men’s soccer team victory over Spain and what might have been the reasons behind that win.

_41538020_kultidawoods_al300Many professional athletes will tell you that much of their success was the result of having had a loving, nurturing mother, father or grandparent. In the case of Tiger Woods, it was primarily his mother, Kutilda Woods, who had a profound influence on him as a young boy.

In an interview I conducted a few years ago with John Anselmo, Woods’ 83-year old amateur coach who began working with Tiger when he was 10 years old, he told me it was Tigers’ mother who first brought her son to him for instruction. And because his mother was originally from Thailand and was a practicing Buddhist, the young golfer had been steeped in the ways of Buddhism. Anselmo told me that he noticed immediately that Tiger had a sense of calmness about him and he attributed that quality to his having been reared in a Buddhist environment at home. He also told me that he believed that for Tiger, Buddhism was more of a way of life than a religion and that Tigers’ daily practice of meditation and the fact he leads a righteous life has had a tremendous influence on his mind. And his golf game.

donovan-mcnabb1Most people don’t realize there’s a relationship between Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb’s comment on HBO that white quarterbacks “don’t get criticized as much” as their African-American counterparts, and his performance against the Detroit Lions, when he passed for 381 yards and four touchdowns.

When athletes withhold (or suppress) their feelings it’s a form of lying that demeans them and lowers their self-esteem, creating psychological baggage that affects their ability to focus and process information. But when they speak up and release their feelings and emotions, they perform close to their skill level on a consistent basis. Such was the case with Donovan McNabb.

garciathrowlongWhen a male athlete has a high sense of self-worth (high self-esteem), when he is loved and his life is in harmony, when he is not suppressing (withholding) his feelings and emotions, and if he is highly spiritual, he will actually create positive events in his life on and off the field of competition. And one of the most powerful influences in his life is very often the love and nurturing he receives from a fiancé or wife. Or the birth of a new baby. And, of course, this also applies to female athletes as well.

NFL Quarterback Jeff Garcia’s career was resurrected when he took over from an injured Donavan McNabb last season and led the Philadelphia Eagles to five straight wins and a spot in the playoffs. Few people realized that, at the time, he had become engaged to Carmella Danielle DeCesare, Playboy’s 2004 Playmate of the Year. What made his engagement even more powerful was that he was able to disprove an accusation by his former teammate, Terrell Owens, that he was gay.

joey-harringtonWhen NFL superstar Michael Vick was released from the Atlanta Falcons, he was replaced by Quarterback Joey Harrington. Last March 10th, Harrington was married and his new wife, Emily, is having a positive effect on his game. If he doesn’t get injured, and if his wide receivers begin catching his passes, Joey Harrington should have a highly successful season. If his receivers continue dropping passes that are hitting them right on their numbers, perhaps the Falcons’ new head coach, Bobby Petrino, should help them with their personal issues that may be affecting their focus.

Or it could be that they, and some of their other teammates, are fearful that Vick is going to name them as NFL players who bet on dog fighting. That, in itself, could be a major distraction that could be affecting their focus, causing them not to perform well.

tom-bradyFrom all indications, Tom Brady, if he stays healthy, will also have a fantastic year as Quarterback for the New England Patriots. And one of the major reasons for his success will be that he recently became the father of a new baby boy, John Edward Thomas Moynahan. The new baby’s mother is Tom’s former girlfriend, Bridget Moynahan, and when John Edward Thomas was born, Tom was right at Bridget’s bedside.

rick_ankielOne of the reasons Rick Ankiel of the St. Louis Cardinals is having such a banner year in baseball is because he also recently married, and I’m pretty sure his new wife Lori encouraged him to clear up the issue he had with his father who was released last year from a federal prison for drug trafficking, something Rick had refused to acknowledge. His new wife has had a very positive effect on his performance. And I don’t believe the recent HGH drug charges against Rick will have any effect on his performance, mainly because the drug he used was legally prescribed by a physician to treat his injury and, at the time, was legal to use.


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