Mind Over Sports

Archive for December 2009

Most NFL coaches know that with today’s athletes the idea of “It’s my way or the highway” just doesn’t work. Marty Schottenheimer found that out late in his career. And from my perspective, the reason why the Kansas City Chiefs are dropping balls (10 were dropped against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday) is because they are bottling up their feelings regarding how they feel about Coach Haley and his coaching style (getting in their face and yelling at them) but they’re afraid to speak up since it could result in their getting benched or even being cut from the team, as one player recently was. As I’ve often said, when players withhold their feelings it’s a form of lying that demeans them and lowers their self-esteem, creating psychological baggage that negatively affects their ability to focus. These are the players who are most susceptible to making mental errors during competition. Coach Haley obviously doesn’t have a feedback system in place so that players can let him know how they feel about certain team-related issues. And until he does, the Chiefs are in for more dismal seasons in the future. Casey Stengel put it best: “Most games are lost, not won.” The Chiefs are losing their games; their opponents aren’t winning them. And it’s not the players’ fault. It’s the coaches.


I had a friend, now deceased, who was a counseling psychiatrist.  His name was Dr. Ron Reivich and he once told me that one of the major reasons men and women cheat on their husbands and wives is based on what he called “the mommy-daddy syndrome.”  That is, when single, young men and women are originally involved with each other they often engage in “sexually evil and wild” behavior. But after they are married and have children, they suddenly see each other in parental roles. The man might have a briefcase and goes off to work every morning and she begins to see him as “daddy.” She is involved in maternal activities with their children and he begins to see her as “mommy.”  Since one doesn’t engage in sexually wild and evil behavior with one’s own mother or father, they seek someone outside their marriage.

After Tiger gets through his difficulties and his life is once again in harmony, his game will be elevated to a new level. I would not be surprised if he becomes the only professional golfer in history to shoot 18 birdies in 18 holes.

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