Mind Over Sports

Archive for July 2010

This is another good example of Psycho Self-Imagery…how, when athletes’ lives are in harmony, their performance in their sport is enhanced. 27-year old Louis Oosthuizen has a new marriage (2007 to Nel-Mare) and more importantly a new baby daughter (2009, Jana.)

I recall that famous quote by Whitey Herzog that, in many instances, “the team gets rid of the player, when the manager (or head coach) is the problem all along.” We’re always told how important a head coach can be to the development and performance of his or her athletes, and there’s no better example than Tim Brown, former Notre Dame player and 1987 Heisman Trophy winner, who is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame today. According to Tom Coyne’s Associated Press article, “Tim Brown never considered himself a standout collegiate football player until Lou Holtz convinced him of it. When Holtz took over the Notre Dame reins after the 1985 season, during the second day of spring practice following Brown’s sophomore season, Holtz called him over and asked why he hadn’t been on the field more for the Fighting Irish during his first two seasons. Brown told him it was a decision by the previous coaching staff. Holtz didn’t believe him. ‘He yelled at me, “Son, there’s no way a coach could be so dumb as to not play you.” Brown recalled him saying.’ Holtz told Brown the only way he wasn’t’ going to get the ball during the upcoming season was if the defense intercepted the snap from center. Holtz played Brown often and according to Brown, ‘The more I succeeded the more he kept putting me in that position and the more confidence I got.’”

When athletes seek help after hitting rock bottom, the results will generally not only improve their quality of life, but also their performance in their sport. According to a story in USA TODAY, Detroit Tigers’ first basement Miguel Cabrera hit rock bottom October 2nd, 2009 when he found himself in a jail cell wondering if he had lost his family, teammates and maybe his future. “The next day, Cabrera asked the Tigers for help. He spent three months in an outpatient clinic dealing with alcohol abuse and confessed in January during Tigers FanFest that he was a broken man. ‘He took care of a major problem’ said Tigers President David Dombrowski…Cabrera hasn’t had a drink since that night and said he feels stronger and healthier, and his statistics reveal he has never been better. His marriage, he says, has never been stronger. His wife gave birth to their second daughter, Isabella, in May, and Cabrera missed two games to be by his wife’s side. ‘What I did was bad,’ he says, ‘I know it was wrong. But a lot of good came of it. This is as happy as I’ve ever been. I’m not talking about just on the field. I’m talking about life.’” It’s not unusual for athletes, after experiencing personal problems in their lives and participate in a program involving psychotherapy, find their lives in harmony and elevate their games to a new level. Such is the case with Miguel Cabrera.


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