Mind Over Sports

Archive for February 2014

While reading today’s sports page in my local newspaper I came across a story about how poorly the Missouri State University Men’s Bears Basketball Team performed against Northern Iowa University.  The headline said “Bears Held to season-low 21 points in first half.”  What caught my eye was the word “Held” which infers that it was because of NIU’s excellent defensive play that the Bears were able to score only 21 points.  Now I’m not blaming the sports writer since he was reporting only on what he was able to observe during the game.  But it’s possible (and I’m only saying “possible”) that something was going on behind the scenes among the MSU players that negatively affected their performance.  Perhaps one or two players were having personal problems with their girlfriends or a coach or having financial problems?  And if so, isn’t it likely that these issues are almost always carried into the game?  What interests me is that on one given day an excellent 3-point shooter goes 6-6 in three point shots, and two days later goes 0-8.   Same ballplayer.  Same arena. Same Coach.  For some reason our society has always acknowledged the positive aspects of performance with little attention given to the negative ones unless of course it’s something obvious such as Tiger Woods’ personal problems.  So my point is: Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper or see on television when it comes to a team’s performance, unless, of course, you were a fly on the wall in the locker room.  Leave it to those flies to really know what’s going on.


All American Guard Marcus Smart was suspended three games this past Sunday for shoving a fan in the closing seconds of the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night. The NBA prospect in a public statement said he let his emotions get the best of him and his coach chalked it up to Marcus putting a lot of pressure on himself.  But the real cause could well have been something that coaches believe is sissy stuff.  That is, finding out what was going on in Marcus’ personal life the night before the game.  According to news reports, when the Cowboys played West Virginia, and he scored only four points, he kicked a chair on the bench.  And if my theory is correct, Marcus could well be having what many of America’s male NCAA athletes suffer from: “a girlfriend problem”- which, as we all know, has nothing to do with the game of basketball.  Assuming I’m right, Marcus has to clear everything with his girlfriend, resolve whatever issue or issues they may be having, and get back to his old self.  He needs to understand how important it is not to get angry during athletic competition because when athletes get angry, they give away their power.

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