Mind Over Sports

Archive for August 2016

The NCAA must think we sports fans are stupid. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, made a salary of $1.9 million during 2014. But his press release pointed out that his salary was less than that of the commissioners in Power Five conferences. Try telling that to 460,000 NCAA athletes who make zero income while filling the pockets of NCAA executives, coaches and commissioners. If I were an NCAA athlete, I would organize a nationwide strike until the NCAA agreed to share the profit they make from the blood, sweat and tears of NCAA athletes, with the athletes (in the form of scholarships, not as employees.)  Many of these athletes cannot even afford to buy a pizza after a game. I know this for a fact because one of the teams I worked with didn’t have enough money to buy a pizza after a game so I treated them (under the table, of course) since they could have been penalized.

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Athletes who receive unconditional love throughout their lives are those who perform at a high level. The love produces enhanced feelings of self-worth which, in turn, is the foundation for performance. And American Olympic star Simone Biles is a good example. According to her bio on the Internet, “She and her sister, Adria, were raised by their grandfather Ron and grandmother Nellie, after their mother’s struggle with substance abuse. Ron and Nellie eventually officially adopted the two girls, and Biles calls her grandmother ‘Mom.’ Nellie has been a constant source of support through Biles’s rise in the world of competitive athletics; as the gymnast told CNN, ‘She encouraged me and never let me feel down about something for too long.’”

How can you tell if an athlete has high self-esteem? There are a number of ways: They have xcellent eye contact, they don’t withhold (that is, they don’t keep their feelings bottled up inside themselves which is a form of lying but rather speak up when they have an opinion about an issue even if the issue involves their coach) and they have compassion for other peoples’ plights in life.

So if you’re a parent and want your children to be successful in life, give them unconditional love. The problem is that unless parents have received it themselves, it is very difficult for them to pass it on to their children.

Bad team chemistry can devastate a sports team. Since I’m not privy to what’s going on behind the scenes with the Tampa Bay Rays, one only has to look at their dismal 42-62 record and their last place standing in the American League East to sense something is not right among teammates. I’m sure Duffy pitched an excellent game, but I’m also pretty certain he was helped by negative chemistry among Tampa Bay’s players. And if he was, then Tampa Bay’s front office needs to implement some type of program internally to help their athletes with their personal and team-related issues. If not, it’s going to be a long, long season for them.


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