Mind Over Sports

Archive for December 2016

Neil Greenberg, sports writer for the Washington Post, sent out his predictions for the NFL games this weekend and has picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Carolina Panthers. According to the news release, here’s what it said about how Neil goes about picking his weekly winners and losers: “Each week, Neil Goldberg makes NFL game predictions based on a multitude of factors that will have an impact on game day. These include efficiency stats such as success rates, yards per play and yards allowed per play, plus points scored based on strength of opponent. Point spreads are the consensus odds from multiple sports books in Vegas.”

No consideraton is given to any type of mental issue a player may be experiencing, both positive and negative, that impacts that player’s performance. For example, Neil isn’t able to measure a player’s self-esteem even though there’s a strong relationship between feelings of self worth and performance. And when an NFL player is performing for a child who is ill, (I call this “excelling for a higher order”) his performance increases dramatically.

This past week, Quarterback Cam Newton visited an Atlanta children’s hospital and surprised a ten year old boy who has a serious heart condition and got a big hug in return. That hug had a powerful positive effect on Cam. Taylor Deckard (the 10-year old) was wearing Newton’s No. 2 Auburn jersey at the time and I’m sure he didn’t realize how powerful that hug was. It was very emotional for Cam. According to the newspaper account: “When Newton asked him how he was doing, Taylor climbed out of bed and hugged him. During the long embrace, Newton said, ‘I feel your heart. It’s going 1000 miles an hour.’ Newton appeared touched by the moment in the video posted by Auburn.”

Watch for Cam to have one his best games ever. And I’m predicting a Carolina win.

Footnote: I was wrong. The Panthers lost 17-16 when they tried for a two point converstion with just seconds to go and missed it.  And Cam threw three interceptions though it’s important to rememer that sometimes the receivers are at fault if they run the wrong pattern.  No one will ever know.  But it was definitely not one of Cam’s better games.  Could he be having some kind of personal problem?  Or an attitude problem toward one of his coaches?

I just finished watching the movie “Concussion” about the work of Nigerian-born pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu and his theory of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It was something new in the world of sports and met with an enormous amount of opposition, especially by the National Football League. For the past thirty years I’ve been attempting to convey a new idea regarding sports performance enhancement and have met with a great deal of opposition. Most people, when I tell them about my theory, just say they’ve never given the idea much thought but did see my point of view, although it’s almost impossible to prove. And therein lies the problem. The research is only anecdotal. Not scientific.

If you read any sports page in America you’ll find the focus on what the winning team did in order to win and the success they had in order to win the game. In other words, all the things they did that were right. The emphasis is always on the positive aspects of competition and very little attention is given the negative mainly because no one really knows what goes on behind the scenes in the personal lives of athletes.

For example, there’s not much you can say about why, in a basketball game, a three point shooter suddenly makes only 1 for 12 three point shots when he normally hits 5 for 12. Or why a football running back fumbles the ball twice in a game or a wide-receiver drops three passes that hit him right on the numbers. Or how a baseball team played poorly because there was some issue that created negativity in the locker room such as a fight between two players, resulting in poor team chemistry.

I’m a firm bIeliever that what goes on away from the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition. Compassionate coaches who are highly successful understand this but there are a lot of coaches out there who still don’t get it. They have their teams “visualize” success but don’t understand that in order for visualization to be effective there must be a fusing of psychotherapy with visualization.


N. V. I.
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Learn how to visualize, resulting in increased performance.

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