Archive for the ‘Gymnastics’ Category
If a team is to be successful, the players and their coach must be bonded together and have excellent chemistry. But based on what I’ve observed, that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Missouri State University Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Lusk and his team. I don’t think Coach Lusk honestly knows how to handle his team’s emotions. Or how certain decisions he makes affect team morale. And the result? Good players leave the team.
According to the Springfield News-Leader: “When Missouri State officially announced the departure of juniors Chris Kendrix and Austin Ruder, it was pointed out that both have one season of eligibility remaining and have received their release from the Missouri State program. Kendrix, a 6-foot-5 guard from Willard, was named to the Missouri Valley Conference Most Improved Team as a sophomore, when he averaged nearly 28 minutes and 12.1 points per game. He was suspended for the first game of his junior year (for a violation of team rules) and when he returned, his playing time plummeted. He averaged only 13.7 minutes and 5.4 points per game.”
One could interpret this as an indication that Coach Lusk is somebody who holds a grudge against a player. If not, he would have made sure Chris was put back into the rotation. But he didn’t. Treating Chris the way he did had to impact other players on the team who where close friends of Chris. And it also could have affected how they performed for Coach Lusk. But did the News-Leader dig into the reasons Lusk wasn’t playing Kendrix and write about what was going on behind the scenes? Not at all. And the reason is if they did, and uncovered some negative things, the sports reporter who wrote the story could lose access to the athletic department and to the team coaching staff. And if he loses access, he could lose his job.
When you have a team that doesn’t like its coach, the team is faced with a dilemma. Do you sluff off and not play at your best and hope to lose the game hastening your coach’s departure? Or do you play hard and try to win, knowing every game you win only entrenches the coach’s positon with the fans and the athletic director who is responsible for his hire.
Posted March 17, 2017on:
The following appeared in the November 15, 2006 issue of USA Today: “DT Albert Haynesworth said he learned through counseling that he should quit bottling up his emotions until they explode, a problem that landed him the NFL’s longest suspension for an on-field act. His remorse and willingness to seek help since kicking Dallas Center Andre Gurode in the face with his cleats is why he will practice today. But the Titans are requiring Haynesworth to continue that anger-management counseling. ‘I just want to keep doing it,’ Haynesworth said. ‘Honestly, it’s helping. I can actually talk about stuff. My wife likes it, too. I actually open up and talk about problems I have.’ Haynesworth worked out Monday, the first day he was eligible to return form his five-game suspension.” Is it possible the Titans realized the value of not bottling up emotions and have since had their entire team involved in the process? Withholding (bottling up feelings and emotions) is a form of lying that demeans an athlete and negatively affects his or her self-esteem. By not withholding, athletes enhance their self-esteem, thereby enhancing performance.
In the 1986 U.S. Open Golf Tournament, rumors floated about Tom Watson’s personal life. After an opening round of 72, he called a press conference and announced he was not an alcoholic, he was not divorcing his wife, and he was not firing his brother-in-law as his agent. He cleared the issues from his head and focused on golf. The next day he shot an outstanding 65 and finished runner-up in the tournament.
I used to play a lot of handball and one day I was entered in a tournament in Overland Park, Kansas, where I used to live. Just before I left home, my wife and I got into a little tiff. I didn’t think much of it at the time but after I had suited up and was about to step onto the handball court, something didn’t feel right. So I decided to call my wife and when she answered the phone I apologized for some of the things I had said and she apologized to me also and we decided to take care of the matter when I returned home later. I told her I loved her and she told me she loved me and how much she appreciated my calling her. I hung up the phone, stepped onto the court, and played some of the best handball I had ever played. And I’m convinced that had I not made that phone call, I would have played some of the worst.
Posted January 17, 2017on:
Kristan Berset is Sports Anchor with CBS affiliate WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C. and just announced she is experiencing a second bout with cancer. Based on some of the most current research available, there appears to be a high correlation between stress and cancer. And it’s possible (only possible) that she’s experiencing a considerable amount of stress being married to Comcast SportsNet reporter Brent Harris and is stepmother to his two daughters. If this is true, here’s a bit of advice for you, Kristan. Don’t try to be their mother but rather just be their friend, someone they can bring their issues to without being judgemental. The result will be a stress-free relationship with them and your husband. With that said, here’s some backgorund information:
We all have in our bodies one of the most advanced and sophisticated medical systems known to mankind: The Immune System.
But research has found it can be impaired by stress and many believe there’s a high correlation between cancer and stress. Where does stress come from? It’s a result of how we view our life’s issues, which emanates from how we feel about ourselves. If we have a low sense of inner-self (self-esteem) we are likely to view our issues differently than someone with a high sense of inner-self. We are likely to be more negative.
Research has also shown that many individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer are repressing their feelings, which affects their self-esteem and their immune systems. Here’s how it works: When you withhold (repress) your feelings and emotions it’s a form of lying that demeans you and lowers your self-esteem. As your self-esteem is lowered you begin to see your world around you from a negative perspective (“we see things as we are”) and create stress for yourself. As a result of the stress, your body gives off hormones such as cortisol (known as “the stress hormone”) that impair your immune system.
According to the “Surveillance Mechanism Theory” developed by Dr. Carl Simonton, we all have cancer cells in our bodies. Many believe these cancer cells are a result of environmental hazards such as overhead power lines, electric blankets, cell phones, exhaust fumes, and cigarette smoking, just to name a few. The damaged cells are constantly being devoured by our immune system Pac-Man style. But as mentioned before, when we encounter stress in our lives, our immune system becomes impaired and the cancer cells begin to multiply at a rate faster than they can be devoured. The result is: we are soon diagnosed as having cancer.
Many physicians will agree that a relationship exists between high self-esteem and wellness, and low self-esteem and illness. I’ve found that when cancer patients enhance their own feelings of self-worth, they automatically enhance the potency of their immune systems.
In the late 1980s I lived in Kansas City, Missouri and volunteered my services at a local Cancer Support Center. On various Sunday mornings, with the encouragement of the Center’s co-founder, I would meet with newly diagnosed cancer patients in a support group environment. At the outset I would explain to them that even though they had been diagnosed with cancer that was not their primary problem. Their primary problem was that each had an impaired immune system. Since research has shown the most conspicuous characteristic of cancer patients is bottled up emotions, I would have each person in the group stand and tell his or her own story about stress in their lives. Each would interact with others in the room and, at the same time, bring their emotions to the surface. After talking about their issues (many for the first time) their repressed feelings began to disappear and they immediately felt better about themselves, experiencing an increase in self-esteem.
At that point they were then ready to use a “guided imagery” technique where they would visualize their own healthy t-cells attacking their cancer cells. This exercise was accompanied by Patti LaBelle’s recording of “New Attitude.” They would close their eyes and “see” their t-cells forming an arrow and penetrating the cancer cells, watching them dissipate.
Later, group participants would listen to the music and the images that were embedded in their minds would recreate themselves, automatically. This part of the program could be compared to the “placebo effect” as it applies to health.
One last point: What I have recommended should only be considered as a supplemental program. It should not replace any treatment prescribed by a physician or oncologist.
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.
West Virginia’s running back Rushel Shell missed most of the second half of the Missouri game last Saturday due to leg cramps. In a past interview with Dr. Tommy Burnett, he told me that in the medical profession it was pretty common knowledge that the consumption of alcohol interferes with the transportation of oxygen to the body’s muscle cells and is not being delivered to the ligaments and tendons. When the muscle fibers are deprived of oxygen, the athlete is more prone to injuries such as muscle cramping. This is also common knowledge among personal trainers who work on college and professional athletes but it’s a fact often hidden from public view since there is a close association of the marketing of alcoholic beverages and sports, especially professional sports. So when you read where an athlete, such as Rushel Shell, is experiencing muscle and ligament problems, there’s a high probability that particular athlete is also consuming a substantial amount of alcohol in his (or her) personal life.
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.
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.