Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Chicago White Sox

As of today, May 14th, 2016, The Kansas City Royals are struggling, off to a 16-18 start and 6 ½ games behind the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox. And in a USA TODAY interview with Royals’ manager Ned Yost he mentioned factors that affect “how he motivates his team.” But can he really motivate his team? I don’t think so. Inspire, yes. But true motivation must come from within. And over the years I’ve found the better an athlete feels about himself or herself (and I’m referring to their self-esteem) the greater their motivation. Take the case of Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who defected from Cuba in 2004. Today he’s batting .194 while he should be batting much higher. Could the problem be he’s not motivated? Possibly. And his lack of motivation could be related to his 6-year old daughter, Andrea, who he left behind in Cuba. Now this is only speculation on my part since I’m not privy to inside information, but if Andrea is having personal problems in her life, and he’s not there in Cuba to help her, and he doesn’t discuss it with anyone but rather keeps it bottled up inside himself, that’s a form of lying. And lying demeans him and lowers his self-esteem creating psychological baggage that negatively affects his ability to focus. If what I’ve written is true, and Morales is experiencing some form of depression, manager Yost should not be trying to motivate him but rather get him help by obtaining therapeutic counseling to address his depression. Once Morales begins talking about his problem or problems, whatever they might be, and becomes less depressed, the result will be an immediate increase in his performance on the field.

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Their names are Adam Dunn of the White Sox (age 32), Joe Nathan of the Rangers (age 37), Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies (age 33), David Ortiz of the Red Sox (age 36) and R. A. Dickey of the Mets (age 37).
All five had below average seasons in 2011 but this year they all rebounded and have achieved all-star status and will play in the 83rd All-Star Game in Kansas City. But that’s not all. If you scratched the surface I’m sure you would find all five had some special event or situation happen in their personal lives that made them feel good about themselves and affected their self-esteem. A new marriage, a new girlfriend, a new baby. When athletes are happy and their lives are in harmony their performance in their sport will automatically be enhanced.

Throwing a perfect game in Major League Baseball is a great accomplishment. But from my perspective, when White Sox pitcher Phil Humber threw his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners I believe he may have been helped by anger some Seattle team members may have had toward their manager, Eric Wedge, for showing preferential treatment when disciplining his players. Wedge insists on “accountability” yet doesn’t treat everyone equally. He publicly punished shortstop Brendon Ryan by benching him but refuses to bench catcher Miguel Olivo for his consistent bad performance on the field. No one knows Wedge’s reasons but I’m sure they don’t sit well with team members.
Very often pitchers are helped by issues and concerns that may exist with players on the opposing team. In 2008, when former Mets pitcher Carlos Zambrano threw his no-hitter against the Houston Astros I believe he was helped by the fact that, because of Hurricane Ike, the game was moved from Houston to Milwaukee’s Miller Park and the Houston Astros players’ families were left behind in Houston and the players’ concern for their families’ safety affected their ability to focus.


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