Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Coach Andy Reid

Tyreek Hill was fortunate that Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is a compassionate man who, himself, has been through some rough times with his own children. That compassion triggered his decision to give Hill a second chance. There are some pundits who believe that Reid is taking a huge risk, but he’s not. And here’s why: Not only has Tyreek Hill admitted the errors of his ways, and has promised that he’s going to come back as a “better man, be a better citizen.” Tyreek is also receiving: Counseling. That’s right, counseling. Now there are some who will look at that and say “so what?” – but history has proven that when athletes receive counseling, and are encouraged to confront their demons that they may have been carrying around since childhood, those athletes will elevate their performance to a new level. This is a result of their enhancing their feelings of self worth and also becoming more focused. Watch for Hill to not only be good at his job, but I predict, because of his counseling, he will be even better than before.


I have a theory why the Kansas City Chiefs are winning. It’s true they have excellent talent and an excellent quarterback, but the same goes for other NFL teams as well. And as many of you who read my column know, I’m a big advocate of sports teams becoming support groups, allowing athletes to talk about problems they may be experiencing in their personal lives. When this happens team members not only become more healthy psychologically because the sessions enhance their feelings of self work, but also results in their performing close to their skill levels on a consistent basis.

My theory is (and I have no inside information to prove this) that when KC Chiefs player Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins last year and then took his own life, the Chiefs front office decided to put into place an internal program to head off the possibility of similar tragedies in the future and created a system of internal support groups to allow players to talk about their issues. And then, along came the perfect coaching fit, Andy Reid, who also had a 29-year old son who committed suicide last year. So if you combine the support group concept with a head coach who is in total agreement and has great empathy for his players, then you have a formula for success. When the Chiefs decided to follow a program of this type (assuming they have) their primary focus was on the well-being and the mental health of their players, and probably had no idea at the time the positive effect it would have on team performance.
The only other NFL coach who I’ve ever met who is in complete agreement with the concept of team support groups is Coach Al Saunders of the Oakland Raiders.

These are the coaches who have great empathy for their players and interact with them in ways that help their players deal with their own personal problems and issues. Good examples are Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid who faced a personal tragedy in 2012 when his 29-year old son was found dead in his room at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp; New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin whose 63-year old brother, John, who he was very close to, died after a freak accident in which he tripped getting out of a cab and hit his head on the ground; Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle who overcame his bout with alcoholism. All three of these coaches have been highly successful and all three are known to show great empathy for their athletes’ personal problems and issues, on and off the field of competition. When athletes know their coaches care about them as human beings first and then as athletic performers, they will play their hearts out for them.

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