Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘General Managers

This is an adaptation of a quote by the Zen master Suzuki. And it could well explain why, in Major League Baseball today, those teams with the biggest payrolls are not necessarily those who are winning. Regardless of what you are paying someone, if they are leading self-destructive personal lives, they will not perform anywhere near their skill levels on a consistent basis. Teams who do not have an internal system in place to help athletes identify and resolve personal problems, are destined to lose. Many General Managers view this approach as “sissy stuff” and believe that if you pay an athlete enough money, he will perform. Nothing could be further from the truth. Athletes are human beings. They have problems and issue just like us other mortal beings, and how they handle their problems will determine how successful they will be, not only in competition, but in their personal lives as well. That’s why I advocate frequent team meetings, creating a support group environment among team members. As athletes participate in these sessions they will being to feel better about themselves and the level of their performance will increase.

I’ve always been of the opinion that there’s not a great deal of difference between the talent of NFL veterans and the young rookies coming up through the ranks. And yet when a team embarks on what they perceive to be a “Re-Building Year” and they announce it to the media and their fans, they are actually providing their players with a justification for losing. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This negative expectation is sometimes referred to as the “Nocebo Effect” not to be confused with its counterpart, the “Placebo Effect.” Smart coaches and General Managers will never use the phrase “Re-Building Year” because this mentality will show up in the won-lost column. Every year the team goal should be the Super Bowl, regardless of circumstances.

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