Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Jr.

Here’s how to turn a college program around almost instantly. Sign up the Number One prospect in his class, Michael Porter Jr., who also happens to be a McDonald All-American. Michael’s father was recently added to the Mizzou coaching staff which is why Michael Junior decided to transfer from Washington. “I want to play for my dad,” said Michael. “I trust him.” Danny Manning played on a national championship team at Kansas University when he decided to join his father, who also was on the KU coaching staff. Michael’s father’s coaching background includes six years on the Missouri women’s basketball staff – three as director of basketball operations and three more as an assistant coach. So he’s not new to Missouri fans. Mizzou’s new head coach Cuonzo Martin is a lucky guy. But I don’t consider it luck that just as he takes over the reins of Mizzou basketball he has one of America’s top talents join his team. This is the kind of thing that happens when you are happy and your life is in harmony. Which applies perfectly to Coach Martin.

When Yeonis Cespedes defected from Cuba in 2011, he left behind his two-year old son and the mother of his son. On February 13, 2012, he signed a 4-year $36 million contract with the Oakland Athletics, but I predicted at the time that unless Oakland figures out a way to either bring his son and his son’s mother to America, or to assure Cespedes that his son would be safe in Cuba, he wouldn’t perform up to his skill level. Think about it. How hard would it be to hit a 90-mile-an-hour fastball if your mind is somewhere else…such as Cuba? Oakland never brought his son to America, and in 2014 he was traded to Boston and then traded to Detroit. But on July 31, 2015, Cespedes was acquired by the Mets. Today, his six-year old son, Yeonis, Jr., is still in Cuba, and though Cespedes hasn’t seen him in four years, he knows that, because of Obama improving relations with Cuba, that his son is safe. And that has resulted, as of today, in his leading the National League in Runs Batted In (30). Just another example of: What takes place away from the baseball diamond affects what takes place on the baseball diamond. When the time finally comes and his son arrives in America and is reunited with his father, watch for Cespedes’ numbers to climb even higher. In almost every category.

The reason why KU should win the 2016 NCAA national championship is similar to what happened in 2008.  On Sunday Feb. 24th 2008 the team held a team meeting (players only) and did not lose a game for the rest of the season. (See below)  On January 22nd, 2016, Coach Self held a meeting with Ellis, Mason, Selden and Graham to help him determine who the fifth starter should be and they haven’t lost a game since.

Following is what I published on my blog back in 2008.

Those of you who are familiar with my training program know how important I believe it is for teams to have team meetings at least once a week (without coaches present.) This allows team members to speak frankly and clear the air and not withhold (or repress) their feelings.

When athletes repress or withhold their feelings it’s a form of lying that demeans them and lowers their self-esteem, creating psychological baggage and affects their ability to focus and process information. So when Head Coach Bill Self gave his blessing for the Kansas Jayhawks Basketball team to hold a players-only team meeting, Kansas City Star writer J. Brady McCollough wrote that some thought it might have been the chicken wings they ate at Henry Ts Bar & Grill that helped them make the final four, and to ultimately win the NCAA tournament. Here’s what McCullough wrote:
“Ryan Robertson had to laugh when he first heard that the Kansas Jayhawks turned their season around over chicken wings.

It wasn’t that the players chose to eat at Henry T’s Bar & Grill. Guys have been doing that for the last 15 years or so. It was more that, well, he hadn’t ever thought of having a players-only meeting in a public place before…Around 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, the entire KU team pushed open the doors of Henry T’s. Situated on the west side of town, the restaurant is far removed from the peering eyes of campus or Massachusetts Street, where the Jayhawks would undoubtedly be hounded if seen together as a team.
Less than a day had passed since they had lost their third game of the season in ugly fashion, 61-60 to Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Kansas, once 20-0, was suddenly 24-3 and appeared to be playing its way out of the Big 12 regular-season title race and a high NCAA Tournament seed.

According to KU guard Sherron Collins, the Jayhawks had some chemistry issues, and there were some things that needed to be said. ‘Everyone got their feelings out,’ Collins said, ‘and no feelings were hurt. Everyone understood it was for the good of the team. Once we got over that, people started listening to each other and didn’t take things the wrong way.’”
The Jayhawks, 35-3, hadn’t lost since. Eleven wins later, they played in their first Final Four game since 2003, and then went on to win the national championship. The owners of Henry T’s are giddy over the possibility of marketing their establishment as “the place where champions come to eat” or something like that.

I’ve written before about how many of the Cuban ballplayers, when they defect to America to play Major League Baseball, fear for the safety of the families they left behind. Just knowing their families are safe can have a powerful positive effect on their performance. A case in point was this past week when Oakland Athletics ballplayer Yeonis Cespedes won the Home Run Derby after speaking with his son in Cuba on the phone. According to USA Today: “After the Derby, Cespedes said he had talked on the phone two days before with his 4-year-old son, Yeonis Jr., and promised to dedicate his home runs to him. Cespedes’ family endured a life-threatening ordeal to join him stateside, and he longs for the day when he can bring his son as well.” And when that day comes, watch for Cespedes’ batting average to skyrocket. Maybe even reach .400 and beyond.

Anyone who follows racing now knows: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. is dating Danica Patrick. Last month, they revealed their relationship, not long after Patrick separated from her husband. More than likely they’ve had a relationship for quite some time which means that up until now she has been living a lie. This is very common among many pro athletes, especially in the NFL and NBA, and I’ve always maintained that any athlete who is having an extra-marital affair (assuming that was the case with Danica) will not perform anywhere near his or her skill level. Keeping a relationship hidden and away from the media can be detrimental to an athlete’s self-esteem and performance. But now that Patrick has left her husband and she and Stenhouse have gone public, their relationship has become a non-issue and we should see both of them winning races during the coming NASCAR season. And if they get married, and have a baby, their ability to win will be even greater. Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony perform at a higher level than those whose lives are in disharmony.  According to an interview in the Boston Globe, Stenhouse said, “Well, we are happy and that is good, right? I feel like what I’ve learned in my career in racing is that any time you are happy off the racetrack, it tends to show up on the racetrack.  That is one good thing that we have going. We are both happy, we are focused on racing and having fun.’’

 

 

USA Today recently reported that Derrick Rose hasn’t played a game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in April during the opener of the 2012 NBA playoffs, but I predict he’ll be back stronger and better than ever. I’ve made this prediction not only because of all the hard work he is putting into his rehabilitation but also because of an event that took place in his life last October 9th, 2012: The birth of his new son, Derrick Rose, Jr. “Everything stopped when he was born,” Rose said, “I try to spoil him as much as possible, not only with material stuff but just being around him with love and support – letting him I know that I will always be there.” When he returns to the game, Derrick will be happy and his life will definitely be in harmony. That’s why I believe he will perform at a level higher than ever before.


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