Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Psycho Self-Imagery

It’s been said that you can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them. Former major league baseball pitcher Curt Schilling might be a prime example. My understanding is that when he was a player he treated others around him badly and was not well-liked by his teammates. If true, then what is happening in his personal life now would be an excellent example of the psi factor at work. The psi factor (Psycho Self-Imagery) maintains basically that “what goes around comes around” and that people who treat other people badly will eventually have to pay the piper.

According to an NESN article on the internet:

Curt Schilling has been through more in recent years than most people. The former Boston Red Sox pitcher saw $50 million go down the drain when his video game company, 38 Studios, went bankrupt, and he was diagnosed with mouth cancer in February. But he doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for him. “I brought this on myself,” Schilling said in a revealing interview with ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “For the last two years, I’ve had to stand in front of my wife and kids and explain to them, ‘I lost $50 million and my company went bankrupt, and it was all my fault.’ Then I had to stand in front of them and tell them, ‘I have cancer because I dipped.’ “They are conversations I wouldn’t wish on anyone.” MacMullen’s story covers the lows in Schilling’s life, how he went from three-time World Series-winning pitcher to failed businessman and cancer patient in such a short span of time. Schilling’s struggles were so bad that he became depressed while undergoing the grueling cancer treatments. “I always believed God gave us the tools to take care of ourselves,” Schilling said. “I was thinking, ‘Yeah, I’m depressed. It’s been a crappy few months, but I’ll bounce out of it.’ Only I didn’t. I was having a terrible effect on my wife and kids.” Schilling is in remission and since has been treated for the depression, but MacMullen noted that the ex-hurler’s body has taken a toll. He’s thinner, and his voice isn’t as strong as it once was because of what radiation did to his throat and mouth. But Schilling is taking it all in stride and is thankful to be alive. “I’m lucky on so many levels,” Schilling said. “I look pretty much the same. It could have been so much worse.”

And now, as reported by USA TODAY columnist Christine Brennan, he’s been fired by ESPN for his “Facebook tirade against access to public facilities for transgender people.”
Based on my experience working with cancer patients, I would not be surprised if Curt Schilling’s cancer re-surfaces. The reason for this is that when someone experiences high levels of stress in their life, their body gives off hormones such as cortisol that impairs their immune system and the cancer cells in their body begin to multiply faster than they can be devoured by their immune system. In Schilling’s situation it could be different since the NESN article said he had been treated for depression, which means he has been under the care of a therapist which is probably what saved his life when he was initially diagnosed.

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There’s no way to know for sure, but it seems odd to me that someone with Yoenis Cespedes’ talent should perform so poorly in the World Series. He got caught off first base on a double play ball to end Game 4. He batted poorly, and accidentally kicked the ball twice in the outfield. Not to mention hitting himself in his kneecap with his final at bat. One has to wonder if he is having problems with his girlfriend (who is also the mother of his young son) both of whom, as far as I know, still live in Cuba. But if my Psycho Self-Imagery theory is correct, that we create what happens to us, both good and bad, based on our own feelings of self-worth, then perhaps what happened to Cespedes was no accident. But I guess we’ll never know.

USA TODAY columnist Nancy Armour wrote a great column in today’s USA TODAY about Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker James Harrison giving back his sons’ “Participation Trophies” because they hadn’t earned them, something Ms. Armour was in complete agreement with. As am I. After reading the column it reminded me of something I had written in my new book, “Psycho Self-Imagery” about how the Self-Improvement Movement in this country was heading in the wrong direction. Here’s what I wrote:

“The self-improvement movement in America is heading in the wrong direction, exploiting needs of people who want a quick fix. One of the founders of the positive thinking movement built an entire industry based on a false premise: You can affect behavior in people through positive affirmations; that is, by standing in front of a mirror and telling yourself how wonderful you are. Or by rewarding school children with gold stars for mediocre work; or by engaging in positive self-talk to turn your life around. Best-selling books speak to us of The Personality Ethic, Unlimited Power, Personal Power, Cognitive Behavior & Success Triangles.

Self-proclaimed experts tell us how to reach peak performance, how to master the art of selling, how to deliver superior customer service, how to tap into the power of focused thinking and how to be a great communicator. But none of these approaches takes into consideration the self-image, or self-esteem, of their audiences. Individuals take action and respond to situations based on how they feel about themselves – and this is something they seldom address.

People have grown wealthy in this country by posing as motivational speakers, but I don’t believe you can motivate anyone. Inspire, yes. But not motivate. Motivation must come from within, and the higher an individual’s self-image, the greater his or her motivation.

It has often been said that certain coaches are great motivators. What really is meant is that these coaches create an environment for their athletes to build their own self-images and then motivate themselves.”

They were all (allegedly) disruptive to team chemistry, even though they were all considered MLB super stars. Barry Bonds, when he was with the Giants, insisted on having his own private room in the locker room and looked down his nose at his teammates. It was no coincidence that while Bonds was playing for San Francisco they never once made it to the World Series.

In the case of Bo Jackson, I happen to know that when he was playing for the Kansas City Royals, he refused to follow Manager John Wathan’s instructions. He would be given a bunt sign and he would hit away. He would be told not to steal and he stole anyway. Wathan went to GM John Schuerholz and wanted to bench Jackson but Schuerholz wouldn’t allow it since having Jackson in the line-up “put fannies in seats.” Wathan was soon fired and when replaced with Hal MacRae, MacRae insisted that he would have complete control of who played and who didn’t or he would refuse to take the job. Schuerholz humbly agreed.

Randy Johnson was arrogant and treated his teammates badly. No wonder in all of his years as a professional baseball player he appeared in only one World Series.

Roger Clemens is a good example of how the Psycho Self-Imagery process works. I once read in the media that he often purposely threw at a batter’s head in order to intimidate him and thus affect his ability to hit a baseball. And since that time, I’ve never been a fan of his. Over the years, Roger has been his own worst enemy. When athletes have extra-marital affairs, when they are doing drugs, when they are dishonest and lie to a grand jury, when they repress their feelings resulting in low feelings of self-worth, and when their lives are in disharmony, they will actually create negative events in their lives, on and off the field of competition. And Roger Clemens is the perfect example.

According to the late, great Casey Stengel, most baseball games are lost, not won. But there’s another side to that coin and it’s called “The psi Factor” which, simply put, says: Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony will perform close to their skill levels on a consistent basis (and will win games for their managers.)

The following was taken from the Internet:

“Each time (David) Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run, he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.

“Ortiz and his wife Tiffany have three children. Since marrying Tiffany, he has become a fan of the Green Bay Packers (his wife hails from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a town in between the cities of Green Bay and Appleton.) On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a United States citizen at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

“The David Ortiz Children’s Fund was founded in 2007 to support a range of causes that Ortiz believes in. The Fund allows Ortiz the flexibility to donate to those children who are in the most need at any given time, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond. Ortiz released his own Charity Wine label in 2008 with all the proceeds going to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. The wine called Vintage Papi proceeded to raise $150,000 for charity.”

Of course, it’s important that if the psi factor is to work the athlete must possess the skill level to perform at a high level. Which fits “Big Papi” perfectly. At the time of this writing, Ortiz will take a .733 World Series batting average into game six at Fenway Park. Which makes you believe that, during the next baseball season, if he puts his mind to it, Ortiz could be the first major league player since Ted Williams to bat .400.

According to Boston ace Jon Lester, he had this to say about Ortiz: “The guy’s got a heart of gold.”

Those of you familiar with my Psycho Self-Imagery Principle know that when you are living a lie and your life is in disharmony, you will create negative events in your life. Such was the case with University of Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino. It’s a generally accepted theory that fame and wealth often act as aphrodisiacs and could well be the reason he was having an affair with a woman half his age.  But in addition, he “knowingly mislead” the university and engaged in reckless behavior which resulted in his being fired from a job that was going to pay him $24.92 million over the life of his seven-year contract.  And it’s not over yet.  More than likely his wife, who is also the mother of his four children, will divorce him.  And the twenty-five-year-old employee, Jessica Dorrell, who was riding on the back of his motorcycle when they crashed, was given $20,000 by Petrino and no one knows why.  One has to wonder what she doing on the back of that motorcycle in the first place since she is engaged to be married to Josh Morgan, director of operations for the Arkansas women’s swimming and diving team.  So I would look for some additional negative things happening in her life as well.  And next up, Roger Clemens.

In today’s New York Times there is an interesting article about the success that has been experienced by a number of international Olympic female athletes after each had given birth to a new baby. Their names are Tia Hellebaut, Anna Chicrora, Chante Howard, Fanny Blankers-Koen and Stefka Kostadinova. I believe their success is directly related to the births of their children since when their babies were born they became happier and their lives were suddenly in total harmony. It’s part of the Psycho Self-Imagery Process when athletes resolve conflict in their lives (or begin the process of resolving conflict), do not suppress their feelings, they bring their personal and team-related issues to completion, they are generally highly spiritual, they are helping others less fortunate than themselves and most importantly, their lives are in harmony. At that point they can then begin visualizing themselves being successful and actually create positive events in their lives, on and off the field of competition. But when they have conflict in their lives, when they are suppressing their feelings, when they have personal and team-related issues that haven’t brought to completion, when they are not helping others less fortunate than themselves and when their lives are in disharmony, they will create negative events in their lives, on and off the field of competition.  The five women mentioned above, from my perspective, are definitely leading lives that are in harmony which is why they are so successful at their sport.


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