Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Tim Tebow

When Quarterback Tim Tebow made the transition from college football to the NFL, he was not afraid to show his strong belief in God. Many sportswriters made fun of him saying that God had a lot more important things to do than to come down to earth and make sure Tim completed his passes or was able to pick up yardage running the ball. They made fun of him and the fact he wasn’t afraid to show his belief in a higher power. But what those pundits didn’t understand is that, regardless of whether or not there was Divine Intervention, Tim’s strong belief in God enhanced his own feelings of self-worth (self-esteem) and as any psychologist will tell us: Self-esteem is a generator of performance. That’s why whenever I’m talking with college or professional coaches, I always recommend they sign up as many spiritual athletes as possible because you can be assured they will almost always perform close to their skill levels. Not to mention they’ll get into very little trouble away from the football field or baseball diamond or basketball court or soccer field. Today, Tim is a College Football Analyst with ESPN and I’m sure he is doing a great job.

 

Without the right chemistry, teams are destined to fail, no matter how talented its athletes. Everyone’s personal lives must be in harmony. And constant internal bickering will absolutely affect team chemistry

Not long ago I came across an article on the Internet, which was taken from a book called “Onward Christian Athletes” written by Tom Krattenmaker. The article was titled: “Going Long For Jesus” and was essentially about how pro football and basketball teams are hiring “Team Chaplains” who are Evangelicals, bringing to the locker rooms a potentially divisive brand of conservative Christianity, and how these Evangelicals often drive a wedge between players of a team: those who embrace the Christian right and those who are more moderate in their beliefs.

The article made me aware of how much the introduction of religion has permeated professional sports; how it could also be a divisive influence on a team and can actually create problems that affect team chemistry and team bonding. I’m sure it’s helpful for those players who have strong Christian beliefs, such as Tim Tebow, but that extreme behavior can also turn off other players who have a more moderate approach to religion. Seems to me the answer is for team owners and coaches to endorse religious practices, but only outside the stadium. I would think that owners and coaches would want a separation of “church and sport” and not allow any religious practices of any kind within the premises of a stadium where the team is housed, especially since that stadium (not only in pro sports but college as well) is generally financed by public money. This, to me, is very similar to the issue of keeping religion out of our schools. But even a religious coach, if he’s worth his salt, would realize the potential disruptive influence extreme religious behavior in the locker room can have on team chemistry. And on the won/lost column.

In the November 25, 2011, issue of USA Today I was surprised to read what columnists Michael Hiestand and Michael McCarthy wrote about religious beliefs and sports performance. What they both don’t get is that athletes, such as Tim Tebow, who have a strong belief in the almighty generally feel good about themselves and have a high sense of inner-self which translates into a positive impact on their performance. Over the past 25 years I’ve found a high correlation between athletes’ self-esteem and their performance levels. The better they feel about themselves and the more their lives are in harmony, the closer they will perform to their skill levels on a consistent basis. With or without divine intervention.


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