Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘UCLA

I was watching the Missouri State – Oklahoma State basketball game last night and was amazed as Missouri State guard Dequon Miller dribbled the length of the floor and scored on a driving lay-up to put the Bears back in front – for good. I thought I was watching a rerun of the 1995 Missouri-UCLA game when UCLA’s Tyrus Edney did the same with 4.7 seconds left on the clock and tossed in a swooping lay-up just before the buzzer. But in this case, the Oklahoma State team still had :07.3 left to play. And that’s when I thought Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford made a wrong call. His team brought the ball down the court and shot an air ball from the perimeter as time ran out but it seems to me he should have called for the ball to be fed to their inside post man and a possible 3-foot shot from under the basket and if he missed the shot there was always the possibility he would be fouled. But we’ll never know. I’m sure Coach Ford had his reasons. I think this is an excellent example of what former Baseball Manager Casey Stengel meant when he said “Teams lose games more than they win them.” I think Oklahoma State lost that game. And could have won it.

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Words of Wisdom from former UCLA coach John Wooden. From a personal perspective, every time I conduct a workshop/seminar with athletes and teams I always learn something new. And that’s been happening for the past 27 years. Some of the things I’ve learned: How beliefs impact performance, both positive and negative; The importance of religious beliefs to an athlete’s high performance; How high self-esteem lays the foundation for an athlete to be successful in sports and in life; How athletes’ problems and unresolved issues negatively affect their ability to visualize; How helping others less fortunate than yourself enhances athletic performance; When athletes are happy and their lives are in harmony they perform close to their skill levels on a consistent basis; What takes place away from the field of competition affects what takes place on the field of competition; How coaches’ expectations often become self-fulfilling prophecies; and finally, How coaches who believe they know everything are not open to suggestion and are depriving themselves and their teams from learning. In the words of Zen Master Suzuki Roshi: “There are many opportunities, but in the expert there are few.”

According to an article that appeared in the November 4th, 2010 issue of USA Today, In early 2009, Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton battled thoughts of suicide because of back pain and other maladies that had forced him into 36 surgeries. Now recovered and filled with gratitude for his spinal fusion surgery, he more than ever is living by one of the axioms of his legendary college coach at UCLA, the late John Wooden. “As Coach Wooden always told us, there’s no way you can have a perfect day unless you do something to help someone.” No wonder Coach Wooden was so successful as a coach, and a person. He knew instinctively that when you help others less fortunate than yourself you enhance your own feelings of self-worth, thereby enhancing your performance. And by helping others, which is the first step when putting your life in harmony, you actually create positive events in your life, on and off the basketball court.


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