May 3, 2012
Writing has a way of being therapeutic and offering solace to others who you just can’t always reach. In the wake of Junior Seau’s death I am compelled to pen this. As a therapist who works with athletes I am always reminded that they are people first and that is really what they do…they are people with human struggles! In church recently our pastor challenged us to really ask the right questions! Most time we ask people, “What do you do?” It seems so innocent but it feeds on our own insecurities about who we are and how we can but this new person in some type of box that our brain can process and handle. As the news will be reporting, Junior Seau had everything that the world thinks would bring you happiness. What people will eventually understand is that happiness is internal and breeds from within. Searching for it will leave you poor, desolate and angry! Truly in every situation there is inherent good. How long will it take for others to realize that they are searching for something that is already within them and not the amount of material things that one can amass? All of the sayings about the journey being the most rewarding are true. When I work with athletes about reaching and setting goals it truly is an exercise that provides checklist for the journey! We all need those checks or the lifelong journey can become a little disheartening along the way. If you look at Junior Seau’s life and where his treasure was stored up it was in trying to help kids to find their passion and fulfill their goals!
Robert Price is a licensed psychotherapist in the Washington DC Metro area and owns a company, Elite Minds, LLC that focuses on providing therapeutic support to children and their families in addition to specializing in mental skills coaching and being a sports psychology consultant to many athletes on all levels. He can be reached at http://www.elitemindsllc.com.
August 31, 2011
As an athlete your character is on display at all times in your sport. It is as simple as pointing to the sky or kneeling down to give homage to God. People are always assessing the player’s character and intent. In light of the recent violations in college football the players that are involved are having their character questioned. While we are told to not throw stones at a glass house we must remember what character really means… “the set of qualities that make somebody or something distinctive, especially somebody's qualities of mind and feeling…” Many of the players in question have never truly learned how to deal with people who seem to have their best interest in mind, but I wouldn’t expect them to. These are young adults who like all young adults make poor and impulsive decisions that simply serve themselves in the moment. Recognize the brain is still not fully developed at the age of 17-23 for males so inhibition is truly compromised. That is the science of it and that is what we forget to think about at times.
These players do serve as examples that others can learn from if they are in fact watching what is going on. In the work that Elite Minds (www.elitemindsllc.com) performs we work with not only the player but the family. This comprehensive approach allows for the player’s buy in and develops a support network that is effective. We use Dr. Jack Lesyk’s 9 Mental Skills of Successful Athletes to create unique profiles for the athlete and build around their strengths. By working with their strengths first we are able to improve the player’s underlying character issues that the athlete may be working through.
March 9, 2009
When we take a step back from the release of Terrell Owens by the Dallas Cowboys and his subsequent signing by the Buffalo Bills many people are confused how this guy could get a job. Many prognosticators thought that no team would take a “chance” on T.O. They obviously were incorrect. Any team that would sign him is not really taking a “chance” but a known entity. His history speaks for itself and they are prepared to deal with that or they would not have signed him. The chance that he does not repeat the same behavior on the field is the same chance that he does not repeat his history of stellar performance. T.O. is at the end of his great career which is not saying much in this era of great performances by players over the age of 35. Brett Farve had what he considered his best year two seasons ago and Kurt Warner has taken a historically futile franchise to the Super Bowl. A receiver of his talent will be productive in the AFC East next year. The questions still arise about his character.
Terrell Owens changes the psyche of a team and front office personnel. Whether his on the field behavior is detrimental to the development of a quarterback or his intense desire to win outweighs any thought of selfishness is still to be determined. He will not be the scapegoat this time around if Buffalo doesn’t make the playoffs or isn’t successful. The division is not unlike the one he just left with talented teams from the top to the bottom. Working with a teams’ mental preparation it is important to focus on what the goals are. There are team goals, offensive and defensive goals, and personal goals. These all have to align or a team will not be successful no matter how talented the teams’ individuals are. Can Buffalo align their goals with those of T.O.? This will be determined as the year progresses, but right now they are on the same page. They both think that T.O. can make any team ultimately better on the field.
Robert W.H. Price is the founder of Elite Minds a sport psychology consultant firm that assist teams, coaches, and individuals focus on the mental side of the game. For more information see http://www.eliteminds.net.