This week on the Sport Psychology Hour, Dr. Andrew Jacobs talks about how coaches can damage you psychologically and what training coaches have.
This week on the Sport Psychology Hour, Dr. Andrew Jacobs talks about when young athletes should start to specialize and focus on particular sports.
This week on the Sport Psychology Hour, Dr. Andrew Jacobs talks with Chris Cissell, coach of the Missouri-Kansas City Women’s Soccer team about parent involvement in youth sports.
This week on the Sport Psychology Hour, Dr. Andrew Jacobs talks with former referee and Strength and Conditioing Coach Brian Ciolek about out of control parents at youth sports games.
This week on the Sport Psychology Hour, Dr. Andrew Jacobs talks with father and son chiropractors Evan and Chip Mladenoff about treating sports injuries.
This past week, Hurricane Sandy has devastated the eastern part of the United States. As of the writing of this newsletter, millions of people are still without power, thousands have either lost their homes or been forced to evacuate because of damage from the storm, much of the public transit system is still not running, including most of New York’s subway system, and more people are being found either dead or missing on a daily basis. My youngest son is a senior at New York University and has not been able to sleep in his dormitory since Saturday because there is no power in the building. His classes have been cancelled all week. Every night he has had to find somewhere else to sleep and shower with relatives or friends who have electricity. And he feels fortunate.
Yesterday, I heard the news that despite all of the tragedy that has occurred this past week and all of the problems that New York is facing, the famed New York City Marathon will still be held this Sunday. Why? The reasoning I heard was that the over 47,000 runners registered will bring in much needed money to New York and that it will be a much needed distraction to the residents of the city. To me, this is utter arrogance and stupidity. Having volunteered for years on Kansas City’s Hospital Hill half marathon race committee, I know the demands a race like this requires. Streets have to be closed for hours; hundreds of volunteers are needed as well as hundreds of police and paramedics. With the New York community suffering the crisis it has endured over the past week, I cannot understand the rationale behind this decision. Power crews and police and emergency personnel have been working nonstop all week, and now must also be available for a marathon that can take 6 to 7 hours for some to finish. Thousands of runners and their families need lodging, food and transportation to a city that has thousands of residents in crisis. To me this brings up the question I have discussed numerous times on my weekly radio show, just how important should sports be? If you have read my newsletter over the past several years, you know that I feel sports are the greatest discipline to find out about yourself and what you can achieve. Sports bring people, schools and communities together. It CAN be a good distraction from the stressors and issues we face in life on a daily basis. However, when your community is facing a crisis the magnitude that the New York City area is facing, an event like this should not go on. In my opinion, it should either be postponed or cancelled for this year. Sports are an important component of our society. It does bring people together. Over a million fans attended the victory parade this week for the San Francisco Giants after their World Series victory. But, when you still have millions without power, thousands displaced because their homes have either been destroyed or severely damaged, it makes no sense to run a 26.1 mile race through these streets. As I said, sports is important, but having an event like this occurring while the area is going through this crisis to me makes no sense. I would like to hear the rationale from the race organizers and race committee members regarding the reasoning for this decision. I am guessing for them, their motto is, “The games must go on.” Your thoughts.
At a recent Kansas City Chiefs NFL game, an incident occurred that sparked a lot of national attention. The Chiefs starting quarterback, Matt Cassell, who has not played well this year was injured during a play against the Baltimore Ravens. Cassell was knocked hard to the ground and appeared to have a head injury, which was later diagnosed as a concussion. While on the ground, it appeared that numerous fans were cheering about his injury, hoping that the Chiefs would bring in backup quarterback, Brady Quinn, to take Cassell’s place. Quinn did replace Cassell, and after the game for several days the Chiefs fans were criticized for cheering his injury. Immediately after the game, Chiefs offensive tackle, Eric Winston, was interviewed, and stated that he was never more embarrassed to be in a game than to have the fans cheer for a player being injured. He said it was the lowest point of his career as a football player. A few days later, I was at a 13 year old youth soccer game and saw one player get injured on a play. Players on the other team yelled some insulting comments at him while he was down. One young man even made some degrading remarks about the injured player’s toughness. Both of these situations made me think about fans behavior at games and how this behavior is often modeled by younger athletes. Booing at sporting events has always been part of the game experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. Usually, it is in response to a penalty by the officials or a poor display of sportsmanship by a player. However, it seems to that not just booing, but showing a lack of respect is now becoming something fans at all games feel is acceptable behavior. I witnessed this watching my two sons, who are now in their early 20’s, play sports through high school and continue to see it get worse as I attend numerous youth sporting events. I believe the major issue comes down to a lack of RESPECT. Young people emulate their role models, usually their parents, older siblings, teachers, coaches and especially professional athletes. I have spoken many times over past newsletters about why I feel sportsmanship needs to be taught and should not only be a priority for the athletes, but for the coaches and parents. Obviously, when a fan pays money for a ticket at a sporting event, they feel they have the right to express themselves, whether by booing or cheering. However, cheering when a player is injured, in my opinion, shows a lack of respect, not just for the injured player but for you as well. I feel coaches at the youth sports level should not just encourage appropriate sportsmanship by their athletes, but by the parents and themselves. As part of their preseason meeting, I believe coaches should discuss the issue of respect, not just for your teammates, but for opponents and officials. Sports should be about the experience of having fun and pushing yourself to see what you can do. It is a much better experience when competitors and fans alike are able to show respect for the performances that are displayed.