You Can’t Fake Caring

May 24, 2008

I’ve been watching the Tennessee Titans mini camp workouts and was struck by an obvious point.

Assistant coach Jim Washburn is so animated and vocal with his players that you can hear him from anywhere on the field. He rides his players like a rented mule but it never sounds mean spirited. The minute he’s made his point it’s over. He’ll be at their side laughing or teaching, but never gnawing on past mistakes.

You can tell, just from the tone of his voice that he likes them and wants to push them, but not break their spirit. He’s considered one of the best in the NFL at his position.

To a man, the players he coaches have told me that they never take anything personal when he chews them out because they know he cares for them as a person, but he just won’t put up with not trying.

There’s a proverb that says “what’s in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth”.

You can’t fake caring. That’s true in coaching as well.


Too Young To Have Fun?

May 21, 2008

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Gambling Athletes: As Bad as Steroids

May 16, 2008

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NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley just admitted that he owed a $400,000 gambling debt in Las Vegas. Barkley said it was his mistake, said he had the money, and would take care of it. But he’s admitted before that he loves to gamble high stakes and that he’s going to have to get it under control. Obviously he hasn’t.

I read an interesting statistic recently that 80% of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 have gambled in the last year. The internet is loaded with online poker games so it’s easier to access than ever.

Former mafia chief Michael Franzese used to fix pro and college football and basketball games. He calls gambling as addictive and destructive as drugs and steroids among college athletes.

Franzese calls it a hidden vice behind closed doors in college dorm rooms and now seeping into high schools.

Barkley is fooling himself if he thinks he’s got this under control and the trouble is he’s influencing thousands of impressionable youths with his “no big deal” attitude.

Wash Your Mouth Out

May 9, 2008

I was watching a TV interview with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen the other day and every other word was bleeped because he was swearing continually, almost laughing as he fired out another salvo.

Two things:

First, I’m convinced that the network used the interview clip it just to be edgy and they loved the idea of almost non stop bleeping. It became a comedy show for them.

Secondly, some people just love shoving their “I’ll do and say whatever I want” down everybody else’s throat.

    An NFL coach that I know told me that he only cusses on the field to make his point as a coach, never at home because the kids might hear.

    Oh really? In other words, he thinks he lives his life in a vacuum. Guillen obviously does.

    I Am Not A Role Model

    May 6, 2008

    We have all seen the quote from Charles Barkley when he said, “I am not a role model.” If not, check out this video…

    I disagree with Charles. There are many athletes who look up to you, want to be like you, and want to play like you. So even if you don’t want to be a role model, you are. The choice is up to the athlete. If he or she is a negative role model then the people who look up to you will follow everything that you do.

    For example, Matt Leinart is a Heisman Trophy winner, was drafted in the first round of the NFL and is considered one of the best quarterbacks to come out of The University Of Southern California. There are a lot of athletes who want to be like him in every way, so when I see on ESPN that Matt Leinart’s coach from the Arizona Cardinals is upset with him for partying and having three or four women laying up in a hot tube, it amazes me that he doesn’t realize that people who look up the him will imitate his every move. Athletes may not think that they are role models but they are like it or not!

    As a coach, don’t just coach them to be better athletes. Coach them to be great players and great role models on and off the playing field.

    The Right Thing to Do

    May 4, 2008

    You’ve probably seen the pictures and heard the story of the two girls college softball players who carried a player from the opposing team around the bases after she’d hit a home run, but tore her ACL while rounding first base.

    According to the rules, if a trainer had come out to help her she’d have been declared out, so with little thought the two girls picked her up and carried her. I saw the interview with them on ESPN and they simply said, “It was the right thing to do”.

    You have to realize that their team lost the game. What it tells me is that they were raised to care about others and they were coached by someone who obviously taught them the meaning of sportsmanship because they never gave it a second thought. They just did “the right thing.”

    There’s an old proverb that says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” In other words, you have your words or your actions down in your heart before they’ve ever manifested by actions. You can’t fake what they did. It was as real and it was powerful.