What lessons can and should we learn from the two-week build up for the Super Bowl?
I do know I'm bringing up football. But there are real lessons to be observed this week and the game is three days away. I can think of a few and I'm sure others can add some things too. This of course comes up each year and for the most part it is the same each year. There are I think some important lessons and choices we can all understand.
- With lots of time on their hands at least one person is going to brag about themselves. This years biggest bragger is Randy Moss.
- Now if you have read some of my posts I encourage athletes to brag in my office. Sometimes it is important to say good things about yourself. We do not however do it in front of millions to draw attention to self. Randy Moss is a great receiver. One of the best. No need to say he is better than Jerry Rice, other than to hear his own voice.
- Someone will be cornered in an interview and say something very, very stupid, hateful, mean, dumb and usually in the same sentence.
Chris Culliver made news giving a homophobic opinion. He was cornered and taken by surprise by a so-called comic reporter. This brings in two issues. If you are a professional or college athlete and you hear a question that makes you go WHAT... think twice and then think again about your answer. Abraham Lincoln said,"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." It is bad enough to say something stupid, but hate has no place in sports.
- With lots of time on your hands you may start to over think situations.
This one can effect coaches and players. You game plan for the game of your career and then a day or so before the big game change your game plan. Last week Tim Brown told reporters that Bill Callahan threw the Super Bowl so his old boss Jon Gruden would win. This is back in 2002. It is a pretty ridiculous statement on the surface. Coaches are very competitive and friendship and brotherhood go out the door during golf games for $5. The Super Bowl that's hard to believe. What perhaps is not hard to believe is that Callahan got caught up in over thinking the game against his old boss. Come up with a good strategy and stick to it. Stress makes people do odd things and few work out vs good planing.
- It has not happened yet but as it has happened before I bring it to everyone's attention. An athlete will get in trouble with the law. There will be a fight, their will be drugs, there will be prostitution. Name your poison.
I just want to point out the possibilities and a few realities. When you are on stage as all athletes are it is critical that you take a step back. Too much money to throw away over a few moments of fame shoot your mouth off or getting in trouble. I know a player who blew roughly $38M smoking grass before he signed his contract. Players have thrown away their Super Bowl chance and disrupted their teams over next to nothing.
The important story line really is that it does not need to be the Super Bowl. An athlete plays their sport for love and sometimes money but it is always a privilege not a right. If your goal is to play the game, then play the game. Keep your mind focused. You can have fun. I'm not from the moral right. Moderation and good sense will help you reach your dreams. Enjoy watching sibling rivalry on the biggest stage in sports. Watch the inspired Ray Lewis exit a stage he was close to leaving over a decade ago because of a bad choice. It takes a kind of mental toughness to stay focused. You have it in you, I'm sure. You may just need to learn how to access it. You do know where to find the mental training I'm sure.
Of course there are also the commercials if you get bored with the game.
I can be found as always at www.themental-game.com Contact me there and lets see what mental training will do for you or your team.