Archive for November, 2009

Say it Ain’t so Tiger!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

It seems even Tiger Wood’s is not immune to criticism these days. Several days ago he struck a fire hydrant and a tree outside of his Florida home at 2:25 am. Wood’s has been uncooperative with the police as of yet. For more details check out the following link:  Tiger Woods pulls out of Calif. golf tournament
I don’t want to rush to judgement, particularly on an individual who has a pretty good track record, but I don’t like the sound of this situation. I hope this is just an isolated incident and not a new trend for Mr. Woods. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

ISPA Publishing!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The International Sports Professionals Association is actively seeking works to publish. See below for information on how to submit your work.


Instructions for Authors

You can send your complete finished work instead of the sample indicated below, but regardless of how much material you send we need the other sections of a complete proposal submitted.
We accept electronic (preferred) and paper submissions.

Note: Submitting material to ISPA/NP2 PUBLISHING does not assume a relationship or obligation between ISPA/NP2 PUBLISHING and the author(s). ISPA/NP2 PUBLISHING assumes no obligation to review submitted work if said work does not fit the mission, the quality, the ethics, or the potential of products published by ISPA/NP2 PUBLISHING.
Works in all forms will not be returned to the authors unless accompanied by a SASE!

Submission Format

Please include the following:


Market for Product
What is the Primary Target Audience for the Book/Material?

Promotional Plan
What is the author’s contribution and plan for promoting their work?

Outline of Project/Table of Contents

Book Statistics
Estimated page count, number of illustrations or Photographs, if any, estimated completion date, if not finished .

Competitive Title Information
A detailed analysis of what books on your proposed subject are already in bookstores, plus a 2-3 sentence description that differentiates your book from what has already been published.

About the Author(s)
Who are you and why will people read what you write? “What is your platform?”

Sample Chapter/Sample
You may submit the complete work.

Please send electronic submissions to Justin Mayer:

Please mail submissions to The International Sports Professionals Association 55 East Washington St. Floor 38 Chicago, IL 60602


Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

I’d like to chime in on this discussion of coaches, but first a statement: At ISPA our mission is to help build and enhance careers for those who work in sports or wish to work in sports. Our passion is for sports and professionals. That being said, let me comment on COACHES. I am going to take a different angle from the previous blog on coaches. I agree with the previous blog entry that coaches shouldn’t be held solely accountable for a team’s success or failure. After all, the optimal word here is TEAM. A coach is but one part of the larger TEAM. To blame a coach for the failure of a TEAM is by definition a falsehood.

Now, on the other hand. What’s up with these outrageous salaries that Division I college football coaches and Basketball coaches are commanding? Are they just inviting this anti-TEAM responsibility for success and failure? Are they warranted in today’s economy? Should they be paid more than the professors and administrators of these schools? Isn’t the mission of the school academics, thus are resources being allocated incorrectly ? Love to hear opinions.

Dr. John Mayer, President-ISPA

We lost! Who can we blame?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

It seems that us professionals, who serve athletes, come under much scrutiny when the teams (or individuals) we work with do not win. It is very popular these days to fire coaches when a team does not perform. Typically this process starts from the bottom up, a hitting coach may be the first to go and if the team keeps losing not even the head coach is safe. My hometown team the Chicago Bears is one such team where speculation is that coaches are going to start losing their jobs. This begs the question who is to blame? Is Lovie Smith, head coach of the Chicago Bears, to blame? Or are the players who have played less than inspired football to blame? Clearly a great coach can guide a team to victory and a bad coach can steer a team into troubled waters. Poor coaching decisions can hurt a teams chance to win (i.e. Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s decision to go for it on 4 and 2, this is purely an example of a poor decision not a bad coach). However, at the end of the day a coach is only as good as the talent that surrounds him/her and while a great coach can squeeze the most talent out of his/her players there is only so much that a coach can do with substandard talent.

Perhaps, we should not be so quick to blame the coaches and take a step back and evaluate the talent on the field and ask the following questions. 1) What is the talent of the players? 2) Are the players playing to their fullest capabilities? If the players are extremely talented and playing to their fullest capabilities and a team is still losing then it is time to stare at the coaches and say, “what the heck is going on here!”.

Even if the players are the problem the chances that they will get fired before the coaches are slim. More on this tomorrow!

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

Manny Pacquiao…What?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

The New York Times ran an article about boxer Manny Pacquiao’s entourage. There is so much to discuss about this article that I am actually at a loss for words. Perhaps, when I have had the proper time to digest the contents, I will have something more insightful to say. In the mean time here is the link to a rather interesting (disturbing may be the better word) article: In Pacquiao’s Corner, a Dysfunctional Entourage Let me know what you think!

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

Robert Enke

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

As a fan, I am guilty of openly criticizing players who do not meet my expectations. I have booed at games. When the performance is truly uninspiring I have been guilty of using unsavory language to describe players. As a fan, I am also guilty of putting sports stars on a pedestal. I view these great athletes not just as human beings but also as indestructible forces of nature. As a fan, I was reminded of just how fallible sports stars are, and no matter how great they are in the sports arena these athletes are just human beings. Athletes hear the boos we so easily dish out and are devastated when their performance is less than stellar. Most athletes are able to shrug these performances off and comeback recharged for the next contest. Some athletes are unable to accept defeat and internalize their failure allowing it to tear them apart inside. One such athlete, Robert Enke, was in the latter group.
Enke first sought professional help for depression after being blamed for his Soccer teams loss in a 2007 match. Enke was able to continue playing and became a great Soccer player, however, he was never able to get over his depression. Every defeat and every personal failure he internalized until he could handle no more and took his life on Tuesday, November 9th by jumping in front of a train.
Let’s step back and remind ourselves that while our passion for sports runs deep, at the end of the day sports are just games. As a fan I mourn the loss of a human being one whose life was cut tragically short.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

With Larry Johnson Baggage Comes Free!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

It seems nowadays you are hard pressed to find an airline flight where “baggage comes Free”. Increasingly you have to pay to bring baggage with on your journeys. However, at the other end of the spectrum, the NFL, apparently baggage comes free. Unlike, in the airline industry this is not a perk! An increasing number of players have baggage. What do I mean by baggage? Arrests, assault, late night carousing, drug use (both recreational and performance), unbecoming language, greed, immaturity, I could keep going but I think you get the point. Modern sports teams not only have to evaluate the talent of a player but they also have to inspect the baggage a player carries with him/her. If a team finds a player with little baggage they are really flying high (I will stop with the airline analogies).

This blog has dedicated several posts to former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, whom could be the poster boy for troubled NFL players. Note the use of “former” above, the Chiefs have decided to part ways with Johnson. I would like to think my blog had something to do with this, but I am not that naive…yet! I applaud the Chiefs decision. It sends a clear message to players that unbecoming behavior will not be tolerated. Now the question becomes which team, if any, will pick up Johnson’s contract? Hopefully, the message that the Chiefs sent will not die quickly with another team indulging Johnson by allowing him to play this season. Let Johnson sit at home for the rest of the season and evaluate his behavior. Perhaps this time away will allow him to appreciate the opportunities he once had and inspire him to improve is off field behavior.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

APHA – Teens, Football & Risk

Monday, November 9th, 2009

At the annual meetings of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in Philadelphia, PA this past weekend (see the APHA came out with the results of a survey of teens that stated that teenage boys who played football are more likely than their peers to engage in risky behaviors such as drugs, drinking and violence.

We at ISPA and I independently in my clinical practice (see  have been saying for some time that we must be concerned about the youth culture within sports and how it can be a delicate environment, one where young people can learn negative behaviors just as much as they can learn the positive behaviors that we traditionally think sports can foster.

In my experience the negatives traits and behaviors that can grow out of sports can be prevented and even reversed by those adults who are in leadership roles in sports. It is our passion at ISPA to reach sports professionals in all fields, coaches, trainers, and the media to make a difference in this very issue of the fragile balance in sports at all levels between good values and harmful ones.

We need your help to spread the word about the International Sports Professionals Association-ISPA and our mission to improve the world of sports.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President

Let Larry Johnson Join the Unemployed

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It seems that Kansas City Chiefs fans don’t want troubled player Larry Johnson to play this week. Several thousand fans (the number is growing every minute) have petitioned the team to not allow Johnson to play. The rationale behind this request is they do not want a player who has openly made homosexual slurs and repeatedly disrespected the team on Twitter to play and break the Kansas City Chiefs rushing record (Johnson is only 75 yards away from achieving this record). Last week I blogged about this situation and the fans have spoken with vigor!
Today it was announced that the unemployment rate has hit 10.2 %, maybe Larry Johnson should be listed with this unfortunate group of unemployed and not belong on the list of record breaking athletes. Perhaps time off the field will allow him to see the incredible opportunity he had and how foolish he was to jeopardize this opportunity. I am sure the millions collecting unemployment right now would love to have the gift that Larry Johnson has to play in the NFL. The owners of the Kansas City Chiefs (a team with a 1-6 record) should make sure they consider how much fans will continue to shell out for tickets, particularly in this depressed economy, to watch a player who inspires negativity. One of the reasons people go see sporting events is for a release, not to witness intolerance and selfishness. Give the fans what they want, particularly when we are already bombarded  with bad news in the real world.

My Supplement Contains What?

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I am tired of reading news stories where athletes are appealing their drug suspensions because they claim that they did not know they were taking a banned substance. Typically the substance they get caught taking has properties that mask steroid use. It is just a mere coincidence that the very supplement that they are taking masks a performance enhancing drug. Right, and did I mention Bill Gates is my uncle! It seems that employees at MacDonald’s, making minimum wage, have to know more about the rules then athletes getting paid millions of dollars. Last I checked ignorance is not a defense. You would think by now professional athletes would carefully scrutinize everything they ingest. Many of these athletes have the means to hire a nutritionist who can insure that they are consuming the proper substances. I think athletes who get caught for taking these masking supplements and then claiming they had no idea it was a banned substance should get punished twice; first for taking a banned substance and second for stupidity.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA