Posts Tagged ‘Family Fit’

The Tiger’s Handlers & Charles Barkley

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

ISPA likes Charles Barkley! In fact I have always liked Charles Barkley. I met him once casually when he was still playing. I was in a hotel and Charles ambled down to a lounge area next to a sports themed bar in the hotel lobby. There were no seats in or near the bar, so he waddled over and sat where I was sitting. I have used words like amble and waddle because he had just played that night and he walked as if he had a hundred pound lead weight on his back. He introduced himself politely (Remember he was at the height of being tagged as the original bad boy of the NBA.) and stated he just wanted to get one beer and relax. Well, he was soon spotted by the sports bar knuckleheads who immediately began taunting him and even throwing crushed up bar napkins and straws in our direction. Throughout this entire ordeal Charles didn’t even flinch and he conducted a pleasant conversation. He was gentle, polite and intellectual. I was as impressed with him as a man, not just an athlete, as anyone I have met in my career.

I just read some comments Charles Barkley made on the Tiger Woods situation and they echo what I mentioned yesterday in this blog space. He said, “I think any celebrity who pays these ‘crises management’ people to speak for them is an idiot. Say your thing, say you screwed up, my bad, move on.”  Vintage Charles Barkley. Common sense, practical, candid and smart.

Charles will be on a new special this Sunday on the HLN channel called, “With all due Respect.” He will co-host with CNN host Robin Meade. I’m going to tune in just to support this man who appears to mirror the same values and voice of ISPA and a man I am very impressed with.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Tiger Woods’ and his Handlers

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Well Tiger Woods was in fact named Sportsman of the Decade by one prestigious publication. This announcement, of course, brought my attention back to his woeful situation. I glanced at a newspaper story that gave the facts of how one woman got involved with Tiger. It seems as though one of Tiger’s “people” approached the woman and said that Tiger would like to meet you. Ok, so here’s my problem. Where are the ethics of this Tiger staffer? How can a person who has his best interests, his needs as a priority do this hook-up for him. How come we are not screaming for these people’s heads?

Of course, assuming anyone who would do such a thing is a Neanderthal, and Neanderthal’s consider the procurement of women a sport, maybe these Tiger Handlers should be nominated by the THE ONION as Sportsmen of the Decade. They sure have made an enormous impact on the world of sport by their actions.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Are Athletes Heroes?

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Tiger Woods was seemingly an athlete that you could look up to, an athlete that you could let your kids hang a poster of in their rooms. Now of course this too has changed like so many other things in modern sports. Raising the question are athletes heroes? Is it still okay to view athletes as heroes? Has it ever been okay to view athletes as heroes?

Of course back in the days of Babe Ruth athletes private lives remained private and their indiscretions never saw the light of day. Now, in a society where information is distributed in seconds and nothing is private, the lives of athletes is front-page news. There seems to be more interest in some athletes lives then the actual sports they play. How then can anyone view athletes as heroes? How can a parent allow his or her child to proudly hang a poster of someone who is an adulterer or gambles excessively? Perhaps, we need to be careful not view the individual as a hero but view their athletic prowess as heroic. Parents can point out to their children how teams work together and the dedication required to become a great athlete and how this can translate into every facet of life from school to sports. Let’s keep the focus on the field and view the performances as heroes and not the individuals.

Justin Mayer, Executive Director-ISPA

Tiger Woods’ Therapist

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

It has been reported that Tiger Woods is in “marriage counseling” as a result of these current events in his life. I am sending a plea out that Mr. Woods needs more than marriage counseling to correct his behavior and his public image. Marriage counseling is a very circumscribed intervention. It is a wonderful help to a marriage relationship when conducted by a skilled professional therapist. BUT, a caution here. If only a small amount of the facts being paraded in the news about Mr. Woods is true, it is my professional opinion that he needs individual therapy in conjunction with therapeutic intervention on his marriage. Mr. Woods may be suffering from what plagues most athletes, especially professional athletes. That is, the pressure and stress from their performance is resulting in negative consequences in their life.

The credentialed professionals in the International Sports Professionals Association(ISPA) are those best qualified to intervene in the lives of athletes suffering from these disorders. We know athletes well. Many of us having been athletes all our lives.

With well over 25 years of experience as a clinical psychologist and noted for my success in offering practical and direct interventions, I would offer myself to intervene into this situation and solve it with the Woods. I hope and pray that Mr. & Mrs. Woods and their family are receiving the best help they can get and are not just going through the motions with some quasi-professional so that they can report this to the media. Please get the best help you can.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Let’s Rally ‘Round Antoine Walker

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The media has been reporting several personal difficulties for former professional basketball player Antoine Walker. Reportedly he owes $900,000.00 to a casino and the Chicago Sun-Times has been reporting his ownership of “slum houses” in Chicago. So run down are these houses that one has a basement filled with feces from a broken sewage pipe. I personally have a number of colleagues around Chicago who know Mr. Walker (He grew up in Chicago.). Many of them characterize him as having a huge “entitlement” attitude. Now before you jump to the conclusion that this piece will be yet another blast on Mr. Walker, stop, I say we need to rally around an athlete in this condition. In fact, one of our ISPA professionals, Kurt David, specializes in helping athletes in the twilight of their careers. Helping athletes cope with life’s pressures is exactly what ISPA is about. Credentialed professionals assisting athletes in and out of the arenas and fields of play. Antoine Walker’s plight is another call for us to band together and rally for these athletes, not condemn them or even shake our heads and walk away.

We build sports careers at ISPA. Look into joining our legion of qualified professionals.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President, ISPA

Coaches

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

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 http://www.apha.org/meetings/) 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 www.DrJohnMayer.com)  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

More on Slow Runners-NYT Article

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Last week in these blogs we debated the issue of slow runners and whether they should be allowed to compete in marathons. Today, a favorite columnist of mine in the New York Times chimed in with her own story as a slow runner. Tara Parker-Pope gives a very unique and interesting perspective on this debate. She her column at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/health/03well.html?_r=1&ref=science. She presents not only her own personal perspective, but brings in compelling facts and some interesting opinions from surprising sources. Check this out.

Dr. John E. Mayer

Marathon-Hay is in the Barn

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Justin Mayer, Executive Director of ISPA, always would caution me in the days before a race when I was fretting whether I did enough training or not, “The hay is in the barn, not much you can do about it now!” This is a great tip the night before a Marathon.

I always remembered that advice in every race. Which brings me to the night before a race and sleep. This is some advice you are not going to hear from many professionals and I’m going to be radical here. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. Like all race preparation, ‘The Hay is in the Barn. If you are tossing and turning tonight. Don’t let that worry you on race day. It is what it is! The most important consideration with regard to sleep is your rest the week before and two nights before the race as well as your rest in recovery the night after your big race. If you are in the starting corral and are worrying about how much sleep you got last night you are not going to be mentally ready to run. Relax, the Hay is in the Barn!

Relax, have fun, enjoy the experience!

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Marathon Fever Good for Body? NYT article

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

ISPA Friends:

I was excited to share an article  just read in my favorite daily, the New York Times. (Tuesday 10-27-09-Health Section) As is often the case with the NYT, the article was illuminating. How many of us runners have wondered, researched and debated whether the pounding is good for the body. This article sheds some interesting insight into this long standing debate. I won’t try and do t justice by paraphrasing what is in the article, so go to their web site and check this article out.

What I found interesting was how evolutionary biologists are claiming that man is in fact a natural long distance runner and that it is only recently that running has been associated with pain and injury. The article also brings up the concept of early man being what they call a ‘persistence hunter’ that our ancestors chased down prey until the animal was exhausted and they were easier to harvest for food. I never heard of this concept before. If you are a runner, this article is a must read.

Here’s the link to the NYT Article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/are-humans-meant-to-run-long-distances/

Dr. John Mayer, President-ISPA