Posts Tagged ‘Sportsmanship’

Leach, Leavitt, Pitino, and Han – Lowering the Ethical Standard

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Coaches have been receiving quite a bit of publicity lately regarding their own actions on and off the job. For example: Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach and the accusations that he locked player Adam James in an electrical closet for three hours because of his inability to play due to a concussion; University of South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt and the accusations that he grabbed player Joel Miller by the throat and hit him in the face during halftime of a game; Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s alleged sexual relations with Karen Sypher in a Kentucky restaurant and later funding her abortion; San Gabriel High School girl’s basketball coach Jannie Han, whom suited up for a JV exhibition game. What kind of examples are these coaches setting for the athletes and prospective players that look up to them as role models and leaders? The message they are sending is “it’s OK as long as I don’t get caught”. No wonder young professional athletes today get into as much legal trouble as they do. Their role models throughout their athletic careers (whether they be direct or indirect) have imposed this attitude of being “untouchable” and that they can do whatever they want…as long as they don’t get caught – a dangerous attitude indeed.

These are exactly the kind of attitudes and actions that ISPA looks to eliminate in the world of sports today. We are looking to dignified,  ethical coaches across the globe to step up and establish a new ethical standard for coaches today. Speaking as a coach myself, I feel a reform is in order and long, long overdue.

Andrew A. Teunis – Director of Business Development, ISPA

Sports Concussions

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Great read in the NY Times today about concussions in sports. Check out the article here: Lawmakers Grill Doctor for His Views on Concussions. This is an issue that deserves serious attention. Sports Professionals must educate athletes on the dangers of concussions and how to safely engage in their respective sport. Lets all work together to bring more visibility to this important issue.

Justin Mayer-Executive Director, ISPA

Athlete of the Decade

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPORTS PROFESSIONALS ~ ISPA

The Largest Accreditation Body Credentialing Sports Professionals in all Fields

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:     Dr. John E. Mayer, President                                                                                                                                                             312-917-1240

JMayer2@aol.com



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Chicago, IL—Dec. 18, 2009—The International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA) announced today that it has named Lance Armstrong as its Athlete of the Decade. Although Armstrong would have been named regardless of Tiger Woods recent problems Woods recent problems pushed him out of consideration.

“It was a fairly close race prior to the revelations that arose about Mr. Woods, but Mr. Armstrong was still our organization’s pick. When the stories broke about Tiger Woods’ infidelity and now the suspicion of his use of performance enhancing drugs that didn’t even make it close. Lance Armstrong is our pick for athlete of the decade.” Said Justin Mayer, Executive Director of ISPA.

“Our international organization’s mission is to assist in the safe and healthy participation in sports at all levels by credentialing those professionals who service sports and athletes. To accomplish this, our professionals uphold the highest standards and adhere to a code of ethics. Tiger Woods’ behavior took him out of the running for Athlete of the Decade.” Added Dr. John Mayer, President of ISPA.

The International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA) is the world’s largest credentialing service for professionals in sports. The ISPA sets standards for its membership by providing professional services to the sports world spanning children’s sports to professional athletes. The ISPA includes a wide variety of professional occupations from coaches, sport psychologists, physicians, accountants, agents, physical therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, sport physiologists, trainers, and more. ISPA designates that member professionals adhere to a strict code of ethics and have met the highest standards in their fields to provide professional services to athletes and to sports. ISPA maintains a National Register of sports professionals; professionals listed in the register are the top professionals serving all domestic sports at all levels.  www.TheSportsProfessionals.com

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Judging Athletes?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

It was brought to my attention that when judging an athlete we should only focus on their athletic performance and leave out their personal life (which goes a long way in judging character). Which leads me to think, is it possible to judge an athlete solely on their athletic prowess? Is it fair to judge an athlete not only on their athletic performances but also on their character?

Certainly we know a lot more about the personal life of Barry Bonds then Babe Ruth; we can thank modern media for this fact! Every day we are bombarded with the latest sports scandals. These scandals are seared into our memories like the alphabet. Associating a scandal with an athlete has become second nature. When it comes time to judge an athlete for greatness in their respective sport is it possible to remove ourselves from including their character into the equation? Do we want our greatest athletes to not only be great at their sport but also decent human beings? I know I would like to be able to tell my children that the athletes I followed were not only great at their sport but also great individuals. Maybe I am asking too much. However, it is nice to have a dream particularly as the New Year is so close.

Justin Mayer- Executive Director-ISPA

Tiger Woods Loses International Award

Friday, December 18th, 2009


News Release



Tiger Woods stripped of decade award

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Chicago, IL—Dec. 18, 2009—The International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA) announced today that it has named Lance Armstrong as its Athlete of the Decade. Although Armstrong would have been named regardless of Tiger Woods recent problems Woods recent problems pushed him out of consideration.

“It was a fairly close race prior to the revelations that arose about Mr. Woods, but Mr. Armstrong was still our organization’s pick. When the stories broke about Tiger Woods’ infidelity and now the suspicion of his use of performance enhancing drugs that didn’t even make it close. Lance Armstrong is our pick for athlete of the decade.” Said Justin Mayer, Executive Director of ISPA.

“Our international organization’s mission is to assist in the safe and healthy participation in sports at all levels by credentialing those professionals who service sports and athletes. To accomplish this, our professionals uphold the highest standards and adhere to a code of ethics. Tiger Woods’ behavior took him out of the running for Athlete of the Decade.” Added Dr. John Mayer, President of ISPA.

The International Sports Professionals Association (ISPA) is the world’s largest credentialing service for professionals in sports. The ISPA sets standards for its membership by providing professional services to the sports world spanning children’s sports to professional athletes. The ISPA includes a wide variety of professional occupations from coaches, sport psychologists, physicians, accountants, agents, physical therapists, chiropractors, nutritionists, sport physiologists, trainers, and more. ISPA designates that member professionals adhere to a strict code of ethics and have met the highest standards in their fields to provide professional services to athletes and to sports. ISPA maintains a National Register of sports professionals; professionals listed in the register are the top professionals serving all domestic sports at all levels.  www.TheSportsProfessionals.com

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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

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

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

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