Posts Tagged ‘TV Sports’

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

“Personal sins should not require press releases”

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

So says Tiger Woods in his press release. Which begs the question, why is Tiger Woods releasing anything at all on this matter? Probably, because Mr. Woods is a public figure and feels (or those who represent him) he owes the fans, whom have allowed him to make millions, an explanation. My problem is that if Mr. Woods is going to release a statement then why make it a vague and then say, “personal sins should not require press realizes”. If you are going to release a statement then make it clear and to the point not unclear and subject to speculation.

Whether Mr. Woods likes it or not this situation is going to be closely analyzed and potentially a lot of dirty laundry is going to be aired. Mr. Woods has been in the spotlight for over 13 years he knows how the media game is played (he has used it to his advantage!). If the allegations are true then Mr. Woods knew what he was getting himself into when he engaged in his affair and now he must accept the scrutiny that such activities bring. Many athletes are more than willing to share their private lives when it benefits them, however, when anything turns south they suddenly invoke their right to privacy. It is unfortunate that the families of these athletes must also suffer the consequences. My heart goes out to them when they are suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of someone else’s misgivings. I can only hope that the Tiger Woods situation will inspire other athletes to think twice when confronted with moral dilemmas. If this is a result of the above situation it may be Tiger Woods greatest legacy.

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

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

Thuggery in the NFL

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Plaxico Burress accepted a plea deal that will place him in jail for two years for carrying an illegal weapon into a night club and then accidentally shooting himself. Many sports analysts seemed more interested in when Mr. Burress would be back to play football than discussing the ramifications of Mr. Burress’ actions. It seems that much thuggery has surrounded the NFL as of late and many analysts are focused more on how much football these individuals will miss and not on opening a dialogue on how these activities can be prevented. Playing football in the NFL is a privilege, one that for many is a highly compensated privilege. Because playing football in the NFL is a privilege it can and in some cases should be taken away permanently when deemed necessary. Sports analysts should be focusing on why players such as Plaxico Burress should be allowed to play again and not when can they can play. There needs to be more dialogue on how we can prevent these thuggish actions. Furthermore, commissioner Goodell needs to have zero tolerance when individuals do not uphold the standards of conduct set forth by the NFL and society.

Dr. Mayer In The Wall Street Journal

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Dr. Mayer was recently interviewed for an article in the Wall Street Journal about relationships in professional tennis.

Excerpt taken from The Wall Street Journal: …All athletes wrestle with the distractions of romance in their personal lives, but tennis is one of the few professional sports where players must face love interests and old flames on almost a monthly basis on the courts and in player hotels. Dr. John Mayer, a Chicago-based sports psychologist and president of the International Sports Professionals Association who has worked with two dozen professionals on tour, likens tennis to high school or Hollywood.

Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert

“It’s kind of an incestuous world,” says Dr. Mayer. When it comes to romance, he says, even the most accomplished male players tend to behave like “neanderthals” and female players like “giggly Jonas Brothers fans.” This often results in “very adolescent” relationships, he says, that last an average of three to four months and tend to have noticeable effects on a player’s performance at various stages.

In the seduction or “wooing” period, Dr. Mayer says, performance generally peaks. Canada’s top player, Frank Dancevic, for example, says he achieved the best result of his life the first time he brought his girlfriend to a tournament in Indianapolis two years ago. “I think I was just trying to show off-I didn’t want to look like a wuss,” says Mr. Dancevic.

As relationships progress, however, things can get complicated. Dr. Mayer says he watched one tour relationship hit the skids after the male player repackaged a watch given to him by a major tour sponsor and sent it to his girlfriend, another pro player, fibbing that he’d bought the watch in Paris-not knowing that his girlfriend had received the same watch from the same sponsor.

Click here to read the entire article:   Tennis Gets Hot and Heavy

Sports Booze Celebrations as Dangerous as Steroids

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


The Largest Accreditation Body Credentialing Sports Professionals in all Fields

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:     Dr. John Mayer, President

The International Association of Sports Professionals


TV Images of Champagne Celebrations in Sports as Harmful as the Steroid Scandal


Chicago, IL—May 19, 2009—Television cameras seem to love to show the images of professional athletes bathing themselves in champagne as they win a championship or clinch a play-off berth. This broadcasting ritual is not only silly; it is a dangerous model for young people.

“Kids learn by modeling. When they see their heroes using a drug (alcohol) to celebrate their elation, it does more to propagate the problems we have with kids and drugs than the steroid scandals. These broadcast images are seen by millions of young people. They can see the athletes basking in the glow of the booze enhanced frenzy. (more…)