Archive for the ‘The Mind Side Blog’ Category



Risk vs. Reward: The Randy Moss Edition

Sam Obitz / November 4th, 2010 / No Comments »

Almost every decision in life comes down to weighing the potential benefits against the potential hazards of the choice. In the case of Randy Moss, who was recently released by the Minnesota Vikings (soon after wearing out his welcome with the New England Patriots), 21-teams passed up the chance to grab the future Hall of Fame member before team number 22 in the pecking order, the Tennessee Titans, decided to roll the dice with him.

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Culture and Belief – The Winner over Talent

Sam Obitz / October 28th, 2010 / No Comments »

Have you ever wondered why some teams and businesses are consistently successful and others come and go? How has IBM been able to stay at or near the top of the business world for over half a century? Why are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics always at or near the top while the Los Angeles Clippers are perennially at or near the bottom? How could four of the five top teams in the current BCS rankings, have achieved those rankings without having a single top 20 ranked recruiting class in any of the past five years between them?

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NFL’s Good Intentions Fuel their Overreaction

Sam Obitz / October 20th, 2010 / No Comments »

The NFL undoubtedly has their heart in the right place in wanting to protect players from vicious illegal hits. But as English poet John Milton first said back in the 17th-century “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”

In this case it appears that those good intentions caused the NFL to overreact in levying $175,000 in fines to three defensive players for illegal hits in last weekend’s games . In fact one of those players’ hits, though vicious, was clearly legal under the leagues current rules . Clearly the league wanted to send a message, but the message it delivered was so unclear that it is sure to ripple through the league causing unintended consequences.

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Maybe people are looking at Gilbert Arenas’ fake injury all wrong?

Sam Obitz / October 14th, 2010 / No Comments »

I think there is a lot more going on here than meets the eye. Imagine that you were suspended from your job for over half of the previous year and spent time in a halfway house for doing something that was clearly wrong. Now imagine that your being suspended from work was a major media story that continues to be focused on to this day. Then think about all the anguish and regret you have been feeling since it happened for letting so many people down, remembering that you are still just 28-years old. Do you think you would be nervous about getting up and being introduced in front of over 9,000 people, most of whom you do not know and have no idea how they will react to you?

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The Mental Side of Pitching a No-Hitter

Sam Obitz / October 7th, 2010 / No Comments »

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in his first MLB play-off game last night was directly attributable to his preparation and routine. When I say preparation and routine I am referring to both the physical and mental aspects of his game. Clearly when you throw a no-hitter you have to physically be coming at batters with your best pitches, but what allows you to keep coming at each successive batter with your best stuff, pitch after pitch and inning after inning, is an entrenched routine that allows you stay out of your head.

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Coaches’ Health Concerns Often Focused in Wrong Area.

Sam Obitz / September 30th, 2010 / No Comments »

Ever since Michigan State University head football coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack after his teams thrilling overtime victory against Notre Dame, there have been numerous articles written about how coaches need to take better care of themselves. This is undoubtedly true, but the focus in these articles is always on an exercise regimen, watching their diet and getting enough rest. Of course all of the above are important concerns. The problem is that they are overlooking what I consider to be the most important part of the equation: How a coach handles the stress that comes with the job internally.

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Why your ego can keep you from achieving your dreams and reaching your goals

Sam Obitz / September 22nd, 2010 / No Comments »

Vision is one of the most underrated traits in sports, as well as in life and business. I do not just mean your eyesight when I speak of vision (although that is hugely important as well) I mean the vision in your mind.

When our ego gets out of control it works like blinders that stand in the way of our seeing what we need to see. Imagine a quarterback that has blinders on which block his peripheral vision. Will he see the field better or worse? Will he make more or less plays? Will he get sacked more or less often? The answers to all of the above are obvious. Blinders inhibit our personal learning and growth. Yet many players/people never reach their true potential because they get in their own way and block their own progress in this way. They are no different than the teenager who “knows all there is to know” already. Unfortunately, the player or person that let’s this happen has to learn the hard way and unlike the teenager they do not have their whole life in front of them to recover from this avoidable mistake. Sadly most players and people that get to this point do not recover and have no one but themselves to blame.

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Federer fears Nadal?

Sam Obitz / September 14th, 2010 / No Comments »

As I watched the semifinal match last weekend between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic an eerie thought kept creeping into my head. I could not escape the notion that Federer would have breezed through his semifinal match against Djokovic, were it not for the fact that Rafael Nadal was awaiting him in the final.

For over a year I have noticed something different in Federer when faced with the prospect of playing Nadal. I suspect that Federer no longer believes he can beat Nadal and since you cannot outperform your belief in yourself, a negative outcome would be inevitable for him.

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Is it a good idea for USC to pay Lane Kiffin nearly Four Million dollars a year?

Sam Obitz / May 20th, 2010 / No Comments »

It depends on how you look at it. I thought University of Southern California Athletic Director Mike Garrett was out of his mind when he insisted on paying Pete Carroll over one million dollars a year when he was hired. Carroll was actively pursuing the job while all who were offered it were politely turning them down and Carroll likely would have accepted just about any contract offered at that time by Garrett and USC. Now reports are that Garrett and USC are paying Lane Kiffin around four million dollars a year and the outrage in the national media is palpable.

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Making JaMarcus Russell the #1 draft pick in 2007 was an easily avoidable mistake

Sam Obitz / May 3rd, 2010 / No Comments »

Sure it is easy to play Monday morning quarterback and sit here three years later and say it was a mistake. However, unlike all the pundits who are currently talking about what a mistake it was, I am going to tell you why I think it happened and how it could have been avoided at that time. Many teams in the NFL, when selecting players, still place too much emphasis on the physical side of the equation and not nearly enough on the mental side. The Raiders appear to be among the worst mental evaluators of them all, making me wonder if they do any mental evaluations prior to making their selections. In this article which tries to name the top 10 Raider draft picks of all-time, not one player on the list was drafted before 1988! It’s unrealistic to think any player drafted in the past five or six years would have already made the list, but ZERO out of the previous 22-years seems to defy the odds even more.

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