Author Archive

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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Tiger Woods will be back and all will be forgiven

Sam Obitz / December 7th, 2009 / No Comments »

As of today the number of alleged mistresses is at nine and that number will probably grow larger. I’m not condoning Tiger’s actions, but I find it hard to believe the level of condemnation he is receiving in the media. I also find it laughable that so many are predicting that his career is now over. Today our media only operates in two modes: React and overreact! This is a case of the latter in my humble opinion.

He may be bright, attractive and an outstanding golfer, but Tiger is still a human being and human beings make mistakes. The level of outrage and venom directed at him is more appropriate for a mass murderer of children. Tiger messed up, but nobody died and I presume he will learn a hard lesson and pay a high price for his “transgressions”. But to suggest that his career is over is laughable.

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Belichick’s 4th down call the right one on so many levels

Sam Obitz / November 16th, 2009 / No Comments »

Bill Belicheck is taking a lot of heat today over his decision to go for it on fourth down and 2-yards to go from his own 28-yard line with a six point lead against the Colts and just over two minutes left to play in the game. Many of the criticisms are along the lines of “you just don’t do that in that situation.” Well someone please tell me when anything transformative came from someone doing something the way it has always been done? How about giving him credit for playing to win; rather than playing not too lose, like most coaches would have done.

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Surfing upset no different than other sports upsets

Sam Obitz / July 27th, 2009 / No Comments »

With the largest prize money ever in a surf competition ($100,000) on the line no one expected an upset at the U.S. Open of surfing in Huntington Beach yesterday. Most assumed one of the big names in surfing like nine-time world champ Kelly Slater, 2007 world champion Mick Fanning from Australia or possibly the events defending champion Nathaniel Curran would walk away with the money. But an upset occurred when 24-year old hometown boy Brett Simpson beat Mick Fanning in the finals.

Simpson came into the event ranked ninth and even on his home turf was considered a long shot to make the finals. Certainly being at home and having the crowd behind him did not hurt, but what ultimately propelled him to victory were the same things that are present in most sporting upsets. Simpson entered the competition with the proper mental focus necessary to perform at his peak. First he believed in himself, second he had a plan based on controlling what he could control and finally he ignored everything else.

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