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Archive for July, 2009

Buzz Aldrin’s House

Last night my friend, Dr. Rob Gilbert, made a bit of a pilgrimage. He went to nearby Montclair, N.J., to walk past the childhood home of astronaut Buzz Aldrin. On the 40th anniversary of the day man first walked on the moon, Dr. Gilbert, a sports psychologist, stared at Aldrin’s home. “To look at the […]

Lessons of the Space Race

The trip to the moon brings so many lessons that you could talk about one aspect every day before practice, and still have some left over when the season ends. Today let’s talk about one that has particular relevance to sports — rivalries. Great rivals bring out the best. In the 1960s, the United States […]

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Yesterday at the Gold Medal Squared coaching clinic, we received a sobering lesson in statistics. Why sobering? Because the talk reminded us that in trying to measure any performance, we face two challenges: First, we must measure the right thing. Second, we must measure the right thing in the right way. It brings to mind […]

Getting a Life

At the coaching camp we’re attending in New Hampshire, the instructors begin with a fun little game: Who came the farthest distance be to here? The game ended quickly when a young woman raised her hand and said, “Japan.” It turns out that there also is a woman here from Frankfurt, Germany. And a man […]

The Lives Around You

There’s the story told of a conversation overheard years ago in a Chicago lounge, where a man was bragging about his career. At great length and in great detail, he told the man next to him about his life as a sports writer, about the ballplayers he knew, about the columns he wrote, about the […]

Locked in a Space Ship

How would you like to go to Mars? A Russian research group has just wound up a 105-day experiment to test the ability of the crew to get along on such a trip. Here’s the reality of traveling to another planet: It takes time. And one of the concerns of scientists is whether people can […]

Ego and Improvement

Today’s post comes in the form of a poem offered by the Coaching Toolbox web site. Many thanks to Kevin Reilly for sending it along. The poem portrays a young athlete learning how to handle praise; it would make great material to put on a gym wall. It also raises the issue of deliberate practice, […]

Controlling Your Destiny

Hall of Fame baseball player Reggie Jackson once said, “As long as you have a bat in your hand, you can write the story.” Jackson certainly did that in the 1971 All-Star Game, when he smashed a ball off a transformer on the right field roof. He also wrote many a story in the World […]

Loving What You Do

Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter is once again going to play in baseball’s annual All-Star Game. This marks his 11th trip to the Midsummer Classic. When asked how he felt about going this time, Jeter mentioned his eagerness to see the new ballpark in St. Louis, where the game will be held. That simple remark explains […]

Random Brilliance

Have you ever heard of Jonathan Sanchez? Chance are you had not — at least until Friday night. That’s when he became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the major leagues this season. Sanchez was an unlikely candidate to pitch a classic game. He entered Friday night’s performance with a poor record. But […]