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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bo's Warriors Chapter i Go Blue Go Part 4

Part 4            Bo's Warriors        Chapter 1       Go Blue Go

In fact, on one occasion, the offensive team was doing a punting drill. Bo said that he would give $10 to any defensive player that blocked the punt. As it happened, the punt got blocked and there goes offensive tackle Jim Brandstatter running down field to make the tackle. Bo becomes irate and runs down field after Brandstatter thinking he missed his block, which resulted in the blocked punt. He finally catches up to Jim and starts berating him. Quickly, one of the coaches, Jerry Hanlon, runs up to Bo telling him that Jim made his block. Do you think that Bo apologized for his mistake?   Instead, Bo said something to the effect “he needed it.”   Doesn’t that remark sound so much like Bo?      

Bo knew that expectancy of success has a positive incentive value. Further, that expectancy of failure can affect the achievement motive as well; such as the motive to avoid failure. He knew that leadership, bonding, social pressure, and wanting to please could be nurtured in a group setting. He also knew that the players would bond around Jim Brandstatter and that Jim could take the verbal abuse.

Coach Schembechler understood that purposive behavior /positive valence goals gave meaning to these young curious competitive minds. He knew that aversive stimulation or negative reinforcement worked too especially and more so back then. He also knew about intrinsic motivation (desire to practice in order to become a better football player) and extrinsic motivation (a team win over OSU and MSU red letter games), as powerful motivators. Schembechler made it clear to his troops “do it my way, or the Highway; do it right the first time.” His communications were clear, not ambiguous. He knew how to communicate with his guys.

 In essence, Coach Schembechler knew how to increase motivation, so that his players would put out maximum effort. He realized that expectation of success (winning regular and red letter games) and expectation of failure (had to be avoided). He also was cognizant that success has a positive incentive value (important for the team, important for the coaches, important for the University, important for the tradition) increased motivation and behaviors associated with achieving the goal. He also knew that achievement, competitiveness, were in the psychological DNA of the exceptional group of men that he was leading. He knew they would avoid failure at any cost. They knew the importance of winning this OSU game.

Another significant and an important part of Bo’s psychological genius was related to conditioning. Bo Schembechler had an understanding that being in top physical condition resulted in not only intellectual growth but development in mental toughness as well (it ain’t just toughness). These young warriors realized that if they could survive Bo’s practices during the spring and fall, the game on Saturday would likely be a break/reward and/or relief.

Coach Bo’s most significant contribution to success was his ability to get the most out of his young players by changing their thought process. He did that by challenging them, getting them to believe that the impossible was possible. In other words, these young men began to believe in Bo, in the team and in themselves. The team mindset changed, barriers and obstacles overcome and on the field performance reached new heights. They no longer sold themselves short because their concept of self was raised beyond what they originally thought.  As these young man began to fulfill their football potential, their confidence soared and now the sky became their limit. This team could and did achieve anything they set their collective minds to accomplishing.

Bo utilized the achievement model of motivation.  He knew that goals were related to involvement of the task (which the main goal is to improve and increase one’s skills through practice, drill and more drill). Achievement goals are also related to ego involvement with the goal to demonstrate superior ability or out achieving-outperforming others. And that these high achievers will gain such things as approval and acclaim within the group. In other words, he knew that mastery within the sport and high-performance was paramount for team success. Bo was a master social psychologist, teacher/sage/ mentor to this collection of physically and mentally exceptionally gifted young men.


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