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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.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Ego Ideal

It appears that the unconscious desire for being loved and receiving affection takes the place of the striving for perfection. The helpless infant is totally dependent on the love and care of the mother or caretaker for its survival. The infant cannot feed itself, cannot clean itself, cannot care for, or provide warmth and shelter for itself. These behaviors, by the mother, become associated with love, warmth, safety and protection. This process evolves and develops into an unconscious fantasy of being loved and then becomes a strong desire or need to be loved. Consciously, the ability to love and be loved is one of the cornerstones of a self-actualized individual.

Being loved, being admired, being praised, being appreciated generally begins with the mother or mother figure in the caretaking process during the child development years. The idolized object, then can be generalized to include a father, siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles within the nuclear family. Often, seeking approval, etc. generalizes to a teacher, coach, team or some other significant adult or group. The peer group takes on mega importance as we want to be part of, fit in, be liked and be on the receiving end of respect and admiration and the acknowledgment of it too. This desire for social recognition is the enlargement of the original wish to be admired or appreciated initially by one person, generally the mother. Further, the wish to be socially recognized is the most general form of the need to be loved. Some might call it a related need for affiliation or belonging.

Turning to Bo Schembechler, we found the following. As was true within the coaching world then and now, Bo received social recognition, especially being hired by the University Michigan. If  his Wolverines were victorious against  arch rivals Michigan State and Ohio State, he not only  would have a secure job and  a regular paycheck, he would be admired, praised, appreciated and loved by the enormous University of Michigan faithful that includes students, fans, faculty, administration, alumni, other coaches [ Do you think Woody Hayes would be proud!], etc.

As a result, Bo’s social recognition was dependent on his University of Michigan’s teams winning and only winning. This was made crystal clear, and he understood it very well. That meant he was under enormous pressure to prepare- his teams had to operate in a perfection like mode if you will. Generally, college athletes have the physical skills that tends to equalize across the board- yes, there are exceptions. Bo, could not do much about the physical genetics of his inherited players, but he could make inroads in their thinking, attitude about themselves, and about winning-he believed that everyone can improve [He must’ve known on some level about the ego ideal]. He knew that the mental process was likely the difference between winning and losing. Mike Keller called it the intangibles. Bo’s task was to drill and to imprint into the minds of the players to believe in themselves, in the team, in their teammates and in him. It was not easy as it took 4 ½ games to accomplish that task. It all came together in the second half of the game against Minnesota In 1969. From then on, Bo’s Wolverines were unstoppable.

Bo established and initiated physically brutal, conditioning programs coupled with physical practices like no other. He was a tyrant on the football field as the leader. He was verbally abusive in his unique way. The players realized that he treated everyone the same-like dogs. In fact, Fritz Seyferth indicated that former coach Bump Elliott would not treat the players, as Bo because it was disrespectful. Frank Gusich said that because of the unheard of mode of conditioning and hard practices, that he then realized that there would be no other team that could compete with his Wolverines, especially in the fourth quarter. He also overheard NFL coaches at their practice saying, “These guys really practice hard.” Mike Keller reported that game day was simply easier than the practices, and he looked forward to beating up someone else.

Initially, Bo was the bad cop, and the position coaches were the good cops. The players, after a short period of time, developed into a cohesive unit. They played like no other in order to receive praise, admiration and respect from their teammates. Mike Keller said he didn’t want to let any of his teammates down, which translates into receiving social recognition. Keller also reported that his teammates were like a band of brothers similar to being in a foxhole with them. Keller was not unusual, in wanting that social recognition.

Social recognition was realized, for Bo Schembechler’s players, his position coaches and for himself as result of his teams winning. He said that when the team wins, the players will receive their recognition. Many became drafted by the NFL, received, All-American honors, and became part of the U of M tradition. Further, last year, a statue of Bo Schembechler was erected outside of Schembechler Hall. And just recently, Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh was instrumental in forming a group for ex- U of M football players. Jim Betts was elected Pres. of this Michigan Football Alumni Network [MFAN] of the 2500 or so players. And, Jim Brandstatter was elected as Communications Director.

Like Bo Schembechler, Jim Harbaugh is under pressure and scrutiny and is expected to turn Michigan football’s program around to its glory days. Unlike Bo, Coach Harbaugh already has an enormous amount of social recognition. He is loved, admired, respected prior to coaching his first game. His social recognition has been similar and like a magnet in attracting top-notch, position coaches and maybe the best of the best of the high school recruits. Because of all this pressure, Coach Harbaugh has to work miracles in order to continue to receive the love and of course his hefty salary.
Likely, Coach Harbaugh in order to achieve his social recognition, etc., will have his players compete, not pussy foot around with shortcuts and deal with their mindset. Since December, with his hiring, Jim Harbaugh has been masterful in receiving social recognition from the local and national media. He’s been a master in the realm of social media. Just seek Jim out on twitter or go to Bleacher Report, and you’ll know what I mean.

Join us in Ann Arbor on September 17 from 6 to 8 PM for hors d’oeuvres and book signing of Bo’s Warriors at Sesi Motors.

Go Blue!


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