Saturday, April 12, 2008

NY Times: Why players turn inward

Good article in yesterday's NY Times by former major leaguer Doug Glanville. In the article, Glanville writes: "'You have to believe in yourself or no one else will.' In general, good advice. But follow it too closely and you may end up believing in yourself so thoroughly that you trust no one else. This is usually where your problems begin."

Glanville is talking about Roger Clemens, but it could apply to any high-profile coach or athlete in any sport:

He perceives that the court of public opinion will either build him up or tear him down, and that either way, when his time comes, no one will remember him. So he uses this barrier to protect himself from the fickle judgments of the peanut gallery and to make it through his world.

It is a fairly typical and primitive form of defense. It is too complicated for players to navigate the press and millions of fans, each of whom has an opinion of them. It is even more complicated to share with family and friends or non-baseball colleagues the idea that their lives aren’t perfect — even with the fame and the six-figure paychecks. So they turn inward.

That is where things get a little weird...

Check out the full article here.