ESPNâ€™s The Sports Guy Bill Simmons puts out a couple podcasts a week. Sport Psychology and the mental game was mentioned by NBA and NFL bigwigs last week. Here are some excerpts from those interviews:
Mark Cuban interview – 3/5/12
Sports Guy: With statistics, do you feel like weâ€™ve maxed out? What is the next thing you are interested in? Because it feels like youâ€™re getting all the data you need for the stuff thatâ€™s helping you win, but whatâ€™s the next frontier for you?
Cuban: I think the next frontier is influencing the numbers, as opposed to just creating them, you know. Weâ€™ll get into biomechanics, and real time sourcing of playersâ€™ information, and saliva testing in-game, and all that kind of stuff. I think the psychological side is probably the area weâ€™re focusing on the most and have been for the past 3 years. The psychology and culture and integrating coaching and players and the definition of what an NBA player is. When you come to the Mavs for the first time, as a rookie in particular, we set a program for you that, this is what we expect from you as a Dallas Maverick, and as an NBA professional. Weâ€™ll have somebody sit down and outline your goals, outline your workout program, outline your off-the-court, you know, whatâ€™s expected of you, and we work with you to stick with that program. And if you canâ€™t stick to it, youâ€™re gone.
Eric Mangini interview – 3/6/2012
Sports Guy: Analytics are undervalued in NFL, behind other sports in that department.
Mangini: We did a bunch of stuff in New York on performance enhancement, which is mental training based on the model they set up at West Point, and we were the only team other than AC Milan to have a Performance Enhancement Center. And all the time, we talk to our athletes about â€œmove on to the next play,â€ â€œmake sure you envision this,â€ â€œbe in a zone,â€ all those different things. We always talk about it, but nobody teaches it. Nobody teaches the athlete how to move on to the next play, nobody teaches the athlete how to get in a zone, and thereâ€™s a whole new field based on mental training…â€