Strapping on the Three Goggles

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“Strapping on the Three Goggles” – a case study in team cohesion and positive mindset
“If you can take care of the things off the court it will follow on the court,” said Mills. “Me and Rudy’s friendship and whatever we have is great off the court, so I believe that is why we feel so connected on the court.”

If you’ve watched the Portland Trailblazers play this year, you’ve undoubtedly seen the “three goggles” come out. And if you’re like me, you’ve thought, “That’s funny, but what the heck are they?”

As the 2010-11 NBA season began, the Blazers faced a lot of uncertainty. With so many players returning from injury, new players coming in, and some unhappy players, it was definitely a rocky start. One of the disgruntled players was Spanish superstar Rudy Fernandez, a solid defender, creative dribbler and passer, and deadly 3-point shooter. His game somehow didn’t quite fit the team last year and being unpleased with this, wanted out of his contract and back to Spain. The Blazers balked and he was here to stay.

Most of the time, an unhappy player is unpredictable and expected to not play at a high level. Fortunately for Rudy, he has some close friends on the team who made him laugh, and helped make things fun again. That positive mindset has helped solidify Rudy in the Blazers rotation, in the process helping keep the Blazers in the playoff hunt.

About the Author: Brian Baxter received an M.A. in Sports Psychology.  He teaches individuals how to identify and build awareness of their difficulties, their areas of improvement and their strengths and implements strategies to make the process second nature.

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