headlines on what was one of the best and most athletic plays of the playoffs,
ever. The 49ers were driving down the field when Sherman acrobatically blocked a
pass intended for Michael Crabtree, which was then intercepted. The play both
earned the Seahawks a trip to the Superbowl, while ending the 49ers season.
However, it was the aftermath that garnered all of the attention. Sherman patted
Crabtree’s on the but/attempted to shake his hand, put his hands on his neck in
the universal choking symbol while staring at Niner QB Kapepernick, and then he
was interviewed a minute later on the field in what seemed like a WWE pre-match
interview between the Ultimate Warrior and Mean Gene Oakerlund.
Needless to say social media, sport stations, and the media could
not get enough of this behavior. People chimed in with different viewpoints that
ran the gamut between proud acceptance and angry criticism. Everyone seemed to
have an opinion about his behavior. The sport analysts have been dissecting the
motivation behind Sherman’s actions, commenting on his intelligence, and
debating on the impacting of trash talking in sports. But there is an important
underlying psychological concept. Every performer (athlete, artist, business
person…) is constantly sifting through the inner voices. Unfortunately, for
most, the negative voices are often the loudest, which lead to anxiety, lowered
motivation, and poor performance. A lot of the work I do in my private practice
is to help athletes understand this concept, while simultaneously developing
strategies to quiet the negative voices and making the positive voices louder.
In Sherman’s case, the loud inner voice escapes and is shown to everyone.
Terrell Owens, Mario Balotelli, Barry Bonds Cristiano Ronaldo, Muhammad Ali…
There are many stories of Michael Jordan’s immense ego, but he was able to stay
in good standing with the fans. But that is rare for an athlete to remain in
public favor while display being supremely confident and bragging. Then there is
someone like Terrell Owens has very few fans today. The goal for most athletes
is to build the private ego, while remaining publicly humble. Sherman is an
amazing football player, some of which can be attributed to his huge ego and
unwavering confidence. But his public image took a huge hit last weekend and he
seems to be OK with that (Click on the link below.) His performance during the
Superbowl will be under enormous scrutiny. Many people will be pulling for
Peyton Manning to expose Sherman as a fraud. He is not a fraud, but even the
greatest egos succumb to the pressure. Sherman’s ego will be contending with the
pressure of being in the biggest game of his life and the pressure of being
under everyone’s magnifying glass because of last week’s behavior. Did Sherman
unwittingly create a beast too big for his giant ego to handle?
From a psychological standpoint it is going to be a lot of fun to
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