Posts Tagged ‘sports psychology’

Imagery in Golf is as Important as Shot Selection

Golf Psychology – November 11, 2004 – Dr. John F. Murray – Golf is perhaps the most “mentalâ€? sport of all. What does this mean? In my opinion, it accents the types of demands placed upon the player.

For example, high priorities include having a well thought out pre-shot strategy, selecting the right club, recovering from an errant shot, and staying calm and focused in the most stress-inducing situations. It’s much like playing chess, but a whole lot more fun and better for the body! Mental factors are also essential in developing physical tools for the game (e.g., efficient swings, proper footwork, fitness), for without quality instruction and knowledge, progress can be very difficult. Unlike in some other sports, sheer athletic ability and brute strength play a less prominent role. What is really needed in golf is more advanced software. Enter imagery.

Imagery, also called visualization, was described by Vealey and Walter (1993) as a mental technique that programs the human mind to respond as programmed, by using all the senses to recreate or create an experience. Mahoney (1977) described imagery as one of four categories of cognitive skills important in athletic performance, and Suinn (1984) developed a popular version of imagery called visual motor behavior rehearsal (VMBR). Whenever we imagine ourselves performing an action in the absence of physical practice, we are said to be using imagery. Although research into the merits of imagery lags far behind the practice of the technique, many golfers find imagery helpful. It is used for rehearsing new skills, practicing and refining existing skills, preparing for particular situations and readying for an entire round. Studies have shown imagery to be helpful in a variety of ways such as reducing warm-up decrement, lowering anxiety, and increasing self-confidence.

How is this technique implemented? First, it should be recognized that, like any skill, practice is necessary. Most golfers spend enormous time and energy improving their swings and other physical skills, while neglecting mental practice. Ask yourself what percentage of your practice time is spent hitting balls versus developing essential mental skills through techniques such as imagery. You may discover that you are ignoring this crucial part of your game. Jack Nicklaus was a firm believer in imagery. Are you even spending 10% of your practice time using mental techniques?

One note of caution, imagery may hurt your game if your understanding of strategy and/or technique is deficient. In fact, you’ll just reinforce bad habits. Before getting started, make sure your knowledge and basic skills are intact. If you are a professional or advanced golfer, this should pose few difficulties. Beginners and intermediates should schedule regular lessons with their local professional to monitor their progress.

Imagery can be practiced by lying down in a quiet room, fully relaxed, with eyes closed. This longer version lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It is often used prior to a match and helps prepare the player mentally. Here, the player rehearses a perfect performance, often visualizing a complete match point by point. A shorter version of imagery, lasting only a few seconds, can be used during match play. For example, prior to serving, the player visualizes a perfect serve to a strategical location. Imagery is also useful to familiarize the player with high percentage shot sequences, developing anticipation skills for a quicker and more effective response during the actual point.

Some individuals have a more natural ability to form visual images than others. Here are some tips for those with difficulty forming images:

(1) Try thinking in pictures rather than words

(2) Look at pictures or videos prior to using imagery

(3) Stay in a quiet, relaxed and calm environment to avoid distractions

Here are some general principles to enhance imagery:

(1) Make the imagery seem as realistic as possible by including all senses, in full color and detail, within a similar emotional context

(2) Practice imagery regularly as it may take months before seeing improvement

(3) Believe that imagery works, as your attitudes and expectations enhance the effect

(4) Keep a focused yet relaxed attention while using imagery

(5) Internal imagery is most effective. Picture yourself actually accomplishing the feat (from your minds eye), rather than viewing yourself from the outside looking in.

(6) Only imagine perfection. This will boost your self- confidence and reinforce good habits.

In closing, imagery is a potent mental technique that will raise the level of your game if your basic skills and understanding of golf are solid. Just don’t let your opponents know what you’re thinking!

I hope you enjoyed this golf article on sports psychology.

What’s Behind A-Rods Postseason Turnaround?

New York Baseball Digest – Mike Silva – October 13th, 2009 – I discussed this on Sunday and once again was criticized for saying that a “relaxed” A-Rod has as much to do with his success than anything. Dr. John F Murray, who appeared on my show back in June, had the following to say in Sunday’s New York Post.

“If he’s becoming a little more honest . . . he would have less anxiety, said Palm Beach sports psychologist Dr. John Murray. “He would sleep better at night and be more relaxed. More focused. That is key.

Dr. Murray was responding to a quote from a team insider who said A-Rod has “ditched his philandering ways and is making a big effort to inject honesty and openness into his relationship with the actress Kate Hudson.? If only he had met Hudson five years ago perhaps the Yankees would already have their 27th World Series. I am kidding of course, but you have to admit that there is a clear change in A-Rod at the plate. That is why anyone who cites “small sample size? is not looking at the big picture.

Ken Davidoff, who embraces all sorts of modern statistical theory, echoed much of what I have been saying on the show and the blog:

It’s never as simple as “Now A-Rod is relaxed, therefore, now he’s great.? Someone has to pitch the ball to him, after all, and that pitch might be sublime, horrible or somewhere in between. But my goodness, he’s playing the game with such a peace now, if you will. In previous postseasons, in tight spots or with runners on base, you could feel the tension oozing from his body. Yes, sometimes such tension can produce a flare, broken-bat single, and results are all that matter. But I can’t remember too many instances in the previous five years where the defense robbed A-Rod of a hit. He just didn’t square up the ball too often.

I have seen most every inning of Yankees postseason baseball the last 10 years. The pressure clearly got to A-Rod, along with many others on the Yankees, during the 2004 ALCS. Davidoff said it best when citing the lack of hard hit balls throughout the postseason. I wish I could get a copy of the ESPN interview before the 06 Detroit series. A-Rod was so tight during the conversation I thought he was going to snap like a rubber band. Obviously none of us are in A-Rod’s head, but it doesn’t take a PhD in psychology to recognize bad body language when you see it.

Finally, I think you have to point out how Rodriguez has made peace with Derek Jeter. The one black mark on Jeter’s captain legacy is how he handled A-Rod’s transition to New York and the Yankees. NYBD contributor Frank Russo mentioned in his Monday column that A-Rod, “stressed by the spotlight of both the Selena Roberts steroid story and his hip surgery, had a heartfelt talk with Jeter sometime during the season, where he “again apologized for the comments he made about him in the April 2001 issue of Esquire Magazine.? I think it was petty of Jeter, and showed that even the great one can fall to one of the seven deadly sins, but at least A-Rod finally owned up and helped put the situation behind the duo. Peer pressure and respect is a big thing in sports. Sometimes confidence can be something as simple as the support of your teammates. Of course, you can’t discount good pitching, fielding, and hitting, however the difference between playoff teams is so minuscule that the “intangibles? often can put a team over the top.

A-Rod is not out of the woods as Anaheim comes to town on Friday. Something tells me that his performance against the Twins was no accident and we will see more of this as the Yanks attempt to win title number 27.

Hope you enjoyed this article about sports psychology.

L.A. Angels keeping memory of late teammate Nick Adenhart close during march through playoffs

The Star Ledger – October 15, 2009 – Brian Costa – One hundred eighty-nine days have passed since the night that changed the Angels season. And not one has gone by without a reminder of Nick Adenhart.

His locker at Angel Stadium remains intact. His mural remains on the outfield wall. Patches bearing his name and uniform number, 34, remain stitched to their jerseys. And his own jersey hangs in the dugout during every game.

When the Angels begin the ALCS against the Yankees Friday night, they will be motivated by the memory of Adenhart, the 22-year-old pitcher killed by an alleged drunk driver on April 9.

He’s definitely been with us the whole way, the entire season and so far in the playoffs, reliever Kevin Jepsen said. And he’s going to continue to be with us every step of the way.

Some players were close to Adenhart. Some hardly knew him. But all have paid tribute to him.

When the Angels clinched the AL West last month, they ran out to touch Adenhart’s photo on the outfield wall at Angel Stadium and placed an unopened bottle of champagne by his locker. And as they have advanced through the playoffs, Adenhart has been a source of inspiration and even confidence.

I can go out there feeling like there’s no pressure on me, said catcher Bobby Wilson, who was one of Adenhart’s best friends. I’ve got my best buddy in my heart right now. If I can’t do it, I know he’s going to help me out.

Only a handful of teams in the history of professional sports have experienced what the Angels went through this year: the death of a teammate during the season.

Some of the most notable examples are the 1979 Yankees, who endured the death of captain Thurman Munson; the 2002 Cardinals, who lost pitcher Darryl Kile; and the 2007 Washington Redskins, who mourned the shooting death of safety Sean Taylor.

All were inspired to play on in memory of a fallen teammate. And while that motivation may not outweigh pitching, hitting and defense, a leading sports psychologist said it can have a powerful impact on a team’s play.

It can actually enhance the team’s performance if the meaningfulness of it is able to be synergized into a battle cry or a unifying theme to play for that player or to do what that player would want, said John F. Murray, a sports psychologist based in Palm Beach, Fla. It almost adds a spiritual component to performance to have something like that.

That doesn’t make the loss of Adenhart any less devastating.

On April 8, he tossed six shutout innings against the Athletics at Angel Stadium to begin what appeared to be a promising season. It was only his fourth career major-league start, but already, Adenhart appeared to be a much-improved pitcher after giving up 12 runs in 12 innings in 2008. He earned a rotation spot in spring training, making him the youngest pitcher on a major-league roster, and the Angels had high hopes for him in 2009.

I said last year he had all the talent in the world and couldn’t figure it out, said Rangers reliever Darren O’Day, a close friend of Adenhart and former Angels prospect. Then he figures it out, and then six hours later, he’s gone.

Adenhart was killed along with two friends when their car was broadsided at an intersection near Angel Stadium. And the Angels have been playing with him in mind ever since.

Pitcher Scot Shields started the routine of bringing Adenhart’s jersey down to the dugout before each game and hanging it over the Angels’ bench. When Shields went down with a season-ending knee injury in May, Jepsen took over the responsibility.

He’s not necessarily on your mind while you’re playing, Jepsen said. But you never forget about him. There’s always times when in between the games and everything, at least for me, he’ll pop up in my mind.

As Jepsen spoke Thursday, sitting in front of his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, Adenhart’s jersey hung in an otherwise empty locker a few feet away.

It will be there for the rest of the ALCS. If the Angels reach the World Series, they will continue to take it on the road with them. And if they win the World Series, they will give Adenhart’s family a full share of the bonus players receive, along with a championship ring.

It just shows you what kind of guy Nick is, Wilson said. A lot of guys, they love him and they only knew him a short amount of time. It just shows Nick’s character and his upbringing. This group of guys, we’re moving toward one common goal, and we have the inspiration of Nick within all of us.

I hope you enjoyed this article with content related to sports psychology.

A-Rod on Kate & narrow

New York Post – Angela Montfinise and Douglas Montero – It’s another Miracle on the Hudson.

Alex Rodriguez’s newfound playoff prowess after years of choking in the post-season is a product of his steamy — and surprisingly honest — romance with sexy screen siren Kate Hudson, a team source and a top sports shrink said yesterday.

A team insider said A-Rod has ditched his philandering ways and is making a big effort to inject honesty and openness into his relationship with the actress.

“He’s decided to be completely honest with her because what he was doing in the past didn’t work,” the source said, referring to his ugly 2008 divorce.

The healthy off-field relationship with Hudson is translating into October success on the baseball diamond, experts said.

“If he’s becoming a little more honest . . . he would have less anxiety,” said Palm Beach sports psychologist Dr. John Murray. “He would sleep better at night and be more relaxed. More focused. That is key.”

The steamy slugger has a long history of failing in the clutch — and in his personal relationships.

While racking up a paltry .212 lifetime batting average in the playoffs, he carried on “extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct,” according to papers filed by his ex-wife, Cynthia.

Cameras caught him with stripper Joslyn Morse in Toronto in 2007, and he was later linked to Madonna while still married.

In postseason play from 2005 to 2007, A-Rod had a grand total of one RBI. The Yankees were bounced in the first round in each of those years.

But this year, A-Rod has “looked really relaxed, really great,” Murray said.

He has hit .500 over two games and smacked five RBIs, and his game-tying, ninth-inning homer Friday night set up a Yankee win. A victory today in Minnesota would complete the sweep and put the Bombers in the American League Championship series.

Hudson — who has accompanied Rodriguez on road trips and often cheers him from his personal seats in The Bronx — was at both playoff games last week.

“If you get somebody like a gorgeous woman, someone who you admire, somebody who’s behind you, [athletes] know it,” Murray said.

Even when she isn’t cheering for A-Rod in person, Hudson has been rooting for him at bars. In June, she watched the Yankees take on the Indians at Bar 108 in SoHo.

“She was clapping, rooting for him and even hollering. She was very animated. She was pushing him hard, and I think she’s a good influence,” a bartender there said yesterday.

He added, “If I got a woman that pretty rooting for me, I’d do good, too.”

People are realizing more and more the benefits of a solid mental game and sports psychology.

Music Video of the Week

Enjoy this Growing List of Dr. John’s Favorite Music Videos Chosen Each Monday Based on Personal Preference and Reader Suggestions. “The music must inspire in a big way” said Murray.

•”MACK THE KNIFE” BY ELLA FITZGERALD
•”WATCHING THE WHEELS” BY JOHN LENNON
•”COME FLY WITH ME” BY MICHAEL BUBLE
•”RESPECT” BY ARETHA FRANKLIN
•”MY GIRL” BY THE TEMPTATIONS

•”LET’S DANCE” BY DAVID BOWIE

•”JOSIE” BY STEELY DAN
•”COMFORTABLY NUMB” BY PINK FLOYD
•”ONE OF THESE NIGHTS” BY THE EAGLES

•”AIR” BY BACH PLAYED ON VIOLIN BY SARAH CHANG
•”ANGIE” BY THE ROLLING STONES
•”AVE MARIA” BY ANDRE RIEU
•”PRELUDE FROM BACH’S CELLO SUITE NO. 1″ PLAYED BY ROSTROPOVICH
•”SULTANS OF SWING” BY DIRE STRAITS


•”PAPER DOLL” BY THE MILLS BROTHERS
• “ROUTE 66” BY BOBBY TROUP
• “MY FUNNY VALENTINE” BY TONY BENNETT
• “CHOPIN’S NOCTURNE OP. 9 NO. 2” BY ARTHUR RUBENSTEIN
• “TAKE THE A TRAIN” BY DUKE ELLINGTON
• “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY” BY QUEEN
• “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” BY LED ZEPPELIN
• “IMAGINE” BY JOHN LENNON
• “WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN” BY LOUIS ARMSTRONG
• “YOU’RE A MEAN ONE MR. GRINCH” BY THURL RAVENSCROFT
• “JINGLE BELL ROCK” BY BOBBY HELMS
• “BALLERINA GIRL” BY LIONEL RICHIE

• “WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN” BY THE CARPENTERS
• “ALONE AGAIN” BY GILBERT O’SULLIVAN
• “WHAT KIND OF FOOL” BY BARBARA STREISAND AND BARRY GIBB
• “THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL” BY WHITNEY HOUSTON
• “WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD” BY LOUIS ARMSTRONG
• “LET’S STAY TOGETHER” BY AL GREEN
• “LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS” BY THE HOLLIES
• “HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE” BY THE BEATLES
• “THRILLER” BY THE LATE MICHAEL JACKSON
• “THE EVOLUTION OF DANCE” BY JUDSON LAIPPLY
• “THE LOOK OF LOVE” BY DIANA KRALL

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK BY DR JOHN F MURRAY

Are manners going to the wayside?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – September 14, 2009 – Bo Emerson – Bad manners, like swine flu, must be very contagious.

First, a South Carolina congressman shouts an insult at the president. Next, tennis star Serena Williams uses profanity while threatening harm to a line judge at the U.S. Open Saturday night.

Then hip hop star Kanye West grabs the microphone from teenager Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards Sunday to suggest she didn’t deserve to win.

Are we turning into a nation of oafs?

“We’re continuing to get more and more vulgar,â€? said John Murray, a tennis coach and clinical psychologist who wrote the book “Smart Tennis.â€?

Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and member of the etiquette empire, said mildly of Serena Williams, “She didn’t choose the best words to affect the outcome of that situation.â€?

And of West’s outburst, Post added, “that’s just plain disrespectful.â€?

But Post stopped short of claiming that manners have reached a new low. “When you look at etiquette, I see people standing up for the right thing and calling these people out.â€?

Indeed, the crowd at the video awards show continued to boo West as his name came up during the evening. West apologized on his blog later, writing, “I’m sooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans.â€?

Williams issued a statement claiming that she was carried away by the heat of the moment, and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), apologized to the president, though he resisted Democratic demands that he apologize before the full House. Democrats in South Carolina noted that Wilson’s opponent in the upcoming election raked in about $100,000 in new donations immediately after the shout down.

Certainly public officials have behaved uglier on occasion. Even in South Carolina.

In 1856, Preston Brooks, Democratic Congressman from South Carolina, felt insulted by a speech from abolitionist Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, and two days later beat the Northerner nearly to death with his gold-headed walking cane. This made Brooks a hero in his home state.

Murray believes part of the fuss over Serena Williams’ verbal assault is the fact that she’s a female tennis player. He said the tantrums thrown by such tennis stars as John McEnroe, Ilie Nastase and Jimmy Connors in 1970s and ‘80s outstrip most of the behavior on the court today.

The famously combative McEnroe now has his own talk show.

“If you look at our history we’re a rebellious people,â€? said Murray, the Palm Beach, Fla.-based sports psychologist. “We’re tea-in-the-harbor and telling people to get lost. We have a little John McEnroe in all of us.â€?

New Travel Category

Sports Psychology Special to JohnFMurray.com – Today we added a new category for articles, videos and audios related to travel with sports psychologist Dr. John F Murray.

Here is a link to the YouTube travel videos.

Hope you enjoy this emerging section on travel with a sports psychologist.

Postcard from Sweden

Sports psychology travel fun from Dr. John F Murray, a Palm Beach, Florida clinical and sports psychologist during his trip to Sweden.

Click here for your Postcard from Stockholm, Sweden

Hope you enjoyed this video from a sports psychologist

NFL is Number One on SportsPro Ranking of World’s 200 Most Valuable Sports Properties

Sports psychology special for JohnFMurray.com – SportsPro Magazine ranked the world’s 200 most valuable sports properties in their July issue. This a fun and fascinating list and all people interested in sports should consider a subscription to this London based magazine (editors Adam Nethersole and David Cushnan) read by the top executives in many sports worldwide. Enjoy the story below.

SportsPro magazine has published the world’s first ranking of sports properties in its July issue. Unsurprisingly, the National Football League (NFL) is ranked as the world’s most valuable sports property, with a value of US$4.5 billion. It is followed at the top of the table by three other American properties – Major League Baseball (MLB) (US$3.9 billion), the NBA (US$3.35 billion) and Nascar (US$1.9 billion).

The newest property in the list is the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is valued at US$1.6 billion – a staggering achievement for a two-year-old property.

The highest ranked European team property is the Ferrari Formula One team (7th) at a value of US$1.55 billion, followed by Manchester United Football Club (8th) at US$1.495 billion. The most valuable American sports club is the Dallas Cowboys (10th), the NFL team, valued at US$1.278 billion.

Tiger Woods (11th) is the highest rated athlete property with a value of US$1.25 billion, followed by Jack Nicklaus (16th) at US$1 billion. Golfers dominate the athletes’ table because of the high earnings from designing golf courses; Tiger Woods is expected to earn over a billion dollars from designing courses in the next decade and will almost certainly eclipse his on-course earnings. David and Victoria’s Beckham Brand Ltd property (88th) is valued at US$375 million.

Many single annual events appear, led by the Wimbledon tennis championships (22nd) valued at US$900 million.

Unsurprisingly, the most valuable competition is the Fifa World Cup (5th) valued at US$1.7 billion, ahead of the Summer Olympic Games (15th) at US$1.04 billion. The Uefa Champions League (13th) is valued at US$1.1 billion, eclipsing the Summer Olympics due to its annual status.

OVERALL TABLE (200) (Top Ten tables below)

1 National Football League; 32 NFL franchises Football – US$4.5 billion
2 Major League Baseball; 32 MLB franchises Baseball – US$3.936 billion
3 National Basketball Association; 30 NBA franchises Basketball – US$2.344 billion
4 Nascar France family; Motorsport – US$1.9 billion
5 Fifa World Cup; Fifa Soccer – US$1.7 billion
6 Indian Premier League BCCI (India) Cricket US$1.6 billion
7 Scuderia Ferrari; Fiat Motorsport – US$1.55 billion
8 Manchester United FC; Malcolm Glazer Soccer – US$1.495 billion
9 Formula One; CVC/Royal Bank of Scotland Motorsport – US$1.45 billion
10 Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Football US$1.278 billion
11 ETW Corp/Tiger Woods Design Tiger Woods Golf US$1.25 billion
12 New York Yankees George Steinbrenner Baseball US$1.19 billion
13 Uefa Champions League Uefa Soccer US$1.1 billion
14 Real Madrid Club Members Soccer US$1.073 billion
15 Olympic Games (Summer) International Olympic Committee Multi-Sports US$1.024 billion
16 Nicklaus Design and Golf Equipmt Jack Nicklaus Golf US$1 billion
17 Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder Football US$999 million
18 PGA Tour PGA of America Golf US$970 million
19 New York Giants John Mara/Steven Tisch Football US$932 million
20 New York Jets Robert Wood Johnson IV Football US$927 million
21 Arsenal FC Stan Kroenke Soccer US$910 million
22 The Wimbledon Championships All England Lawn Tennis Club Tennis US$900 million
23 US Tennis Open United States Tennis Association Tennis US$880 million
24 New England Patriots Robert Kraft Football US$861 million
25 World Wrestling Entertainment McMahon Family Wrestling US$837 million
26 Miami Dolphins Wayne Huizenga/Stephen Ross Football US$828 million
27 Liverpool FC George Gillett/Tom Hicks Soccer US$801 million
28 Arnold Palmer Design Arnold Palmer Enterprises Golf US$800 million
29 Great White Shark Enterprises Greg Norman Golf US$800 million
30 Uefa European Championship Uefa Soccer US$800 million
31 FC Barcelona Club Members Soccer US$793 million
32 AC Milan Silvio Berlusconi Soccer US$774 million
33 National Hockey League 30 NHL franchises Ice Hockey US$760 million
34 Rugby World Cup Rugby World Cup Ltd/IRB Rugby Union US$750 million
35 The Masters Augusta National Golf Club Golf US$750 million
36 Michael Jordan Michael Jordan/Nike Basketball US$725 million
37 Houston Texans Robert McNair Football US$725 million
38 Philadelphia Eagles Jeffrey Lurie Football US$723 million
39 FC Bayern Munich Club members Soccer US$721 million
40 ICC World Cup International Cricket Council Cricket US$700 million
41 ATP World Tour Assoc. of Tennis Professionals Tennis US$700 million
42 Indianapolis Colts James Irsay Football US$699 million
43 Chicago Bears McCaskey Family Football US$692 million
44 Baltimore Ravens Stephen Bisciotti Football US$690 million
45 Denver Broncos Patrick Bowlen Football US$689 million
46 Tampa Bay Buccanneers Malcolm Glazer Football US$685 million
47 Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson Football US$676 million
48 Cleveland Browns Randy Lerner Football US$673 million
49 New York Mets Fred Wilpon Baseball US$665 million
50 Green Bay Packers Shareholders Football US$664 million
51 Kansas City Chiefs Hunt Family Football US$660 million
52 Pittsburgh Steelers Rooney Family Football US$659 million
53 Seattle Seahawks Paul Allen Football US$657 million
54 Boston Red Sox John Henry/Thomas Werner Baseball US$651 million
55 Chelsea FC Roman Abramovich Soccer US$634 million
56 Cincinnati Bengals Michael Brown Football US$612 million
57 New Orleans Saints Thomas Benson Football US$608 million
58 St Louis Rams Chip Rosenbloom/Stan Kroenke Football US$603 million
59 Detroit Lions William Clay Ford Football US$597 million
60 Arizona Cardinals William Bidwell Football US$594 million
61 Team McLaren-Mercedes; Mercedes/Mumtalakat/Ron Dennis/Mansour Ojjeh Motorsport – US$580 million
62 San Diego Chargers Alexander Spanos Football US$577 million
63 Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Jr. Football US$574 million
64 Tennessee Titans Kenneth Adams Jr. Football US$569 million
65 Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank Football US$567 million
66 San Francisco 49ers Denise DeBartolo York Football US$561 million
67 Oakland Raiders Allen Davis Football US$559 million
68 Minnesota Vikings Wilf Family Football US$545 million
69 Monaco Grand Prix; Automobile Club de Monaco Motorsport – US$520 million
70 Olympic Games (Winter) International Olympic Committee Multi-Sports US$504 million
71 America’s Cup Société Nautique de Genève Sailing US$500 million
72 Golden Boy Promotions Oscar de la Hoya Boxing US$500 million
73 Ryder Cup PGA of America/PGA European Tour Golf US$500 million
74 Jacksonville Jaguars Wayne Weaver Football US$497 million
75 Internazionale Massimo Moratti Soccer US$481 million
76 Juventus Agnelli Family Soccer US$476 million
77 Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt Baseball US$469 million
78 Chicago Cubs Tom Ricketts Baseball US$455 million
79 Commonwealth Games Commonwealth Games Federation Multi-Sports US$450 million
80 New York Knicks Cablevision Systems Basketball US$405 million
81 Australian Open Tennis Australia Tennis US$400 million
82 LeBron James LeBron James Basketball US$400 million
83 Six Nations Six Nations Rugby Ltd. Rugby Union US$400 million
84 Chicago Bulls Jerry Reinsdorf Basketball US$399 million
85 Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver Basketball US$381 million
86 WTA Tour Women’s Tennis Association Tennis US$380 million
87 Los Angeles Lakers Jerry Buss/Philip Anschutz Basketball US$379 million
88 Beckham Brand Ltd. David Beckham/Victoria Beckham Soccer US$375 million
89 Detroit Pistons Karen Davidson Basketball US$374 million
90 Boston Celtics Wycliffe Grousbeck Basketball US$353 million
91 Major League Soccer MLS Soccer US$350 million
92 Tour de France Amaury Sport Organisation Cycling US$350 million
93 Hendrick Motorsports; Rick Hendrick Motorsport – US$335 million
94 AS Roma Sensi Family Soccer US$331 million
95 FC Schalke 04 Club members Soccer US$331 million
96 MotoGP; Dorna Sports Motorsport – US$330 million
97 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Arturo Moreno Baseball US$330 million
98 Toronto Maple Leafs Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Ice Hockey US$325 million
99 Philadelphia Phillies William Giles Baseball US$322 million
100 St Louis Cardinals William DeWitt Jr. Baseball US$315 million
101 Roush Fenway Racing; Jack Roush/John Henry Motorsport – US$313 million
102 Asian Games Olympic Council of Asia Multi-Sports US$310 million
103 Indianapolis 500; Tony George Motorsport – US$310 million
104 Cleveland Cavaliers Daniel Gilbert Basketball US$310 million
105 San Francisco Giants William Neukom/Susan Burns Baseball US$305 million
106 Houston Rockets Leslie Alexander Basketball US$304 million
107 Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban Basketball US$304 million
108 Copa America Conmebol Soccer US$300 million
109 French Open French Tennis Federation Tennis US$300 million
110 PGA European Tour PGA European Tour Golf US$300 million
111 Ultimate Fighting Championship Zuffa LLC Martial Arts US$300 million
112 Chicago White Sox Jerry Reinsdorf Baseball US$292 million
113 New York Rangers Cablevision Systems Ice Hockey US$291 million
114 Atlanta Braves Liberty Media Baseball US$289 million
115 Houston Astros Robert Drayton McLane Jr. Baseball US$288 million
116 Seattle Mariners Nintendo Baseball US$277 million
117 San Antonio Spurs Peter Holt Basketball US$269 million
118 Washington Nationals Theodore Lerner Baseball US$264 million
119 Texas Rangers Tom Hicks Baseball US$262 million
120 Singapore Grand Prix; Ong Beng Seng/Singapore Government Motorsport – US$261 million
121 Baltimore Orioles Peter Angelos Baseball US$260 million
122 Cleveland Indians Lawrence Dolan Baseball US$260 million
123 San Diego Padres John Moores Baseball US$260 million
124 Toronto Raptors Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Basketball US$260 million
125 Panathinaikos Giannis Vardinagiannis Soccer US$254 million
126 Arizona Diamondbacks Ken Kendrick Baseball US$253 million
127 The Open Championship Royal & Ancient Golf US$252 million
128 Tottenham Hotspur FC Daniel Levy Soccer US$250 million
129 Colorado Rockies Charles Monfort/Richard Monfort Baseball US$241 million
130 BMW-Sauber F1 Team; BMW Group Motorsport – US$240 million
131 Detroit Tigers Michael Illitch Baseball US$240 million
132 Philadelphia 76ers Comcast Spectacor Basketball US$234 million
133 Utah Jazz Miller Family Basketball US$233 million
134 Minnesota Twins James Pohland Baseball US$232 million
135 Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Communications Baseball US$229 million
136 Washington Wizards Abe Pollin Basketball US$229 million
137 Sacramento Kings Maloof Family Basketball US$227 million
138 Orlando Magic Richard DeVos Basketball US$226 million
139 Milwaukee Brewers Mark Attanasio Baseball US$225 million
140 Cincinnati Reds Robert Castellini Baseball US$222 million
141 Renault F1 Team; Renault Motorsport – US$220 million
142 Sachin Tendulkar Sachin Tendulkar Cricket US$220 million
143 Golden State Warriors Christopher Cohan Basketball US$217 million
144 Montreal Canadiens George Gillett Ice Hockey US$217 million
145 Denver Nuggets Stan Kroenke Basketball US$213 million
146 Tampa Bay Rays Stuart Sternberg Baseball US$208 million
147 Oakland Athletics Lewis Wolff/John Fisher Baseball US$207 million
148 Kansas City Royals David Glass Baseball US$204 million
149 Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi United Investment Group Soccer US$202 million
150 Australian Football League AFL AFL US$200 million
151 English FA Cup English Football Association Soccer US$200 million
152 FC Porto FCPorto SAD Soccer US$200 million
153 Atlanta Hawks Atlanta Spirit Basketball US$199 million
154 Portland Trail Blazers Paul Allen Basketball US$199 million
155 Miami Heat Micky Arison Basketball US$196 million
156 Detroit Red Wings Michael Illitch Ice Hockey US$196 million
157 Indiana Pacers Herbert Simon/Melvin Simon Basketball US$196 million
158 Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling Basketball US$195 million
159 Aston Villa FC Randy Lerner Soccer US$195 million
160 Minnesota Timberwolves Glen Taylor Basketball US$195 million
161 Oklahoma City Thunder Clay Bennett Basketball US$195 million
162 Memphis Grizzlies Michael Heisley Basketball US$191 million
163 New Jersey Nets Bruce Ratner Basketball US$191 million
164 Werder Bremen Werder Bremen and Co. Ltd. Soccer US$190 million
165 Fenerbahce Fenerbahce S.K. Soccer US$190 million
166 Toyota Racing; Toyota Motor Corp. Motorsport – US$190 million
167 Volvo Ocean Race; Volvo Event Management UK Sailing – US$190 million
168 Pittsburgh Pirates Robert Nutting Baseball US$188 million
169 Charlotte Bobcats Robert Johnson Basketball US$184 million
170 New Orleans Hornets George Shinn/Gary Chouest Basketball US$184 million
171 Milwaukee Bucks Herbert Kohl Basketball US$180 million
172 Florida Marlins Jeffrey Loria Baseball US$179 million
173 Philadelphia Flyers Comcast Spectacor Ice Hockey US$178 million
174 Dallas Stars Tom Hicks Ice Hockey US$177 million
175 Celtic FC Dermot Desmond Soccer US$172 million
176 VfB Stuttgart Club members Soccer US$171 million
177 Boston Bruins Jeremy Jacobs Ice Hockey US$170 million
178 Hamburger FC Club members Soccer US$165 million
179 Galatasaray Galatasaray SK Soccer US$160 million
180 Vancouver Canucks Francesco Aquilini Ice Hockey US$153 million
181 Borussia Dortmund Borussia Dortmund GmbH Motorsport US$150 million
182 Colorado Avalanche Stan Kroenke Ice Hockey US$150 million
183 Olympique Lyonnais Jean-Michel Aulas Soccer US$150 million
184 New Jersey Devils Jeffrey Vanderbeek Ice Hockey US$144 million
185 Olympique de Marseille Robert Louis-Dreyfus Soccer US$141 million
186 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Teresa Earnhardt Motorsport – US$140 million
187 Minnesota Wild Craig Leipold/Philip Falcone Ice Hockey US$140 million
188 Los Angeles Kings Philip Anschutz Ice Hockey US$136 million
189 Everton FC Bill Kenwright Soccer US$133 million
190 Ottawa Senators Eugene Melnyk Ice Hockey US$133 million
191 Chicago Blackhawks Wirtz Family Ice Hockey US$132 million
192 Anaheim Ducks Henry Samueli/Susan Samueli Ice Hockey US$131 million
193 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames LP Ice Hockey US$131 million
194 Tampa Bay Lightning Oren Koules/Len Barrie Ice Hockey US$130 million
195 Glasgow Rangers FC Sir David Murray Soccer US$126million
196 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux/Ronald Burkle Ice Hockey US$126 million
197 Newcastle United FC Mike Ashley Soccer US$120 million
198 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Basketball US$120 million
199 San Jose Sharks Kevin Compton/Greg Jamison Ice Hockey US$116 million
200 Penske Racing; Roger Penske Motorsport – US$115 million

TOP TEN LEAGUE PROPERTIES
Rank Property Owner/Majority Shareholder Sport Value
1 (1) National Football League 32 NFL franchises Football US$4.5 billion
2 (2) Major League Baseball 30 MLB franchises Baseball US$3.936 billion
3 (3) National Basketball Assoc. 30 NBA franchises Basketball US$2.344 billion
4 (4) Nascar France family Motorsport US$1.9 billion
5 (6) Indian Premier League BCCI (India) Cricket US$1.6 billion
6 (9) Formula One CVC/RBS/Ecclestone Motorsport US$1.45 billion
7 (13) Uefa Champions League Uefa Soccer US$1.1 billion
8 (18) PGA Tour PGA of America Golf US$970 million
9 (33) National Hockey League 30 NHL franchises Ice Hockey US$760 million
10 (41) ATP World Tour Association of Tennis Prof Tennis US$700 million

TOP TEN TEAM PROPERTIES
Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (7) Scuderia Ferrari Fiat Motorsport US$1.55 billion
2 (8) Manchester United FC Malcolm Glazer Soccer US$1.495 billion
3 (10) Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Football US$1.278 billion
4 (12) New York Yankees George Steinbrenner Baseball US$1.19 billion
5 (14) Real Madrid Club Members Soccer US$1.073 billion
6 (17) Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder Football US$999 million
7 (19) New York Giants John Mara/Steven Tisch Football US$932 million
8 (20) New York Jets Robert Wood Johnson IV Football US$927 million
9 (21) Arsenal FC Stan Kroenke Soccer US$910 million
10 (24) New England Patriots Robert Kraft Football US$861 million

TOP TEN INDIVIDUAL ATHLETE PROPERTIES
Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (11) ETW Corp/Tiger Woods Design Tiger Woods Golf US$1.25 billion
2 (16) Nicklaus Design Jack Nicklaus Golf US$1 billion
3 (28) Arnold Palmer Design Arnold Palmer Golf US$800 million
4 (29) Great White Shark Enterprises Greg Norman Golf US$800 million
5 (36) Michael Jordan Michael Jordan/Nike Basketball US$725 million
6 (72) Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya Boxing US$500 million
7 (82) LeBron James LeBron James Basketball US$400 million
8 (88) Beckham Brand Ltd David and Victoria Beckham Soccer US$375 million
9 (142) Sachin Tendulkar Sachin Tendulkar Cricket US$220 million
10 (198) Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Basketball US$120 million

TOP TEN ANNUAL TOURNAMENT PROPERTIES
Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (22) The Wimbledon Championships All England Lawn Tennis Club Tennis US$900 million
2 (23) US Tennis Open United States Tennis Association Tennis US$880 million
3 (35) The Masters Augusta National Golf Club Golf US$750 million
4 (69) Monaco Grand Prix Automobile Club de Monaco Motorsport US$520 million
5 (81) Australian Open Tennis Australia Tennis US$400 million
6 (83) Six Nations Six Nations Rugby Ltd. Rugby Union US$400 million
7 (92) Tour de France Amaury Sport Organisation Cycling US$350 million
8 (109) French Open French Tennis Federation Tennis US$300 million
9 (120) Singapore Grand Prix Ong Beng Seng/Singapore Government Motorsport US$261 million
10 (127) The Open Championship Royal & Ancient Golf US$252 million

Hope you enjoyed this report from a sports psychologist!

SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY AT THE DELRAY BEACH INTERNATIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2002

Sports Psychology Column – Apr 2, 2002 – By Dr. John F. Murray – South Florida was recently invaded by some of the top tennis players in the world in three consecutive tournaments. I had the privilege to work with players and cover the International Tennis Championships of Delray Beach for the Tennis Server. I also made it to the new $50,000 Challenger of North Miami Beach (won by Vince Spadea) and the NASDAQ 100 on Key Biscayne (won by Serena Williams and Andre Agassi) in which I interviewed four top players for a story in USTA Magazine. In this edition of Mental Equipment, I focus on the highlights of the Delray Beach event.

While I tend to view tennis from a somewhat nontraditional mental lens, more players are explaining that the mental game cannot be ignored. I interviewed many top 100 players again this year. I began by asking each player how important (in percentages) they felt their mental game is to success on the ATP or WTA Tour. The lowest response was 70% while the highest was 99%! While many players are working with a sport psychologist or practicing mental skills regularly, a surprising number still take a more casual and irregular approach to mental training even though they acknowledge the extreme importance.

Called the Citrix Tennis Championships the past couple years, and now seeking a new title sponsor, this tournament never ceases to thrill. Stephan Koubek captivated the crowd two years ago with his passionate three-set victory over Alex Calatrava, while Jan Michael Gambill fought off Xavier Malisse in the finals last year after surviving multiple match points. Would one of these two fighters prevail” or would there be a new champion in this beautiful town on the ocean?

Mark Baron and Fred Stolle co-directed another fine week of tennis for this growing International Series event. Another round of applause is due tireless media director Lisa Franson. Thanks go out to Cliff Kurtzman and the Tennis Server for media credentials, and I again appreciate all the players who spent time talking tennis. I also enjoyed discussing injuries with ATP trainer Bill Norris, and enjoyed meeting Director of Sales Ivan Baron, and Iggy Jovanovic from the ATP.

Marius Barnard is a solid doubles player who has been on the tour since 1988. We talked for 30 minutes about his career and the trials and tribulations of travel and competition. He is an impressive person who is beginning to ponder what life will be like after tennis. I enjoyed his views on the mental game and motivation, and how he sometimes performs better when he stops trying so hard. He expressed a possible interest in becoming a sport psychologist” and we need more of them. If you’re reading Marius, call me anytime. I will trade you sport psychology tips for an improved backhand topspin!

I really enjoyed talking with Michael Llorda, Stefan Koubek, Kristian Pless, Paul Goldstein, Scott Humphries, Andrei Stoliarov, Michael Russell, Mardy Fish, Jeff Morrison, Nicolas Massu, Leander Paes, Davide Sanguinetti, Jarkko Nieminen and Tom Vanhoudt. I enjoyed picking many of their brains for their keys to mental strength.

I focused this year on the topics of match preparation and closing out the opponent (the killer instinct).

Top seeds this year were (1) Roddick (2) Gambill (3) Koubek (4) Massu (5) Sanguinetti (6) Burgsmuller (7) Nieminen and (7) Hipfl.

Qualifying Rounds

The qualifying rounds are often more fun and competitive than main draw matches. The top four qualifiers, earning entry into the main draw, were American Chris Woodruff, Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Alexandre Simoni of Brazil and Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands.

A rising star among the youngest crop of players is Eric Nunez who lost in the first round of the qualifying tournament to Simoni. Nunez won the first set 6-1 and almost won the second, losing 7-6. In the third set he was ahead 4-3, seeming to dominate in many ways, before he had to retire due to muscle cramps. Watch out for this pesky American from Florida. He is coached by his father, Colon, who coached Andre Gomez to a French Open championship over Andre Agassi in 1990. In my humble opinon, this kid Eric has the raw tools to be great.

Feliciano Lopez is another rising Spaniard. After qualifying with wins over Scott Draper, George Bastl, and Filippo Volandri, Lopez went to the main draw and dispatched of Chris Woodruff and Michael Russell before falling at last to Anthony Dupuis 7-6, 7-6. What a great showing! Watch out for him too.

Main Draw

Local favorite Andy Roddicks star continues to rise. Seeded number one due to a tremendous 2001, Andy did not disappoint, rolling over Davydenko, Lee, Llorda, and Dupuis to reach the finals. His emotional maturity is improving and his serve and big forehand are getting better too. As he approached the finals he appeared extremely tired. He admitted that he was fighting a nasty cold (or something) and later would cancel his upcoming tournament appearance – stirring up a minor ATP controversy for not flying to the event to be examined by the tour physician. When I spoke with him briefly after his win over Dupuis, I can attest that he looked ready for a 13-week vacation totally exhausted hacking cough so I kept my distance. What more to say? Tennis and the travel can be brutal on the body?

Number two seed and defending champion Jan Michael Gambill looked very ready to win again. He thrilled the crowd in his first match against serve and volleying Wayne Arthurs. Amazingly, he fought off match point to prevail (as he did last year against Arthurs after being down 3 match points!) 6-7, 6-3, 7-6. It was guts and glory as usual. When I mentioned to his father and coach that many think Jan Michael likes to play from behind, Mr. Gambill replied” “anyone who thinks that does not know his game.” After his second annual Houdini Act, Gambill went on to win over rising American Mardy Fish and Andre Sa from Brazil.

What happened to Stefan Koubek? Two years ago he won the event and my story on him prompted my Smart Tennis Sport Psychology Tour 2000! He’s had a great year so far (see Australian Open), but he ran into the hard hitting American buzz-saw named Michael Russell. Koubek played well but Russell was incredible – pounding low forehands and backhands and matching Koubek shot to shot with powerful blasts from the baseline. In my opinon, Koubek has matured mentally since his breakdown in the finals two years ago, but no luck this time around.

The fifth seed was a friendly and soft-spoken veteran named Davide Sanguinetti from Italy. He made it to the finals of this event about 6 years ago. He began by winning a tough first round match over Christophe Rochus 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 then easily beat Kristian Pless 6-3, 6-2 before defeating Paradorn Srichaphan from Thailand in three sets. This led to the semi-final match against Gambill.

Semi-Final 1

Andy Roddick over Anthony Dupuis 7-6 (4) 6-4

Dupuis, ranked 82 in the world, was only able to break Roddick’s big serve once in the match, in the sixth game of the first set. The second set stayed on serve until the final game when Dupuis double faulted. Overall it was an impressive performance by both the Frenchman and the Boca Raton prodigy. Roddick has so much raw power. With improved strategy and refinement, this guy is unstoppable.

Semi-Final 2

Davide Sanguinetti over Jan Michael Gambill 7-6 (8) 6-3

This was a close match and a funny one too. Sanguinetti’s Lotto shoes fell apart (the rubber broke off the bottom) at 5-4, 15-0 in the first set and he was forced to borrow the the shoes worn by Iggy Jovanovic from the ATP Tour. I’ve never seen anythink like this in a professional tournament. Showing the calm and relaxed style of his boyhood hero Milslov Mechir, along with some pretty nasty low groundstrokes delievered with an old- fashioned eastern grip, Gambill had to work extra hard to avoid mistakes with that two-handed on both sides style. Davide took full advantage. As Gambill later said “I thought his game would break down with the pressure but it didn’t.” Flat and low shots are hard to combat when that is not the norm on the tour. Jimmy Connors retired a long time ago. In a showcase of talent, the relaxed Italian master with the slow and low shots overcame the pressure-loving American blaster.

Final

Davide Sanguinetti over Andy Roddick 6-4 4-6 6-4

You gotta love this match for the welfare of the game. Never count out a clever marksman and assume the young gun will win easily. Give Andy credit for the fight despite his illness. This was a fun match to watch. Roddick later would say “it’s hard to rip the ball against him because he keeps it so low.” He went on “I tried to get in a groove and bully him around, but this took a lot of energy and I could not keep bluffing it.” Sanguinetti wore out the young Roddick with his soft shots, control, and persistant passing shots and angles saying “I knew he was frustrated and I took the pace off the ball to see what would happen.” He attributed his great success not to talent, but to a grueling 6-week workout routine that improved his confidence. By winning, Sanguinetti was the first player on the tour with two championships in 2002.

Summary

If you want a suntan and some great tennis in March, come down and to the International Tennis Championships. Delray Beach is a great little resort town by the sea with cozy restaurants and a European downtown feel. The tennis is up-close and excellent. Keep pushing your mental skills to a higher level and I’ll see you again soon!

This article was on sports psychology.