Upper Body Weight Exercises

Athletes, typically, are not consciously aware of why they push themselves, clinical psychologist Robert Grant says.

Also, the fundamental and most powerful of athletesmotivators come from their families. These influences constellate around feelings of worth in their parentseyes. This also holds true with feelings of loveableness and desirability in respect to peers and lovers. Many athletes, unknown to themselves, are carrying within them the hidden messages of their childhoods. For example, depending on the structure of the family’s system of relationships, the athlete might be trying to prove that he is a good child, adolescent or adult and therefore is worthy of respect, care, love and affection. He tries to prove his self-worth in the competitive arena. The athlete is terrified that he will be judged inadequate, worthless, or unimportant a failure. This is the message certain significant individuals in his earlier years had conveyed to him both explicitly and implicitly.

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Absent Parents

There are elite athletes from two-parent, seemingly well-adjusted families, such as Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, but, as mentioned earlier, research of the backgrounds of 100 of the top athletes of all time revealed that 62 had a missing, abusive, or dead parent while another 30 had an authoritarian or unusually pushy parent.

In the 1995-96 season, research of the top 30 NBA players showed that 23 grew up without their natural father. Most of those were from the inner cities of America with complex and often debilitating socioeconomic problems. Karl Malone’s father left the family in poverty when he was young, Glenn (Big Dog) Robinson was an illegitimate child, both of Penny Hardaway’s parents gave him up as a tot, and Gary Payton’s parents divorced while others like Shawn Kemp, Dennis Rodman, Damon Stoudamire, and Charles Barkley barely knew their fathers. Shaquille O’Neal was so moved that his natural father left early, then tried to come back into his life when he became a celebrity, he wrote and recorded a rap tune entitled Biological Didn’t Bother.

The high rate of father absence in the NBA seems to reflect an aspect of family life among poor people, many of them black, in the United States, relating partly to complex cultural, social, and economic conditions. A black child born into poverty has only a 1 in 5 chance of growing up with two parents until the age of 16, according to University of Wisconsin demographer Larry Bumpass. A father’s absence tends to have more effect on the son when it is compounded with poverty (many NBA stars grew up poor) according to John Lewis McAdoo in his blog Fatherhood Today (1988). Many studies found a link between absence and delinquency and over-compensation problems and personality problems, he wrote. And yet the missing parentssyndrome seems to cross all socioeconomic, gender, and culture lines.

Sometimes the effect of an absent parent is quite subtle to detect, and other times ifs out in me open. The mother of Desmond Howard left the family when he was 13. When Howard became a football player, he was said to play better in front of relatives, wanting to please them. Howard went on to win the Heisman Trophy and the 1997 Super Bowl MVP with the champion Green Bay Packers with his family in the stands. Missing Fathers

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