“Seek opportunities to show you care. The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”
John Wooden

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How to Be a Good Leader? Carry the Luggage

May 20, 2017
Image result for carla overbeck olympics
Carla Overbeck (current Duke Soccer Coach) at the 1996 Olympics
Chances are you’ve never heard of Carla Overbeck. She was captain of the U.S. national women’s soccer team that won Olympic gold in 1996 and the World Cup in 1999, a team that over four years of international play posted an 84-6-6 record, making them one of the winningest squads in the history of sports.
Overbeck was arguably the key to their success -- “the heartbeat of that team and the engine,” and “the essence of the team,” as one teammate put it. Yet no one has ever heard of her. She wasn’t the best player on the team, or the most talented. She played defense, and rarely scored, though she played almost every minute of every game. To the outside world she was invisible, but to her teammates she was indispensable.
Overbeck also had one habit that seems kind of eccentric: When the players arrived at a hotel, she would carry everyone’s bags to their rooms for them.
That story about Overbeck schlepping the luggage appears in The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams, a remarkable new book that challenges some conventional ideas about leadership.
Its author, Sam Walker, is an editor at the Wall Street Journal and an avid sports fan. He set out more than a decade ago to study the greatest teams in sports history and figure out what traits they shared. He reckoned you could apply those same principles to business.
Over the course of 11 years, Walker studied 1200 teams in 37 sports. He traveled around the world conducting interviews. After all that he could find only one thing that extraordinary teams had in common, and it wasn’t what you’d expect.
It was not the coach. It was not a superstar player. The key to success was that each had an extraordinary captain -- like Carla Overbeck.
“The most crucial ingredient in a team that achieves and sustains historic greatness,” Walker argues, “is the character of the player who leads it.”
Click on the link below to read the rest of the article:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Health Authorities Continue to Fail Us

We’re told to listen to doctors and qualified professionals—but they’ve been preaching the same advice for 50 years now

February 16, 2017

Image result for eggs

For example, there is no evidence to suggest that the cholesterol in eggs relates to blood cholesterol levels, but we are still advised to only eat up to two a day.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Gary Taubes’ seminal The New York Times article, exposing the fraudulent research and advice from Ancel Keys, that saturated fats clog arteries and cause heart attacks. Titled “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie,” Taubes documented the history of the health advice we’ve been dished since the 1950s, the fact that the low fat dogma was decided by the government, the low fat diet’s increasingly negative impact on the health of the population, and the backdoor deals that provided certain industries with huge profits at the expense of everyone else.
We have since discovered that much of the research demonizing saturated fat—and fat in general—was in fact funded by sugar and cereal companies looking to keep the conversation away from their commodity’s place in everyday diets. Research conducted over the last 30 or so years reveals there is no evidence the consumption of saturated fats causes heart attacks or strokes; cholesterol’s role in developing heart disease is actually much more complex than we’ve been led to believe. In fact, despite constant protests from nutritionists and government authorities, the research actually shows that low carb diets are significantly more effective than low fat diets. And yet, the government’s dietary recommendations have changed very little.
Now, health authorities have attempted to cover up the fact that they are ignoring current research in favor of dated advice. In 2015, science and nutrition journalist Nina Teicholtz penned an editorial in the British Medical Journal criticizing the USDA’s dietary guidelines for failing to reflect the current scientific literature. After a year of scathing criticism from academics and authorities demanding the article be retracted, independent reviewers stood in favor of Teicholtz and her editorial. One of the most damning paragraphs is as follows:
In conclusion, the recommended diets are supported by a minuscule quantity of rigorous evidence that only marginally supports claims that these diets can promote better health than alternatives. Furthermore, the NEL (Nutrition Evidence Library) reviews of the recommended diets discount or omit important data. There have been at a minimum, three National Institutes of Health funded trials on some 50 ,000 people showing that a diet low in fat and saturated fat is ineffective for fighting heart disease, obesity, diabetes, or cancer. Two of these trials are omitted from the NEL review. The third trial is included, but its results are ignored. This oversight is particularly striking because this trial, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), was the largest nutrition trial in history. Nearly 49, 000 women followed a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and grains for an average of seven years, at the end of which investigators found no significant advantage of this diet for weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer of any kind. Critics dismiss this trial for various reasons, including the fact that fat consumption did not differ enough significantly between the intervention and control groups, but the percentage of calories from both fat and saturated fat were more than 25% lower in the intervention group than in the control group (26.7% v 36.2% for total fat and 8.8% v 12.1% for saturated fats). The WHI findings have been confirmed by other sizable studies and are therefore hard to dismiss. When the omitted findings from these three clinical trials are factored into the review, the overwhelming preponderance of rigorous evidence does not support any of the dietary committee’s health claims for its recommended diets.

Click on the link below to read the rest of the article:


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Unspoken Problem in Sports: Concussions

By John O'Sullivan
January 18, 2017

Image result for soccer heading

(This week’s blog was written by Alecko Eskandarian (@alecko11), former US National Team player and current Assistant Coach of the NY Cosmos of the NASL. This article originally appeared 11/18/16 on the Players Tribune and they have graciously granted us permission to reprint it. We have read many articles about concussions, and this one really hit home on how quickly life can change for an athlete with a concussion. Concussions are not a soccer problem; they are a problem across all sports. Thanks to Alecko for addressing such an important topic and for allowing us to reprint.)
My teammate and I were standing outside RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. It was April 2003, our first home game of the season against the Chicago Fire. It was my first official appearance as a professional soccer player. It was a dream come true.
“Let’s take a picture,” he said. “I feel like this is a day we definitely want to remember.” He handed someone his digital camera, we posed together and smiled.
I was a 20-year-old rookie — picked No. 1 by D.C. United in the MLS SuperDraft just a few months prior. I hadn’t played against Kansas City in our season opener, so I had made sure to bust my ass in practice that week. A few days before the game, Coach had even pulled me aside to let me know that he was going to try to get me some minutes. So I put the word out to family and friends. My parents drove down from New Jersey, my cousin flew in from L.A., some friends came up from the University of Virginia.
But I don’t remember seeing anyone at the match. I don’t remember my name being announced over the loudspeaker. I don’t remember the roar of the crowd and the bright lights.
I don’t even remember stepping onto the field.
Read the rest of the article by clicking on the link below: