Lewis Howes: Athlete Mask – Part II

As I’ve talked about in my previous blog posts and podcasts, we normally shred players who are often out of play due to injury.

One huge storyline came from Derek Rose.  Back in 2011, this man was an absolute menace.  To be honest, he was one of the greatest PG’s I’ve ever seen play the game because is unbelievable explosiveness.  Right before I went to Australia on my working holiday visa, I was in awe by his play.  Later that year, I remember laying on my bed one Saturday morning and seeing him go down in a playoff game.  From that point forward, Derek Rose was never the same because of ACL and MCL injuries.  Since then, and to this day, Americans berate him with insensitive comments – calling him a girl and a b**** because his knees are done.  Most recently, he just went down again and he’s out for an extended period of time.  The speculation is that he’ll never play again, and if he doesn’t, we will always say “what if.”  In America media, they will call him a fragile boy, but in reality, he was a freak of nature who’s knees gave up on him.

Psychologist Martin Phillips-Hing said in Lewis Howes book….

“I would suggest that most men watch soap operas too, except they call it sports. Think about when you most often publicly see men expressing strong emotions such as joy . . . fear . . . disappointment . . . sadness . . . anger. Sports, like novels and soap operas, allow men to identify and live vicariously through their team.

Lewis Howes went on to say that men bonding with other men on common grounds serves as a bedrock in relationships.  For instance, if it wasn’t for sports, my brother and I would’ve never had anything in common – therefore, our relationship would’ve fallen apart a long time ago.  Sports create a space where men are ‘ok’ to express their emotions.  However, crying is not part of that equation.

Often when men retire from the NFL, their lives take a turn for the absolute worse.  Ben Gordon, for example, was a furious SG for the Chicago Bulls about a decade ago.  Now, after a stint of legal charges, he’s now back in the news for literally robbing a manager at his apartment.  This is a man that made over 80 million dollars over his career and now he’s robbing people.  Players, of all colors and backgrounds, don’t have much of a life after sports and they go back to what they were brought up as.

Another “masking” would be when men go to the gym and try lifting as much as their peers, although their peers are +50 lbs on them. Most men don’t have the strength or cardio to compete with others who lift so much more.  What happens? Puts them in harms way.  Overexertion in the muscles and most notably, a man by the name of Rich Piana died.  People would say because of steroids, but there were 15 other ailments, including heart disease, fatty liver and discolored kidneys.  He did all of that because…..what? It begs the question, doesn’t it?

Some guys go to the gym, craving that six-pack because it will make them more attractive.  They want that feel.  They need that feel.  The perceptions and suggestions of other people now rule over them.

“When the team is gone and the playing days are over, however, a weird thing happens to many guys stuck behind the Athlete Mask. The value of selflessness and sacrifice starts to disappear, and all that’s left is competitiveness and the need to win. ”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

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