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Intimidating coaches

“The university decided to follow the adage ‘ready, shoot, aim’ in terminating coach Beckman before its own investigation was close to complete,” Bruce Braun, a Chicago litigator retained by the former Illinois coach, told SI. College sports has a long tradition of coaches orchestrating valorous suffering.“Its alleged preliminary findings are entirely baseless and devoid of merit.” • MORE: Will P. Football teams such as Bear Bryant’s 1954 Texas A&M Junction Boys and Charlie Bradshaw’s ‘62 Thin Thirty at Kentucky endured methods that would meet most modern tests of torture.“People’s peripheral vision expands,” she says, “when they’re experiencing positive emotions.” In other words, by yelling at his point guard for missing that wide-open teammate in the corner, a coach has probably ensured that it will happen again.

Barbara Fredrickson, the author of Positivity and a social psychologist who runs the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology (PEP) Lab at North Carolina.

“Negative emotions grab people’s attention more,” says Fredrickson, who attributes this to evolutionary reasons, because survival in the prehistoric environment often depended on sudden alerts.

Two of her findings speak directly to the player-coach relationship.

“Positive emotions are especially contagious,” she says, “and a leader’s positive emotions are more contagious than anyone else’s.” Her other insight comes as a result of eye-tracking analysis, brain imaging and behavioral studies, which together show that improved mood actually broadens the perceptual field.

But the brains of young adults are particularly malleable.

If young people tend to make unwise choices, it’s partly because the prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed until after age 25.

Cvijanovic resisted, which he says prompted Beckman to ridicule him by forcing him to watch practice while dressed in an opposing team’s uniform.

Further, he claimed that Beckman concealed from him the extent of his injuries. “I don’t need to be called a pussy to make me make bad decisions for my body.” Was this a cri de coeur or sour grapes from someone who had quit the team late in the 2014 season?

“So there’s a perception that the best way to get what you want out of employees or players is by negativity or threats, or being stressful or intense.

But in terms of bonding, loyalty, commitment to a team or a group and personal development over time, negativity doesn’t work as well as positivity.” Fredrickson’s research shows that positive emotions expand awareness, allowing for reception of a broader array of information.

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