Apr 19 2010

As the Long Island rapper Rakim pronounced in one of his hit songs "its been a long time, I shouldn't have left you without a strong rhyme to step to", I have been scurrying around looking for the rhyme or reason of chemistry as it applies to athletics.  If you listen to coaches and athletic personnel speak about team performance you will most likely hear them talk about chemistry.  I have always found that term extremely interesting when discussing sports because as a student it is a subject that I wanted no part of; however, coaches speak of it as if it is the Holy Grail.  I peeped Websters to discover that chemistry is a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and changes they undergo......interesting.  Wait, there is more......a strong mutual attraction; harmonious interaction among people, as on a team.  Dang, who said coaches only know x's and o's.....they are also scientists.

No team will win without talent but no talented team will win if they don't develop chemistry.  I asked my coaches and staff what chemistry, synergy, and cohesion (CSC) meant to them.  The responses were interesting and enlightening.  I am constantly working with my team of talented administrators and coaches to find cohesion and synergy so we can better serve the students and the NYIT community at large.  Coaches recruit talented student-athletes in their quest to find the winning formula (there goes that science stuff again) to win athletic contests. It is not an easy task especially when you are dealing with a diverse group of individuals with different personalities, backgrounds and experiences.

Hey Jessica Zinno (the real JZ), our very talented GA, what does CSC meat to you?  "Chemistry is the way you interact with other individuals and the feelings that we associate with others",  Feelings????  Never knew science was emotional.  "Synergy is the interaction of individuals where the combined effect is greater than its individual parts".  Working together to get the job done, I like that.  "Cohesion is uniting and sticking together".  One for all and all for one.

Coach Betty Bohringer, our women's soccer coach ditched the formula and summed up CSC as "a match made in Heaven".  She found the Holy Grail.

Old school administrator/volleyball coach Gail Wasmus (Gee W) put it simply, "positive energy together = success.  Not that's a formula.

New kid on the block, women's basketball coach Anthony Crocitto found synergy in CSC; "chemistry , when developed within your team, creates energy which creates synergy.  Synergy is the reaction of a group coming together and feeding off of each other like it is a wild contagious virus (somehow, that doesn't sound like fun), and therefore showing the utmost cohesion within the group.  This results in a steady flow of happiness, excitement, and commitment".  OK then.  Who said rookies don't know what they are talking about.

Associate AD Lenore Walsh hit me with the bullets:

  • Chemistry = energy
  • Synergy = compatibility
  • Cohesion = together

Very succinctly put Ms. Walsh.

The last call I made was to the Grand Puba of the department, Shelly Schneider.  My HS coach and resident recreational supervisor has seen chemistry, been involved with chemistry and knows a little something about developing chemistry.  "Cohesion and synergy are somewhat synonymous.  The two are key ingredients in building chemistry.  Good chemistry is what we strive for.  If the synergy and cohesion are working well together the results will be positive; however, if the opposite occurs we will attain chemistry but the results will be bad or negative.  Chemistry is the make up of something....interchangeable parts.  These ingredients help you attain whatever you seek.  Philosophically, the chemistry in sports is a successful functioning group that is considered a "well oiled machine".  Shelly even found a way to infuse technology in there.

There you have the broad perspective of CSC.  Not to be confused with CSI or NCIS, we did: however, rely on the forensic evidence to find results.  We will continue to search for cohesion and synergy so that chemistry can be developed within the framework of our team.  CSC will give us the edge we need to develop and  to be successful.  This Cool Mac.  I am going out to find what soul and heart has to do with sports.  I guess you also need a medical degree to be a coach.  Remember peace is always in never out.  Make today a good one so tomorrow is a better one.

Author: clyde_doughty