I was sitting in my office working at the computer one day last week while " office interrupt-us" was talking about this and that but mostly about everything and anything that came to his mind. Office interrupt-us is our beloved recreation supervisor Shelly Schneider. He is the great story teller and the bearer of infinite wisdom. He is known as office interrupt-us because as soon as he appears the conversation is always stimulating but the production drops faster than the Dow Jones. On this particular day he was talking about a sports issue (are there any other issues, lol) when he mentioned the Seven Deadly Sins. Woooo, switch screens and hit Google. You always hear folks talking about these sins but I, for one, didn't really know what they were. I was a bit surprised to discover that the sins are what coaches have been telling me throughout my playing career and what I hear every time I listen to a coach talk about their team and themselves.
Pride, Greed, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth! I don't know much but these are the traits that I read about on the back pages of Newsday or on the Yahoo news page everyday.
Pride; the MOST serious of the deadly sins! A desire to be more important or attractive than others; failing to acknowledge the good work of others and excessive love of self. OMG, that is all I heard from my coaches everyday, have pride in yourself, be proud, hold your head up high, blah, blah, blah!
Greed; very excessive desire and pursuit of wealth, status and power. Were #1 and it isn't fun if we aren't so go play in your own sandbox because we own this one.
Lust; excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. I'm in training and I have no desire for the sex........ except when i am hanging with the man of steel, Big Ben, tick tock, I'm not giving up my glass slipper while there is still time on the clock.... the roof is on fire!
Wrath; anger or rage. An inordinate and uncontrolled feeling of hatred and fury. We are all in the this together until the Sox's take on the Yanks or the Jets land in Foxboro, or better yet, the battle of Northern Boulevard then it is all about the wrath! The enemy.... please.
Gluttony; over indulgence and an over consumption of anything to the potential of waste. I have a home on each coast and one on every continent with eight six cars at each location, btw, do you where is the bankruptcy office located.
Envy; insatiable desire. A sense that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, and wish the other person to be deprived of it. Well, I don't know what the big deal is, so he has five championship rings, he still ain't #$%&! Pass me another Bud baby.
Sloth; the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. Pot...en...tial, POOOOOOTential! i could have been a star if I didn't have too much pride, or let greed get in my way, or didn't lustfully chase the ladies around, or if I could have kept my wrath in check and let calmer heads prevail, of not be of a gluttony nature and be a bit more thrifty, and finally not if I was not envious of others and worried about the De la Soul, me myself and I.
The blog is back. Where I have been is a question for NCIS and my lawyer. Remember I am guilty while the courts sort out my case. Summer is gone and Dr. G has officially opened up NYIT with another convocation. Exciting times for NYIT and I am blessed to still be around for the show. OW campus improvements are simply amazing.....nice job and great touch.
It has been a long short summer. No down time, a plethora of positive advancements, untimely deaths in my immediate and work family but life's clock continues to tick and that means "you have to get busy living or get busy dying". Well folks, living is what we do and thus we are off to explore our goals with eyes shut wide open. I have no idea what that means but when you find out let me know, LOL. Hey, I was chatting with a female co-worker just recently. We were having this conversation about guys and gals.....is there a better topic....sports perhaps! ANYWHO, she said something that I haven't heard before and I found it to be a significant statement, so much, I am stealing it. "Men love with their eyes and women with their ears". That is some powerful stuff. What is actually says is, we men be shallow, BUT, if you live long enough, you begin to realize you can't believe in everything you see and must listen before you walk in the mine field of disaster. Even my old butt gets it now because twenty years ago I would have put up a hissy fit over that statement and would have responded that was some old estrogen BS, but she's right. Moral, live long enough with your eyes shut wide open and you might learn something.
Pre-season training is over and we leap into the 2010-11 athletic season with high hopes and determination. Tennis is back at the Institute. I look forward to seeing us get out there on the courts and doing the "Arthur Smash". We had our first scrimmage this week, not bad, not great....good ice breaker for the ladies. They were nervous but if you are worth your weight as an athlete nerves are part of the game, however; after the first backhand it all business and nervousness is out and focus is in! Volley took the trolley to Jersey (you from Jersey, I'm from Jersey) and got on the smooth track taking their opener from Georgian Court in three. Big win because GC has wiped up on us the past two years. The blond captain (Coach Wasmus) has her ship back in the water, hoping to avoid those fall hurricanes and looking for smooth sailing back to the NCAA playoffs. Women's soccer still trying to figure it out while Delcid and the men of futbol are determined to win, win, win. Cross country has a new boss, Fred "the grasshopper" Benlein. He has the team hopping about ready to tackle the hills and valleys of the x-country terrain.
Well, as Shelly Schneider always says as he leaves my office, 'can't make no money here", so on that note, Cool Mac is out. Remember peace is always in never out. Lastly, you are all you got. In order to do the things in life that are important for growth and maturation, you must take care of yourself physically, mental and spiritually. For each of us that application is very different but in the end, not matter how you manage it, it is all the same. It can not be and must not be a narcissistic selfish approach but rather a way to affect positive change. If I am not happy how in the blue blazes can I make you happy, thus I Love I and You! Say it three times before you go to bed and you will wake up with a smile on your face. Make today a good one so tomorrow is a better one....I'm Out!
The month of May, the final frontier for some.... the beginning of a new crusade for others. The pinnacle of our college education is commencement. It is the national championship of education. May contains the days when college students walk the stage to be acknowledged for a job well done. While I sat back and basked in the glow of the spring day and watched the picturesque pageantry of another NYIT commencement evolve and unfold, I was also laden with sadness that three members of the NYIT family did not make it to commencement day. Two former student-athletes and a nephew of a staff member did not make it to the age of 27. Each was a tragic situation that left family and friends stunned. I laugh when someone tells me to guarantee something. Nothing is guaranteed in life; therefore you must live life like it is borrowed time. At any moment the lender will call the note and life no longer exists. It is, therefore, profoundly critical to live a positive life. Enjoy the blood pumping through your veins and the sweat on your palms. Impact the lives of others in a way that makes them better people. Jackie Robinson put his perspective of life in a concise thought " A life in not important except in the impact it has on other lives". I am quite sure Jackie meant in a positive manner.
Go out there and make a difference. Establish a plan and work to make it a reality. Enjoy the fruits of life because all work and no play......... makes you stale and you will wither away. Dance like no one is watching, like people more than you love them, and live today with passion as if tomorrow you will be "I am Legend".
I am still searching for the meaning of soul. This is Cool Mac and I am out. Remember, peace is always in, never out.
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:
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.
The division one coaching merry go round is traveling at light speed. Fired here, moved there, renegotiate everywhere. With all the chatter and movement I never hear one AD, coach, or sports analyst talk about academics. I guess it has no value in this part of the education paradigm. It is not surprising given the nature of what seems to be the priority of big time college sports, but it is alarming. It is amazing that alumni, the ones that have graduated, will badger and threaten universities over wins and losses and not the graduation rates and the social welfare of student-athletes. Those issues get no attention in the big picture of big time college athletics. I was talking to Coach Schneider, my HS coach and resident recreation supervisor at NYIT, about the issue. He told me of a quote he heard that summed up the DI environment "You will get fired for losing long before cheating". That is a powerful statement. DII use to be outside of the pressure cooker; however, as soon as championships made there way to the flat screen the dial on pressure cooker was moved from low to high. I have received more abuse and complaints from over zealous parents, friends and members of the institutional community about wins and losses in the past five years than I did in my first twenty in this business. One of my former teammates told me point blank, "your doing a great job with academics and being social responsible with the student-athletes of NYIT, but why don't you want to win". I laughed because in my book I am winning. I might be run out of town for a number of things but it will not be because I have not pushed my coaches and staff to graduate every student we recruit. Will all succeed and receive a degree, no.....but I will lose sleep trying. Will more succeed than fail, yes, because we work hard to ensure that we maintain an attitude that in order to be part of this environment education is paramount to membership. I never got into this business to win championships but to see young men and women participate in an extracurricular activity that brands the institution and provides them with a environment that allows them to develop as individuals. I believe that every time we step on the field of play we compete with passion and we play to win, regardless of the opponent. The true challenge is in the balance that must be maintained between academics and athletics so that individuals learn that time management will be their key to success long after they stop being student-athletes. Don't get me wrong, I want to win just as bad as anyone who laces them up, but I know there is a bigger picture out there and when I see my former student-athletes return to NYIT and talk about their careers it is because they achieved academic success and not athletic dominance. There are very few employers that will hire you based on your athletic stats,especially on the DII level, but they will and do look at figures on your resume. Oh well, this is Cool Mac and I am out. Remember, peace is never out but in. Make today a good one so tomorrow is a better one.