Thursday, December 21, 2006

USC Football: Reading Wonders

We heard from the L.A. Times yesterday that Pete Carroll used his Magic Tennis Book again to improve the spirits (and presumably the play) of another Trojan who was down in the dumps.

This time it was Kyle Williams, who was apparently so distraught and depressed following his three-false-start performance during the 13-9 tragedy that he couldn’t bring himself to practice on Monday. Quoted the Times:
"That week after the game was pretty hard," said Williams, who was called for three false starts. "You try to forget about it but it seems like everywhere you've turned you're just getting reminded of it.

"I just had to get my head on straight."

Williams, a fifth-year senior, said Carroll on Monday gave him a copy of "The Inner Game of Tennis," a book that shaped Carroll's coaching philosophy. Earlier this season, Carroll gave the book to defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson when the fourth-year junior was putting too much pressure on himself.

"I wish I had known about it sooner," Williams said. "I'm about halfway done and it's really helped me be not so critical and just relax."
Now, I’m no magician, and I’m certainly no “genius” like our man Carroll, but I can’t help the feeling that this Magic Tennis Book could be doing more for USC Football. Am I missing something here … ?

Why does Carroll wait until after his players screw up before he gives them the magic book to read? Why didn’t Williams hear about the book sooner, if not from Carroll then from Jackson, the latest beneficiary of its magic?

Why doesn’t Carroll give every Trojan player a copy of the book? Couldn’t all his players benefit from its powers … or is it just one special dog-eared copy that is blessed with game-improving mojo?

And even if it is just one particular magic copy, couldn’t Carroll have his players gather around a table in groups of four or five so they can read the thing together? According to Williams, you only need to read half the book for it to start working, anyway!

I don’t get it. But then again, I’m not a “genius.”

Happy Holidays!


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