Shaun King, Joe Maddon & Evan LongoriaJanuary 3rd, 2013
Three months ago Shaun King was pounding the proverbial drum saying Josh Freeman was in need of a sports psychologist to help him with his confidence and his troubling disappearing acts in Bucs games.
King had said Drew Brees personally told him what a great help a sports shrink had been to him, and King, one of three quarterbacks to lead the Bucs to the NFC Championship game, believed counseling could do wonders for Freeman. King repeated the take today on WDAE-AM 620.
Interestingly, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, a genius motivator and people manager (though what he does with a lineup card is very debatable), recently did an interview on 98.7 FM and talked about how the Rays are one of only two teams in Major League Baseball that use sports psychologists regulary and extensively. And Maddon went on to say it’s ludicrous that professional teams and players still attach a stigma to the use of psychologists.
This got Joe thinking even more about Freeman getting mental help. So Joe did some research and found many intriguing quotes from Rays superstar Evan Longoria on his sports psychologist, via MLB.com.
“What he’s done for me and for my baseball career, there’s no measure,” Longoria said. “He’s allowed me to have another tool — and not a physical tool — that’s really allowed me to slow the game down. I can think about certain things I might not be able to think about if I didn’t have that skill set from him.”
Joe learned a lot about sports psychology years ago. It was a random coincidence that in the late 1980′s, Joe’s grandmother was nursing home roomates with the mother of New York Mets team shrink Allan Lans. Joe was a Mets fan at the time and became very interested in Lans’ work, which was rather groundbreaking in that era.
Assuming Freeman is not using a sports psychologist and the Bucs haven’t yet ordered him to do so, Joe agrees with King that Freeman should pursue that avenue. No. 5, aka “Good Josh” and “Bad Josh, seems like a prime candidate to benefit. How could it hurt?