Untethered Dog

A Commonplace By Tom Swift

Magazines

Presence

3. Focus on the here and now. Self 1 won’t be at peace unless it does something useful — and that can be observing and monitoring the performance of Self 2. Concentrate on what is happening rather than on what you fear or hope will happen. When you’re skiing, for example, be aware of how […]

Acceptance

I wish I could calm down, but maybe being on edge is what makes me what I am. Maybe I need fear and pressure to keep me going. -Kelly Hrudey as told to Pat Calabria, “Red-Light District: The Islanders’ Kelly Hrudey Cannot Overcome His Fear of Failure,” Inside Sports (1989)

Attention

The more [Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg] Maddux’s physical skills decline, the deeper he must plumb his mental well to stay sharp. At that he is unrivaled. He is, for instance, a voracious observer. He can often tell what a hitter is thinking by where he stands in the batter’s box, how he takes practice swings, […]

Stability

[Atlanta pitcher Greg] Maddux has also developed a bulletproof confidence in his pitches. “It keeps you from panicking,” he says. He still vividly recalls the moment seven years ago when he realized he had to learn to trust his own abilities. He lost to St. Louis in the 11th inning when Luis Alicea hit one […]

Felicity

Words spring from [Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s] mouth with an air of improvisation, just like the style of play he’s honed on the ice. He does everything on feel. Opponents never know what he’ll do against them — come to think of it, neither does he — when he rushes the puck up […]

Learning

But ask around and people in the know will say [San Jose Sharks forward Joe] Pavelski, the 205th player drafted in 2003, is a true student of the game, blessed with hockey smarts. Which is why less than 48 hours after his double-metal miss (in a crucial playoff game), he had already reviewed the video, […]

Achievement

[Golden State Warriors forward/guard] Chris Mullin: “What I’m doing now is what I’ve always envisioned. It just took me a little while to get there. I was a little fogged out for a while, but that’s cool. I appreciate it even more.” -Rick Reilly, “In a Golden State,” Sports Illustrated, 3-30-1992

Work

But if there’s one regret I’ve had as a sportswriter, it’s that the major sports are so predominantly male that you don’t get to write about many women. The reasons why that’s unfortunate for a male writer are 1) men aren’t as inclined to open up to men as women are, and 2) except where […]

Authenticity

The time [Sports Illustrated editor Andre Laguerre] gave me advice was when I wondered whether writing about sports was really substantial. Laguerre simply said, “Frankie, it doesn’t matter what you write about. All that matters is how well you write.” I suppose that has helped sustain me all these years. -Frank Deford, “Confessions of a […]

Autonomy

Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher: “We’ve always talked about adversity as you have a choice. It’s going to destroy you or it’s going to build you, but we strongly believe that it’s a choice.” -Ken Campbell, “The Ties That Bind,” The Hockey News, June 19, 2017