NFL players, coaches and analysts alike have embraced “psycho” research.
But what exactly does it mean?
And in a way, it’s all about football, according to psychologist Daniel Gilbert, author of the book “The Psychology of Football.”
In his book, Gilbert says he’s “very fond of” how NFL players embrace the concept of “psychic coaching.”
And while he isn’t a fan of “mental coaching,” he says that’s part of the fun of the game.
“I don’t think there’s any better way to get the brain and the body to perform at its best than to be around players who have been through similar experiences,” Gilbert says.
“It’s a way to build camaraderie.”
While there’s plenty of research showing that “psychics” can help players and teams improve, the NFL is perhaps most known for its controversial “buzz” strategy.
That’s when the league’s “mental” coaching staff uses the team’s strengths to make the game a more entertaining affair.
The term “bully pulverizer” was coined by the NFL’s “psyco” or psychology director in the early 2000s, according a report from Sports Illustrated.
The tactic involves coaching and manipulating players to be more aggressive, the article said.
As a result, some teams have used “psychological” techniques to help their players get out of trouble.
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired “psychologists” to help them get out on the field, according the AP.
But according to Gilbert, there’s something else going on here.
“The whole point of this [psycho] is to help people understand how the brain works and the mind is connected to the body, and the purpose of this is to understand the human condition,” Gilbert said.
He says the “bounty” is a metaphor for that purpose.
“You get to a point where you can’t help but make it a point to take a guy out in the middle of a game and have him beaten up,” Gilbert told the AP in 2012.
“And you can tell people that you didn’t hurt him.”
While it’s hard to say exactly what “psychologist” means, Gilbert said it’s the type of person who has experience with both football and psychology.
“They are in the same profession, but they have a very different set of skills,” Gilbert added.
“One of the things they’re doing is they are taking these guys out on a field, but at the same time, they are not just making the football team better, but giving the team a better opportunity to win.”
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