WHAT DOES A PSYCHIATRIST SAY TO PENN STATE PLACE KICKER SAM FICKEN, WHO MISSED 4 FIELD GOALS? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

Sam Ficken missed 4 field goal attempts and had an extra-point kick blocked in Penn State’s game against Virginia. What would I say to this young  freshman?

There’s another game next week! Really, Sam, it’s just a game. Think of all the energy and power we gave Joe Paterno, and where did that lead? This is an opportunity to show that this isn’t what you are all about.

Because others twist and attribute what we do or don’t do to suit their own needs, doesn’t mean we have to buy into it. I know it would have been easier and certainly more fun to be the hero. Well, you weren’t, but how many kids get a chance to play for a Big Ten team as a freshman? Not many!

Just getting out there, in front of thousands of screaming fans, even though you were frozen inside, was terrific. I hope Coach O’Brien gives you another chance. No-matter what happens, have courage and do your best. That’s how you’ll honor yourself. As we have learned, just winning football games is not what it’s all about. It’s about how we handle winning and losing and how we behave as human beings who care about other human beings that really counts.

Sam, don’t ever give up! And that goes for all of us…

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About artsmuklermd

Award Winning Novelist & Psychiatrist --- Like psychological novels? Check out Chasing Backwards, a psychological mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone n his Ear... Dr. Smukler has won the prestigious Golden Ear Award for excellence in teaching at Harbor-UCLA Medical center and excellence in writing fiction at The Santa Barbara Writers Conference. All books are available as ebooks and paperbacks. You can find them at amazon.com/author/arthursmukler or http://artsmuklermd.com/
This entry was posted in Childhood Trauma, Penn State, Psychiatry, Raising Children, Self Examination, World events, a psychological view and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to WHAT DOES A PSYCHIATRIST SAY TO PENN STATE PLACE KICKER SAM FICKEN, WHO MISSED 4 FIELD GOALS? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. Rob Nelson says:

    Stepping on to the BIG STAGE arena floor during full blown competition is far different than practicing. Until an inner peace and confidence helps the player see success in the heat of battle, the ability to focus may remain elusive. Art, I must suggest that at the Big Ten level it is not “just a game” at the highest level of athletic competitions. It becomes a business and an opportunity to earn millions of dollars in a few years, or not. The pressure is amazing on our competitors. Perhaps helping our striving athletics players would be easier if they found heroes like Troy Palamalo of the Steelers. Such inner peace and joy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Polamalu

  2. Neal Koss says:

    I think neither of the previous commentors (commenters??) have ever played a sport for a school. That player knows there will be plenty of games ahead, so telling him that helps nothing. There is no way he will get over this unless he becomes successful. Sure, football is a team sport, but 4 field goals and an extra point all missed make for 13 points and that is tough for a freshman to handle. It would be tough for anyone to handle. Let’s just hope this young man has a better game next week or he will have big time depression problems….

    • Paula says:

      You’re rather presumptuous Neal. He may NOT get that chance. His future is in the hands of his coach. And I am an NCAA lettered athlete, so yes, I know what having a future and being successful means to a team and individual. I don’t think the doc’s post was about anything more than cheering on this boy. There will be no depression suffered as long as his coach is a good one and fans and critics remember he is just a boy, not someone’s super hero.

      • Neal Koss says:

        I agree with you Paula and I apologize for anything I said to offend. Having been athletic in both high school and college, I just know this young man is in the doldrums this week and it will take more than just cheering to bring him out. I don’t know what the Penn State fans or coaching staff are like, but the most important thing is for him to have a good game and I certainly hope he does, even if he were playing against my school.

  3. Gill says:

    Also, there are one hell of a lot of people who have no idea what you’ve done than there are people who saw you… I am having to presume it’s American Football which is kind of like Rugby but with protective clothing :D

  4. Paula says:

    No kidding! A freshman. He has a lot to be proud of and many more games to look forward to performing better. We all get second chances if we humble ourselves to experiencing them. I hope he gets his second chance.

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