Push The Pace: What Drives A Competitor To Be Great

May 6th, 2014

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When it comes to competitors, they all surface from different walks of life. Some of us are born in poverty and hard times; while others are for the most part, fortunate to never see dark days until they reach the pinnacle of their career. That’s where this year 2014 Kia NBA MVP Kevin Durant comes into play, along with many others before him. Players like Durant in all sports, went through many difficult challenges in order to be the greatest at what they love to do.

The question these superstars are always asked is: “What drives you do be great?” No matter where athletes are breed and born, they are all asked the same thing. Quite frankly, what does drive a competitor? It could originate from a number of things: money and frame, a certain type of status, wanting that feeling of “I have arrived”, or just that you want out of where your life could potentially be heading. Nevertheless, their are a number of things that drive a competitor to want to compete among the best-of-the-best.

Accepting this role and title of MVP, proves that you are willing to sacrifice any and everything to be the King/Queen of the mountain in your sport. But should you stop their or should you continue the pursuit for more? That all depends on the fire that burns inside you to want to not just rest on receiving one form of acknowledgement for the determination you put in to be the greatest at what you do. As we continue moving throughout time, we will find out more and more what drives a competitor to be the best at what they do. In the meantime, I saw we sit back, relax, and just enjoy the show that these elite professional and future up and comers, continue to put on. Regardless of what is driving them, it is truly worth the price of admission, and it will forever be something to remain a mystery to the secret ingredient added to their pursuit to Push The Pace!

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director
horton@gtechsport.com
gtechsportusa@gmail.com
#BEFresh

The AfterMath: Drama After Major Sporting Events

May 6th, 2014

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Picture this: You have paid handsomely to be apart of history. You have sat and watched the future and the greatest of all, compete at the highest level, and on the grandest of stages. The hype and drama is all over in the arena, and then out of nowhere; “POW, POW.” Gun shoots, screaming, stampede of the masses begin to flood the area as Sin City comes awake in a new form on a night that was designated to be solely be about history and achieving something better than one’s self.

After the Mayweather vs Maidana Pay-Per View over this past weekend at the MGM Casino and Hotel, a shooting and fight broke out, which lead into the coward; which resulted in a massive riot and fans jumping onto social media creating a historic buzz. Though is still unknown how many were injured or if anyone was killed, many have posted that this was a fake, and nothing more than a stunt created by a fan of Maidana, whom like many, were highly upset that he lost to Mayweather.

Over the years, this isn’t the first time during major sporting events that situations like this come about. In 2011, Brian Stow, a Giants fan whom feel victim after a Giants-Dodgers game, was brutally beaten by 2 men who claimed they attacked him because he was just simply a fan of the opposing team. Rivalry games from the “Battle of the Bay” between San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, to the “Red River Rivalry” between Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners, to Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees; have all had incidences where passion that is shown as a fan before and during the game, can be transferred over into a art of war.

Through many can easily say it was due to gangs, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other illegal substances to ignite the aggressiveness from within someone. When clearly, it’s just fans crossing the line between being “Die Hard Fans” to becoming a violent hannibal that simply takes things to far. Police and Security Personal can only do so much; because at the end of the day, it comes down to us controlling the beast from within to stay locked up and to not want the yearning desire to create devastation during a time of celebration.

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director
horton@gtechsport.com
gtechsportusa@gmail.com
#BEFresh

Decades Of Evolution: How Different Cultures Have Shaped Sports

May 6th, 2014

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No matter where you come from or the path traveled, athletes emerge from different backgrounds and societies; which have shaped the new evolution of sports. For decades, we have seen sports stay forever changing with new rules to protect players during competition, venues growing larger to facilitate the masses, and an increasing influx of different cultural backgrounds, that are reshaping the way we view sports.

Manu Ginobili is perfect example of a player coming into a sport from a different country, and scaring away defenses with one move: The Euro Step. Ginobili originates from Argentina, and once he hit the National Basketball Association, like other International players, wasn’t immediately accepted. Now; players have there own version of the euro step; which most would say, he patented to be his own trademark and imprint in the league. But Manu isn’t the only international player that stepped into a country and wasn’t welcomed with open arms.

Granted Canada is apart of North America, it’s still a International country, and import players that would enter the CFL weren’t always viewed by the fans as the solution to make their version of football better. Fast forward to today’s CFL, and import players and coaches from the NCAA and NFL, are scattered everywhere throughout the landscape of the league; which now, players that start there instead of the NFL, get to mold themselves into a professional and understand its meaning on a different level.

The NHL has been dominated by nothing but International and Caucasian players; but once few African-Americans entered the league, it wasn’t looked at as a “good idea.” Today, African-Americans that truly love the sport, are accepted because of their talent level and understanding of the game. Major League Baseball, as many know, struggled with the acceptance of race for years; especially once International players entered the league. Now; organizations will send scouts as far as Japan to have the best ace on the mound; as well as, go to Cuba to find the perfect slugger that can drive the ball 400 plus feet.

Regardless of how we debate it, if you have the skill set for that sport, you should be given the opportunity to showcase that on the grandest of platforms. Those that have opposed and voiced their opinions on how they view these cultural changes as a negative, have been shun out and presented as the one’s that are given the black eye, and not the sport that they claim may now be tainted. We are forever changing, and to be honest, will continue to forever change. Everyday, societies are reforming, and if you go back and look at how every sport has been shaped due to their high level of popularity, which is deserving to them, it’s because once we all took a step back and realized our flaws, that’s when we all saw that change is good.

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director
horton@gtechsport.com
gtechsportusa@gmail.com
#BEFresh

TO THE MAX: Pressures Behind Taking PEDs

April 14th, 2014

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“I have never taken performance enhancing drugs”, is a quote line that we hear often in sports once someone is accused of taking PED’s to assist them in performing at the highest level in their sport. In very rare situations, will we see an athlete actually telling the truth that he or she didn’t, in fact, take anything while either training, recovering from injury, etc. What we do see on a common basis in today’s sports world, is that the athlete being accused of said act, did in fact, take a banned substance of some sort and attempted at all cost to hide this information; so that in fact, they could continue moving forward with their career as if nothing ever happened.

The problem with taking PED’s, or Performance Enhancing Drugs, are the effects that can be created throughout the rest of your life. Tons of young athletes today, currently take PED’s on a daily bases. It is believed that taking said substances gives you the edge you need to perform at your best and move past those that have the natural genetic abilities that those that take these substances don’t necessarily possess. Signs of those that take PED’s may show the following: Increased Acne, Liver Damage, Stunted Growth and disruption of puberty in children, and adolescents. Psychological effects are as follows: Increased aggressiveness and sexual appetite (which can lead to abnormal sexual behavior in form of criminal consequences), depression, and other improper thoughts. PED’s range from “Beta Blockers” to steroids, to HGH, also known as Human Growth Hormones, and even “Blood Doping”; which is common in sports related to use of increased endurance levels, such as cycling, Ironman competitions, and Track and Field events.

Some of the best athletes in the world have all been caught at some point in their career with taking PEDs. Few have managed to fight the system and take lesser punishment; while others have seen their reputation be completely destroyed. As a professional athlete and coach, understanding the consequences that come with these products is something that we all need to understand. Not everything you see over the counter is protected and approved, so please read all labels and do your research when taking ANY substance of ANY kind. These facts are always presented and never followed; but witnessing those you know fall apart because of a self-less act such as this one is not worth it. So please don’t go to the max to be the best in this fashion. Do it the right way, and true success with come.

Joshua J. Horton
April 14th, 2014

The Price of An Athlete

April 10th, 2014

L-R: Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater & Jadeveon Clowney

What are teams willing to pay to have the top player in the league? What are teams willing to sacrifice to win a championship? To be honest, organizations will give everything to have the greatest of the greats; the hounds that are determined to prove their belonging to the world. But when does this all begin?

In what is called “The Old Days”, players would push themselves to simply just make it because they loved the game. Hard work was the true payment for success and other incentives followed later in their careers because the rewards had been earned. Fast forward to our society today, and athletes are breed more into the mindset of getting paid now and get everything you can before they even hit the field of battle. Major League Baseball is the only organization that still drafts players straight out of high school. To the sports world, its actually considered common nature, and is accepted because of the amount of work, time, and effort that must be drained out of the athlete in order for that prospect to then at an age ranging between 23-25, to finally have the opportunity to debut. The NBA has become more strict over the years, enforcing the rule that 2 years of college basketball must be played until prospects are allowed to have the opportunity to showcase their talent. Unless you are an overseas pro, at which you bypass this process completely, the delayed superstar, must deal with the pressure of being the best right out the gate once they hit the hardwood.

Problems don’t arise until the discussion of the NFL is thrown onto the table. Prospects are scouted from the 8th grade until they hit Radio City Music Hall; the location of where the dream really begins. The question is should these athletes be paid or receive extra incentives, throughout the entire process? Meaning, these young athletes are paid from Day 1 without even proving if their talent will ever climax into one of the greatest of all time. Northwestern University has already stepped up to the plate, and moving forward thru the process of forming a union; in which, players would begin being compensated for their time at the university.

The days of simply receiving enough to have a room, money for food, and other incentives within the agreed upon scholarship are over. The days of teaching hard work to athletes as portrayed in one of Gatorades newest commercials, were a military cadence is used to show how one heartbeat brings the best out of everyone, are long gone. These days a university losing scholarships is accepted because lets face it, everyone knew they were cheating right? Nevertheless, programs will always continue to strive to be placed among the best of the best. Marketing and Promotion teams will always get the full access to the most stunning events. But with the rise in social media, the questions will always remain until answered; are athletes truly willing to pay the ultimate price that comes with the responsibility of fame? Only time will tell, as every organization continues to have worldwide success.