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Old 08-07-2007   #1
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Default Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

What do these two Houston superstars have in common?
Both are incredibly physically gifted athletes
Both have passion for their sport
Both have shown incredible promise in their respective sports

And apparently, both will have to overcome the passive tendency stressed in their respective cultures.

When Yao came into the league as the #1 overall pick for the Rockets, there were a lot of nay-sayers claiming he was "too passive" or "too soft" or "not physical enough" to succeed in the NBA. These characteristics were attributed to the Chinese style of basketball that Yao was trained in.

I was reading the article on ND Kalu and Amobi Okoye's common Nigerian link, the Ibo tribe, and found one comment by Kalu very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalu
The two instantly bonded when Okoye, the 10th overall pick, walked into the Texans locker room and spotted a Nigerian flag in Kalu's locker, the one next to his.

Naturally, Kalu has become a mentor, often pulling Okoye aside for "heart-to-heart" chats.

"He's very hard on himself," Kalu says of Okoye. "I just tell him that sometimes, he just needs to do what got him here. He has so much respect for the Nigerian culture, he's trying to do everything right. Sometimes, it takes away from his aggressiveness."
I know Okoye can succeed with the physical gifts, mental presence, and passion for the game that he has. It looks like his only obstacle is going to be developing a "mean streak." Okoye never played american football in Nigeria, and did play his college ball here, so he's already one step closer. But, I wonder if we'll see the same sort of transition as with Yao, as he grows more and more comfortable with the playing style of the NFL. Yao sure has proved his naysayers wrong, and while there aren't any "naysayers" saying that about Okoye, imagine how great he will be if his awesome performance in college was a result of him not being aggressive.

Either way, its great that he and Kalu have developed a strong relationship. I think Kalu is a great mentor, and I hope he can help Okoye grow into the player we all hope he can be! He's so young, he could have an incredible pro career ahead of him. Its a great day to be a Texans fan!
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Old 08-07-2007   #2
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

A passive DT ????


BWWAAAHAAAHAAAA!


If Okoye is passive we've got a problem...
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Old 08-07-2007   #3
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Quote:
"He's very hard on himself," Kalu says of Okoye. "I just tell him that sometimes, he just needs to do what got him here. He has so much respect for the Nigerian culture, he's trying to do everything right. Sometimes, it takes away from his aggressiveness."
This may not be entirely cultural. Any time an athlete is thinking too much, trying not to make mistakes, and not just doing, it takes away from their athleticness.

That's why teams under the same system tend to do better, because they are doing and not thinking.

On an semi-related note, docs have done MRIs on low and high handicap golfers. They have them envision different golf shots, some easy, some over hazards.

The better golfers have quieter minds.
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Old 08-07-2007   #4
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
This may not be entirely cultural. Any time an athlete is thinking too much, trying not to make mistakes, and not just doing, it takes away from their athleticness.

That's why teams under the same system tend to do better, because they are doing and not thinking.

On an semi-related note, docs have done MRIs on low and high handicap golfers. They have them envision different golf shots, some easy, some over hazards.

The better golfers have quieter minds.
Then why am I not better at golf my mind is always quiet?
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Old 08-07-2007   #5
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
A passive DT ????


BWWAAAHAAAHAAAA!


If Okoye is passive we've got a problem...
Dude, I'm thinking the same thing when I read it.

If Mario has to be pissed off to play up to his potential, and Okoye is too niiiiiiice at DT, we're in for a long season. Our defense has to come out fired up and ready.

I have a feeling the offense will be work in progress, so our only hope is that the D can carry the load until the offense gels into a consistent unit.
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Old 08-07-2007   #6
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Please see my other posts on Amobi. Let's move him to DE and let him develop with spot play over the next couple of years.

Is "athleticness" a word? When I played, a quiet mind usually meant riding the bench. I don't think the golfer's mindset is appropriate for football, and vice versa.
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Old 08-07-2007   #7
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by maddogmrb View Post
Please see my other posts on Amobi. Let's move him to DE and let him develop with spot play over the next couple of years.

Is "athleticness" a word? When I played, a quiet mind usually meant riding the bench. I don't think the golfer's mindset is appropriate for football, and vice versa.

Athleticness is not a word. I like making up words where you know what they mean but they are done made up.

"Quiet mind" doesn't mean being stupid, or not thinking, or not being aggressive. It doesn't mean being a wuss.

It means quieting the voices in your mind, and just acting. Where something is second nature. Instead of thinking of what your move is, you are just doing your move. Instead of saying to yourself "I gotta do this that and the other" or worrying about what the other guy does, you are just unleashing the can of whoopass. It's about using your muscle memory and not your thinking about what to do memory. Doing the technique instead of thinking about what technique to use.

It is not easy to do. That is why it is called "the zone." Sometimes people are in it, and sometimes they aren't.

When the chattering brain monkeys have taken over your head, and you are worried about this and that, it makes it hard to do athletic stuff.
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Old 08-07-2007   #8
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by maddogmrb View Post
Is "athleticness" a word? When I played, a quiet mind usually meant riding the bench. I don't think the golfer's mindset is appropriate for football, and vice versa.

You obviously didn't play in the NFL or anywhere close to that level.

A "quiet mind" means that things slow down and are more clear which allows players to anticipate what is about happen without having to think about it.
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Old 08-07-2007   #9
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

I wonder why they left out Samkon Gado in the Nigerian group on the team. I assume its because he is eboe and not ebibeal.
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Old 08-07-2007   #10
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Reggie White was one of the nicest and kindest human beings to ever play the game.............. just saying. Amobi just needs to flip the switch on the football field, frankly I'm not worried.
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Old 08-07-2007   #11
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
Athleticness is not a word. I like making up words where you know what they mean but they are done made up.

"Quiet mind" doesn't mean being stupid, or not thinking, or not being aggressive. It doesn't mean being a wuss.

It means quieting the voices in your mind, and just acting. Where something is second nature. Instead of thinking of what your move is, you are just doing your move. Instead of saying to yourself "I gotta do this that and the other" or worrying about what the other guy does, you are just unleashing the can of whoopass. It's about using your muscle memory and not your thinking about what to do memory. Doing the technique instead of thinking about what technique to use.

It is not easy to do. That is why it is called "the zone." Sometimes people are in it, and sometimes they aren't.

When the chattering brain monkeys have taken over your head, and you are worried about this and that, it makes it hard to do athletic stuff.

Couldn't agre with you more...

Doesn't just pertain to football....it's all throughout life....

From playing Madden to giving a presentation at work....

When you're comfortable with what you're doing you exude confidence and appear less timid...

I don't think Okoye has a timid personality just from watching him at the senior bowl, a little during his college career and in some interviews...

I think you're pretty much on the money with this one...
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Old 08-07-2007   #12
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Quote:
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I wonder why they left out Samkon Gado in the Nigerian group on the team. I assume its because he is eboe and not ebibeal.
Gado is eboe ? He sure doesn't look like it....
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Old 08-07-2007   #13
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by the wonger need food View Post
A "quiet mind" means that things slow down and are more clear which allows players to anticipate what is about happen without having to think about it.
Some people are just better at it than others. All of these guys are excellent athletes by the time they're in the NFL. The mental aspect is what separates the good players from the great.
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Old 08-08-2007   #14
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
That is why it is called "the zone." Sometimes people are in it, and sometimes they aren't.
See the new LT commercial? He was definitely in "the zone".

Love that commercial.
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Old 08-08-2007   #15
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

when I brew a potentially award winning beer, my mind is quiet, focused & resolute to produce the meanest most aggressive combination of everything I can throw into it while staying within the confines of the style
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Old 08-08-2007   #16
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
This may not be entirely cultural. Any time an athlete is thinking too much, trying not to make mistakes, and not just doing, it takes away from their athleticness.That's why teams under the same system tend to do better, because they are doing and not thinking.

On an semi-related note, docs have done MRIs on low and high handicap golfers. They have them envision different golf shots, some easy, some over hazards.

The better golfers have quieter minds.
great take, TC. with the NFL's increasingly complex offensive and defensive schemes of today it is a difficult balancing act that the coaches go through when installing systems and bringing players into the system.

Great point how the teams that have enjoyed stability at the top have been some of the more successful teams of late. Cowher, Belichik, Shanahan, Reid, and Holmgren. Now with Dungy having a couple years to build things in Indy, you can add him to that list. This backups up your point on how teams that keep systems in place do better.

Yeah, being able to drown out all the outside stimuli and focus has always been a trait of the great ones. The 'quiet mind' you speak of is similar to what players call 'the zone'. Through repetition/practice, muscle memory, and inner focus the brain seems to be able to do some amazing things.

I just hope the Texans enjoy some success because if we don't Kubiak will lose his job and we will have another system to install.

I love the fact that Okoye is respectful and trying to do things the right way. I had never connected the dots on Kalu being a possible mentor for Okoye due to their shared heritage. That bodes well for the future imho. Maybe Olajuwon can give Okoye a call. Now THAT was a guy who came into the league with a mean streak and 'take no quarter' attitude. He was just a brawler early in his career. I remember the great throw downs he had with Michael Cage and Greg Kite. Dream was just mean but had the inner focus, work ethic, skill set, and confidence to be IMHO the greatest NBA center of all time.

Hopefully Okoye can emulate Olajuwon and be a force his rookie year but steadily improve every year ultimately culminating in HOF credentials and championships.
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Old 08-08-2007   #17
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
What do these two Houston superstars have in common?
Both are incredibly physically gifted athletes
Both have passion for their sport
Both have shown incredible promise in their respective sports

And apparently, both will have to overcome the passive tendency stressed in their respective cultures.

When Yao came into the league as the #1 overall pick for the Rockets, there were a lot of nay-sayers claiming he was "too passive" or "too soft" or "not physical enough" to succeed in the NBA. These characteristics were attributed to the Chinese style of basketball that Yao was trained in.

I was reading the article on ND Kalu and Amobi Okoye's common Nigerian link, the Ibo tribe, and found one comment by Kalu very interesting.



I know Okoye can succeed with the physical gifts, mental presence, and passion for the game that he has. It looks like his only obstacle is going to be developing a "mean streak." Okoye never played american football in Nigeria, and did play his college ball here, so he's already one step closer. But, I wonder if we'll see the same sort of transition as with Yao, as he grows more and more comfortable with the playing style of the NFL. Yao sure has proved his naysayers wrong, and while there aren't any "naysayers" saying that about Okoye, imagine how great he will be if his awesome performance in college was a result of him not being aggressive.

Either way, its great that he and Kalu have developed a strong relationship. I think Kalu is a great mentor, and I hope he can help Okoye grow into the player we all hope he can be! He's so young, he could have an incredible pro career ahead of him. Its a great day to be a Texans fan!
Nigerian culture? http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/inde...FRcqIgod9j4yuA
What am I missing here? Maybe his family raised him passively or whatever. Africans have lived in war like status fighting each other, outsiders and animals for centuries. I am definitely no expert on Nigerians but this seems a little too far over "that way."
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Old 08-08-2007   #18
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

There are thousands of years of Chinese history filled with inter-cultural warfare. That doesn't mean that the way they play basketball is "warlike"

Im not pretending to understand, Im just reporting what Kalu said. And I think he's more trustworthy on his culture than outsiders are
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Old 08-08-2007   #19
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Going to agree with badboy on this one now that I think about it...

Overall speaking, Nigerians tend to be ruthless....
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Old 08-08-2007   #20
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Default Re: Amobi Okoye and Yao Ming

Looking back at the article Kalu didn't even say passive...I think it was just interpreted wrong....

I think he's talking about the repect that Nigerians carry and the way that they want to always bring their best effort...

Which ties directly into what TC was saying about thinking too much...
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