Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fixing the Toronto Maple Leafs: Apply Better Psychology

Of his new team, Mr. Carlyle said Saturday: “First and foremost, they’ve got to feel a lot better about themselves than what they are right now...“We have to rekindle their spirit.” Bingo! If only Mr. Carlyle could hire Burrhus Frederic Skinner as an assistant coach — and fan adviser. (Ed. note: Uh, you mean that Manitoba Moose guy?) No, silly boss, I mean B.F. Skinner, maybe the most influential shrink of the past century. He’s the father of “positive reinforcement.” Unfortunately, he’s unavailable. In fact, he’s dead. Rats loved Prof. Skinner. Whenever they pulled his lever, they got a snack. “It’s the heart of cognitive behavioural therapy,” says my favourite shrink, Dr. Irvin Wolkoff, “and it works.” Irv’s advice? “Coach Skinner would first do a behavioural analysis of the Leafs and determine what needs to be reinforced, such as skating fast, passing nicely, taking blistering shots or smiling at the fans.” more

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