Can Sport Go Too Far?
Date: March 16, 2006 04:15AM
Ok, if I read you correctly, cult can be involved in sports, as in a"cult hero" following of a top NFL quarterback such as Brett Farve. Brett has a large devotion of fans who enjoy NFL football.
What about the sport itself? Such as the fever which takes over a college town during football season or basketball season.
Alabama is famous for its NCAA football rivalry between the Crimson Tide and Auburn. Drive through Tuscaloosa and you will see "Roll Tide Roll" everywhere! Kids are raised to root for the Crimson Tide from a very young age!
Kids, who may have excelled in other sports of their choosing, or who may have chose not to play sports at all, are raised in an environment where football is king. The pressure to play for the Crimson Tide, or if not play, then support, is enormous.
Similar situation in Auburn.
Then, the big game comes and the stadium is packed. The Crimson Tide and the Tigers of Auburn have enormous influence within their cities. The cities themselves are relatively small when compared to the world. Thus, the following is generally localized and the devotion is great.
This also seems the way with religion. Most of us are born into some type of religious preference. Usually, from birth, we are taught what we believe. The hope is that we have been born into something healthy. Though that word could be translated many ways.
[b:93fcaefe20]As for Bob Kraft, I read his post. I read the part you copied. Here's my answer[/b:93fcaefe20] to the following "fact" Reverend Kraft used....
First though, I think it is important to note that I've learned the pro player I've trained formerly traveled with Reverend Kraft, and her coach, to the largest, most famous tournaments in the world, such as the US OPEN, for several years. She had helped him gain free entry into tournaments, access into player's lounges with her player VIP credentials, helped him meet famous tennis celebrities, and through this helped him establish credibility.
Within the first week of her arrival to train with me, she told us how she traveled with him. She stated she did NOT like Reverend Kraft when she first met him, has never trusted him, and does not want to see him again.
She informed us that she only helped him because her then coach asked her to. She explained Reverend Kraft did not have the respect of the players or coaches. She said many other things. You get the point.
For this player to come train with me fulltime was certainly not something Reverend Kraft could have wanted.
This statement of fact from Bob Kraft is typical...
"December 2005 - A former top 100 women WTA player trains with Mr. Paschal. She has now quit after a short period there. The method of operation for ICTA to attract players is as follows: Provide free airfare to the Florida. Provide housing. Separate them from their family. Immediately start to use their photos on the website, to validate their claims of great players and to attract additional players. Surround the player with Mr. Paschal assistants by living with them all in the same house. Control of the player by both love and anger. Mr. Paschal states that he has become her 'tennis dad'."
These comments were originally posted by Rev. Bob Kraft, March 7, 2006.
[b:93fcaefe20]Let's first start[/b:93fcaefe20] with the date Bob used in his fact: Dec 2005[/color:93fcaefe20]
The problem here is she didn't arrive until mid January. She and I spoke on Dec. 25, 2005 for the first time in over 2 years. It was agreed upon a week later in another conversation, that I would coach and prepare her for her upcoming pro tour comeback. She arrived on Sunday January 15, 2006. When negotiating this coaching agreement, I spoke with a Pastor's wife, who is a missionary in France for over 2 decades. The player had left her mother months previously, and had moved in with this missionary family. She had been attending their church, living at their house, etc. The Pastor's wife and I spoke several times, many questions were asked on both sides. It was agreed by all of us the player would greatly benefit by coming to train with me. She arrived, not in Dec, but mid January.
The player trained with me from Jan. 16 through her arrival to her first pro tournament back on tour, February 27. I continued my role as her coach during her match on March 1. On March 3, a mom of one of our academy students then drove her to her next tournament being held in California.
Bob writes, "She has now quit after a short period there."
This is misleading, I think purposefully. She arrived January 15 and stayed the entire training period. She is now back on tour and will travel worldwide. She recently competed in the world's 6th largest pro tennis tournament, and today will fly to the world's 5th largest pro tournament! My coaching has been completed, until needed again. You should note that previous to my contacting her on Dec 24 via email and our subsequent conversation December 25, this player had [b:93fcaefe20]quit tennis completely. [/b:93fcaefe20] She had not played in over 6 months, had sank into a depression, had contemplated suicide, had razor cut her arms, lost over 20 lbs of muscle, estranged herself from her mom, and was living with a Pastor's family to try to find help.
She is now back on tour. I believe I did good work. My opponents might not, but I believe I did a good job getting her back to independence on the tour.
Bob writes, "provide free airfare to Florida, provide housing, separate them from their family."[/color:93fcaefe20]
The airfare wasn't free, it cost about $300. The mom, mentioned earlier who drove her to California, had paid for her airfare. We were told by the Pastor's wife the player had little money left from her prize money.
She had separated herself from her family, which meant her mom as she had no dad, months before I had contact with her. They had developed a poor relationship over time, possibly as an obsessive and overbearing parent trying to help their child succeed. While training with me full time, the player and mom spoke several times within just he first 2 weeks. Their first conversation went badly and the player became highly upset. Each subsequent conversation was better.
By the end of the first month she was here, she looked forward to calling her mom. They now speak regularly and are redeveloping their relationship. I feel this is a breakthrough which will help her become happy in her life. During her first three weeks, I spoke with the mom several times. I told her the player was eating again, attending church again, and working hard to improve. The mom was very pleased and relieved. Remember, the player was suicidal prior to coming here and those who cared about her were very worried for months.
And, as for housing, housing is provided during training, of course.
Bob writes, "Control the player by both love and anger."
Well, yes an no. I have two male 16 year old tennis students training with me who are Pastor's sons. Their parents are some of my best friends. The parents fully expect me to provide a healthy, family atmosphere. They have spent much time here with me and agreed the atmosphere is healthy, and is what they want for their kids tennis training. I certainly do love these kids and I tell them so. When they need discipline, in cooperation with their folks direction, I or the parents discipline them.
As for the pro player, she arrived in a very depressed state. As such, she was taking the depression medication, Paxil. From this her moods swung from happy to sad to angry. She had difficulty sleeping and would often wake up at 3am or 4 am and begin her day, thus waking all of us up. She soon needed a prescription refill. The pharmacist advised us her prescription is twice the amount she can legally fill in the USA! This worried me. I researched the drug and found it caused many of the side effects the player showed. I spoke with the player about the dangers of this particular drug. She became defensive and began to become upset with me. Research shows the effects of this drug are addictive.
At her pro tournament, the doctor cut her prescription in half, and has advised her she no longer needs, but must slowly stop taking the drug.
During the times of her mood swings, she and I would argue. I believe she was controlled by her drug. I believe many factors of abuse had been in her life for years. My job was to train her fulltime for tennis. Coaches and players argue. People taking 200% the legal amount available for prescription of Paxil can suffer from quick mood swings. People trusted me to care for her. I stood up against the drug and this caused arguments. I was not angry with her. Nor did I control her in a negative way, though as her coach I certainly did control the environment .
This player needed help. She was suicidal and needed help. She is now back on the pro tour with an ability to earn a good income playing the sport she loves. She is independently running her own schedule. Her depression drug dosage has been cut in half. Her eating disorders have stopped. She has began restoring her relationship with her mother. She was in such bad shape when she arrived her first workout with me lasted only 19 minutes, within just 7 weeks she was competing for over 2 hrs in a qualifier pro match in the 6th largest pro tournament in the world. She is on her way to becoming happy and healthy. The love and anger I showed her were positive. When we became upset with each other, we calmed down, then talked and worked it out.
Bob writes, "Mr. Paschal states that he has become her 'tennis dad'." [/color:93fcaefe20]
This is her statement to me, and I gladly tell others. Her biological father did not want her so she didn't know him. She told me several negative stories about her former step-dad. When she called me her tennis dad I was proud of the title and still am. I am glad she feels she has a dad. She also calls the Pastor she lived with in France her dad. I would feel he is proud, too.
Bob writes, "Immediately start to use their photos on the website, to validate their claims of great players and to attract additional players. "[/color:93fcaefe20]
Every tennis academy posts pictures of their players. We are proud of our students. The pro player personally told me I could use her pics on our web site. She also hand wrote a letter she wanted placed on our web site for the world to read and hear her story. I began developing a section on our ministry's web site specifically for her. If this attracts player, great. If this provides inspiration to our web site visitors, great. If this motivates another pro player to also receive help, great.
[b:93fcaefe20]Finally, [/b:93fcaefe20]the pro player has agreed to pay back the expenses I've incurred. When her income allows her the financial ability to pay me back, she will do so. Top junior and pro athletes worldwide usually train train at academies for free, not just in tennis, but in most sports. Most tennis athletes travel extensively and cannot afford a full time coach. Academies provide training at no or low cost to these players. Compensation often comes later if the player is successful. Either direct financial compensation, or free advertising, recommendations, sponsorships, etc. Offering free training is standard industry practice and if you are fortunate for a great athlete to choose your facility it is a very good thing. The pro player spoke about our building an orphanage in partnership together, or a tennis academy. This could be agreed upon as financial compensation for my services.
[b:93fcaefe20]The first day Reverend Kraft [/b:93fcaefe20]called me over 6 years ago and began speaking to me, I did not want to talk with him further. He attempted to establish himself as the person to whom I am accountable. I was told what to do by this man, not asked. I felt uncomfortable. He clearly made it known that he was the person in charge of ministry through tennis worldwide and that I would need his approval for my new ministry.
I broke off communication. His response was anger.
Nowadays, when Reverend Kraft learns of something neat happening with my life or ministry, he exerts his control to dampen my spirits.
The pro player has benefited from my coaching services and she has shared with us her negative experiences traveling with Reverend Kraft. His reaction to this is the same as previous reactions.
Though I certainly have the right to, I didn't recruit this pro player. I was told she was suicidal, in deep depression, had physically cut herself on her arm multiple times with a razor blade, was bulimic and had lost 10 kilos (20+ pounds), was dealing with 4 years of sexual molestation as a teen, felt let down by the Christian influences in her life, was taking powerful anti-depressant drugs, and needed a new chance and a new start. After learning of her terrible situation, I offered everything I could to help.
She received her new start. She is back in pro tennis playing at the highest levels, and is as an independent woman making her own decisions.
I am back home in Florida preparing a Christian mission trip to Miami during the 5th largest pro tournament in the world. I look forward to seeing her, and if she like, I will coach her during her matches.
For 7 weeks I gave her my best, all of us here did. I think we did a good job.