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Knicks Need Rose to Overcome Unconscious Performance Blocks

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There has been a lot of talk about the New York Knicks’ offseason moves and their potential for success this season. Joining cornerstones Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis will be Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings among others.

Spearheading the team’s attack is the highly talented and athletically explosive point guard Rose. Before Russell Westbrook, Rose was one of the first players from the point guard position who captured the league’s attention with his explosive style of play. New York is hoping that the one-time league MVP can regain his old form (or at least come close) and consistently perform at a high level so that the Knicks can make some noise in the Eastern Conference. But despite the heightened optimism, the Knicks are betting on a player with an injury history that has unfortunately scarred much of his career. Rose’s injury pattern could block him and his team from success this season.

Rose’s chronic injury pattern began approximately four years ago when he tore his left ACL on April 28, 2012 during a playoff game versus the Philadelphia 76ers. When a player sustains a major injury such as Rose did, the physical structures of the body like ligaments can be damaged and will take time to heal. In addition to the initial structural damage, energetic imbalances such as intense emotions, images and somatic feelings experienced during the time of injury and throughout rehabilitation can become trapped within the acupuncture system of the body (also known as the unconscious mind). These imbalances cause blockages within the energy pathways of the acupuncture system, which many times causes problems like displacing the physical tissues around the point of injury (think of the problems caused when arteries become blocked). These energetic blocks then begin to be internalized by the unconscious mind of a player, and essentially are committed to muscle memory. As this happens, additional pain and instability can manifest, and if left unresolved will cause the player become susceptible to further injury.

Now, back to Rose. I have not personally evaluated him, but based on my experience working with NBA players, Olympians and high-level collegiate players, the root of Rose’s injury pattern seems like it began because the energetic and unconscious blocks generated from the ACL injury were not cleared from his acupuncture system. The images, emotions and negative thoughts from the injury were still held within his unconscious mind, causing Rose to experience fear of injury, tentativeness and lack of confidence even after he was cleared to resume full basketball activities by his medical staff. As any player knows, if there is any doubt that an injury has fully healed, there will very likely be a tendency to hold back from going full speed, and trusting in the physical body.

Dan Barto, the Head Skills Trainer at the famed IMG Academy in Florida, has trained over 100 NBA players. He has worked with many players returning from a serious injury, including some who were returning from a torn ACL.

“I think anytime an athlete misses an extended period of time – like Derrick Rose did – they come back and work extra hard, but they’re working with a new body and an old, agitated mind,” Barto told Basketball Insiders. “They try to avoid the loss of on-court balance or even pain by not moving too hard to one side. This can lead to an overuse injury or a tear because you’re basically putting a Ferrari engine into a Porsche frame with a teenage driver.”

As Barto explains, Rose’s frame could not withstand his elite athleticism, or the imbalance (teenage driver) that still existed within his unconscious. The imbalance was made up of unresolved blockages that created misalignment within his body – severely hindering his ability to remain healthy and regain his MVP level of play. Unfortunately, this initial injury and the energetic blockages that followed set the stage for the chronic pattern for injury that Rose has exhibited throughout his turbulent career.

In February 2013, as the Bulls made their playoff push Rose stated, “I am not coming back until I’m 110 percent.” This statement, if examined more closely, shows that Rose may unconsciously have been hesitant to return during the 2012-13 season. He likely sensed that on some level something was off. What he was feeling were the blockages still held within his unconscious mind, which had not yet been eliminated.

Rose took this unconscious patterning into the next season, when he returned to the Bulls lineup. His return was short lived. On November 22, 2013, during the 10th game of the season, he came up limping. The diagnosis was a torn right meniscus for which Rose underwent season-ending surgery. After making a valiant comeback by battling through rehab, Rose returned to the Bulls lineup for 2014-15 season and played 46 of the first 57 games before it was revealed that he had torn his surgical repaired meniscus again. Season-ending surgery ensued.

“Shoulders, microfractures and ACLs are toughest to rush back from, in my experience,” Barto said. “The player with an ACL injury needs to slowly get back onto the court and build back up their athletic foundation or they’ll be more at risk if they are a ball-dominant guard. I think sometimes a player will be cleared and then they think they’re ready to do everything again.  Maybe money is on the line for a contract, but they need to ease back.  I do not have the numbers, but I would guess a lot of re-injury occurs in a contract year.”

In total, Rose has suffered three major knee injuries, and has had three surgeries to repair those injuries, causing him to miss 166 of the previous 312 games over the past four seasons. Each of these injuries, surgeries and rehabilitation processes have created numerous unconscious performance blockages. These blocks, which continue to be accumulated, no doubt still affect Rose’s physical body and also severely impede his overall statistical performance. Since his MVP season in 2010-11, Rose’s stats have been trending downward in points per game, assists per game, rebounds per game, free throw percentage, field goal percentage and three-point percentage – all of which are falling almost year over year.

The unfortunate part of Rose’s situation is that his chronic injury patterning could have likely been prevented after his first injury. In matter of a few weeks, Rose could have likely avoided his subsequent injuries through implementation of Chinese medicine performance enhancement techniques (Energy Psychology) geared toward clearing out energetic blocks held on the unconscious level.

Combined with the traditional rehabilitation process, Energy Psychology allows athletes to recover faster and eliminate the unconscious blockages that could cause further injuries. This new player development approach can also be applied to improve statistical performance. How? When unconscious barriers are removed, players get out of their own way and naturally begin to perform at higher levels, which translates into improved statistics.

For Rose, implementing a four-to-six-week program directly following his initial ACL tear with weekly off-court sessions that worked to eliminate the unconscious blocks causing his somatic discomfort may have helped prevent his subsequent injuries. Clearing the guarding, and fear of re-injury associated with his initial injury, would have been key. Additionally, as his on-court activity increased, skill development synthesized with Energy Psychology techniques would have cleared Rose’s unconscious blocks to higher performance. This could have given him the chance to regain his MVP level of performance from the 2010-11 season and avoid the slow statistical decline he has experienced since the initial injury.

For the Knicks’ front office, there is a lot riding on the overall health and performance level of Rose. Another injury could sabotage all the work and investment that the organization has put in during this summer. Conversely, a healthy and highly productive Rose could help the Knicks make noise in the Eastern Conference. Rose has a lot riding on this season as well, since he’s in a contract year and a strong campaign could lead to a significant pay day when he’s an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

It is not too late for Rose to get back on track and eliminate the chronic injury patterns and the downward trending statistical performance that he has experienced since the 2010-11 season with the Bulls. Getting to the root issues and clearing out the energetic blockages contributing to these problems would behoove Rose and the Knicks.

 

Jake Rauchbach is an Integrated Player Development Coach, specializing in High-Performance Mindfulness. He has coached professional and Division-1 basketball. He is the founder of The MindRight Pro® Program and consults on the Olympic, collegiate and professional levels. Follow him on Instagram @mindright_pro and twitter @mindrightpro

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