Vic Carucci’s Monday column identifies what some of us watchers noticed Saturday. In the second half, I was observing what the TV close-up showed of Josh Allen’s face. As a retired clinical psychologist with 30-plus years of diagnosing and treating patients/clients, I said to myself, “this man is either due for a concussion check or is having an extreme anxiety reaction.”
His eyes were dilated in a fixed stare, the upper half of his face was red, to name just two symptoms. Just then, two of my friends commented: one said, “he looks like a deer caught in the headlights;” the other said, “that look is like the veterans’ faces right after combat.”
These reactions seem to support Carucci’s comment: Allen needs to work on “the area above his shoulder pads. He needs to figure out how to gain better control of his emotions.”
As Carucci is quick to point out, these comments are not to suggest a lack of terrific skills and attitude. Rather, it suggests a clinical problem, high anxiety, which Allen himself has mentioned (“pre-game jitters”). However, most of us with this level of anxiety won’t be able to figure out a solution.
A sports psychologist and/or physician working with athletes can address this difficultly and help the quarterback we all want to succeed.
Frederick B. Cooley, Ph.D., MBA