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Reflecting on 154-year past for motivation, West Virginia University recommits to land-grant university mission – WV News

Posted: June 3, 2021 at 1:48 am


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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV News) Gordon Gee, current president of West Virginia University, has what some may call a friendly disposition the bow tie, the round glasses, the friendly smile. The same cannot be said for Alexander Martin, the first president of WVU, who served from 1867-1875.

Evidently, he was quite a character, said Jay Cole, a senior adviser to Gee and a WVU historian. Hes got this really imposing, stern look to him. I can imagine him being the kind of president who could intimidate students with just a glance.

Not a lot is known about Martin, aside from the fact that he came from Scotland, was a clergyman before becoming WVU president, and died somewhere between the age of 60 and 70. But one thing we know Gee and Martin have in common is a dedication to the university and a desire to see it succeed.

Martin was a strong believer in the power of education, Cole said. He represented that new type of leader who helped higher education evolve in America from private and religious to public and more secular.

In the early days of higher education, it was generally religious-based, with a heavy emphasis in philosophy and speech. Colleges were primarily in large cities and available only to the wealthy. That changed with the Morrill Land-Grant Acts statutes.

Justin Smith Morrill was a U.S. senator from Vermont. In the late 1850s, he introduced the idea of creating a way to provide funds to states to create comprehensive colleges or universities.

Sen. Morrill said lets make it more democratic, lets expand the access, increase the availability of opportunity for students from all over the country to receive a higher education, Cole said. After a little bit of political maneuvering it didnt pass the first time, but a couple years later, 1862, he was able to line up the votes politically and it was signed into law by President Lincoln.

The goal of the act was to ensure that colleges provided a good education in areas such as engineering and agriculture.

The Agricultural College of West Virginia officially opened its doors Feb. 7, 1867. It was renamed West Virginia University on Dec. 4, 1868.

The importance of being a land-grant university is not lost on Gee.

Land-grant universities are about changing lives and building communities, Gee said. That is our history, and I think the good thing about it is that we have been very solidly centered as a land-grant institution; we havent tried to be who were not. We have been very focused on the peoples university in West Virginia, and I love that history.

The WVU of the 1800s was a far cry from what we know today.

When you think about what it was 150 years ago, it was much smaller, Cole said. The number, literally youre talking about students you could count by the dozens, and just a handful of faculty members. It was a slow start. It grew steadily. A lot of things helped with that growth. I would characterize it as a slow but steady start from 1867 into the mid-20th century.

Federal legislation created the Agricultural Extension Service in the early 1900s, and that helped give a boost to WVU.

That was the basis of the Extension services you take the scholarly activity of the university and you extend it beyond the campus walls into local communities, Cole said. That was huge, and a big part of WVUs growth in the early part of the 20th century.

The mission was now to share the results of their research.

Whether it was the best kind of crops to plant in certain soil, or the best kind of conditions to maintain livestock, Cole said, WVU was charged with making sure that knowledge got extended from the campus out into the community.

The second World War helped change the perception of universities on a national basis.

By the time we get to World War II, we start seeing the federal government specifically look to universities for research and help with the war effort, Cole said. Whether it was sonar, radar, and so many of the things that had military applications you began to see this relationship forming between research universities and the federal government developing new technologies.

The GI Bill after World War II helped WVU and universities around the nation expand.

You had a large increase in the universitys enrollment, with all of the returning servicemen, Cole said. A lot of them wanted the benefits of a college education, and they came back home and came to WVU having experiences in the military and overseas. They brought with them a more worldly view, and also more self-discipline from their military training.

Students who were more serious and committed to their studies helped fuel the growth of the university into the early 1950s.

Many notable figures helped WVU grow in not only public perception, but also through their in-school accomplishments. The first major sports celebrity to come from WVU was Jerry West, who played on the Mountaineer basketball team from 1956-1960. He won an Olympic gold medal in 1960, then became one of the most successful NBA stars of all time.

He meant so much to the university back when he was on those teams in the late 1950s and early 60s because it was one of the first ways WVU became known to a national audience, Cole said. Those great runs in the national tournaments really introduced the name WVU and helped put it on the map.

In the decades since, West has given both his time and resources to WVU.

Hes somebody who had a big impact while here as a student, but continued to serve and give back, Cole said. Thats what you hope for the university helps somebody succeed and achieve, and that person then gives back.

Another notable figure Cole said was vital to the success of WVU through his extraordinarily generous philanthropy was Milan Puskar. The WVU football stadium was named after Puskar in 1980.

At the same time, I think its important with him in particular, what he did for the Morgantown community as a whole region with Mylan Pharmaceuticals had a huge impact on the university, Cole said. You had a thriving pharmaceutical business that served as an economic anchor for the Morgantown region.

Cole said that if you think of Morgantowns economy as a triangle in those days, there were three major components: WVU, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.

They were the anchors of the regional economy there was a lot of synergy, in terms of research and development, Cole said.

Cole noted that there was some debate when WVU was launching the medical school, and political pressure being put on them, to have the school located in Charleston.

If the medical school had been in Charleston, I think the history of the university and history of the state would be very different, Cole said. We wouldnt have, I dont think, as comprehensive and as strong an academic health sciences center as we do today. The medical service that members of all 55 counties receive, thats life changing and life-saving.

The past for WVU has led to a future for WVU that is bright, according to President Gee.

Weve moved from being a nice place you send your kids to college to have four years of fun joining a fraternity or sorority, to really being the economic engine, Gee said. We are the largest employer in the state, and we also create more economic activity than any entity in the state. By any measure, the university has been a great investment for the state of West Virginia.

WVU is built on the shoulders of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, Gee said. He hopes that people look to WVU as a bright spot in the state that is doing many good things.

I hope the legacy of the university is the people realizing in their hearts and their minds that this university is theirs and is making a very solid difference in their lives, Gee said. I want it to not be viewed as an external entity, but as a great partner in this thing we call West Virginia.

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Reflecting on 154-year past for motivation, West Virginia University recommits to land-grant university mission - WV News

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Bill Cowher: Respect the ‘Strongest Motivational Tool for NFL Players – Heavy.com

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Dan Beineke/NFL Photo Library Bill Cowher during a game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 24, 2006.

Last season Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster sparked an ongoing debate about whether his pregame dancing provided added motivation for opposing teams.

Reading Bill Cowhers new memoir, Heart and Steel, its clear where the former Steelers head coach stands on this issue.

Respect may well be the strongest motivational tool for professional athletes, writes Cowher, which is why he and his staff compiled the juiciest opponent quotes from the week and [would] stick them in the players lockers.

I always tried to make each game personal, writes Cowher, elaborating about his philosophy. We played just sixteen, so each of them had significance. I wanted to find ways to make sure each individuals pride was at stake every game.

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That sometimes included using video clips to make his point. For example, in December 2005 the Steelers lost to the Bengals in Pittsburgh by a score of 38-31. After the game, Cincinnati wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh wiped his shoes with a Terrible Towel.

As soon as I saw that clip (which the Bengals tweeted out prior to playing the Steelers in 2020), I thought, Ill remember that one, recalls Cowher in the book.

A little more than a month later, the No. 6 seeded Steelers faced the No. 3 seeded Bengals in an AFC Wild Card game in Cincinnati. The night before the game Cowher wrapped up a team meeting by replaying the Houshmandzadeh clip.

When we win, we win with humility. And if we lose, we lose with grace. That wasnt humility, he told his team. So tomorrow, when you go out there, just think about him wiping his shoes with something that signifies us as a team. And if you have a chance tomorrow, let him know you didnt appreciate it. Thats it. Good night.

The clip did the trick adds Cowher, recalling how Houshmandzadeh got hit all game long en route to a 31-17 victory, one which sparked the following locker room celebrationa celebration that former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis later tried to turn into a rallying point of his own.

Last season Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster provided a steady stream of bulletin board material to Pittsburghs opponents, including the Bengals. Prior to a Monday night game in December, Smith-Schuster danced on Cincinnatis logo, prompting a response from the Bengals that included a monstrous hit on Smith-Schuster, courtesy of safety Vonn Bell.

A week earlier, Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer claimed that Smith-Schusters pregame TikTok video gave the Bills extra fire on the way to a 26-15 win over Pittsburgh.

Then, most famously, Smith-Schuster made his Browns is the Browns comment just prior to Januarys Wild Card game between the two teams, which the Steelers went on to lose 48-37.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin tried to discount the notion that Smith-Schusters dancing and quotes served as added motivation for Pittsburghs opponents, saying, Were professionals. I doubt any of those antics or things of that nature are legitimate motivating factors as you step into professional stadiums. But its about respect, and so well have a conversation.

Of course, the Steelers went on to re-sign Smith-Schuster to a one-year deal that keeps him with the team through the 2021 season. He has insisted that he wont stop being authenticthat he wont stop being himselfso it ought to be interesting to see if hes more restrained in terms of his self-promotional activities in 2021, at least in terms of those that have a direct impact on his coaches and teammates.

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Also Read: LeVeon Bell Promises No More Rushed Decisions in Free Agency Steelers Lineman Admits He Struggled with Anxiety, Piss-Poor Attitude in 2020 Ex-Steelers Lineman Chastises Analysts for Ben Roethlisberger Deep Ball Tweet

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Milind Soman running in rain is all the fitness motivation we need this Monday – Hindustan Times

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Listening to the rhythm of the falling rain is therapeutic for most of us and teaching us to tap into its many health benefits is Indian supermodel Milind Soman who recently pumped up our drooping energies to hit the grind this Monday. Fiving fans a glimpse of his short 6km daily run in the beautiful hills outside Mumbai, Milind served us all the fitness motivation we need to take us through the rest of the week.

Taking to his social media handle, the actor shared a picture that gave fitness enthusiasts a sneak-peek of his rigorous exercise session. Donning only a pair of navy blue shorts, Milind flaunted a bare torso and his signature salt and pepper look accessorised with a pair of brown-tinted sunglasses.

Running in the backdrop of lush greenery, Milinds exotic workout was frozen on camera by his wife, Ankita Konwar. He shared in the caption, Runnin in the rain! Been running short 6km runs every day in these beautiful hills outside Mumbai, waiting to hit the highway for a hundred, dont know when what are you waiting for most of all ???????? (sic).

Benefits:

As per a study on Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, running each day for just 5 to 10 minutes at a moderate pace, say 6.0 miles per hour, not only has a significant impact on longetivity but may also reduced the risk of death from heart attack or stroke and other cardiovascular disease, lower the risk of developing cancer, lower the risk of developing neurological diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases. The study highlighted that runners in general have a 25%40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live approximately 3 years longer than non-runners.

Improved sleep and moods are other benefits of running. As per a group of Dutch researchers, running 2.5 hours per week or 30 minutes for five days a week can also result in enjoying maximum longevity benefits.

Apart from strengthening muscles and improving cardiovascular fitness, running helps to build strong bones, as it is a weight bearing exercise and burns plenty of kilojoules which in turn helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Contrary to popular belief, running in the cold or in the rain won't actually give you a cold instead, it will help you in achieving herculean strength and building mental toughness. From cooling you off to enabling you to go farther, longer and maybe even faster, running in the rain burns more calories as our bodies aren't at risk of overheating and it makes you tough.

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Govt hasn’t scrapped teacher motivation allowance GES Dep. Director General – GhanaWeb

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Kwabena B Tandoh, Deputy Director General, Ghana Education Service for quality and access

The Deputy Director General, Ghana Education Service (GES) responsible for quality and access, Dr. Kwabena B Tandoh, says government has not scrapped the teacher motivation policy.

In 2015, the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government said it had scrapped the teacher motivation allowance paid to members of the profession every term.

The allowance was levied on students at the senior high school level, but that will no longer be charged.

The then Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Francis Gbadago, said the motivation allowance had outlived its usefulness, adding that other public sector workers such as doctors and nurses are not paid such allowances to be motivated to work harder.

The purpose for which this teacher motivation fee was introduced has lost its value at the moment. Now we have teachers being paid a considerable amount of money as salary. We think that at this particular point in time, there is no need for teachers to paid teacher motivation anymore, Francis Gbadago told press men.

Reacting to issues concerning teacher motivation at the Senior High School level, Dr. Kwabena B Tandoh, said monies are disbursed every year for the purposes of motivating teachers at the secondary level.

He revealed that in 2018 and 2019 government, disbursed GHS55m each year, to schools to support academic intervention to motivate teachers and assist the students.

"Government has not scrapped teacher motivation. In 2018 and 2019, government disbursed GHS55m both years to support academic intervention in schools. In 2020, schools were closed and so monies were not disbursed. This years fund is in our budget and it will disbursed for its purpose. GES is passionate about the motivation of teachers, he added.

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Govt hasn't scrapped teacher motivation allowance GES Dep. Director General - GhanaWeb

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Mid Week Motivation: Kajal Aggarwal shares a beautiful no makeup photo; Says ‘All you need to do is breathe’ – PINKVILLA

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Of late, Kajal Aggarwal has been sending a lot of positive vibes throgh social media. She recently took up knitting as an activity to deal with the grim situation.

We all are coping with something or other in our life during the pandemic, but we are equally fighting it bravely each day. Well, Wednesday is here, which means we are also halfway into the week. For some mid-week motivation, the gorgeous Kajal Aggarwal shared a no-makeup photo on Twitter and wrote, "Sometimes all you need to do is breathe." The actress has treated her fans with beautiful photos of herself and we can't get our eyes off her.

Of late, Kajal Aggarwal has been sending a lot of positive vibes throgh social media. She recently took up knitting as an activity to deal with the grim situation. She wrote, "KNIT. PRAY. LOVE. While the situation is very grim, there is a general feeling of helplessness and anxiety around us. It is very important to focus and apply our minds to something, it can be anything- The idea is to feel purposeful/ creative and establish a sense of usefulness, productivity and achievement. I have taken up knitting very recently and it helps me relax, it helps with mental well-being! I believe the act of creating something for others is truly therapeutic! What are you doing to stay occupied at home in your free time?."

Also Read: PHOTOS: Kajal Aggarwal's husband Gautam Kitchlu kisses & pampers his ladylove and it is all things cute

On the work front, Kajal Aggarwal will be seen sharing the screen space with megastar Chiranjeevi in Siva Koratala's Acharya. The film has Pooja Hegde in a cameo role while Ram Charan plays an important role in the film.

Acharya is produced by both Matinee Entertainment and Konidela Production Company. The film was expected to hit screens on 13 May but the makers decided to postpone it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rich Miller: What is feds’ motivation in naming names? – Herald & Review

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When reading last weeks indictment of Tim Mapes, its important to remember that federal prosecutors have been trying to prove that his old boss, former House Speaker Michael Madigan, was directing the effort to allegedly bribe him with favors.

Madigans longtime chief of staff was indicted May 26 for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury and attempting to obstruct the grand jurys corruption investigation.

It says right there in the indictment that the grand jury is investigating efforts by [Madigan], and efforts of [Madigans former consigliere Mike McClain] on [Madigans] behalf, to obtain for others private jobs, contracts, and monetary payments, in order to influence and reward [Madigan] in connection with [Madigans] role as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

So, they asked Mapes questions about whether Madigan had directed Mike McClain to perform sensitive tasks, or whether Madigan had directed McClain to exercise Madigans power and authority, or whether Madigan or his staff had sought McClains advice, or whether McClain had performed work for Madigan or received assignments from him or served as his communications conduit, or whether McClain assisted Madigan with matters concerning the Illinois House of Representatives, its members, its lobbyists, or with the entities or individuals having pending matters before the Illinois House of Representatives.

While these are all central questions to the feds probe of Madigan, they are not necessarily questions that would criminally implicate Mapes. The government obtained an order from Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in March to give Mapes immunity for his grand jury testimony. He could respond without incriminating himself.

Anyone with even basic knowledge of the case against Mike McClain would know that the feds had tapped and then seized his phone and his computer. Its no surprise, therefore, that the FBI possessed numerous conversations between McClain and Mapes, and prosecutors asked Mapes about those convos during the grand jury proceeding.

Did McClain tell Mapes anything hed discussed with Madigan or what he was doing on behalf of Madigan during 2017-2019? No, Mapes said, according to the indictment. Did Mapes know about any tasks or assignments for McClain from Madigan in 2017 and 2018 or any time after McClain officially retired from lobbying in 2016? No. Etc.

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Mapes attorneys claim the questions were vague and imprecise and were about events that took place many years ago.

Maybe some of the questions couldve been vague, but Tim Mapes was infamous for making it his business to know everything and never seemed to forget anything. He was a detail guy and had a voracious appetite for news and gossip. And the record shows that McClain never made it a secret to almost anyone that he was doing things for Madigan after he supposedly retired from lobbying at the end of 2016.

The feds tapes and emails of McClains conversations with Mapes himself may have proved just that. As an example, McClain described to Mapes work and assignments from [Madigan] between 2017 and 2019, the indictment claimed. Mapes also allegedly provided McClain messages communicated to Mapes from Madigan about tasks McClain was performing on behalf of McClain.

That Mapes would allegedly lie to a grand jury when he most certainly knew what the government had on him is either profoundly stupid and careless or some real-life Hollywood stuff.

Five Kroger customers will win $1 million each for being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Its natural to be paranoid about the timing of this indictment, coming just five days before the spring sessions adjournment and during a very difficult negotiation over ComEd parent company Exelons demand for yet another giant ratepayer subsidy for three more nuclear power plants. The feds have had a habit for a couple of years of announcing indictments at crucial points during Illinois legislative sessions, and this may have been no different. Part of the Madigan probe centers around the 2016 Exelon nuclear bailout, after all.

The indictment contains a single mention of ComEds current CEO, although it doesnt even hint at even a tiny bit of scandal. Mapes was simply asked whether he had any knowledge of Madigans impressions of the guy. But the feds did throw in that name check, which could make people wonder what the heck is going on because the federales dont generally toss around names without some sort of purpose even if that purpose may be chaos.

1965:As a first-year Loyola-Chicago law student, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley appoints Madigan to a job in the city's law department.

1969:At 27 years old, Madigan is elected as 13th Ward committeeman in Chicago.

1970:Madigan is elected to a state office for the first time as a delegate to the state's constructional convention.

1971:Madigan becomes the state representative for the 22nd Illinois House District on Chicago's South Side near Midway Airport.

1972:His friend Vincent Getzendanner joins Madigan to found a law firm, Madigan and Getzendanner, which is known for handling property law.

1976:Madigan marriesShirley Murray, who has a daughter named Lisa. Lisa was elected Illinois attorney general in 2003.

1998:Madigan is elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

2003:Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, is sworn in as governor. Blagojevich and Madigan fought bitterly over budgets and rarely got along.

2011:Madigan leads a historic effort to raise Illinois' income tax rate from 3.25% to 5%, the largest increase in state history. Democrats and Gov. Pat Quinn hoped it would alleviate pressure on the budget.

2013:The Chicago Tribune reports Madigan used his influence to secure patronage hiring at the Chicago area's commuter train agency, Metra.

2015:Fierce fights with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner resulted in Illinois failing to pass a budget by the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. Illinois would go over two years without a budget.

2016:Madigan's personal lawyer, Michael Kasper, successfully sues to block an amendment to the state constitution allowing legislative maps to be created by an independent commission, which would have taken power away from Madigan.

2016:Madigan leads a legislative effort to help Exelon, the parent company of Commonwealth Edison, secure funds for two nuclear power plants. The legislation leads to a $2.3 billion rate hike on ComEd customers.

2017:Despite a vetofrom Rauner, the General Assembly passes a budget, ending over two years of negotiations. It includes an income tax increase to 4.95%.

2018:The #MeToo movement enters the state Capitol and Madigan's inner circle. Former state Rep. Lou Lang was accused of inappropriate conduct but later cleared.

February 2018:Madigan fires aide Kevin Quinn after stafferAlaina Hamptonshared messages with the Chicago Tribune describing sexual harassment from Quinn and Madigan's refusal to address the issue. Madigan settled with Hampton for $275,000.

June 2018:Madigan's chief of staff Tim Mapes resigns after allegations of inappropriate conduct toward a co-worker at the state Capitol. Employees of the Capitol, including lawmakers became required to take sexual harassment training at Madigan's direction.

2019:Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki bars Madigan, a Catholic, from receiving Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield after he supported a bill expanding access to abortion.

2019:FBI agents raid the homes of Madigan's closest political associates, including Mike McClain of Quincy, a former state representative and ComEd lobbyist. His phone was also tapped by the FBI. The FBI's work would eventually result in charges against McClain and others close to Madigan.

Jan. 9, 2020:Madigan declines to open an investigation by the state legislature into an email written in 2012 by McClain that refers to a "rape in Champaign."

July 17, 2020:Energy provider ComEd is hit with bribery charges. Madigan is implicated in the charges as Public Official A, the elected official the company sought to influence in exchange for his support on legislation between 2011 and 2019. Madigan said he was unaware of any attempts to influence him and did not take part in any unethical behavior. The FBI also delivered a grand jury subpoena to Madigan's state capitol office. That day, multiple lawmakers began dropping their support for Madigan's leadership.

Oct. 1, 2020:State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit announces she will run against Madigan for speaker. It's believed to be the first time Madigan faced a serious challenge for the job from a member of his own party.

Nov. 18, 2020:Four of Madigan's close associates Anne Pramaggiore, John Hooker, Michael McClain and Jay Doherty are charged in the ComEd probe.

Rich Miller publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

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Was Just Not the Real Me: Dominic Thiem Disregards Motivation Doubts Over Shocking 1R Loss at French Open 2021 – EssentiallySports

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Tennis French Open Roland Garros, Paris, France May 30, 2021 Austrias Dominic Thiem walks off the court after losing his first round match against Spains Pablo Andujar REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Two-time finalist Dominic Thiem faced a shocking loss against Spanish World No.68 Pablo Andujar at the French Open 2021 first-round. Ordinarily, the Austrian ace would fight back to the top after being two sets down in a match. But this time, he squandered a two-set lead to exit Roland-Garros on the first day itself, losing 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

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Before coming to Paris, the 27-year-old had raised some serious questions regarding his motivation on the ATP Tour. After doing considerably well in Madrid and Rome, Thiem again had shocked the tennis community, losing in Lyon in the opening round right before Roland-Garros.

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Read More: Dominic Thiem Squanders Two Sets Lead, Loses in 1st Round Shocker Against Pablo Andujar at French Open 2021

Neither the 2020 US Open champion nor the tennis world anticipated this shocker. The Austrian tried to answer the question of motivation in his post-match press conference.

Thiem said,Not at all. I was not struggling at all with my motivation, but the game was just not there today. Like all the shots are missing power, they are not accurate enough, moving not well enough. So like everything in my game, theres some percents missing.

Furthermore, Thiem explained he does not know the reason behind his drop in performance level. Also, he added that he had been doing super intense training for the match. The Austrian concluded,I mean, the shots and how I moved and everything was just not the real me, I would say, or my version, who is able to play for big titles. Its just not good enough at the moment, and yeah, its a very tough situation.

Watch this story: Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty, Iga Swiatek, And Other Surprising Womens Singles Champion at French Open

Naturally, the opening round defeat on his beloved Parisian clay will be heavy on Thiem. However, he now has enough time to analyze and regroup himself before the grass season.

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Without a doubt, fans are waiting to see him flourish on the tennis courts again. Hopefully, the awarded time due to his early exit will prove advantageous for him for the rest of the season.

Thiem has a lot of work to do, whereas fans have the entirety of Roland-Garros 2021 left for them. Who do you think can challenge Rafael Nadal now that Thiem is out of contention?

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Also Read: Would Be a Challenge: Bjorn Borg Desires to Play Against Rafael Nadal at French Open

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Was Just Not the Real Me: Dominic Thiem Disregards Motivation Doubts Over Shocking 1R Loss at French Open 2021 - EssentiallySports

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Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith used NFL draft experts as motivation – Steelers Wire

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Outside linebacker Alex Highsmith was pressed into starting duty as a rookie in 2020 when Bud Dupree tore his ACL. His performance was strong enough to give Pittsburgh Steelers coaches confidence in him to be the opening-day starter opposite T.J. Watt.

But many NFL draft pundits werent so convinced and many had edge rusher among the teams top draft needs this year, even going so far as to mock an edge to the Steelers in the first round. Highsmith said this motivated him to work even harder in the offseason.

My thoughts? Whatever it takes. Highsmith has some big shoes to fill so anything he can pull from to help get him there is fine by me. Highsmith only had one sack in his five starts, but the Steelers did very little to address the position in the offseason aside from sixth-round pick Quincy Roche.

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Zayne Anderson is a highly motivated talent in KC Chiefs secondary – Arrowhead Addict

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 16: Zayne Anderson #23 of the BYU Cougars breaks up a pass intended for Marquez Stevenson #5 of the Houston Cougars in the second half at TDECU Stadium on October 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Tyreek Hill is in historic company with Pro Bowl success by Matt Conner

KC Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes has his sights set on 20-0 record by Matt Conner

Preston Hadley seemed like the perfect person to ask.

This spring, Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach signed only a handful of rookie free agents. For a loaded roster, its tough to find room, and theres no use bringing in a typical haul of a dozen or more players if theres no real chance to earn a roster spot. However, one player who did earn a closer look is Brigham Young safety Zayne Anderson.

Back to Coach Hadley for a second. Not only has Hadley served as Andersons coach in the secondary since 2018 for the Cougars, but Hadley was also college teammatesagain at BYUwith the player to whom Anderson is compared most: Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen. Both players were BYU products. Both entered the NFL as undrafted players. Both profile similarly as exceptionally hard-hitting safeties known for their intelligence and toughness. Then again, Hadley is quick to differentiate the players despite the similarities.

I know a lot of BYU fans like to draw comparisons between Danny and Zayne, but dont draw comparisons to Dirty Dan, man, said Preston in a recent interview with Arrowhead Addict. Hes in a league of his own.I cant speak of what Danny has done in the NFL, but as far as being his teammate, theyre two different personalities for sure, but I think they have a similar skill set, similar measurables. I think their intangibles are different, but it will be fun.

Hadley laughs when asked about the potential of both BYU alumni fighting for the same potential job. Given that both players are known for being so competitive and tenacious, its going to be an intriguing preseason for all players involved.

Its a mans game, said Hadley. Knowing Danny, I know hes not going to let that happen. Im hoping they can end up being teammates, yknow? But also knowing Zayne, those are two competitive guys. Im hoping Zayne can link up with Danny during his time there, because Dannys been really good about coming back to BYU and having relationships with our current players. I know Zaynes already looked up to him quite a bit, especially with everyone telling him how comparable they are skill set-wise. But Dannys a killer, man. I think Zayne can get there but Danny has 8 or 9 years experience.

While its tough for any pro prospect to make the leap from the college ranks, Hadley says Anderson has a couple key assets working in hi favor. Beyond the clear physical gifts he possesses and a great frame at 62, 210 lbs., Anderson also comes with a maturity and work ethic rarely seen even in players ready to make the jump to the NFL.

For the latter, Anderson is the very rare prospect who has had three senior seasonsyes, three. Due to a shoulder injury that prematurely ended his 2018 and 2019 season, Anderson kept returning again and again in order to finish well. That injury history will be a concern for teams and likely downgraded him on some draft boards, but Hadley said it also shaped Anderson to be the man that he is today.

Your mindset going into your senior yearmaintaining that is a different thing. He had to do that three times, said Hadley. I think that takes a certain level of discipline to come back and play at a high level after the injuries. Every player has adversity and his is very unique to have to mentally prepare to be a senior three times.

Hes older, but its not like he didnt play in multiple games in each of those years. So hes actually got a lot of game experience at multiple positions. I think it can help give him an edge over who hes going to be competing against. Hes still gotta go out and play well, but I think it definitely gives him an advantage. We have a saying, Adversity prepares you for greatness. Hes definitely faced that, had some letdowns of things outside his control, but I think it will pay dividends during his pursuit of a career in the NFL.

When it comes to the injury concerns, Hadley stated that this last season proved he was healthy and ready to play again, as Anderson played in 11 games for the Cougars and racked up 41 tackles. He also returned to safety after a couple years as a hybrid player at linebacker, giving him some real versatility for the Chiefs going forward.

I think he proved this year he can be durable. Hes a versatile player. After his sophomore year, he actually started at a hybrid linebacker/safety position. In our language, we call it a linebacker, but in general its somewhere in between. He played that position for us and thats where Fred Warner played. Its a bit more physical position than what hed been playing at free safety.

When he was right, he played at a high level and was a great tackler. But he had a shoulder injury and then came back the next year as a linebacker again, and I dont know all the details, but he re-injured it. When he moved back to safety, our athletic trainers put him on a slow track in recovery and rehab. Then this year, he held up. He didnt cringe. He wasnt shy on contact or anything. You wouldnt have known. I might sound biased as his coach, but he maintained his physical level of play. Hes so physical, which is why he had so much wear-and-tear on his shoulder. I think hell hold up.

As for the work ethic, Hadley describes Anderson with a keen ability to lock in. His determination will take an area of weakness and hone that skill until its no longer a concern for him on the field.

When you identify an area he needs to improve on, he can go all in and get tunnel vision about that skill, said Hadley. For example, I gave him some feedback at the end of spring last year that his ball skills werent where they needed to be. I wasnt out there with him during the offseason but he came into fall camp and it was noticeable that it was an area of focus hed been working on.

He has a great combination of focus and energy that he can use to lock in on a specific skill. From my experience, theres been multiple times where you give him feedback saying, This aint right and he comes right back and its noticeably better. I think that takes a high level of intrinsic motivation and says a lot about him as a player.

While all these intangibles are great, they mean nothing if Anderson cant keep up with the elite athletes hell be competing with in offseason training activities and the NFL preseason. Fortunately he showed up strong at his pro day, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. He also had an impressive 4.22 time in the short shuttle.

Its still going to be an uphill battle for Anderson as an undrafted rookie trying to turn the heads of a coaching staff of a Super Bowl contender. The Chiefs have gone to the biggest game in the sport in each of the last two seasons with their eyes very much on a third consecutive trip. The safety position already has Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill and Sorensen as their big three along with Armani Watts, new free agent signing Will Parks, Chris Lammons and fellow rookie free agent Devon Key. Hadley has been honest with Anderson about the realities of the fight ahead and he didnt mince words.

I said, This is a business, man. Everyone there is a pro. We talked about the mindset he needed to have going in, because hes going to steal someones job. There are only so many spots, which means potentially taking food off of someones dinner table. So he has to have a different type of focus than hes ever had. I think hes good for it.

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Zayne Anderson is a highly motivated talent in KC Chiefs secondary - Arrowhead Addict

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Adrian Grenier Reveals The Motivation Behind His Permanent Move to Texas – Just Jared

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Adrian Grenier has no regrets about leaving Hollywood behind for a quieter life in Texas.

The 44-year-old Entourage actor opened up in a new interview with Austin Life magazine about moving to the gigantic state, and revealed his hopes about opening a wildlife sanctuary one day.

Click inside to read more

Theres lots of shiny memories that I crave, but Ive done too much work not to recognize that Im here for something bigger than going to nightclubs, Adrian told the magazine about his lifestyle switch.

On why he chose Austin: I bought a place in Austin five years ago and a year ago I decided to move here permanently. I had friends here, I ran a business here, and liked the pace. Austin is cosmopolitan without being snooty; its earthy. People are smart and successful but they dont flaunt it. There is nothing to prove, people accept you and it felt good right away.

On his connection with nature inspiring his decision: I have been doing environmental work for the last 20 years, Ive started organizations and run non-profits, all designed to tell people to live more in line with nature and yet, I wasnt living that way. In many ways, I reached the apex of that promise if you work hard, you become famous, then you make a lot of money but it was lackluster at the top.

On leaving his Hollywood lifestyle behind: It was a f*** load of fun, and amazing while it lasted. Im not disparaging that stage of my development when I could go deep into my total abject debauchery, but look at nature! Nature will tell you things eventually have to come down to earth, and I found myself in a stage of my life where I had to change.

On wanting to open a wildlife sanctuary: He says he wants to have llamas or alpacas, maybe some goats not for a livestock operation but to keep the grass down.

Read more from the article, written by Sarah Ivens, at CityLifestyle.com/Austin-TX. The cover story was photographed by Laura Morsman Photograpohy and styled by Stephanie Coultress ONeil/EstiloMen.

Earlier this year, Adrian left little to the imagination as he dove into a freezing pool. Watch here!

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Adrian Grenier Reveals The Motivation Behind His Permanent Move to Texas - Just Jared

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