Essential Reads

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What fantasies move a man to ambush an elderly tourist lion?

Penalty Shoot-Outs Are Not a Lottery

Revealing the keys to success in soccer's do-or-die moment

Extraordinary Fun

Another way of playing

How Much Is Your Reputation Really Worth?

New research reveals when your reputation matters, and when it doesn’t.

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

How a Breakup Can Jumpstart Your Career

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Social Instincts
Research suggests that a clean mental slate is essential for peak performance. Add on relationship baggage, and performance suffers.

Sam Bradford: Staying positive in the face of adversity

Season-ending injuries can take a serious toll on athletes, and Sam Bradford, the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, has had two of them. While at one point he even considered quitting football, he has demonstrated how having a positive attitude and outwardly expressing confidence can make a huge difference for an athlete trying to recover from devastating injuries.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 2

By Eyal Winter on May 16, 2015 in Feeling Smart
"sperm competition" is a major force that shaped men and women differently

Grit's Dilemma

It should come as no surprise that athletics is ready to jump on the grit-wagon. Is it ready for the bright lights of big time athletics?

Is it Mature to Be Competitive?

Are children involved with competitive activities more or less mature than their peers?

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in Social Instincts
Before we tie Tom Brady to the whipping post, perhaps we should think about the times we bent, finessed, or massaged the rules for our own benefit.

Depression, Posture and the Role of Exercise

Can we alleviate depression through exercise and changes in posture and deportment?

The Extreme Humanity Of Napalm Death’s Marc Greenway

Napalm Death’s vocalist Marc “Barney” Greenway shares his core humanitarian message and commitment to bring attention to when people are not treated with respect and dignity.

Play Like Lebron: How Disconnecting Boosts Your Performance

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in The New You
Before a big game, distractions in all shapes and sizes can cloud your thinking. That’s why LeBron James has disconnected from his social media accounts and smartphone for the fourth straight NBA postseason. But is this really necessary?

What Would Fred(dy) Couples Advise Tiger Woods?

A fanciful, fantasy exchange between Mr. Smooth and Mr. In Control after Tiger Woods turned in his worst performance at the Players Championship. Tiger: Hey man, did you catch my score at the Players Championship? Freddy: It was pretty hard to miss? Tiger: I guess it was pretty ugly. And this is getting to be pretty humiliating.

Carpe Diem! 30 Reasons to Seize the Day and How to Do It

These 30 motivational phrases will inspire you to seize the day.

Lucid Dreaming and the Future of Sports Training

The results of this study clearly showed that practice in lucid dreaming does have real performance benefits that are at least comparable to the benefits gained from other practice modes. Given the power of dreams to simulate reality with amazing intensity and accuracy, the possibilities for further development of this approach seem wide open.

In Baltimore, an Empty Stadium and a Lack of oise

Quiet baseball symbolizes a potential for hope as protests rack the city

Facilitating Athlete Readiness

Allowing athletes some 'free time' before competition can have a big impact on performance.

Peak Experiences, Disillusionment, and the Joy of Simplicity

Having a once-in-a-lifetime peak experience can trigger an unexpected sense of disillusionment. What is the antidote for feeling dissatisfied after a peak experience like getting married, graduation, or visiting a dream destination? This blog post offers a few clues.

Is the Home Advantage Overrated in Sports?

Sports fans always hear about the importance of home advantage for the championship playoff series. Is it really worth it?

9-Man Doc Showcases Chinese-American Male Identity in Sports

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
A talk with the creator of "9-Man," an award-winning documentary about a version of volleyball played in Chinese American communities for a century.

Make Mental Training a Priority in Your Sport

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in The Power of Prime
I work with many athletes each year, from juniors with big dreams to pros and Olympians who are realizing their dreams. What is abundantly clear to me is that, once the foundation of fitness, technique, tactics, and equipment are established, it is the mind that separates athletes who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

How Big a Fan Are You?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

The Surprising Psychology of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.

What Do We Love About Sports?

What makes sports so captivating?

Does It Take Competition to Make You a Good Leader?

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in Naturally Selected
Leadership modifies organizational culture. An evolutionary niche construction perspective explains why some leaders work for the good of their organization while others turn out to be selfish and destructive leaders.

Mindfulness, Little League, and Parenting

How much of our parenting time do we spend taking children to ball games, dropping them, and then waiting for the action to begin? And then once the so-called action begins, how much actually happens? The answers, at least until children get older, are an awful lot and not much. It’s all fun and games and bonding together, except when it isn’t.

A Betrayal Anxiety Quiz for Women in an Unequal Workplace

When limited opportunities for advancement in a workplace exist, women often find themselves competing for the few positions available. Oftentimes, women who have been betrayed by ladder climbing colleagues are then prone to sabotage others.

Are Athletes Good Role Models?

Being a sport superstar doesn’t automatically qualify a person to be a role model. What are the credentials for the job?

Subliminal Messages Can Fortify Inner Strength

Subliminal messages have the power to fortify your inner strength and self-confidence on and off the court.

Finding Home with Jesse Malin

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on April 15, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Jesse Malin shares how he has used music and creativity to create community.

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

Reframing Parent-Child Time Can Reduce Stress

Mentally reframing how you think about parent-child time can lessen stress and help you better appreciate the time you spend with your child.