Essential Reads

Regular Aerobic Exercise in Midlife Protects the Aging Brain

By Christopher Bergland on February 24, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Regular aerobic exercise benefits the brain in surprising ways. New research suggests that regular aerobic exercise in midlife can optimize blood flow networks as the brain ages.

How Do Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis Rewire Your Brain?

By Christopher Bergland on February 06, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking new study has identified how the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) combined with neuroplasticity can rewire the brain and reshape the mind.

Letting Go of Unattainable Goals Has Psychological Perks

By Christopher Bergland on February 03, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new game-changing study identifies an unexpected silver lining of depression: People with depression can let go of unattainable goals more quickly, which has psychological perks.

Somebody’s Watching. Now What?

Does an audience improve or inhibit performance? It depends.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Your Amygdala May House Both Positive and Negative Memories

By Christopher Bergland on October 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Positive and negative memories may be housed in specific regions of the amygdala, according to a new mice study. These findings offer many clues for overcoming negativity and fear.

Coping With Hormonal Ups and Downs

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on October 17, 2016 in How We Do It
Major hormonal changes across the menstrual cycle may influence a woman’s mood, well-being and performance. But apart from PMS side-effects are milder than often thought.

A Presidential Headache: The Concussion Generation

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on October 12, 2016 in Brain Trauma
The massive numbers of concussions are adding up to a generation of mental health problems. An opportunity awaits the next president, and ironically, it's not that expensive.

The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in What the Luck?
Is success a curse?

Running May Help Repair Some Types of Brain Damage

By Christopher Bergland on October 12, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Aerobic exercise triggers the production of a molecule that can repair some types of brain damage and speeds up communication between brain regions, new study finds.

A Team Approach to Developing Mental Skills

Do you ever get frustrated when other team staff members undermine your messages? Working with coaches around sport psychology can go a long way!
James Reynolds

I Feel Like Going for a Run

By Thomas Webb Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in The Road to Hell
Does how we feel about our progress influence how we pursue our goals?

On Being a Rabid Sports Fan

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in How To Do Life
What's behind one super-fan's enthusiasm?

Canine Sports

By The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists on October 04, 2016 in Decoding Your Pet
Is your dog looking for something new to do? Try out one of these fun canine sports. He'll get some mental and physical exercise and you'll get out of the house, too!
CCO Creative Commons

Set Healthy Expectations for Your Young Athlete

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Expectations communicate messages to your children about what’s important to you about their sports participation and establish a standard toward which they can strive.
U.S. Air Force Photo/John Van Winkle

Born to Run

By Stephen Gray Wallace on October 04, 2016 in Decisions Teens Make
Both unstructured play and highly structured sports offer real opportunities for personal growth.

The Psychology of Greed Meets Today's Crisis in Sport

The authors of the study were surprised at how strongly greed was linked to certain aspects of psychopathy

Thousands of Genes Are Altered by Aerobic Endurance Training

By Christopher Bergland on September 24, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A groundbreaking new study reports that aerobic endurance training can alter 3,400 RNA variants, associated with 2,600 genes. These findings have widespread health implications.

Football Fan? if Your Team Loses You May Gain Weight

Snacking while watching football may not be the only reason you'll gain weight

One-Two Punch of "Cue and Reward" Makes Exercise a Habit

By Christopher Bergland on September 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Do you have trouble sticking with an exercise routine? If so, a new study has identified a simple one-two punch that improves your odds of making exercise a daily habit you enjoy.

Butterfly Professions: Handling the Ending Edge

Coping at an early age with the end of a career that's defined who you are--for athletes and dancers--offers challenges and solutions.

How Mindful Sports Parenting Helps Children Excel

A new book on how to stop micromanaging your children offers a counterintuitive strategy for success.

Athletic Stigma of Sport Psychological Assistance

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in The Whole Athlete
Professional athletes and the stigma of psychological assistance to elevate their game

Showing the World Her Wabi-Sabi Humanizes Hillary Clinton

By Christopher Bergland on September 13, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Is it possible that having pneumonia could end up being a blessing in disguise for Hillary Clinton by making her seem more human and relatable?
CCO Creative Commons

Create a Vocabulary for Individual and Team Success in Sport

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Children become the messages they get the most. The words you use with athletes are powerful influences on the way they think, feel, behave, and performance.

The NFL Is Enforcing New Taunting Penalties

By Laura Martocci Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in You Can’t Sit With Us
How will athletes respond to public humiliation? To 'penalties in kind' that strip them of respect, playing time, even jobs?
CCO Creative Commons

Build a Team Culture for Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in The Power of Prime
How team members, think, feel, behave, and perform are all influenced by the environment in which they practice and compete.
As One Girl To Another, an educational pamphlet of girls published by Kimberly-Clark, 1940 (courtesy of Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library, Durham, NC)

Racing Hormones, or Rather Racing & Hormones

Are monthly hormonal fluctuations impacting your workout?

I Know I Said I'm Sorry ...

By Stephen Gray Wallace on September 06, 2016 in Decisions Teens Make
What responsibility do people in positions of power, honor or prestige have to those who follow, particularly youth?

Black Women Olympians Dominate the Games & Get No Love

By Leeja Carter, Ph.D. and Tanya Prewitt-White Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in Race Forward
We pose five possibilities as to why Black women athletes received less media coverage during the Olympics.

Tonic Levels of Dopamine Lubricate Moments of Superfluidity

By Christopher Bergland on September 02, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Next week in Vienna, neuroscientists will meet for the 2016 Dopamine Conference. In this blog post, I reflect on what I've learned about dopamine through both sport and life.

Does Competitive Attitude Help Persevere With Exercise??

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in Fit Femininity
Not motivated to exercise? What are the lessons from mentally tough exercisers?

Goodness: An Often Underrated but Much Needed Virtue

There are many example of goodness out there. When we see it, it can inspire and motivate us. Perhaps we need to attend to goodness more often and model it as much as we can.

Why Colin Kaepernick Is a Patriot

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in The First Impression
What is the difference between blind versus constructive patriotism, and how is that related to the latest NFL controversy?

What’s All the Fuss About Colin Kaepernick?

By Victor Lipman on August 30, 2016 in Mind of the Manager
I’m not saying I agree with Mr. Kaepernick or not. That’s irrelevant. What I am defending is his right to make this gesture... without being demonized.