Essential Reads

Thomas Wolter

The Stress of Competition: Alleviating Athletes' Anxiety

By Jay Winner M.D. on July 22, 2017 in Stress Remedy
Competition-related stress is universal. How can you minimize distress and maximized performance?

Does Testosterone Really Just Make Men Aggressive?

The conventional wisdom about testosterone is that it drives aggressiveness and competition. But new research reveals that social rank is also important.

Social-Emotional Development in a Hyper-Competitive Age

Our current political situation is a logical conclusion of many years of celebrating competition and success that are achieved at the expense of others.

Great Performers Are Born AND Made

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Different pursuits have specific neurological, physiological, and musculoskeletal requirements and if you're not born with those, all of the training in the world won't help.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Poetry Lights Up Your Brain Like a Favorite Song, fMRI Shows

New research on the link between happy or scary musical cues—and the difference between reading poetry or prose—offer new clues about how the brain responds to music and poetry.

Physical Activity May Be a Drug-Free Elixir for Chronic Pain

Lower levels of sedentary behavior and higher levels of physical activity may be critical for maintaining effective endogenous pain inhibitory function, according to a new study.

Karate Kicking to a Song by Sia

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on March 07, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
This is a story about a woman you haven’t heard of who influenced a girl you probably don’t know but who did something with a singer you’ve certainly seen.

Are You the "In-Group" or the "Out-Group"?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on March 05, 2017 in The I-M Approach
Banning immigration and growing the military may be tapping into an ancient part of our brain more than we realize. Putting up a wall that separates us is easier than we think.
www.123rf.com with permission

How Athletes Can Perform Their Best When it Really Counts

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in The Power of Prime
It’s that time of the competitive season in many sports when results REALLY start to matter and it’s REALLY important that athletes perform their best.
Meena Kadri, used with permission

Manja Mania

As we watch the dismantling of the EPA here at home, the National Green Tribunal in India, its highest legal environmental authority, has been caught up in kite strings.

Highly Creative People Have Well-Connected Brain Hemispheres

By Christopher Bergland on February 21, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
People who are highly creative have better connectivity between the left and right brain hemispheres, according to a new study by a team of international researchers.

Low-Intensity Aerobic Exercise Has Surprising Brain Benefits

By Christopher Bergland on February 14, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
There is growing evidence that low-intensity physical activity has multiple brain benefits. A new study reports that easy aerobic exercise boosts visual sensitivity and perception.
CCO Creative Commons

What Young Athletes Really Need

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in The Power of Prime
This article is aimed at early in the sports pipeline where the foundation of young athletes’ attitudes are laid, which often determines how long they stay involved in sports

Ignorance Is Not Bliss & Won't Make Concussions Go Away

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on February 13, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
The world? Not flat. Smoking? Causes cancer. Heavy collisions in sport? Cause concussions. Major sports leagues need to stop assessing blame and invest in solutions.

NBA Stars and Your Grandparents—Unexpected Similarities?

By Toby Ellmers on February 09, 2017 in Aging Brain, Aging Body
What can sport psychology tell us about older adult fall-risk?

A Life Lesson from LI

By Elizabeth Lombardo Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Better Than Perfect
99 percent probability does not make it 100 percent definite. Don't give up!

War as a Game

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 03, 2017 in Cui Bono
It may seem absurd that we have rules of fair play that regulate the way we conduct wars. The ethological concept of ritualized aggression may help to explain the Law of War.

What to Teach Young Athletes About Bullying

Bullying is a deplorable behavior that has no place in sports.

The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking

What you probably didn't know about Super Bowl Sunday and its connection to sex trafficking.

Why Sports TV Is the Premier Learning Channel

By Joanne Broder Sumerson Ph.D. on February 01, 2017 in Research Notes
If you really listen, sports broadcasting provides significantly more substance than just the play-by-play of the game. These lessons are right there in front of us.

Can Slacklining be Good for the Brain?

By Tracy P Alloway Ph.D. on February 01, 2017 in Keep It in Mind
Can slacklining be good for the Brain?

Physical Activity May Protect Against Childhood Depression

By Christopher Bergland on January 31, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) may reduce symptoms of major depression during middle childhood (ages 6-10), according to a new first of its kind Norwegian study.
jaboardm / 123RF Stock Photo

Six Phrases That Weigh You Down on Game Day

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 31, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Imagine that, just before you enter a competition, someone forces you to put on a 50 lb. weight vest. How will you feel? Heavy and sluggish. And how will you perform? Poorly.

The First Day of Camp

By Warrick Wood MSc. on January 30, 2017 in The Coach-Athlete Relationship
Developing positive relationships goes a long in determining our effectiveness when working in teams. Here are some tips for effectively establishing strong relationships

Even Competition is Cooperative

By Bernard L. De Koven on January 30, 2017 in On Having Fun
Is winning the real goal of games?

Watching Football Is a First World Guilty Pleasure

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on January 29, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Many of us will tune into the upcoming Super Bowl. Enjoy it for what it is but also respect what these players go through. And see if there isn't a bit of guilt there too.

The Father of Modern Neuroscience Was an Athlete and Artist

By Christopher Bergland on January 27, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Santiago Ramón y Cajal is the father of modern neuroscience. He was also an extraordinary artist. On Jan. 28, his artworks will be shown in an American museum for the first time.

More Needs to be Done to Address the Severity of Concussions

Young athletes suffering from concussions may experience effects that can last for decades.
123rf.com with permission

Don’t Let Outside Forces Influence Your Sports Confidence

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 19, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Confidence is the most important mental “muscle” in sports. It is is a rather sensitive mental muscle that is easily weakened or injured, and difficult to heal and strengthen.

Warriors’ Calm Coach, Steve Kerr

By Elizabeth Wagele on January 17, 2017 in The Career Within You
“Kerr credits his father for his demeanor on the sideline as an N.B.A. coach: calm and quiet, mostly, and never one to berate a player.”

Wonderful Wickenheiser Inspired Greatness in Girls

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on January 14, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
An Olympic hockey champion and female trailblazer has retired. Hayley's interview in "Project Superhero" is excerpted here.

Edgy Goal Setting

SMART goals are a great idea. But how do you actually implement them? Interval Goal Setting is a straightforward way to use your own performance to set new goals.

We Need More Vulnerability and Empathy in Professional Coach

By The Research Lab on January 11, 2017 in The Fundamentals
The stressful environment of the coaching world. By Daron K. Roberts, JD.
CCO Creative Commons

How Media Use Hurts Athletes

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 04, 2017 in The Power of Prime
I now have a new pet peeve, namely, athletes having their phones with them and checking their social media during practice and at competitions.