Essential Reads

Epigenetic Mechanism in the Cerebellum Drives Motor Learning

New research pinpoints how we learn new motor skills such as riding a bicycle, playing the piano, driving a car, etc.

Acceptance and Transformation

Should left-handers demand that half the baseball diamond be reversed?

Skilled Performance Takes More Than Practice

By Art Markman Ph.D. on June 23, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
There has been a big debate in psychology about whether elite performance reflects talents or skills. A new meta-analysis helps to resolve this question.

The Naturalistic Fallacy Fallacy (Part I)

While it's true that "is doesn't imply ought," it's dangerous and stupid to ignore human nature.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Patrick Cohn

Every Day Can Be a Good Day of Sports Training

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 25, 2016 in The Power of Prime
One of the most frequent comments I hear from the athletes I work with is: “I had a lousy day of training.” This statement is accompanied by bad-feeling emotions.

Running IS Meditation

Running is not about running for me anymore. It's meditation.

Simple Tips to Enhance Training Effectiveness

Could your team's trainings be more effective? A few simple tips can help!

Should We Protect Our Kids From the Stress of Youth Sports?

By Garth Sundem on January 12, 2016 in Brain Trust
Kids sobbed as they exited the climbing competition through what my wife aptly named the “Tunnel of Tears”. And into this mix, we send our kind, humble 9-year-old?

Grit Revisited

By Michael D. Matthews Ph.D. on January 09, 2016 in Head Strong
Does grit apply at the team level, and is team or collective grit more than the sum of the grit scores of the individuals who comprise the team?

The Psychology of Going to War

By Frank T. McAndrew Ph.D. on January 07, 2016 in Out of the Ooze
War is a male activity; organized fighting and killing by groups of women has simply not existed anywhere, ever. Does war really boil down to guys trying to "get the girl?"

An Olympic Champion’s Holiday Gift #3: Risk

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on January 04, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Risk taking is essential for success in sports. You just can’t play it safe and expect to win. Taking risks can mean the difference between goals achieved and hopes dashed.

Risk, Reality, and Croquet in the Age of Alarm

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on January 04, 2016 in Play in Mind
...we do, in fact, now live in a healthier, wealthier, more tolerant, less violent, and more secure world than ever.

Community Service: Teens Make Great Play Advocates

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 03, 2016 in Moral Landscapes
Teens have helped with community play activities from the beginning. They are energetic and creative, plus young children look up to them.

Love What You Do, Pour Your Heart Into It and You'll Succeed

By Christopher Bergland on December 31, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Do you need some motivation to kick-start your New Year's Resolutions? In this blog post, Christopher Bergland shares his personal story of becoming a Guinness World Record holder.

Disciplinary Problems and Bullying in Youth Sports

Removal from sports is a last resort that should occur only after reasonable efforts have been made to correct the problem.

Concussion: Psychotherapy for Football

By Jeremy Clyman Psy.D. on December 27, 2015 in Reel Therapy
This movie lays out the crisis in football. What is this threat and how can it be psychologically adapted to?

Let's Stop Using the Word "Disabled" To Limit People

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on December 23, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
There is no such thing as a category of "able" and and another of "disabled". All areas of human achievement span a continuum of ability and performance.

And the Winner Is... Miss Universe 2016

By Hilary Levey Friedman Ph.D. on December 21, 2015 in Playing to Win
Why are so many people (especially non-pageant fans) fascinated by the mis-crowning?

How to Start a Play Committee in Your Community

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 19, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
People of all ages love to play and all you have to do to build a play community is find the playful folks around you.

12 Days of Non-Tech Gift Giving

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on December 19, 2015 in Mental Wealth
Get "real" toys this year! Here are 12 gift categories for children that encourage imagination, bonding, movement, and of course loads of family fun.
Jake Barnes

Psychological Rehab After Sports Injury

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on December 18, 2015 in The Power of Prime
When athletes get injured, their minds get damaged too, yet little attention is paid to the importance of “mental rehab” to a complete and timely recovery and return to sport.

My Advice to a Baseball Player in a Slump

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 18, 2015 in How To Do Life
Lessons that may apply to any of us that are on a bad streak.
Mitchell Gunn, used with permission

An Olympic Champion’s Holiday Gift #2: Fight

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on December 14, 2015 in The Power of Prime
It’s normal to get nervous before a competition, particularly a big one. You’re putting all of your efforts on the line and you want to succeed really badly.
Mitchell Gunn with permission

An Olympic Champion’s 3 Holiday Gifts: #1 is Disappointment

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on December 11, 2015 in The Power of Prime
No one likes to be disappointed. Your heart aches for the opportunity lost. But not allowing yourself to feel disappointed is another opportunity lost and a lesson not learned.

How Important are Mental Components of Success?

Sports psychologists think mental aspects of performance are so critical, they make careers out of it.

Demystifying Sport Concussion Baseline Testing

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on December 08, 2015 in Brain Trauma
While the controversial movie "Concussion" draws attention, one important preseason test plays an important supporting role. Here's the bottom line on baseline testing.

Giving Parkinson's Disease a Kung Fu Kick

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on December 08, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
Physical activity--like martial arts training--can serve an important rehabilitative role in neurological disorders. Tai chi training can give Parkinson's a good ol' kung fu kick.

Yoga for Stress Relief

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on December 08, 2015 in Urban Survival
Find out how you can use yoga for stress relief.

The Secret to Great Leadership

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on December 07, 2015 in What Matters Most?
Strong leaders agree on one thing: When it comes to great leadership, the first principle is “leader, know thyself.” The latest research takes this a step further.

Letter from a Former Olympian Who Needs a Career

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 07, 2015 in How To Do Life
Even most medalists struggle after The Games. Bu there are good options.

The World Sociopath Olympics

Forget the Nobel Prize. We're now ready for the Madoff Prize.

Why are so Many Rape Allegations being Ignored?

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on December 01, 2015 in The First Impression
Did NFL quarterback Jameis Winston get a free pass to sexually assault a student during his tenure at FSU just because he was a star on the football field?

The Unseen Human Being: Reflective Gear Saves Lives

By Christopher Bergland on November 30, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
As we approach the shortest days of the year, it’s important to remember to wear reflective gear anytime you are walking, jogging, or cycling on public roadways after dark.
Mitchell Gunn, used with perfmission

Sports Just Don’t Make Sense

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 29, 2015 in The Power of Prime
Sports just don’t make sense. They don’t always go the way we want them to. Sports can be so frustrating. To the point where it’s easy to wonder why we devote so much time and energy to it. Let’s look at why sports don’t make sense. Sports are complex. Sports are unpredictable and uncontrollable. Nothing comes quick and easy in sports. Progress isn’t steady.