Essential Reads

“That Decision Wasn’t Made There”

By Scott M. Stanley Ph.D. on February 09, 2018 in Sliding vs. Deciding
When it comes to commitment, timing may not be everything but it's a lot of the things. This insight from a sports commentator of Super Bowl XII is not just about football.
English/Pixabay

Failing Forward

By Stephen Gray Wallace on February 07, 2018 in Decisions Teens Make
One of the great things about sports is the imparting of important life lessons. And many of those lessons relate directly to one’s character.

MLK and Michael Phelps: What's the Recipe for Success?

By Paula L. White M.A. on January 16, 2018 in Shape Parenting
No matter the field—academics, athletics, the arts or activism—some children in varied pursuits grow up to be adults who excel. Here's how parents help to make that happen.

Football Fans, Political Partisans, and Evolutionary Forces

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on January 07, 2018 in Caveman Politics
Football fans and political partisans may be motivated by the same forces that motivated humans' ancestors.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Do Tennis Players Who Grunt Have an Advantage?

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on August 28, 2017 in Attraction, Evolved
Researchers have found that tennis professionals grunt differently when they win and lose. So, can we predict the winners at the 2017 US open by their grunts alone?

First, Cause Pain

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 26, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
The martial arts concept of graduated response can also be used to give others latitude to alter behaviors before we apply severe reprimand or caustic criticism.

Chronic Stress Discombobulates Gut Microbiome Communities

By Christopher Bergland on August 25, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
When people are relaxed, gut microbiome communities hum in perfect harmony. However, stress wreaks havoc on the gut-brain axis in unpredictable ways, according to a new study.

Debunking 10 Common Concussion Myths

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on August 24, 2017 in Brain Trauma
You may be aware of concussions, but is your understanding based on fact or fiction?

The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis Relies on Your Vagus Nerve

By Christopher Bergland on August 23, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
An extensive scientific review concludes that the vagus nerve facilitates bidirectional communication along the gut-brain axis.
123rf, with permission

Inspiration for Athletic Success Must Come From Within

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on August 21, 2017 in The Power of Prime
Inspiration must arise from a very deep place within you. This inspiration is grounded in who you are and it absolutely forces its way out of you, demanding that you take action.

Does Gut Microbiome Influence Mindset and Mental Toughness?

By Christopher Bergland on August 20, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Harvard scientists have pinpointed specific gut microbiome linked to peak athletic performance. Someday soon, these findings could be used to benefit people from all walks of life.

Meditation, Mindfulness, and Endurance Sports

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on August 19, 2017 in Boundless
David talks with Meredith Atwood about meditation and endurance sports.

No, Team, No!

By Laurie Helgoe Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in Introvert Power
He's young, healthy, and not into sports? How to stop seeing this as a problem.

How Over-Learning can Solidify a Skill

Can practicing a skill beyond the point of mastery solidify it in memory? Study suggests it can, and that neural inhibition might prevent interference by another task.

Death, Taxes, and Urination

The cognitive effects of withholding urination are discussed in the context of athletic performance.

Road and Sideline Rage

What to do if you’re a person or parent subject to misplaced anger and aggression.

Is Connectivity Neurofeedback Training the Next Big Thing?

By Christopher Bergland on August 07, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroscientists have developed a technique called "functional connectivity neurofeedback training" that can alter cognitive function and performance. This could be revolutionary.
Laura Miele, PhD

Psychology of the ”Gladiator Effect” and Women's Lacrosse

By Laura M Miele Ph.D. on August 03, 2017 in The Whole Athlete
Does the "Gladiator Effect" affect helmet use among U.S. women's lacrosse players?

Just How Far Will a Narcissist Go to Hide Failure?

Experiencing failure is not an option for people high in narcissism. New research shows the lengths they'll go to so they can avoid confronting their weaknesses.

Eyes, Feet, Posture, Power: Look Before You Leap

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on July 30, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Efficient application of the maxim "eyes, feet, posture, power" goes far beyond physical technique, all the way to improving interpersonal interactions and life ambitions.

The "Professionalization" of Youth Sports

"It's a disgrace what we're doing. We're asking kids to compete to win. Why not ask them to compete to have fun?" Sparky Anderson, Baseball Hall of Fame manager

Stanford Researchers Identify Life-changing Power of Mindset

Mindset plays a surprisingly significant role in our health and longevity, according to a new study from Stanford University.

Does Video Game Addiction Really Exist?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Despite the political pressure to declare video game addiction a real disorder, the basic science still isn't there. What will this mean for concerned parents and therapists?
Pictofigo-Idea/wikimediacommons

The "Lazy" Edge

Setting goals and striving as hard as you can is great—except when it backfires. A paradoxical story within a story illustrates the challenge and points to a solution.

The Teenage Years: 4 Questions That May Predict Thriving

One factor may matter more than you might expect for kids in their teenage years. A recent study from Brazil and Romania has important implications for American teenagers.

At Wimbledon, Grunts May Separate Winners from Losers

Two new studies reaffirm that speaking (or grunting) in a lower pitch voice can make you appear less submissive in daily life and help you perform better in sporting competitions.

New Research Explains Why Some of Us Really Hate to Exercise

A new study suggests that shifting rigid mindsets and stereotypes about what it means to be "athletic" may be the secret to making moderate-intensity exercise actually feel good.

Hunter-gatherer Ancestry May Be Why Our Brains Need Exercise

A radical new evolutionary neuroscience theory may explain how our hunter-gatherer ancestors inadvertently hardwired our modern day brains to thrive on everyday physical activity.

David and Goliath: When Sports Inspire National Pride

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Trouble in Mind
When a small country beats a massive country in sport, we can all take inspiration from that.

Times of Change in College Athletics

By Brian Tompkins on June 26, 2017 in View From The Dugout
When a veteran college coach becomes an administrator, the change in perspective bears similarities to that of a freshman athlete.

Money, Pride, and Injury Risks in Youth Sports

There are too many people focused on making money off of youth sports in the United States, while putting the health and other interests of young athletes at risk.
pixabay, via pexels

How to Win at Sports

Can changing internal temperature make muscles stronger? Can biological clocks make you more fit?

Put Your Own Spin on It

Have you ever wondered just how far to push your body while exercising? Is pain really good for your psyche?