Essential Reads

Why Do Animal Tragedies Go Viral?

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in Animals and Us
A new study investigates why the death of Cecil the Lion became an instant world-wide internet sensation.

Chimps Like Us: Baby, We Were Born to Run

New research shows that humans became large-brained, large-bodied animals through natural selection. Running appears to have helped us fuel brain growth.

The Wisdom of “Bull Durham”

The return of baseball season brings reminders of an astonishing movie with lessons that reach far beyond the ballfield.

Men's Lives: The Confluence, Fly-Fishing, Tall Tales and Art

The Confluence, a new book about men's lives, reminds us that life's most rewarding journeys don't have to involve danger or loss.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

This Is Your Brain On College Football

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 Obesely Speaking
Beyond Social Tribalism, BIRGing, CORFing, and Tailgating - the brain needs its football.

5 Lessons From Informal Sports

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 20, 2015 On Having Fun
“Real life is an informal game. The rules are endlessly modifiable and you must do your part to create them. In the end, there are no winners or losers; we all wind up in the same place." - Peter Gray

The Imagery Edge--Part I

Imagery is one of the key psychological skills for optimal performance. In this story, a tennis player develops images to help cope with post-surgical pain.

America's Infatuation with Jim Harbaugh

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 16, 2015 Obesely Speaking
While other college coaches are busy strategizing to win football games, Jim Harbaugh is conquering a nation without trying.

What Excuse Do You Use to Not Workout?

By Gregg McBride on August 15, 2015 The Weight-ing Game
After learning what my amazing and beautiful friend Karen has gone through, health-wise, I realized that I never have a reason to not move my body in some productive way (even if only taking a 10 minute walk around the block if that's all I have time for)—and that I need to make every exercise session a celebration of life and health when doing so.

The “Exercise Hormone” Irisin Is NOT a Myth

The Harvard scientists who discovered the powerful health benefits of the "exericise hormone" irisin have confirmed that human irisin circulates in the blood at nanogram levels and increases during exercise. Their latest findings were published in Cell Metabolism on August 13.

Concussion care coming to a clinic near you

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on August 13, 2015 Brain Trauma
While concussions flash across our screens every day, the industry is catching up to the vast consumer demand for education and tools to apply on youth and high school athletic sports. However, a new trend has been developed which would create a win-win situation for the concussed individual and healthcare provider.

Play Has Become A Drag for Kids and the Results Aren't Good

More than 70% of kids give up sports by age 13 because it's not fun. High-achieving students are "overloaded and underprepared" before they start college. Squeezing all the joy out of play and learning is not a recipe for success. Embracing parenting practices that put the fun back in childhood will nurture "doers" who will be primed for later self-driven achievement.

Can you be addicted to adrenaline?

People who seek high- sensation experiences are more vulnerable to substance abuse.

Grid Irony? Taunting Initiatives and the NFL

With taunting penalties on the books since the mid 1980's, the NFL has the opportunity to take on much more than jeers, derision, and game-related 'in-your-face' posturing. By modelling and showcasing what it already proclaims—that ridicule, disparagement and discrimination will not be tolerated—the league reinforces social, anti-bullying agendas.

Examining The Performance-Gender Link In Video Games

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 Pop Psych
Understanding the strategic hostility of men's responses to women in competitive video games

The Cult of Barre

The fusion of yoga, pilates, and ballet in one sounds may sound enticing...but the reality can be less than desirable.

How Does Your Cerebellum Counteract "Paralysis by Analysis"?

Neuroscientists from McGill University have discovered that the cerebellum learns to expect the unexpected and can help counteract "paralysis by analysis" in both life and sport.

The Huntress Hunts You

The latest celebrity trophy hunter is a femme fatale who sees killing as therapy. Her motives help us understand the dilemma of everyone who’s ever felt like a Nobody in a Dead End job, in need of some life-saving heroic purpose.

Is This the Best Reason to Finally Start Doing Yoga?

Yoga amps up your body's natural defenses against toxins. Find out how yoga might be the next "new" antioxidant and defense for your immune system.

How to Stop Choking Under Pressure

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 The New You
Every athlete in the world, at one time or another, has choked under pressure. Sometimes, athletes are able to bounce back. Other times, a botched play can haunt an athlete for the rest of his or her career.

Don't Look Directly At The Problem

Our species has some special features but people are animals too. In the motor system, we monitor and superimpose on top of many base-level responses our intentions and wishes. By extension, when we are dealing with an issue or a problem, perhaps the best course of action is to not try and directly force a solution and instead allow the best course of action to emerge.

Memory, Body Language and Personality in Soccer

By Ben Lyttleton on July 27, 2015 Twelve Yards
USA lost its Gold Cup soccer play-off to Panama on penalties - but could the team have avoided defeat?

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 10

By Eyal Winter on July 25, 2015 Feeling Smart
On Sex, Procreation and Sperm Compitition: How do Human Beings Differ from Animals.

Breaking The Bystander Effect in Sports Concussions

We witness concussions frequently, yet from the sidelines and stands, we may gasp or cringe. It's the "Bystander Effect," that has people stunned when someone yells, "call 911!"

The ‘Magic Potion’ of Team Chemistry

Different mixes for different teams? Research suggests that what’s good for chemistry in management teams might not be true for teams in other types of work.

Blessings

A game for elders of any age

The Courage of a Surfer

A lesson about courage from a man who swam towards a shark.

Tribes Always Triumph

By Paddy Steinfort on July 19, 2015 Quick Wins
In adversity, tribes support each other in many ways - some of which research has shown increase willpower and resilience

Coliberation

Playing well together

Fixing Tiger Woods' Trainwreck

Maybe instead of trying to dominate the world as he one could, Tiger could invoke the image of his father a la Field of Dreams to "have a catch" with him as he's on the course.

The Espy Award

I was disgusted after reading so many ignorant and hateful comments on social media towards Caitlyn Jenner specifically, and transgender people generally. I learned that many people were really upset that Caitlyn Jenner won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, particularly over Lauren Hill, who was a college basketball player who died a few months ago of brain cancer.

Top 5 Signs That Women Are Converging With Men

Fairly rigid gender divisions of the past are giving way to a much more equal relationship. Women are begin to act, and feel more like men even as men's actions and sensibilities are converging with women What are the unmistakable signs that women are becoming more like men?

10 Lessons I Learned from Little League Baseball

Most baseball players strike out 7 of 10 times at bat. Baseball is great preparation for achieving life goals in that it requires perseverance, commitment, determination and frustration tolerance in order to be a great player.Baseball is fantastic way to learn those life skills while having fun.

Rich Roll’s Extreme Flow

Rich Roll, an ultra-endurance athlete, shares how we do not need to do "everything in moderation" in order to have balanced life. In fact, for many of us, the balance is in the “extreme.