Essential Reads

Should I Let My Kid Play Football?

By Michael W. Austin Ph.D. on February 10, 2016 in Ethics for Everyone
Parents whose kids want to play football should consider the other ways in which their kids might get its benefits without incurring the risk of serious harm.

More Proof That Aerobic Exercise Can Make Your Brain Bigger

By Christopher Bergland on February 08, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
New research confirms that sustained aerobic exercise stimulates the birth of new neurons in the adult brain. This process may improve learning and memory, especially as we age.

Why Study Expertise?

The study of expertise has implications for psychology, education, coaching, and artificial intelligence. It emphasizes the positive aspects of the human mind.

Why Is Neuroticism So Toxic?

By Christopher Bergland on February 03, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Neuroticism is widely considered the most toxic of the "Big Five" personality traits. Read this blog post for some easy tips on how-to become less neurotic.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

What Would Fred(dy) Couples Advise Tiger Woods?

A fanciful, fantasy exchange between Mr. Smooth and Mr. In Control after Tiger Woods turned in his worst performance at the Players Championship. Tiger: Hey man, did you catch my score at the Players Championship? Freddy: It was pretty hard to miss? Tiger: I guess it was pretty ugly. And this is getting to be pretty humiliating.

Carpe Diem! 30 Reasons to Seize the Day and How to Do It

These 30 motivational phrases will inspire you to seize the day.

Lucid Dreaming and the Future of Sports Training

The results of this study clearly showed that practice in lucid dreaming does have real performance benefits that are at least comparable to the benefits gained from other practice modes. Given the power of dreams to simulate reality with amazing intensity and accuracy, the possibilities for further development of this approach seem wide open.

In Baltimore, an Empty Stadium and a Lack of Noise

Quiet baseball symbolizes a potential for hope as protests rack the city

Facilitating Athlete Readiness

Allowing athletes some 'free time' before competition can have a big impact on performance.

Peak Experiences, Disillusionment, and the Joy of Simplicity

Having a once-in-a-lifetime peak experience can trigger an unexpected sense of disillusionment. What is the antidote for feeling dissatisfied after a peak experience like getting married, graduation, or visiting a dream destination? This blog post offers a few clues.

Is the Home Advantage Overrated in Sports?

Sports fans always hear about the importance of home advantage for the championship playoff series. Is it really worth it?

9-Man Doc Showcases Chinese-American Male Identity in Sports

A talk with the creator of "9-Man," an award-winning documentary about a version of volleyball played in Chinese American communities for a century.

Make Mental Training a Priority in Your Sport

I work with many athletes each year, from juniors with big dreams to pros and Olympians who are realizing their dreams. What is abundantly clear to me is that, once the foundation of fitness, technique, tactics, and equipment are established, it is the mind that separates athletes who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

How Big a Fan Are You?

Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

The Surprising Psychology of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.

What Do We Love About Sports?

What makes sports so captivating?

Does It Take Competition to Make You a Good Leader?

Leadership modifies organizational culture. An evolutionary niche construction perspective explains why some leaders work for the good of their organization while others turn out to be selfish and destructive leaders.

Mindfulness, Little League, and Parenting

How much of our parenting time do we spend taking children to ball games, dropping them, and then waiting for the action to begin? And then once the so-called action begins, how much actually happens? The answers, at least until children get older, are an awful lot and not much. It’s all fun and games and bonding together, except when it isn’t.

A Betrayal Anxiety Quiz for Women in an Unequal Workplace

When limited opportunities for advancement in a workplace exist, women often find themselves competing for the few positions available. Oftentimes, women who have been betrayed by ladder climbing colleagues are then prone to sabotage others.

Are Athletes Good Role Models?

Being a sport superstar doesn’t automatically qualify a person to be a role model. What are the credentials for the job?

Subliminal Messages Can Fortify Inner Strength

Subliminal messages have the power to fortify your inner strength and self-confidence on and off the court.

Finding Home with Jesse Malin

Jesse Malin shares how he has used music and creativity to create community.

Smartphones for Dummies—and Young People

You've hemmed and you've hawed, but finally you've given in and bought your child a smartphone. Now, the challenge begins: how do you ensure that he or she uses it wisely? Here are 10 guidelines to promote respectful, responsible use of your child’s new gadget.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

Reframing Parent-Child Time Can Reduce Stress

Mentally reframing how you think about parent-child time can lessen stress and help you better appreciate the time you spend with your child.

Sex Is Disgusting But We Keep Doing It

Disgust and sexual arousal seem at odds with each other but they're also more closely related than you might think.

12 Keystone Principles That Bolster Resilience

These 12 keystone principles will increase your resilience and help you stay brave in the face of adversity.

Is Competition Between Men Healthy?

In moderation, competition is a normal, healthy human expression and way to strengthen ourselves. But it is not uncommon for competition to be taken to extremes, and manipulated to feed a man’s ego. If left unaddressed, unhealthy competitiveness can lead to detrimental relationships and other long-term problems for men.

Let’s Play: How the Science of the Brain Is Changing Therapy

I recently attended a conference at UCLA entitled: Play, Creativity, Mindfulness and Neuroscience in Psychotherapy. The conference offered an approach that has been gaining increasing importance, namely that: “Throughout the lifespan, play supports neurological growth and development while building complex, skilled, flexible, responsive and socially adept brains."

Evidence? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Evidence!

By Alfie Kohn on April 07, 2015 The Homework Myth
It's possible to prove that rewards and punishments aren't effective in the long run. But what if defenses of these practices are rooted more in ideology than psychology?

There is No Formula or Timetable for Athletic Success

Wouldn't it be great if sports had a formula that you could follow to be successful? Imagine if you had a list of things you simply needed to do (for example: get into shape, hone your technical and tactical skills, get your equipment dialed in,) and, voila, you would have a 100 percent chance of performing your best and getting the results you want.

Five Easier Tips for Time Management

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 03, 2015 How To Do Life
Most poor managers of time are insufficiently motivated to follow the usual recommendations.

Pressure & The Final Four

If you're going to bet on The Final Four, you best read this first!