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

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.

The Psychology of Sports Fandom

Sports fan allegiances illustrate basic properties of the self, including bolstering our self-esteem, improving our belongingness with others, and justifying our belief systems. These processes reflect broader human motives that can explain a considerable amount of behavior, ranging from nationalism to vigorously defending economic and religious systems.

What Are the Qualities of Competent Coaches?

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach

Fraudulent Draft Day Fantasies

The lights of the NHL shine bright on draft night and they can easily blind optimal motivation. Sometimes dreams can be so vivid and so emotionally sustaining they leave an individual neglecting to attend to important initiatives and hurdles during the journey.

Is Your “Game Over” or “Job Over?”

Is Your Job Over or Is Your Game Over: learn from the pros.

Women’s World Cup Win: Contributions to Tween Self-Esteem

Each of these players tells a unique story. What bonds them all together is their love of soccer and their desire to be the best. Role models such as the USA Women’s National Soccer team are important for our tweens and teens. Their accomplishments as individuals, and of course, their victory as a team model important lessons.

The Power of Questioning in Sport Coaching

The coaching process continues to evolve. It appears that coaches are increasingly incorporating questioning into their training sessions. This article examines some of the potential benefits of such an approach.

How Does Scent Drive Human Behavior?

Researchers have identified how specific scents can motivate your decision making.

A Workover: Should You Follow Your Passion?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

When the Student Is Ready the Teacher Will Appear

With some work and awareness, we can be ready to appreciate and learn many things we might otherwise overlook.

Overinvolved Parent of the Week: P Diddy

By John Tauer Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 Goal Posts
Sean "Diddy" Combs allegedly attacks UCLA football coach after son's practice

A St. Louis Cardinal Sin?

All parties in sport should seek to exemplify sportsmanship, whether on the field or via the internet.

Men in Sexist Countries Win More Olympic Medals

A new study challenges the claim that gender equality promotes Olympic success.

Master Your Athletic Frustration

Every athlete, from juniors to Olympians and pros, has experienced the feeling of frustration when they’re not able to do something, whether physically, technically, tactically, or competitively: you feel stuck, get tense, lose focus, and get discouraged. The best way I can describe the feeling is: AAARRGGHH!! It is a truly infuriating feeling.

Abusing Your Body Through Exercise

Stress and obsession characterize muscle dysphoric disorder.

Miyamoto Musashi and Vision In Martial Arts

Seeing is believing but can training help refine what we actually perceive?

The Golf Decathlon—Motivation and Ability Put to the Test

Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of someone playing 10 rounds of golf in one day. Here's your chance to take a glimpse by following my thoughts from the golf decathlon I just completed.

Why I Ran a Marathon

People run marathons for a number of reasons: to get in shape, to raise awareness for a cause, to remember a loved one. I ran a marathon to "find" myself. Athletic endeavors are more than just physical pursuits. They can be a means to reflect parts of your soul that yearn to be tested and seen. I just had no idea what I would find by doing so myself.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 5

By Eyal Winter on June 12, 2015 Feeling Smart
Men, Women and Competitiveness

Kids Are Safer Outside Than Inside Their Homes

A recent report on risky outdoor play tells us that our children are actually healthier when they are less supervised and outdoors in unstructured play than indoors and supervised by their parents. Overprotective parenting may actually be doing children more harm than good.

The Internal Battle of Sport

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 In Control
Finding a space above the hum-drum, where the bigger picture becomes clearer to you, is the key to calming turbulent waters.

3 Steps to a Music-Enhanced Workout

Music can help make your workouts more efficient and effective (if used correctly). Here's how.

LeBron James, the Underdog?

On the eve of the NBA finals, people are finding reason to like LeBron more than ever before.

Violent Crime Linked to Male Sexuality

In a recent post, I described how women are catching up on men in terms of criminal violence. Yet, the difference remains large and calls for explanation. Much of the gender difference is explainable in terms of male sexuality and societies where men compete directly for mates have more criminal violence.

FIFA Fo Fum I Smell the Blood of Corruption

What’s most shocking about the FIFA corruption scandal is that it has been going on for so long with so many people aware of it and yet the majority turning a blind eye to it.

New Trends Show “Real Progress” for Concussion Care

Concussion safety isn't moving fast enough on most sports levels, so leagues, states -- even countries -- are stepping in to step up concussion education, baseline testing, and related recovery protocols. It's a new era of governing concussion safety.

Return of the King—LeBron James, That Is

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers' sweep of the Atlanta Hawks last night to capture the Eastern Conference title and earn themselves a trip to the NBA Championship Series is—certainly for Cavs fans—cause for considerable celebration. And what a vindication! . . .

The Wacky Neuroscience of Forgetting How to Ride a Bicycle

A new experiment with a "backwards brain bicycle" illustrates how easy it is to forget everything you thought you knew about riding a bicycle. In this blog post, I'll explore the neuroscience behind learning—and forgetting—how to ride a bicycle.