Essential Reads

Vagus Nerve Facilitates Guts, Wits, and Grace Under Pressure

By Christopher Bergland on October 15, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
There are dozens of easy ways to engage your vagus nerve that can inhibit "fight, flight, or freeze" stress responses, lower anxiety, and give you enough guts to seize the day.

Positive Psychology and Elite Sports Performance

By Michael D. Matthews Ph.D. on September 30, 2017 in Head Strong
Positive psychology offers a conceptual model for helping elite athletes learn to perform at their best, and to optimize off-field adjustment and balance in their personal lives.

Should I Boycott Football?

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in Mental Mishaps
I love football. I played when I was young. I appreciate the beautiful ballet of violence. But I wonder if I should boycott the sport.
David Ropeik

Who's in Charge, Your Mind or Your Brain?

By David Ropeik on September 27, 2017 in How Risky Is It, Really?
Do we consciously think for ourselves, or does our brain subconsciously do our thinking for us? A fun test with a famous intellectual raised, but failed to answer, the question.

More Posts on Sport and Competition

CCO Public Domain

3 Keys to Making Mental Training Work in Sports

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 31, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Athletes and coaches tell me that the mind is as or more important than the physical and technical side of sports. Yet, in reality, it is woefully under-appreciated and neglected.

Debate Like It's 2028

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 31, 2016 in Ambigamy
Debates aren't won in the present but the future when outcomes are revealed. Here's a quick tip on how to shift a debate's focus to the future and what really counts.

No. 1 Reason Having Vivid Dreams Benefits Your Brain

A groundbreaking study has identified—for the first time—a direct causal link between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and memory formation.
Dr. Jim Taylor

5 Mental Tools for Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 23, 2016 in The Power of Prime
These five mental tools enable you to focus them entirely on what you need to do to perform your best when it counts most, namely, in your biggest competitions of the season.

Modern Lives are Weird!

By Richard Bailey Ph.D. on May 23, 2016 in Smart Moves
Inactivity is the new normal, and there is a serious price to be paid for this change. For the first time in recorded history, children have a shorter lifespan than their parents.

Mental Health Initiatives for Athletes Still Lacking

Sports psychology often targets improved performance, not mental health

Brain Drain: Breaking Down the Concussion Injury

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on May 18, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Most people don't respect the dynamics of a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Herein, breaking down the neurology so we can all give the injury its credit.

Is It Important for Athletes to Have Fun?

By Warrick Wood MSc. on May 12, 2016 in The Coach-Athlete Relationship
Are your athletes getting the most out of training sessions? Incorporating a little fun can go a long way.
Dr. Jim Taylor, with permission

5 Mental “Muscles” for Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on May 10, 2016 in The Power of Prime
You should think about your mind as made up of ‘mental muscles’, the same way you think about your body and its physical muscles. y

What's Happening When Dogs Play Tug-of-War? Dog Park Chatter

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 06, 2016 in Animal Emotions
When dogs play tug-of-war, there's a lot more going on than competition.

Even In Polluted Cities, Walking and Biking Are Good For You

Even if you live in a polluted city, a new study reports that the health benefits of walking or biking—as a form of transportation—outweigh the risks of breathing air pollution.

What Happened to the Biggest Losers Won't Happen to You

By Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN on May 04, 2016 in Cravings
Worried about the Biggest Losers and their regained weight? Don't be; competitive weight loss probably has nothing to do with you.

Pause During Your Workout to Get Better Results

More rest between weight lifting sets courts bigger potential for growth, confirming the importance of pausing and pacing — in all things. Even exercise.

Gimme a Break! You Can Get Stronger, Without Working Harder

Are you feeling weak and lazy? If so, I have good news. Scientists have identified a way to increase muscle mass without having to exert any effort.

Perfect Practice for Softball (And Sports)

Is your practice full of reps? It shouldn't be.

Turn the Lights Off When You Stay

Two outbreaks of eye injury were recently reported by the CDC. The outbreaks shared one key thing in common – broken lights.

How Could 60 Seconds of Intense Exercise Change Your Life?

Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to exercise regularly? If so, a new study reports that you can reap the benefits of a longer workout in just 60 seconds.

Lessons for All of Us from a Sports Psychologist

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 30, 2016 in How To Do Life
A The Eminents interview with John F. Murray.
Jim Taylor, Ph.D.

Practice Is the Foundation of Athletic Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in The Power of Prime
To be the best athlete you can be, you must be serious about your practice in every area that impacts your athletic performances—physical, technical, and mental.

Unexpected Lessons on Greatness From Super-Champion Athletes

A new study reveals unexpected commonalities among elite-level athletes. These findings offer valuable clues for achieving greatness both on and off the court.

Do We Really Practice Yoga in the West?

What kind of yoga do we practice in the West? Is it a physical exercise or the original spiritual practice?

Jackie Robinson Day And Diversity in Major League Baseball

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on April 15, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
It's important to reflect on the importance of honoring and celebrating Jackie Robinson's efforts and career but also to pause and consider how far things have truly progressed.

Put the “Student” First in Student-Athlete Concussion Care

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on April 14, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Concussions and the classroom: Is it OK to send an injured student-athlete back to school? We need to re-orient our priority for a safe, effective "return-to-learn."
Jim Taylor, used with permission

Five Mental Obstacles That Prevent Sport Success

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 14, 2016 in The Power of Prime
Mental obstacles refer to any psychological or emotional issue that interferes with your ability to perform your best consistently in the biggest competitions of your life.

Why “Macho” Leadership Still Thrives

By Ray Williams on April 13, 2016 in Wired for Success
Global economic uncertainty and the spike in terrorism has created a resurgence of populist attraction to authoritarianism and “macho” leaders.

What's a Parent to Do? The Advice Edge

How do you discuss your child's performance with them? The timing and content are important for good results. This applies to our own performance, too.
CC0 Public Domain

7 Things Parents Can Do at the End of a Sports Season

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in The Power of Prime
The conclusion of a sports season can be a time of excitement, relief, and suffering for parents of athletes.

The Day My Friend Took Adderall Before a Track Meet

During the warm-up I remember making a comment about how he looked locked in and he replied, “thanks, I scored some Adderall for the first time to give me an extra boost too.”

Sleep, Lifestyle Factors Affect Concussion Risk, Recovery

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on April 04, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Post-concussion recovery guidelines include "relative rest;" Plus to understand how concussions affect sleep, you have to look at all 5 factors that affect risk and recovery.

Aiming to Please (the Janitor): a Field Experiment

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on April 01, 2016 in Consumed
New insights on scoring in the men's room