Essential Reads

Student-Athlete...or Athlete-Student?

Colleges suggest academics comes first, but is that really true?

WOSPs, the Amalfi Coast, and Unstructured Play in Children

Organized Sports Has Killed Unstructured Play in Children

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

What fantasies move a man to ambush an elderly tourist lion?

Penalty Shoot-Outs Are Not a Lottery

Revealing the keys to success in soccer's do-or-die moment

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Superfluidity: Decoding the Enigma of Cognitive Flexibility

By Christopher Bergland on September 02, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Brain researchers have developed new tools for predicting levels of cognitive flexibility and "superfluidity" of thought.

How Trump Trumps Pressure

What do Tom Brady and Donald Trump have in common?

Loving Competition

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 26, 2015 in On Having Fun
Of all the spaces in which we find each other, this space, the space between, the moment lightly held, where we face each other freely, is where the play is deepest.

When Should Your Young Athlete Specialize?

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in The Power of Prime
This question torments every parent who wants to support their children’s efforts as they pursue their own personal greatness in a sport. If you want your kids to stay healthy, stay motivated, and perform better, the experts and the research say that multisport participation is the way to go. But the messages from our culture tell parents something very different.

One Reason Being a Perfectionist Isn’t All Bad

By Christopher Bergland on August 22, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Do you consider yourself to be a perfectionist? New research identifies how various forms of perfectionism can have a bright side and a dark side.

This Is Your Brain On College Football

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 in 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 in 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

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 in 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 in 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

By Christopher Bergland on August 14, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
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 in 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

By Richard Rende Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in Inside Parenting
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?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Science of Choice
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.

Student-Athlete...or Athlete-Student?

By Alexis Hatcher on August 05, 2015 in Psy-College-y Today
Despite what colleges claim, academics doesn’t always end up coming first. Here's an athlete's perspective on why that is.

Examining The Performance-Gender Link In Video Games

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

The Cult of Barre

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in Millennial Media
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"?

By Christopher Bergland on August 04, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
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

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on August 04, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
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.

WOSPs, the Amalfi Coast, and Unstructured Play in Children

By John Tauer Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 in Goal Posts
Why Can't Kids Play on Their Own?

Is This the Best Reason to Finally Start Doing Yoga?

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on August 02, 2015 in Urban Survival
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.

Hunting Bwana the Dentist

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
What would motivate a dentist to spend $55,000 to kill an elderly tourist lion? The answer takes us on a psychological safari looking at recent themes in American life that incite and reward fantasies of the mighty hunter.

How to Stop Choking Under Pressure

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in 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

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Black Belt Brain
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 in 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 in Feeling Smart
On Sex, Procreation and Sperm Compitition: How do Human Beings Differ from Animals.

Breaking The Bystander Effect in Sports Concussions

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on July 24, 2015 in Brain Trauma
We witness concussions frequently, yet from the sidelines and stands, we may gasp or cringe. But we definitely won't do or say anything, right? It's the dreaded "Bystander Effect," that has people stunned still when someone yells, "call 911!" However, I propose every youth sports team in the US empower a "Concussion Coordinator" to solve this problem.

Penalty Shoot-Outs Are Not a Lottery

By Ben Lyttleton on July 23, 2015 in Twelve Yards
Why scoring a penalty-kick in soccer is more about the mind than the foot

The ‘Magic Potion’ of Team Chemistry

By Chester S Spell Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in Team Spirit
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.