Essential Reads

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

What "Deflategate" can teach us about human nature

Putting Music to the Words

Some species sing, some species call, but only humans do both

Meet Danielle Meitiv: Fighting for Her Kids’ Rights

She’s accused of child neglect for allowing her children some freedom.

Recent Posts on Sport and Competition

Violent Crime Linked to Male Sexuality

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 29, 2015 in The Human Beast
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

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on May 27, 2015 in Brain Trauma
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.

7 Ways Yoga Helps Children and Teens

Yoga helps teens by developing their strength, creativity, discipline, and awareness. Find out 7 ways yoga helps children and teens.

Are Umpires Racist?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Umpires call more strikes for pitchers of their own race. Fact or fiction?

How to Put Together a Winning Team

By Chester S Spell Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Team Spirit
Some teams are built upon the shoulders of a ‘hero.’ Others are a collection of equals in getting work done. The different styles are on display right now in the NBA playoffs, and how well the players work together sometimes seems as much the story as their sheer individual talent.

A Few Surprising Predictors of Exercise Enjoyment

While further research is always needed from multiple labs and with multiple and diverse populations, our most recent research suggests that your beliefs about your own fitness and working harder might actually help you to enjoy your exercise more. And if you enjoy it, you’ll do it. And if you do it, your body, mind and soul will be better off as well.

The Psychology of Getting Back in the Batter’s Box

Want to learn about building resilience? Developing team values? Developing a positive identity? Little League baseball has got all of this and more.

How a Breakup Can Jumpstart Your Career

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Research suggests that a clean mental slate is essential for peak performance. Add on relationship baggage, and performance suffers.

Sam Bradford: Staying positive in the face of adversity

Season-ending injuries can take a serious toll on athletes, and Sam Bradford, the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, has had two of them. While at one point he even considered quitting football, he has demonstrated how having a positive attitude and outwardly expressing confidence can make a huge difference for an athlete trying to recover from devastating injuries.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 2

By Eyal Winter on May 16, 2015 in Feeling Smart
"sperm competition" is a major force that shaped men and women differently

Grit's Dilemma

It should come as no surprise that athletics is ready to jump on the grit-wagon. Is it ready for the bright lights of big time athletics?

Is it Mature to Be Competitive?

Are children involved with competitive activities more or less mature than their peers?

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Before we tie Tom Brady to the whipping post, perhaps we should think about the times we bent, finessed, or massaged the rules for our own benefit.

Depression, Posture and the Role of Exercise

Can we alleviate depression through exercise and changes in posture and deportment?

The Extreme Humanity Of Napalm Death’s Marc Greenway

Napalm Death’s vocalist Marc “Barney” Greenway shares his core humanitarian message and commitment to bring attention to when people are not treated with respect and dignity.

Play Like Lebron: How Disconnecting Boosts Your Performance

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in The New You
Before a big game, distractions in all shapes and sizes can cloud your thinking. That’s why LeBron James has disconnected from his social media accounts and smartphone for the fourth straight NBA postseason. But is this really necessary?

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 oise

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

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on April 30, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
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

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in The Power of Prime
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?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
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.