Essential Reads

Grit, Talent, and Character

Talent and grit combine to influence individual performance, but for teams performing under high-stakes, high-stress conditions, other character attributes are necessary additions.

Gutsy Third Person Self-Talk Utilizes Your Vagus Nerve

Excessive first person "self-talk" can increase egocentric bias. That said, using "non-first-person" pronouns and your own name has been found to promote healthy self-distancing.

The Autism-Genius Connection

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on May 11, 2017 in The Human Beast
Some people are exceptionally good at focusing on rarefied abstract problems. Some of these have exceptionally high IQ. Some are autistic. Some are both.

Swearing Can Boost Strength and Reduce the Sensation of Pain

New research on the benefits of swearing out loud suggests that Mark Twain was right when he said, "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”

More Posts on Sport and Competition

Tonic Levels of Physical Activity Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve

Moderate physical activity is a guaranteed way to engage your vagus nerve and create a "relaxation response" that counters the panic and anxiety of fight-or-flight responses.

Fair Contests Vs. "Fair" (Even) Outcomes

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Ambigamy
GOP antics teach key lessons about what fairness really means.

When Discipline Worsens Performance in Competitive Sports

Harsh parenting behaviour burdens the child, hindering performance.

The 80% Edge

We may want to perform at our best, but at times illness, injury, or life events conspire to limit what we can truly expect of ourselves.How then can we maximize our performance?

Psychology of Peak Performance

If you are looking for a competitive edge or trying to find more interest in life, these stories from around the web will get your juices flowing.

Exercise Researchers Find "More Is Better" Mindset Overrated

A new study reports that you don't have to spend hours at the gym—or even break a sweat—to reap psychological benefits from small doses of low intensity, easy physical activity.

Be True to Your School(s)

Sports team loyalties are similar to cultural identities. Sometimes you have more than one.

More Than Just a Pretty Face: Unmasking Furry Fandom

Recent research debunks common misconception of the furry community as a bunch of sexual "deviants" or misfits.

How to Reach Higher Goals by Lowering Your Expectations

By Reid Wilson Ph.D. on May 10, 2017 in All about Anxiety
Paul Hamm had been training for this specific competition for a decade; he was on the road to a gold medal. And after his fall, the way he gets back up is inspirational.

Getting Lost in the Dance

We would all likely to experience FLOW on a more regular basis. A few easy ideas may help.

Superfluidity and the Transcendent Ecstasy of Extreme Sports

A trailblazing new study identifies some common themes that motivate people to push against their limits while transcending everyday states of consciousness through extreme sports.

Promotion and Relegation for Soccer in the USA

The United States should play the world's game the world's way. We need promotion and relegation to truly compete with the world's best at the beautiful game.

Between a Molehill and Mount Everest

Recent studies confirm that in matters of personal motivation and satisfaction, it’s not whether you win or lose; it's how hard you have to play the game.

Dual-Income Couples

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 07, 2017 in How To Do Life
Competition, dividing chores, long-distance relationships, time for each other.

The Pros and Cons of Youth Sports Aren’t Only Physical

Are sports helping or hurting your child’s emotional well-being?

Pursuing Perfection Is the Point

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on May 04, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
We place too much emphasis on results when the only thing we can really control is the process. The journey is the key especially when the destination truly cannot be reached​.

Killing Lions and Wooing Hearts

By David F Lancy Ph.D. on May 02, 2017 in Benign Neglect
Why do adolescent males engage in risky behavior and what can be done about it?
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Results Aren’t the Only Criterion of a Successful Season

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on April 20, 2017 in The Power of Prime
The end of a competitive season is a time to look back and evaluate what kind of season you had: one to be proud of or one to reflect on with disappointment.

Sports Are Games Played by Humans

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on April 16, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Sports are played basically everywhere--but they aren't played at crime scenes. Time to push back on instant replay and slow-motion dissection of every event.

Semen Quality and the Menstrual Cycle

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in Pop Psych
Biology is costly, and organisms only invest in it when the probability of returns is deemed high enough

Dropping the Ball

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 02, 2017 in Minority Report
Whippings, lynchings, and killings of African-Americans are outlawed in this country but white NFL owners are showing us how they can operate like 19th century plantation "masters"

What to Do if Your Child Feels in Competition With Your Work

By Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., JD on March 30, 2017 in All Grown Up
Is your child feeling in competition with your work? It can be possible to have a satisfying, meaningful career and be an attentive, loving parent. Try these universal guidelines.

The Split-Brain: An Ever-Changing Hypothesis

In 2005, I created a new split-brain model with my father, Richard Bergland, who was a neuroscientist. Since his death, I've updated these blueprints to reflect the latest science.

Is There Feminine Muscularity?

By Pirkko Markula Ph.D. on March 29, 2017 in Fit Femininity
Is sculpting a muscular body feminine? There are several options for women to display visible muscularity.

The Loneliness of the Secret Spot

By Greg Dillon M.D. on March 27, 2017 in Surf-Head
Is the guilty pleasure of your secret spot not quite cutting it? Maybe it's time to evolve...

Disney Research Pioneers New Frontiers Using Virtual Reality

Walt Disney researchers are fine-tuning virtual reality (VR) technologies that could be used to improve athletic performance and many other "proprioception-based" daily activities.
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Finish Your Sports Season Mentally Strong

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on March 24, 2017 in The Power of Prime
For athletes in many winter sports, the competitive season is almost over. Regardless of whether your season has been great, mediocre, or terrible, you want to finish strong.

Evidence-based Basketball: Research on the NCAA Tournament

More than $10 billion is at stake this month as Americans bet on the March Madness basketball tournament.

Why Do Some Men Get Premature Championship Tattoos?

By Kevin Bennett on March 22, 2017 in Modern Minds
Why do some men get premature championship tattoos? Here are four reasons why you might go for some skin art that predicts a successful season for your favorite team.

The Transient Hypofrontality Edge

"Transient hypofrontality" is an elegant term to describe the possible mechanism for why running and other physical activity can alter our thought processes.