Author Archive | Justin Anderson

Pondering a Losing Season

Yes, it’s been a hard football watching season for Minnesota Vikings fans. Why couldn’t this team turn it around and actually win more than 3 games? This week’s StarTribune Exit Interviews article ponders this question. Several players chime in, but linebacker Chad Greenway explains the disappointing season well. “To me, I think the biggest thing […]

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Meditation as Choking Prevention

This blog post is Part 4 of a 4-part blog series featuring the work of University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock. Even a small chunk of meditation practice goes a long way, says Sian Beilock, Ph.D., in a recent interview on the website Brain Science Podcast. At the University of Chicago’s Human Performance Lab, psychologist […]

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How to Avoid Choking

This blog post is Part 3 of a 4-part blog series featuring the work of University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock. In the previous two blog posts featuring the Sian Beilock interview on the website Brain Science Podcast, we’ve been talking about what choking is and the science behind the phenomena. At the University of […]

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The Body Mechanics behind Choking

This blog post is Part 2 of a 4-part blog series featuring the work of University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock. Have you ever wondered why you choke sometimes even though you have executed the same athletic maneuver perfectly literally hundreds of times? You can find an answer to this question on a recent Brain […]

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Choking, Defined

This blog post is Part 1 of a 4-part blog series featuring the work of University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock. A recent podcast on the website Brain Science Podcast contains a wealth of information on the phenomena of choking while under pressure. Ginger Campbell, MD, interviews University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock, Ph.D., author of […]

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Constructing Confidence

Confidence is an integral part of success. Without this trait, it is difficult to triumph on any type of playing field. Luckily, we can learn how to be confident (or more confident). While preparation builds confidence — try winning any competition without working on the physical, technical, and tactical parts of your sport — mental […]

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Focus, Defined

Have you ever really thought about focus? Prime Ski Racing author Jim Taylor, Ph.D., looks at focus from an athlete’s perspective, helping competitor’s concentrate attention in a winning way. He introduces us to the term “attentional field”: The thoughts, emotions, and physical responses within you as well as the outside sights and sounds you focus […]

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Playing in the Present Moment

We bring every past moment to the present moment. This is both good and bad. Thankfully, we carry all of our hard work: Every game we have played and each step of the training and practice. We also take the last mistake we made, such as a swing at a bad pitch or the pass […]

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Are You Overtraining?

It’s not unusual for athletes to train according to the slogan “no pain, no gain.” Indeed, this is a worthy idea, unless it leads to overtraining. Sport Psychologist Kirsten Peterson, Ph.D., addresses overtraining in The Sports Psych Handbook (edited by Shane Murphy). She defines overtraining as an exercise program that leads to “an undesired outcome […]

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The Irony of Injury

Although elite skiers in the 1997 Urdry et al. study thought of season-ending injuries as stumbling blocks that involved depression and misery, approximately 95 percent of the participants also talked of positive results, including “personal growth, psychologically based performance enhancements, and physical-technical development.” Of course, this study (one of the few studies that examine the […]

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