Archive | Sports Psychology

“Emotions Have No Role” — Uh-huh

Years ago, as I’ve noted elsewhere, I posted something on the Runner’s World forums in my usual vein, touting the importance of an expanded heart in sports performance.

A high school track coach decided to school me in how sports really works.

He said that emotions play absolutely no role in a runner’s success, or lack thereof.

Uh-huh.

I’m thinking of Tony’s Holler’s impromptu experiments with emotions in track practice. The Illinois track and field coaches’ hall of fame electee had his team run flying-forties (40-meter dashes with a running start) two ways. First, without encouragement from their teammates, then with teammates lining the lane and shouting their support.

Well, guess what? Yeah — the runners’s times improved dramatically when they were driven by their teammates loud hurrahs.

Turning to today’s news — the Stanford men’s soccer team just won their third straight NCAA Division I championship.

I’m guessing their victory was due, in great measure, to their raw will power, determination, and talent. To that extent, I’m sure the high school coach who spoke the truth to me years ago was right. I would just humbly suggest that he watch the following amazing and deeply inspiring video, about the Stanford team’s work with sports high-performance psychologist Dr. Dan Freigang:

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