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Customer Discussions > Sports forum

The Mental Side Of Athletics

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Showing 1-25 of 29 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 30, 2008, 12:34:09 PM PDT
Ernest says:
I have written eight books on the mental side of athletics and wondered if there was anyone who would like to discuss this very undiscussed topic?

Ernest Solivan Author
Mastering The Mental Side Of Pitching, Etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008, 8:42:30 AM PST
J. Sterner says:
This is a great topic Ernest! As a two-sport college athlete and then as a coach, I have often utilized this great tool.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2008, 10:43:06 AM PST
Ernest says:
What sport are you currently coaching? Also, what are some of the common performance problems you experience with your athletes?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008, 8:08:25 AM PST
Hi Ernest,

Thanks for beginning a great line of inquiry here. I'm part of Sports Consulting Business:
We have developed new analytical tools that examine the mental and emotional conditioning of athletes and coaches. Check us out!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008, 3:36:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2008, 3:42:05 PM PST
Ernest says:
I visited you website. Very impessive. What do you mean by analytical tools? It is a series of questions you ask coaches and athletes?

My programs deal with the subconscious mind because in my opinion that is where performance problems house themselves. My website is I use muscle testing to determine whethere there is stress present in the physical body of the athlete or coach relating to a statement, thought or action.

If I register a stress response that simply means that there is conflict between the conscious and conscious mind of the athlete in relationship to the statement, thought or action. I then program in a trigger to facilitate the release of the "synthesizing event" responsible for creating the conflict.

The technology I created is called Hemispheric Kinesiology. It works on the premise that if it stresses you to do something you are not going to do it well. Tell me more about your system?


Performance Consultants International

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2008, 3:36:07 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 24, 2008, 3:38:30 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008, 10:16:18 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2008, 10:16:52 AM PST
Rick S says:
I appreciate your interest in sport psychology, but what is your training?
I have a Ph.D in sport psychology and have worked with 100's of athletes, and there are a lot of people
out there doing mental coaching and it is a little disheartening!!
Gregg Steinberg, Ph.D
Author of Flying Lessons: 122 strategies to equip your child to soar into life.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2008, 11:28:08 AM PST
Ernest says:
There is no training for what I do because I developed Hemispheric Kinesiology over the last 20 years. I have used it successfull with players on the PGA, LPGA and NIKE Tours as well as NFL and Major League Baseball. Congratulation on your Ph.D, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand why someone is sabotaging there success if you establish a context whereby the average layperson can understand how the hemispheres of his brain dramatically influences his performance no matter what the activity. I produced a DVD titled Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life that explains Hemispheric Kinesiology and it is available through

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2008, 9:01:25 AM PST
Is there any research to back up your claims about "hemispheric kinesiology" ?

There are numerous people out there selling their services in sport/exercise psychology, and just like with physical skills trianing, some of them have valid creditenals while others do not, some make bogus claims while some utilize researched, scientific-based approches....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2008, 9:45:39 AM PST
Ernest says:
I've been doing HK for 20 year and have worked with PGA, LPGA and NIKE tour players as well as other sports. If you go to and type in Hemispheric Kinesiology you will see a 20 minute excerpt (Part I & II) from the DVD Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. After viewing it tell me if you think it makes sense. You may also go to my website for more info.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2008, 4:59:27 PM PST
Rick S says:
I agree with Jeffrey Diritto.
There is a reason for education and training and credentials.
Regardless, some improvement can be ancedotal and not factual
Gregg Steinberg

Posted on Mar 26, 2009, 11:27:36 AM PDT
Susie says:
I think it's interesting that someone is getting a little beat up here because they don't have "the right" credentials. It's pretty hard to get training in something that you've invented yourself. That doesn't mean it isn't a valid new approach worth exploring. We'd be in very sad shape if no one ever recognized a potentially great idea just because the person who came up with it didn't have a PhD. Respectfully, I can also say that I've read plenty of books written by PhDs that weren't particularly brilliant. When "experts" get boxed in, that's when I get nervous. I personally think both of your web sites sound interesting and plan to check them out.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2009, 11:46:49 AM PDT
Ernest says:
Thank you for your kind words. There is a hypnotist in India who bought everyone of my programs and books and has been using the Mind Mastery For Golf program with Indian golfers. He started working with a player named Gaganjeet Bhullar three weeks ago and he won his first Indian tournament.

Then, playing in the 2009 Sail Open in New Delhi last week he recorded a second place finish with 21 under par. Thanks again for your kind words and in the words of Rod McKuen, "You can't be Batman to all the Robins in the world."

Posted on Apr 17, 2009, 8:46:01 PM PDT
Speed Writer says:
I will take an odd approach to this ....
I wont state my credentials nor my background or expereince in sports or sports psychology, at least not yet, but I'll say what I think on the discussion here ....

Psychology is a developing field. Yes there has been some work in the field for centuries but most before the 1800s was silly and largely wrong. Freud is usually a punch line to a joke and in many ways he was wrong on many things, but he started the flood gates and those who came after, either in support or discontent of his works, has changed how we view issues in our lives. With the rise of this field and the emergence of sports as an industry, the meeting of the two was inevitable. Anywhere there is a buck to be made there will be snake oil sellers. That's nothing new or different.

I spent much time developing mind and body relaxation techniques for sports. I have put them to work for myself and for others. Am I qualified? That's for others to decide in some ways but mostly its for those who I have worked with to decide. Every profession has 'qualified' people who do more harm than good. And there are others who are near the bottom of the industry due to lack of credentials and yet they are incredibly effective.

Sports psychology is a new field and there is no one way to define it or what makes you qualified. It is not regulated the way other aspects of Psychology is, but if a person claims to be a psychologist and is not, they are breaking ethics if not laws. Coaches practice psychological tools, so do team managers and physiologists and any number of support people within a sport. They vary I'm sure in effectiveness but if it works, it works.

I know my tactics worked for me and many others I taught them to. They are largely tactics others have used and discussed but some are my own adaptations. Some are things athletes have done on their own for many years and some are not. All I feel I have done is find what worked for me and taught others how to do similar. Is it psychology? yes I think it is. why? because it is improving performance through mental tactics.

Its really as simple as that, to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2009, 12:39:07 AM PDT
Ernest says:
Thank you for you post to this discussion. I have given what I do, Hemispheric Kinesiology, a lot of thought since I started this discussion, and I realized that HK is not psychology. It really deals with a branch of science known as psychophysics which is the relationship between the mind and the physical body. You see, nothing physically happens unless it is first a thought.

Since our thoughts dramatically influence the experiences we create, whether they are athletic or non-athletic, that is where one must focus one's attention if he is to effect positive change. If you go to and type in Hemispheric Kinesiology you will see a short video excerpt from my DVD Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life about how I have applied muscle testing (kinesiolsogy) to creating positive change. Thank you again for sharing your comments. For more information about HK my website is

Posted on Jul 30, 2009, 5:34:01 PM PDT
Tyler Benner says:
Inside the Archer (Total Archery)

The hum of a bowstring and the whistle of a streaking arrow are sounds that are permanently etched into the hearts and minds of every person. For it was create of the bow and arrow that marked the occurrence of man creating objects to project his power. Yes, a spear could fly before the arrow, but it could travel no farther than a thrown stone. But the first time a bowstring twanged and an arrow jumped forth toward the heavens, man's heart was captured in the parabolic.

Inside the Archer is a collaboration between the Master, KiSik Lee (9-time Olympic Gold Medal Coach, 17-time World Champion Coach), and the Student, Tyler Benner (Lee's protege student). Benner trained under Lee for 2 1/2 years at the US Olympic Training Center, judiciously observing, recording, and implementing Lee's secret teachings. Now, here in all its glory for the world, Lee and Benner present Olympic Gold Medal archery with detail never before thought possible. 28 chapters break down 26 technique elements into their physical and metaphysical, teaching the archer how to transcend his bodily limitations when reaching for excellence. Two heavy-hitting concluding chapters stress the importance of learning, analysis, and the ability to gaze beyond the wool pulled over most athlete's eyes. Inside the Archer teaches the reader not just how to shoot, but how to how step up to the line and address life's challenges head on.

Tyler Benner
Co-author: Inside the Archer

Posted on Sep 4, 2009, 4:41:16 PM PDT
Bryce Jerlow says:
Just reading, looking, and listening here.

The brain and body are interesting instruments, each needing development.

Attitude is everything, whatever the endeavor ....

Bryce Jerlow

Posted on Jul 31, 2011, 4:19:36 PM PDT
Hello everyone. Nice discussion. I am John F Murray, a clinical and sports psychologist in Palm Beach, Florida and the author of two books on sports psychology Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game (Smart Sport Series) and The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History.

Back in the 1980s I was a tennis pro and was coaching the sport worldwide. In around the mid-1980s we started putting on mental training sessions for our tennis clientele, and sports psychology to me then was what was contained in books such as the Inner Game of Tennis, Flow, and books for specific mental training in particular sports. I was fascinated by the subject, and with a bachelors degree in psychology I decided to go back to graduate school and become a sports psychologist. I left a great career in tennis when I returned to America in 1990 and enrolled at the University of Florida Department of Exercise and Sports Sciences in the Spring of 1991 to become a sports psychologist.

As I got into their great program there, and played tennis almost daily with the department chair Bob Singer, I quickly learned that if I was going to realize my dreams of becoming a practicing sports psychologist, I would need to also first become a licensed psychologist as well. The exercise science folks were great academically, but there was simply no training model in place to train sports psychologists within academic sports science programs. By contrast, psychology had been doing it for 50 plus years. So after a masters degree specializing in sports psychology, I enrolled in the Fall of 1992 at the University of Florida's Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. They were also excellent and they were able to provide me not only the overall background I needed in psychology to understand, assess, and treat problems clinically, but the only way you are going to become any kind of psychologist then and today is by getting a state license, and that requires graduation from a psychology doctoral program. Thankfully, they allowed me to continue to pursue my passion for sports psychology, and I conducted my PhD dissertation on the football team that won the national title in 1996. The following year I went on internship, and was able to secure the only APA approved internship in the country that had a full year rotation in applied sports psychology at Washington State University. I came back after that year, defended my dissertation, and then realized that in order to become a sports psychologist (or any kind of psychologist) there was still a requirement to complete 2000 hours of supervised clinical work after the PhD. So I secured a postdoctoral fellowship at Florida International University and after 14 months had the required hours, sat for the licensing exam and passed it, and became an officially licensed psychologist (and sports psychologist too since my academic and practical training was also in that area).

If you are exhausted having read all that, imagine how I felt in this pursuit from 1991 to 1999. The clear reality is that there is a way to become a legitimate sports psychologist. I have done it. But it takes almost forever. Why should this be surprising? To be able to best understand human beings, it makes sense to study human beings (and not just athletes). To know athletes it also makes sense to study athletes, sports sciences, and all those good things. While there is room for everyone to help athletes in some way or another, the truth is that becoming a sports psychologist is a daunting proposition that requires years of hard work, financial delays, luck, and creativity. I stayed with it because I was extremely passionate, and I am glad I did. But if you miss either the sports science side of the equation or the psychology side, you are missing too much, and you are not really going to be fully qualified as a sports psychologist. It is true that the bare minimum to use the title in most every state is a psychology license to practice, and that is the hardest part to acquire because you have to go through a formal psychology program which takes 5 years overall at a minimum and requires a very high score on the GRE. I was low, and I scored 1300. Some say that doctoral programs in psychology are harder to get into than medical school. But even with the psychology training and licensure, you cannot open shop independently and hold yourself out to the public as a sports psychologist without the course work and other academics in the sports psychology/sports sciences realm as well as a ton of supervision by another qualified and licensed sports psychologist!

In any event, my book Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game (Smart Sport Series) aims at helping tennis players and all athletes really to play the game better mentally, whereas my book just released this year The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History is a much more comprehensive book that is part auto-biography, part new discovery, part social change agent, part football lover's guide to the Super Bowl, and part coaches manual for success with a team. I think you will love this latest book and you will also like Smart Tennis if you want to improve performance in a specific sport.

I know that was a long one, and I am sorry if some of you had to go take a bathroom break before finishing :-) ... but I wanted to share my story - and I go into great depth about all this in The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History ... the bottom line is anyone in America who is ambitious and bright enough can become a sports psychologist, but your really need almost 10 years to do it right. There are very few practicing sports psychologists like myself out there, so it's hard to gain the supervision ... but it is a great professional and I am daily stimulated by a variety of challenges.

Thanks for listening!

John F Murray, PhD
Clinical & Sports Psychologist &
Author of The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History
Author of Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game (Smart Sport Series)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011, 7:25:23 AM PDT
Getting Into The Zone: A COURSE and WORKBOOK For the Mental Game

Hi John, We just released our first book for Teen Athletes. We're not Sports Psychologists, however. Our book is a step by step handbook for the High School and College Athlete to develop the Mental Game to match their physical skills. My co-author developed these skills via the "hard knocks" of Division I Baseball. Difficult coaches and grueling schedules are just some of the corners we would like to help student athletes see around. It's interactive, kids can go to AskElliot to get free advice and pep talks. Thanks for this platform!

Elliot Hagburg
Kathleen Hagburg

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2011, 1:37:30 AM PDT
Nice Elliot, and your work is needed and shows that sports psychologists don't have an exclusive monopoly on the right to create useful materials that grow the mental game. Knowledge is everywhere, and it doesn't take a state license or supervision as a clinician to express it. However, putting our useful information in a book is a far different cry than holding oneself out as an authority or expert who is qualified to give professional advice. A lot of this is in my recent book The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2011, 5:00:26 AM PDT
Thanks, John-I'll check out your book on Kindle today.

Elliot Hagburg

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2011, 9:37:57 AM PDT
ReviewerNYC says:
Looking forward to the long awaited release of Lucinda Ruh's book. If you like biographies (with the mental side), she is the most artistic figure skater ever to take the ice stage! The most accomplished and beautiful spinner (you must look up her videos on-line or on her website, you will be astonished when you see her spin). Simply an inspiration to all. What a great person.
Click here on Amazon;
Frozen Teardrop: The Tragedy and Triumph of Figure Skating's Queen of Spin

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2012, 8:31:12 AM PST
Neil Fromer says:
Linsanity: Life Lessons From Jeremy Lin

This book covers the mental side of success in sports, teamwork and life!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 1, 2012, 8:37:24 AM PST
Neil Fromer says:
Linsanity: Life Lessons From Jeremy Lin

Ernest, great discussion you started!

Thanks :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012, 11:32:29 AM PST
Sky says:
The Greater Meaning of Water - Collector's DVD - North America

Hi, I wrote and directed this film about the mental side of sports and the 'flow state' in the context of breath-hold freediving. Would be great to discuss this topic!!
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Discussion in:  Sports forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  29
Initial post:  Oct 30, 2008
Latest post:  Nov 12, 2012

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