Marv Zauderer, M.S., M.S., MFT

Helping individuals, couples, and teams solve problems and reach their potential.

Articles on Mental Skills in Sports

On this page, you'll find many articles that may be helpful to you in learning about, assessing, and improving mental skills in all sports. The upper part of the page contains links to articles I've published. The lower part contains links -- grouped by topic and sport -- to articles by other authors.

Get an email when I publish a new article
About every five weeks or so, I send out an email with a link to my latest article. If you'd like to get that email, please enter your address and click the "subscribe" button below. Every email I send always has an "unsubscribe" button so you can take yourself off the list whenever you want. I don't share your email address with anyone -- ever.

All of my articles are on my blog; you can check it out here. Enjoy!

Latest additions to this list of articles
"For Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, it's all about visualization,", 1/19/14

Evaluating Your Mental Skills, by M. Zauderer
These articles help you assess your strengths and weaknesses, and to develop an overall plan to strengthen your mental fitness.

Assessing Your Mental FitnessMaking a Difference in Your Mental Fitness

The 5 Core Skills of Mentally Fit Athletes, by M. Zauderer
These articles cover the 5 core skills -- in this case, applied to cycling, but if you're not a cyclist, it will likely be straightforward for you to apply the material to your sport. Click on the title to see the article.

(***Note that in all of my articles, words in blue are links to other resources. Check 'em out!***)

OverviewGoal-SettingPositive Self-TalkManaging EmotionsConcentrationCommunication

Integral Elements of the 5 Core Skills, by M. Zauderer
These articles cover the "building blocks" of the core skills.

Breathing TechniquesSelf-AwarenessBuilding Self-Confidence  • Visualization

Advanced Skills of Mentally Fit Athletes, by M. Zauderer
Again, the skills in these articles are applied to cycling, but the skills clearly apply to many sports.

Increasing Your Tolerance for SufferingSustaining MotivationHandling Pressure

Managing Your Will to SucceedSetting and Challenging LimitsBeating the Winter Blues

Putting Failure in its PlaceMoving Forward by Letting Go, Part 1Moving Forward by Letting Go, Part 2

Choosing to CompeteSeize the Moment in Your RaceHow Much is Too Much?

When Things Don't Go Your WayImproving Your SleepPre-Race Mental Preparation

The Effects of Relationships on Sport Performance,  by M. Zauderer
These articles help you assess, improve, and manage relationships -- with competitors, your coach, your friends and family, yourself -- that can have a big effect on your athletic performance.

Self-Interest and CooperationComparing Yourself With Others

Get the Most from a Coach, Part 1  •  Get the Most from a Coach, Part 2

The Importance of Being Supported •  Supporting YourselfLeading and Following

The Other Side of Competition

Preventing and Recovering from Injury,  by M. Zauderer
These articles examine the psychological factors and skills involved in not only recovering from injury but preventing it.

Recovering from Injury, Part 1Recovering from Crashes, Part 1Recovering from Crashes, Part 2

Living With the Risk of CrashingRecovering from Injury, Part 2

Integrating Intellect, Emotions, Body and Spirit in Sports, by M. Zauderer
Integrating the four aspects of your Self is a path to higher performance, better results,
and more fun.

Integrating Body and MindThe Power of CyclotherapyHow Good Do You Need to Be?

How Bad Do You Need to Be?Higher Power?Desire

Interviews with Mentally Fit Athletes, by M. Zauderer

The Mind of a Mentally Fit Pro CyclistMore Minds of Mentally Fit ProsThe Mind of a Mentally Fit EuroPro

The Mind to Ride Around the World

Working With (and Learning From) Teen Athletes, by M. Zauderer

Coaching Core Mental Skills with Teen CyclistsBeginner's Mind, Part 1Beginner's Mind, Part 2

Articles/Books in which Marv is quoted

"Cycling in Marin: Following traffic laws a complex issue for some," Marin Independent-Journal, 8/31/11
The Athlete's Guide to Recovery, Sage Rountree, VeloPress.
"Going the distance, and then some," The Chronicle-Herald, 4/15/09
"Rage against the machines," Marin Independent-Journal, 8/22/08
"Finding focus," Men's Journal, 2/08
"When an athlete is hobbled," Washington Post, 9/25/07
"Sports psychologist helps athletes overcome anxieties," Marin Independent-Journal, 2/19/07
"Marin's group bike rides liven up the miles," Marin Independent-Journal, 2/13/07

Other Useful Articles

These articles give you a sense for the many ways in which sport psychology is used by amateur and professional athletes.

What is Mental Skills Training, Why is it Important, and How Does it Work?

U.S. Olympic Committee's "Top Ten" Guiding Principles for Mental Training
"Mental toughness critical for competitive edge," Columbia Spectator, 12/3/12
"Sports Psychologists extend their counseling to athletes' coaches and families," Scientific American, 8/1/12
"Get in the Game," Charlotte Observer, 12/23/11
"Mental training just as important as the physical effort," Calgary Herald, 12/20/11
"Ron Artest thanks psychiatrist after Lakers win; Is Sports Therapy going mainstream?," CBS News, 6/18/10
"Mind games as tough as Olympic Games,", 2/26/10
"The mental edge or physiology: What separates champions from contenders?", Tucker/Dugas, 2/25/10
"Pittsburgh Pirates trying to outthink opposition," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/10/10
"Coping with fame is no slam dunk," Boston Globe, 9/13/09
"Case study: Paralympics," The Times, 4/23/09
"Mental toughness is a good start," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/4/09
"Mental toughness: Preparation directs life learning on, off field," Suburban Journals, 1/2/09
"Grieg coaches several Paralympians in Beijing," The Windsor Star, 8/27/08
"Sport psychologists help Olympians cope,", 8/9/08
"Israel's first medalist outlines her secrets for Olympic success," Jerusalem Post, 8/8/08
"Sport psychologist aims to release the potential within the Royals," Kansas City Star, 7/26/08
"Ducks forced to replace heart of the program," The Register-Guard, 6/18/08
"How to get your head in the game," Dallas Morning-News, 6/10/08
"Sport psychologist stresses mental game," Daily Collegian, 4/2/08
"Research and tests identify psychological traits of superstar athletes," Mississippi Sun-Herald, 3/12/08
"He helps athletes keep their heads on straight," Sacramento Bee, 3/7/08
"Athletes psych up for Games," People's Daily Online, China, 2/25/08
"Doctor gives athletes and teams head start," Vancouver Province, 12/14/07
"Psyching out a slump," Washington Times, 11/6/07
"Pressure is a tiger some seek," Albany Times-Union, 7/4/07
"Mental muscle-building," Jerusalem Post, 4/1/07
"What it takes to be great," Fortune Magazine, 4/19/06


"A bit of talk therapy helps Rockets' Artest transform," New York Times, 5/9/09

Anxiety/Nerves/Pressure/Stress/Emotional Regulation

"How exercise can calm anxiety," New York Times, 7/3/13
"Priming performance,"
Psychology Today, 12/2/12
"Helping Canadian athletes deal with Olympic pressure," Montreal Gazette, 8/1/12
"Under pressure: What big games do to players and how they cope," Yahoo Sports, 6/3/10
Sport psychologist: Anxiety often root of performance problems, Palm Beach Daily News, 4/10/10
"We shrink Games anxiety down to size, say psychologists," Washington Post, 2/20/10
"How Richards learned to flush her fears away,", 1/7/10
"Understanding the anxious mind,"
New York Times, 10/4/09
"Swimmers use mental preparations to offset prerace jitters," New York Times, 7/25/09
"Anxiety at the Plate," New York Times, 7/13/09
"Stressed-out players going on DL for anxiety,", 7/11/09
"Players, teams, learning to treat anxiety,", 6/24/09
"Training the mind prevents athletes choking,", 4/30/09
"Survey shows prepping for game time causes more stress than going to the dentist,", 1/6/09
"Before hustling to finish, relaxed is a good way to start," New York Times, 10/1/08
"The secret curse of expert archers," New York Times, 8/1/08
"When athletes choke on the taste of victory," Globe and Mail, 7/22/08


"Crash and burnout," New York Times, 3/2/08


"When the mind wanders, happiness also strays," New York Times, 11/15/10


"Mind games of the victorious," Reuters, 7/22/12
Eating Disorders

"Athletes and Eating Disorders Webinar," Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, Lemont, Illinois


"Pushing past the pain of exertion," New York Times, 10/29/09
"Jog to the beat: Music increases exercise endurance by 15%," Science Daily, 10/1/08


"Still hurting, Orlando's Nelson making his way back,", 11/2/09


"Success: Winners and Losers," Psychology Today, 3/1/09


"Deep thoughts with Ricky Williams,", 6/10/10


"Encouragement improves your game better than criticism, claim scientists," The Telegraph, 5/1/09
"Ravens use an old motivational ploy: lack of respect," Los Angeles Times, 1/6/09

Personality Disorders

"Miami Dolphins receiver diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder
," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 7/30/11

Recovering from Injury

"It's all in her head," Toronto Sun, 1/8/10
"Finding inner strength," New York Times, 5/6/08


"Secret ingredient for success," New York Times, 1/19/13

Substance Abuse


"Mental visualization boosts Fedrigo's potential,", 7/29/10
"New Tampa Bay Bucs kicker keeps head from drifting too high, too low," St. Pete Times, 11/21/09
"Mind games," Newsweek, 9/25/00

Mental Skills in Baseball

"Riverside native Geoff Miller brings brain power to baseball," Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/21/12
"Mind Games: The Dontrelle Willis case,", 4/12/10
"Pittsburgh Pirates trying to outthink opposition," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/10/10
"Anxiety at the Plate," New York Times, 7/13/09
"Stressed-out players going on DL for anxiety,", 7/11/09
"Professional baseball faces loaded issue: Mental Health," Wall Street Journal, 7/1/09
"Players, teams, learning to treat anxiety,", 6/24/09
"Go 2 Guy: Cerebral coach helps Mariners get a hold of themselves,", 6/23/09
"Tourists playing head games," Asheville Citizen-Times, 6/17/09
"Now batting: Flyers add sport psychologist to lineup," Chicago Daily Herald, 4/24/09
"Royals add sport psychologist,", 7/17/08
"Dodgers hire sport psychologist to help with players' mental skills," The Press-Enterprise, 4/29/08
"Pitching with purpose," NY Times, 4/1/08

Mental Skills in Basketball

"Can LeBron transform from Choker to Champ?," Yahoo Sports, 6/13/11
"Dallas Mavericks believe in their upgraded mental toughness but must continue to prove it," ESPN, 5/13/11
"Psychologist helps put Raptors' minds at ease," Toronto Star, 1/30/09
"Too much Rod Benson: It's more than the shoes," Yahoo NBA Experts Blog, 12/17/07
"Webster's finally winning head games," The Oregonian, 7/15/07
"It takes more than basketball skills," Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/17/07

Mental Skills for Coaches

"Make mental training part of physical training," US Olympic Committee, 10/08

Mental Skills in Cycling

"Cyclist Mara Abbott finds her way back to road,", May 15, 2013
"Speed, head-first,"
"Tibco tales: Don't call me nice,", 10/10/08
Proper way to fall can save you in a bike crash," Marin Independent-Journal, 8/30/08
"Hard road to the Olympics: The Svein Tuft Story,", 7/19/08
"Expert advice from Jonathan Vaughters -- The Climb," New York, 6/6/08
"Steegmans psyched after double victory,", 3/12/08
"The doping dilemma," Michael Shermer, Scientific American, 3/08

Mental Skills in Endurance Sports

"Inside the endurance athlete's mind," Forbes, 9/22/08

Mental Skills in Golf

"Working on his inner game," New York Times, 9/18/13
"Get in the Game," Charlotte Observer, 12/23/11
"Tiger Woods at the Masters: A test of mental preparation," TIME, 4/6/10
"Wilson benefits from words of wisdom," Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, 7/12/09
"Psycho-babble or psycho-truth,", 4/22/09
"Mind games? Tiger wins those, too," The Star-Ledger, 4/10/08
"Winning focus," San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/9/08
"This champion has a fist full of wedges," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4/7/08
"Masters champion's success is a team effort,", 4/6/08
"Tiger Woods entering a zone where few athletes have ever traveled," NY Daily News, 3/18/08
"Tiger's biggest club is his mental strength," USA Today, 2/10/04
"Behind Tiger's mental toughness," Golf Digest, 10/2000

Mental Skills
in Hockey

"Mental training just as important as the physical effort," Calgary Herald, 12/20/11
"Bruins get psyched," The Province, 6/12/11
"Ex-BU professor has them psyched up," Boston Globe, 6/2/11
"Lightning focus on process, not results, to find success," Tampa Tribune, 5/4/11
"Talking about the psychology of winning,", 1/27/09
"This game is played in the head," Edmonton Journal, 2/26/08

Mental Skills in Rugby

Mental Toughness Section,

Mental Skills in Running

"Running notebook: Psych up before training and race day," Chron, 2/27/13
"One Runner's Suffering is Another's Inspiration," New York Times, 5/16/11
"Kara Goucher's Mind Gains," Runner's World, 3/10
"Confidence key for Goucher,", 2/25/09
"Shrink rap," Runner's World, 11/08
"Runners high demonstrated," Science Daily, 3/6/08
"I'm not really running, I'm not really running," New York Times, 12/6/07

Mental Skills in Soccer

"Japanese team measured by heart, not height," 7/14/11
"Reversing el Curse: BU sport psychologist hopes to nudge Spain to World Cup victory," BU Today, 5/25/06

Mental Skills in Softball

"Chisholm takes it one pitch at a time," Corvallis Gazette-Times, 3/12/08

Mental Skills in Swimming

"Diana Nyad's success all in in her head, experts say,", 9/3/13
"Swimmers use mental preparations to offset prerace jitters," New York Times, 7/25/09
"Driven and decidated, Torres inspires awe from ex-teammates," New York Times, 8/8/08

Mental Skills in Tennis

"Women's tennis relies on performance coach,", 4/4/08

Mental Skills in Triathlon

"Before triathlon, psychologists calm athletes' fears," New York Times, 7/23/07

Mental Skills for Teens/Kids

"Coaches can shape young athletes' definition of success," ScienceDaily, 11/17/09
"Running for their lives," Toronto Star, 10/2/09
"Young athletes try new coach -- the psychologist," New York Times, 8/5/07

Mental Skills in Volleyball