Secrets of Sports Psychology Revealed [Interview] • Latino Sports

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Secrets of Sports Psychology Revealed [Interview]

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New York, NY – During the baseball offseason, I enjoyed reading Rick Wolff’s book, Secrets of Sports Psychology Revealed: Proven Techniques to Elevate Your Performance. Here’s his bio and my interview…

Rick Wolff is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of sports psychology. Wolff, a former professional baseball player in the Detroit Tigers’ organization, also served as the roving sports psychology coach for the Cleveland Indians from 1989 to 1994 and has worked with numerous top professional and collegiate athletes.

A direct protégé of the famed sports psychology coach Harvey Dorfman, Wolff can be heard every Sunday morning on WFAN Sports Radio in New York City where he discusses key sports parenting and sports psychology issues.

What was your motivation behind your book?

I actually have been meaning to write the book for many years, but I found myself especially motivated to move ahead when my good friend and mentor, Harvey Dorfman, passed away a few years ago at 75.

As I write in the book, Harvey pretty much put the world of sports psychology on the map and made it acceptable for pro and amateur athletes. I’ll always be eternally grateful for Harvey’s help in introducing me to the Cleveland Indians where I worked with Cleveland as their roving sports psychology coach, and this book is a modest way for me to acknowledge his great influence.

When writing your book, what was your personal journey like?

In terms of the actual writing, I found it to be actually refreshing because the experience allowed me to go back and reflect on research, studies, and theories that I have held for a long time. Finally having the chance to put them on paper was a very satisfying process for me. Overall, I would say the book took me about nine months to write.

What were some of the obstacles in writing your book?

The biggest obstacle was just trying to steal away a couple of hours each day from my daily obligations to sit down and write. But I knew I was making progress, and when I had finished, I felt very good about my efforts. Also, I deliberately wrote the book to be used by everyday athletes, and as such, I strenuously tried to avoid any psychological mumbo-jumbo in the text. That is, I wrote the book to be easily followed and adapted by all athletes and coaches.

What’s the message you envision that your readers will receive from your book?

My overall message is that all athletes spend countless hours practicing and polishing their physical athletic skills, but very few of them ever spend much time thinking about their mental approach to their game. I hope this book shows them that the mental side of sports is a key element they need to use.

Where can readers find your work?

The book is off to a fine start in terms of sales, and it’s available in book stores as well as on Amazon and BN.com.

Overview of the Book

The world of sports psychology and in the introduction of mental skills coaches has exploded into the athletic mainstream over the last few decades. Before then, the attitude regarding such training was extremely conservative and “old school”—the prevailing philosophy was that “any athlete who needs to talk with a shrink needs to have their head examined.”

Fortunately, with today’s modern athletes, the dark ages of mental training in sports have gone away and times have changed for the better. But as with any growing industry, there are lots of new and untested pathways to one’s mental performance training in practices and games. But depending on who you talk to, the advice that is given can vary widely—and sometimes, even be contradictory.

The Secrets of Sports Psychology Revealed by Rick Wolff, one of the pioneers in the field of sports psychology, is based upon his many years of clinical, hands-on work with top professional and amateur athletes in a variety of sports. He provides real insight into what does—and doesn’t—work. Specifically:

  • Do pre-game visualization techniques really work?
  • Is it OK to be superstitious, or are those rituals counterproductive?
  • Does taking a deep breath or two in a tight situation really help?
  • What’s the best way to learn how to make adjustments in one’s game?

These direct questions, and many others, are presented and answered in this easy to use how-to guide aimed directly at athletes and coaches. The answers are right to the point and are based upon the author’s observations and work over the years with top athletes.

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