“This is Your Brain on Sports” is a new podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers explore the intersection of sports and human nature—what the world of sports has to teach us about who we are, what we care about, and the forces that shape our behavior. In this week’s episode, Sommers is joined by Dr. Amy Cuddy, a world-renowned expert in body language, to discuss the subconscious messages the body sends and how those physical messages can shape the mental sharpness of top athletes.
From the Milwaukee Bucks hiring a facial coding expert last summer to the New York Jets' decision a few years ago to set up a system of body-language fines in practice for then quarterback Mark Sanchez, more and more teams are buying in to the idea that how players and coaches act in their regular routine dictates how productive they are in the heat of competition. Whether it's high-pressure penalty kicks in soccer or casual clubhouse encounters in baseball, Dr. Cuddy shares her insight on the subtle physical messages everyone sends and receives, often without realizing it, and how those messages can help or harm athletes at the highest level.
Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and check back every week for a new episode.