“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, Wertheim and Sommers discuss abusive coaching in sports and how demoralizing tactics affect athletes today.
Wertheim and Sommers use SI senior writer Alex Wolff's recent article in the Sept. 28, 2015 issue about college coaches and their abuse of power to discuss the research that shows how the negativity affects the players. Several studies show that a positive approach is more beneficial and effective and Sommers explains how negativity can impact the brain and cause suboptimal performance. In fact, Sommers discusses how demoralizing coaching tactics can actually affect a player's peripheral vision.
Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and check back every week for a new episode.