sports psychologist & clinical psychology

Career of Dr. John F. Murray

Scroll to the bottom of this page to see my professional activities


John F Murray, Ph.D.

This outline identifies highlights of my career that have shaped me as a provider of consulting services.

Career Overview

I am a clinical and sports psychologist in Palm Beach, Florida working out of my office and by phone. I’ve held university teaching positions in psychology and statistics. I traveled the world as a tennis professional in my 20s before going back to graduate school at the University of Florida, gaining masters degrees in both sports psychology and clinical psychology, and a PhD in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. I completed a rare psychology and sports psychology internship at Washington State University and a similar postdoctoral fellowship at Florida International University in Miami before opening my private practice in 1999. My career has been extremely challenging and fascinating. I’ve produced and hosted my own radio show and have worked hard to increase public awareness about the benefits of sports psychology. I’ve appeared on national television and radio many times to discuss the field or current issues as an expert. Career highlights include writing a top selling sports psychology book cover endorsed by a Wimbledon Champion, developing a new football rating system that includes mental performance and standardizes scoring across decades (unveiled in a 2001 book that was revised in 2013), helping NFL players and athletes in all sports to compete better, helping engineer a comeback from the longest career losing streak in pro tennis history, coaching on the ATP Tour and getting an official win at the 2007 Australian Open, traveling with a #1 USA judo fighter to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, traveling to UFC 100 in Las Vegas where I worked with an MMA title contender, and I will soon attend the 2014 winter Olympic Games in Russia, working with Finnish hockey star Olli Jokinen. I have been dubbed the Roger Federer of sports psychologists by Tennis Week, one of the major psychologists in sports by Fox News, the Freud of Football by the Washington Post, and the most quoted psychologist in America. I have enjoyed contributing to thousands of articles and have written hundreds of columns including regular columns at Tennis Magazine and Florida Tennis. I recently launched a podcast on mental training to help athletes prepare for competition using a variety of mental strategies and I’ve written a football column for University of Miami football in CaneSport Magazine for 3 consecutive seasons.

Academic and Professional Background

I have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University New Orleans, and three graduate degrees from the University of Florida: two masters degrees in both Exercise and Sports Sciences and Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I specialized in clinical, health, and sports psychology throughout my graduate and post-graduate studies. To meet the requirements for the doctorate at the University of Florida I also completed the only APA approved professional psychology internship in the nation that also had a full-time rotation in sports psychology, at Washington State University in 1997. I defended my dissertation in 1998 on stress, coping, and emotional adjustment to injury will all injured players on 1996 national champion Florida Gators football team and a matched sample of injured recreational athletes. I then completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Florida International University and passed the Florida state licensing examination to become a psychologist in 1999 when I began my private practice in South Florida. In addition to the private practice, I have given numerous speeches and conducted many workshops worldwide, served as President of the local Florida Psychological Association chapter, served as an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida, and South University in West Palm Beach, Florida, and served as the subject matter expert developing new graduate sports psychology courses for Educational Management Corporation (EDMC).

Sports and Sports Psychology Background

I coached tennis on five continents before going back to graduate school at age 30 to become a licensed clinical and sports performance psychologist. I authored the best-selling book Smart Tennis: How to Play and Win the Mental Game (Jossey-Bass, 1999) cover-endorsed by Wimbledon champion Lindsay Davenport and available in English (Jossey-Bass), Spanish (Paidotribo) and Japanese (Prentice Hall Japan). Former #18 world ranked tennis player Vince Spadea talked on the Tennis Channel about how I helped him overcome the longest recorded losing streak in tennis history as his sports psychologist. I’ve also filled in as Vince’s official traveling coach at eight tournaments including the 2007 Australian Open where I have an official coaching win over Russian star Igor Andreev. I have written hundreds of articles on sports psychology in some of the best sports magazines in the world. I have been a contributing editor at Florida Tennis for over ten years. I have been ranked in the top 10 in men’s singles in Florida as an Open division player, and held an end of year ranking as the #16 ranked Open player in Florida in 1996. In 2002, I developed a unique system to rate the performance of a football team with a precise rating system that for the first time incorporates key mental factors into the performance rating, while also standardizing performance so that teams can be compared from week to week, year to year and across decades on the same metric. This culminated in 2009 with a contract when I signed with World Audience publishers to write “The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History.” Pro Football Hall of Fame and NFL broadcasting pioneer Lesley Visser will write the epilogue. I have been the sports psychologist for hundreds of amateur, junior, college, Olympic and professional athletes, and I have conducted sports psychology workshops all over the world including eight annual events on the weekend before the start of the Wimbledon championships in London.

Background in Media

In 2002 and 2003 I produced and hosted my own radio show on WAXY 790 in Miami, Florida called Mental Equipment, a call-in talk show that offered mental tips and strategies to help people with the tools of sports psychology to live more productive and successful lives. I also appeared on hundreds of local and network radio shows including NPR’s All Things Considered, on CNN, ABC, Bloomberg, BBC and ESPN to name just a few to discuss many more issues involving sports and psychology. I have also appeared at least seven times on national or international television including ABC Good Morning America during the 2006 Winter Olympics to discuss Sasha Cohen and Bode Miller’s chokes, on MSNBC with Allison Stewart to discuss anger following the infamous basket-braw involving the Indiana Pacers Ron Artest and his attack on a fan, on John Gibson’s he Big Story on the Fox network to discuss a youth hockey violence incident involving a parent, on Neil Cavuto’s Your World to discuss Yankees manager Joe Torre and owner George Steinbrenner, on the Pan American Sports Network from my office to talk about the psychology of a champion with tennis legend and former #3 ranked player Jose Luis Clerc, and on the Sunshine Network from the Key Biscayne tennis championships. I have appeared on many more local television broadcasts to discuss a wide variety of issues. Finally, I have contributed to over 1600 stories in the general media earning the nicknames The Freud of Football by the Washington Post, one of the major psychologists in sports by Fox, the Roger Federer of sports psychology by Tennis Week, and the most famous sports psychologist in the world by the Topeka Capital Journal. I am the most quoted psychologist and sports psychologist in America over the past five years because I am passionate about getting the word out about our exciting profession.

Professional Activities

For Athletes, Coaches & Teams
Individual Evaluations, Counseling, Mental Skills Training, Life Skills Training
Team Presentations, Workshops & Pre-Game Speeches

For Individuals, Couples & Families
Individual Evaluations & Counseling
Family & Couples Counseling

For Corporations & Organizations
Individual Evaluations, Counseling, Executive Coaching, Life Skills Training
Speeches & Workshops
Team-building

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One Response to “Career of Dr. John F. Murray”

  1. Hannah C. says:

    I was originally looking for a good reference about “John F. Murray” as a Sport Psychologist for my Psychology essay, but this is by far the best source of information! Then again this is Murray’s website… Ha ha!

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