Posts Tagged ‘sports psychology’

New Travel Category

Sports Psychology Special to – Today we added a new category for articles, videos and audios related to travel with sports psychologist Dr. John F Murray.

Here is a link to the YouTube travel videos.

Hope you enjoy this emerging section on travel with a sports psychologist.

Postcard from Sweden

Sports psychology travel fun from Dr. John F Murray, a Palm Beach, Florida clinical and sports psychologist during his trip to Sweden.

Click here for your Postcard from Stockholm, Sweden

Hope you enjoyed this video from a sports psychologist

NFL is Number One on SportsPro Ranking of World’s 200 Most Valuable Sports Properties

Sports psychology special for – SportsPro Magazine ranked the world’s 200 most valuable sports properties in their July issue. This a fun and fascinating list and all people interested in sports should consider a subscription to this London based magazine (editors Adam Nethersole and David Cushnan) read by the top executives in many sports worldwide. Enjoy the story below.

SportsPro magazine has published the world’s first ranking of sports properties in its July issue. Unsurprisingly, the National Football League (NFL) is ranked as the world’s most valuable sports property, with a value of US$4.5 billion. It is followed at the top of the table by three other American properties – Major League Baseball (MLB) (US$3.9 billion), the NBA (US$3.35 billion) and Nascar (US$1.9 billion).

The newest property in the list is the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is valued at US$1.6 billion – a staggering achievement for a two-year-old property.

The highest ranked European team property is the Ferrari Formula One team (7th) at a value of US$1.55 billion, followed by Manchester United Football Club (8th) at US$1.495 billion. The most valuable American sports club is the Dallas Cowboys (10th), the NFL team, valued at US$1.278 billion.

Tiger Woods (11th) is the highest rated athlete property with a value of US$1.25 billion, followed by Jack Nicklaus (16th) at US$1 billion. Golfers dominate the athletes’ table because of the high earnings from designing golf courses; Tiger Woods is expected to earn over a billion dollars from designing courses in the next decade and will almost certainly eclipse his on-course earnings. David and Victoria’s Beckham Brand Ltd property (88th) is valued at US$375 million.

Many single annual events appear, led by the Wimbledon tennis championships (22nd) valued at US$900 million.

Unsurprisingly, the most valuable competition is the Fifa World Cup (5th) valued at US$1.7 billion, ahead of the Summer Olympic Games (15th) at US$1.04 billion. The Uefa Champions League (13th) is valued at US$1.1 billion, eclipsing the Summer Olympics due to its annual status.

OVERALL TABLE (200) (Top Ten tables below)

1 National Football League; 32 NFL franchises Football – US$4.5 billion
2 Major League Baseball; 32 MLB franchises Baseball – US$3.936 billion
3 National Basketball Association; 30 NBA franchises Basketball – US$2.344 billion
4 Nascar France family; Motorsport – US$1.9 billion
5 Fifa World Cup; Fifa Soccer – US$1.7 billion
6 Indian Premier League BCCI (India) Cricket US$1.6 billion
7 Scuderia Ferrari; Fiat Motorsport – US$1.55 billion
8 Manchester United FC; Malcolm Glazer Soccer – US$1.495 billion
9 Formula One; CVC/Royal Bank of Scotland Motorsport – US$1.45 billion
10 Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Football US$1.278 billion
11 ETW Corp/Tiger Woods Design Tiger Woods Golf US$1.25 billion
12 New York Yankees George Steinbrenner Baseball US$1.19 billion
13 Uefa Champions League Uefa Soccer US$1.1 billion
14 Real Madrid Club Members Soccer US$1.073 billion
15 Olympic Games (Summer) International Olympic Committee Multi-Sports US$1.024 billion
16 Nicklaus Design and Golf Equipmt Jack Nicklaus Golf US$1 billion
17 Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder Football US$999 million
18 PGA Tour PGA of America Golf US$970 million
19 New York Giants John Mara/Steven Tisch Football US$932 million
20 New York Jets Robert Wood Johnson IV Football US$927 million
21 Arsenal FC Stan Kroenke Soccer US$910 million
22 The Wimbledon Championships All England Lawn Tennis Club Tennis US$900 million
23 US Tennis Open United States Tennis Association Tennis US$880 million
24 New England Patriots Robert Kraft Football US$861 million
25 World Wrestling Entertainment McMahon Family Wrestling US$837 million
26 Miami Dolphins Wayne Huizenga/Stephen Ross Football US$828 million
27 Liverpool FC George Gillett/Tom Hicks Soccer US$801 million
28 Arnold Palmer Design Arnold Palmer Enterprises Golf US$800 million
29 Great White Shark Enterprises Greg Norman Golf US$800 million
30 Uefa European Championship Uefa Soccer US$800 million
31 FC Barcelona Club Members Soccer US$793 million
32 AC Milan Silvio Berlusconi Soccer US$774 million
33 National Hockey League 30 NHL franchises Ice Hockey US$760 million
34 Rugby World Cup Rugby World Cup Ltd/IRB Rugby Union US$750 million
35 The Masters Augusta National Golf Club Golf US$750 million
36 Michael Jordan Michael Jordan/Nike Basketball US$725 million
37 Houston Texans Robert McNair Football US$725 million
38 Philadelphia Eagles Jeffrey Lurie Football US$723 million
39 FC Bayern Munich Club members Soccer US$721 million
40 ICC World Cup International Cricket Council Cricket US$700 million
41 ATP World Tour Assoc. of Tennis Professionals Tennis US$700 million
42 Indianapolis Colts James Irsay Football US$699 million
43 Chicago Bears McCaskey Family Football US$692 million
44 Baltimore Ravens Stephen Bisciotti Football US$690 million
45 Denver Broncos Patrick Bowlen Football US$689 million
46 Tampa Bay Buccanneers Malcolm Glazer Football US$685 million
47 Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson Football US$676 million
48 Cleveland Browns Randy Lerner Football US$673 million
49 New York Mets Fred Wilpon Baseball US$665 million
50 Green Bay Packers Shareholders Football US$664 million
51 Kansas City Chiefs Hunt Family Football US$660 million
52 Pittsburgh Steelers Rooney Family Football US$659 million
53 Seattle Seahawks Paul Allen Football US$657 million
54 Boston Red Sox John Henry/Thomas Werner Baseball US$651 million
55 Chelsea FC Roman Abramovich Soccer US$634 million
56 Cincinnati Bengals Michael Brown Football US$612 million
57 New Orleans Saints Thomas Benson Football US$608 million
58 St Louis Rams Chip Rosenbloom/Stan Kroenke Football US$603 million
59 Detroit Lions William Clay Ford Football US$597 million
60 Arizona Cardinals William Bidwell Football US$594 million
61 Team McLaren-Mercedes; Mercedes/Mumtalakat/Ron Dennis/Mansour Ojjeh Motorsport – US$580 million
62 San Diego Chargers Alexander Spanos Football US$577 million
63 Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson Jr. Football US$574 million
64 Tennessee Titans Kenneth Adams Jr. Football US$569 million
65 Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank Football US$567 million
66 San Francisco 49ers Denise DeBartolo York Football US$561 million
67 Oakland Raiders Allen Davis Football US$559 million
68 Minnesota Vikings Wilf Family Football US$545 million
69 Monaco Grand Prix; Automobile Club de Monaco Motorsport – US$520 million
70 Olympic Games (Winter) International Olympic Committee Multi-Sports US$504 million
71 America’s Cup Société Nautique de Genève Sailing US$500 million
72 Golden Boy Promotions Oscar de la Hoya Boxing US$500 million
73 Ryder Cup PGA of America/PGA European Tour Golf US$500 million
74 Jacksonville Jaguars Wayne Weaver Football US$497 million
75 Internazionale Massimo Moratti Soccer US$481 million
76 Juventus Agnelli Family Soccer US$476 million
77 Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt Baseball US$469 million
78 Chicago Cubs Tom Ricketts Baseball US$455 million
79 Commonwealth Games Commonwealth Games Federation Multi-Sports US$450 million
80 New York Knicks Cablevision Systems Basketball US$405 million
81 Australian Open Tennis Australia Tennis US$400 million
82 LeBron James LeBron James Basketball US$400 million
83 Six Nations Six Nations Rugby Ltd. Rugby Union US$400 million
84 Chicago Bulls Jerry Reinsdorf Basketball US$399 million
85 Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver Basketball US$381 million
86 WTA Tour Women’s Tennis Association Tennis US$380 million
87 Los Angeles Lakers Jerry Buss/Philip Anschutz Basketball US$379 million
88 Beckham Brand Ltd. David Beckham/Victoria Beckham Soccer US$375 million
89 Detroit Pistons Karen Davidson Basketball US$374 million
90 Boston Celtics Wycliffe Grousbeck Basketball US$353 million
91 Major League Soccer MLS Soccer US$350 million
92 Tour de France Amaury Sport Organisation Cycling US$350 million
93 Hendrick Motorsports; Rick Hendrick Motorsport – US$335 million
94 AS Roma Sensi Family Soccer US$331 million
95 FC Schalke 04 Club members Soccer US$331 million
96 MotoGP; Dorna Sports Motorsport – US$330 million
97 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Arturo Moreno Baseball US$330 million
98 Toronto Maple Leafs Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Ice Hockey US$325 million
99 Philadelphia Phillies William Giles Baseball US$322 million
100 St Louis Cardinals William DeWitt Jr. Baseball US$315 million
101 Roush Fenway Racing; Jack Roush/John Henry Motorsport – US$313 million
102 Asian Games Olympic Council of Asia Multi-Sports US$310 million
103 Indianapolis 500; Tony George Motorsport – US$310 million
104 Cleveland Cavaliers Daniel Gilbert Basketball US$310 million
105 San Francisco Giants William Neukom/Susan Burns Baseball US$305 million
106 Houston Rockets Leslie Alexander Basketball US$304 million
107 Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban Basketball US$304 million
108 Copa America Conmebol Soccer US$300 million
109 French Open French Tennis Federation Tennis US$300 million
110 PGA European Tour PGA European Tour Golf US$300 million
111 Ultimate Fighting Championship Zuffa LLC Martial Arts US$300 million
112 Chicago White Sox Jerry Reinsdorf Baseball US$292 million
113 New York Rangers Cablevision Systems Ice Hockey US$291 million
114 Atlanta Braves Liberty Media Baseball US$289 million
115 Houston Astros Robert Drayton McLane Jr. Baseball US$288 million
116 Seattle Mariners Nintendo Baseball US$277 million
117 San Antonio Spurs Peter Holt Basketball US$269 million
118 Washington Nationals Theodore Lerner Baseball US$264 million
119 Texas Rangers Tom Hicks Baseball US$262 million
120 Singapore Grand Prix; Ong Beng Seng/Singapore Government Motorsport – US$261 million
121 Baltimore Orioles Peter Angelos Baseball US$260 million
122 Cleveland Indians Lawrence Dolan Baseball US$260 million
123 San Diego Padres John Moores Baseball US$260 million
124 Toronto Raptors Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Basketball US$260 million
125 Panathinaikos Giannis Vardinagiannis Soccer US$254 million
126 Arizona Diamondbacks Ken Kendrick Baseball US$253 million
127 The Open Championship Royal & Ancient Golf US$252 million
128 Tottenham Hotspur FC Daniel Levy Soccer US$250 million
129 Colorado Rockies Charles Monfort/Richard Monfort Baseball US$241 million
130 BMW-Sauber F1 Team; BMW Group Motorsport – US$240 million
131 Detroit Tigers Michael Illitch Baseball US$240 million
132 Philadelphia 76ers Comcast Spectacor Basketball US$234 million
133 Utah Jazz Miller Family Basketball US$233 million
134 Minnesota Twins James Pohland Baseball US$232 million
135 Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Communications Baseball US$229 million
136 Washington Wizards Abe Pollin Basketball US$229 million
137 Sacramento Kings Maloof Family Basketball US$227 million
138 Orlando Magic Richard DeVos Basketball US$226 million
139 Milwaukee Brewers Mark Attanasio Baseball US$225 million
140 Cincinnati Reds Robert Castellini Baseball US$222 million
141 Renault F1 Team; Renault Motorsport – US$220 million
142 Sachin Tendulkar Sachin Tendulkar Cricket US$220 million
143 Golden State Warriors Christopher Cohan Basketball US$217 million
144 Montreal Canadiens George Gillett Ice Hockey US$217 million
145 Denver Nuggets Stan Kroenke Basketball US$213 million
146 Tampa Bay Rays Stuart Sternberg Baseball US$208 million
147 Oakland Athletics Lewis Wolff/John Fisher Baseball US$207 million
148 Kansas City Royals David Glass Baseball US$204 million
149 Manchester City FC Abu Dhabi United Investment Group Soccer US$202 million
150 Australian Football League AFL AFL US$200 million
151 English FA Cup English Football Association Soccer US$200 million
152 FC Porto FCPorto SAD Soccer US$200 million
153 Atlanta Hawks Atlanta Spirit Basketball US$199 million
154 Portland Trail Blazers Paul Allen Basketball US$199 million
155 Miami Heat Micky Arison Basketball US$196 million
156 Detroit Red Wings Michael Illitch Ice Hockey US$196 million
157 Indiana Pacers Herbert Simon/Melvin Simon Basketball US$196 million
158 Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling Basketball US$195 million
159 Aston Villa FC Randy Lerner Soccer US$195 million
160 Minnesota Timberwolves Glen Taylor Basketball US$195 million
161 Oklahoma City Thunder Clay Bennett Basketball US$195 million
162 Memphis Grizzlies Michael Heisley Basketball US$191 million
163 New Jersey Nets Bruce Ratner Basketball US$191 million
164 Werder Bremen Werder Bremen and Co. Ltd. Soccer US$190 million
165 Fenerbahce Fenerbahce S.K. Soccer US$190 million
166 Toyota Racing; Toyota Motor Corp. Motorsport – US$190 million
167 Volvo Ocean Race; Volvo Event Management UK Sailing – US$190 million
168 Pittsburgh Pirates Robert Nutting Baseball US$188 million
169 Charlotte Bobcats Robert Johnson Basketball US$184 million
170 New Orleans Hornets George Shinn/Gary Chouest Basketball US$184 million
171 Milwaukee Bucks Herbert Kohl Basketball US$180 million
172 Florida Marlins Jeffrey Loria Baseball US$179 million
173 Philadelphia Flyers Comcast Spectacor Ice Hockey US$178 million
174 Dallas Stars Tom Hicks Ice Hockey US$177 million
175 Celtic FC Dermot Desmond Soccer US$172 million
176 VfB Stuttgart Club members Soccer US$171 million
177 Boston Bruins Jeremy Jacobs Ice Hockey US$170 million
178 Hamburger FC Club members Soccer US$165 million
179 Galatasaray Galatasaray SK Soccer US$160 million
180 Vancouver Canucks Francesco Aquilini Ice Hockey US$153 million
181 Borussia Dortmund Borussia Dortmund GmbH Motorsport US$150 million
182 Colorado Avalanche Stan Kroenke Ice Hockey US$150 million
183 Olympique Lyonnais Jean-Michel Aulas Soccer US$150 million
184 New Jersey Devils Jeffrey Vanderbeek Ice Hockey US$144 million
185 Olympique de Marseille Robert Louis-Dreyfus Soccer US$141 million
186 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Teresa Earnhardt Motorsport – US$140 million
187 Minnesota Wild Craig Leipold/Philip Falcone Ice Hockey US$140 million
188 Los Angeles Kings Philip Anschutz Ice Hockey US$136 million
189 Everton FC Bill Kenwright Soccer US$133 million
190 Ottawa Senators Eugene Melnyk Ice Hockey US$133 million
191 Chicago Blackhawks Wirtz Family Ice Hockey US$132 million
192 Anaheim Ducks Henry Samueli/Susan Samueli Ice Hockey US$131 million
193 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames LP Ice Hockey US$131 million
194 Tampa Bay Lightning Oren Koules/Len Barrie Ice Hockey US$130 million
195 Glasgow Rangers FC Sir David Murray Soccer US$126million
196 Pittsburgh Penguins Mario Lemieux/Ronald Burkle Ice Hockey US$126 million
197 Newcastle United FC Mike Ashley Soccer US$120 million
198 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Basketball US$120 million
199 San Jose Sharks Kevin Compton/Greg Jamison Ice Hockey US$116 million
200 Penske Racing; Roger Penske Motorsport – US$115 million

Rank Property Owner/Majority Shareholder Sport Value
1 (1) National Football League 32 NFL franchises Football US$4.5 billion
2 (2) Major League Baseball 30 MLB franchises Baseball US$3.936 billion
3 (3) National Basketball Assoc. 30 NBA franchises Basketball US$2.344 billion
4 (4) Nascar France family Motorsport US$1.9 billion
5 (6) Indian Premier League BCCI (India) Cricket US$1.6 billion
6 (9) Formula One CVC/RBS/Ecclestone Motorsport US$1.45 billion
7 (13) Uefa Champions League Uefa Soccer US$1.1 billion
8 (18) PGA Tour PGA of America Golf US$970 million
9 (33) National Hockey League 30 NHL franchises Ice Hockey US$760 million
10 (41) ATP World Tour Association of Tennis Prof Tennis US$700 million

Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (7) Scuderia Ferrari Fiat Motorsport US$1.55 billion
2 (8) Manchester United FC Malcolm Glazer Soccer US$1.495 billion
3 (10) Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Football US$1.278 billion
4 (12) New York Yankees George Steinbrenner Baseball US$1.19 billion
5 (14) Real Madrid Club Members Soccer US$1.073 billion
6 (17) Washington Redskins Daniel Snyder Football US$999 million
7 (19) New York Giants John Mara/Steven Tisch Football US$932 million
8 (20) New York Jets Robert Wood Johnson IV Football US$927 million
9 (21) Arsenal FC Stan Kroenke Soccer US$910 million
10 (24) New England Patriots Robert Kraft Football US$861 million

Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (11) ETW Corp/Tiger Woods Design Tiger Woods Golf US$1.25 billion
2 (16) Nicklaus Design Jack Nicklaus Golf US$1 billion
3 (28) Arnold Palmer Design Arnold Palmer Golf US$800 million
4 (29) Great White Shark Enterprises Greg Norman Golf US$800 million
5 (36) Michael Jordan Michael Jordan/Nike Basketball US$725 million
6 (72) Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya Boxing US$500 million
7 (82) LeBron James LeBron James Basketball US$400 million
8 (88) Beckham Brand Ltd David and Victoria Beckham Soccer US$375 million
9 (142) Sachin Tendulkar Sachin Tendulkar Cricket US$220 million
10 (198) Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant Basketball US$120 million

Rank Property Owner/Major Shareholder Sport Value
1 (22) The Wimbledon Championships All England Lawn Tennis Club Tennis US$900 million
2 (23) US Tennis Open United States Tennis Association Tennis US$880 million
3 (35) The Masters Augusta National Golf Club Golf US$750 million
4 (69) Monaco Grand Prix Automobile Club de Monaco Motorsport US$520 million
5 (81) Australian Open Tennis Australia Tennis US$400 million
6 (83) Six Nations Six Nations Rugby Ltd. Rugby Union US$400 million
7 (92) Tour de France Amaury Sport Organisation Cycling US$350 million
8 (109) French Open French Tennis Federation Tennis US$300 million
9 (120) Singapore Grand Prix Ong Beng Seng/Singapore Government Motorsport US$261 million
10 (127) The Open Championship Royal & Ancient Golf US$252 million

Hope you enjoyed this report from a sports psychologist!


Sports Psychology Column – Apr 2, 2002 – By Dr. John F. Murray – South Florida was recently invaded by some of the top tennis players in the world in three consecutive tournaments. I had the privilege to work with players and cover the International Tennis Championships of Delray Beach for the Tennis Server. I also made it to the new $50,000 Challenger of North Miami Beach (won by Vince Spadea) and the NASDAQ 100 on Key Biscayne (won by Serena Williams and Andre Agassi) in which I interviewed four top players for a story in USTA Magazine. In this edition of Mental Equipment, I focus on the highlights of the Delray Beach event.

While I tend to view tennis from a somewhat nontraditional mental lens, more players are explaining that the mental game cannot be ignored. I interviewed many top 100 players again this year. I began by asking each player how important (in percentages) they felt their mental game is to success on the ATP or WTA Tour. The lowest response was 70% while the highest was 99%! While many players are working with a sport psychologist or practicing mental skills regularly, a surprising number still take a more casual and irregular approach to mental training even though they acknowledge the extreme importance.

Called the Citrix Tennis Championships the past couple years, and now seeking a new title sponsor, this tournament never ceases to thrill. Stephan Koubek captivated the crowd two years ago with his passionate three-set victory over Alex Calatrava, while Jan Michael Gambill fought off Xavier Malisse in the finals last year after surviving multiple match points. Would one of these two fighters prevail” or would there be a new champion in this beautiful town on the ocean?

Mark Baron and Fred Stolle co-directed another fine week of tennis for this growing International Series event. Another round of applause is due tireless media director Lisa Franson. Thanks go out to Cliff Kurtzman and the Tennis Server for media credentials, and I again appreciate all the players who spent time talking tennis. I also enjoyed discussing injuries with ATP trainer Bill Norris, and enjoyed meeting Director of Sales Ivan Baron, and Iggy Jovanovic from the ATP.

Marius Barnard is a solid doubles player who has been on the tour since 1988. We talked for 30 minutes about his career and the trials and tribulations of travel and competition. He is an impressive person who is beginning to ponder what life will be like after tennis. I enjoyed his views on the mental game and motivation, and how he sometimes performs better when he stops trying so hard. He expressed a possible interest in becoming a sport psychologist” and we need more of them. If you’re reading Marius, call me anytime. I will trade you sport psychology tips for an improved backhand topspin!

I really enjoyed talking with Michael Llorda, Stefan Koubek, Kristian Pless, Paul Goldstein, Scott Humphries, Andrei Stoliarov, Michael Russell, Mardy Fish, Jeff Morrison, Nicolas Massu, Leander Paes, Davide Sanguinetti, Jarkko Nieminen and Tom Vanhoudt. I enjoyed picking many of their brains for their keys to mental strength.

I focused this year on the topics of match preparation and closing out the opponent (the killer instinct).

Top seeds this year were (1) Roddick (2) Gambill (3) Koubek (4) Massu (5) Sanguinetti (6) Burgsmuller (7) Nieminen and (7) Hipfl.

Qualifying Rounds

The qualifying rounds are often more fun and competitive than main draw matches. The top four qualifiers, earning entry into the main draw, were American Chris Woodruff, Feliciano Lopez of Spain, Alexandre Simoni of Brazil and Martin Verkerk of the Netherlands.

A rising star among the youngest crop of players is Eric Nunez who lost in the first round of the qualifying tournament to Simoni. Nunez won the first set 6-1 and almost won the second, losing 7-6. In the third set he was ahead 4-3, seeming to dominate in many ways, before he had to retire due to muscle cramps. Watch out for this pesky American from Florida. He is coached by his father, Colon, who coached Andre Gomez to a French Open championship over Andre Agassi in 1990. In my humble opinon, this kid Eric has the raw tools to be great.

Feliciano Lopez is another rising Spaniard. After qualifying with wins over Scott Draper, George Bastl, and Filippo Volandri, Lopez went to the main draw and dispatched of Chris Woodruff and Michael Russell before falling at last to Anthony Dupuis 7-6, 7-6. What a great showing! Watch out for him too.

Main Draw

Local favorite Andy Roddicks star continues to rise. Seeded number one due to a tremendous 2001, Andy did not disappoint, rolling over Davydenko, Lee, Llorda, and Dupuis to reach the finals. His emotional maturity is improving and his serve and big forehand are getting better too. As he approached the finals he appeared extremely tired. He admitted that he was fighting a nasty cold (or something) and later would cancel his upcoming tournament appearance – stirring up a minor ATP controversy for not flying to the event to be examined by the tour physician. When I spoke with him briefly after his win over Dupuis, I can attest that he looked ready for a 13-week vacation totally exhausted hacking cough so I kept my distance. What more to say? Tennis and the travel can be brutal on the body?

Number two seed and defending champion Jan Michael Gambill looked very ready to win again. He thrilled the crowd in his first match against serve and volleying Wayne Arthurs. Amazingly, he fought off match point to prevail (as he did last year against Arthurs after being down 3 match points!) 6-7, 6-3, 7-6. It was guts and glory as usual. When I mentioned to his father and coach that many think Jan Michael likes to play from behind, Mr. Gambill replied” “anyone who thinks that does not know his game.” After his second annual Houdini Act, Gambill went on to win over rising American Mardy Fish and Andre Sa from Brazil.

What happened to Stefan Koubek? Two years ago he won the event and my story on him prompted my Smart Tennis Sport Psychology Tour 2000! He’s had a great year so far (see Australian Open), but he ran into the hard hitting American buzz-saw named Michael Russell. Koubek played well but Russell was incredible – pounding low forehands and backhands and matching Koubek shot to shot with powerful blasts from the baseline. In my opinon, Koubek has matured mentally since his breakdown in the finals two years ago, but no luck this time around.

The fifth seed was a friendly and soft-spoken veteran named Davide Sanguinetti from Italy. He made it to the finals of this event about 6 years ago. He began by winning a tough first round match over Christophe Rochus 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 then easily beat Kristian Pless 6-3, 6-2 before defeating Paradorn Srichaphan from Thailand in three sets. This led to the semi-final match against Gambill.

Semi-Final 1

Andy Roddick over Anthony Dupuis 7-6 (4) 6-4

Dupuis, ranked 82 in the world, was only able to break Roddick’s big serve once in the match, in the sixth game of the first set. The second set stayed on serve until the final game when Dupuis double faulted. Overall it was an impressive performance by both the Frenchman and the Boca Raton prodigy. Roddick has so much raw power. With improved strategy and refinement, this guy is unstoppable.

Semi-Final 2

Davide Sanguinetti over Jan Michael Gambill 7-6 (8) 6-3

This was a close match and a funny one too. Sanguinetti’s Lotto shoes fell apart (the rubber broke off the bottom) at 5-4, 15-0 in the first set and he was forced to borrow the the shoes worn by Iggy Jovanovic from the ATP Tour. I’ve never seen anythink like this in a professional tournament. Showing the calm and relaxed style of his boyhood hero Milslov Mechir, along with some pretty nasty low groundstrokes delievered with an old- fashioned eastern grip, Gambill had to work extra hard to avoid mistakes with that two-handed on both sides style. Davide took full advantage. As Gambill later said “I thought his game would break down with the pressure but it didn’t.” Flat and low shots are hard to combat when that is not the norm on the tour. Jimmy Connors retired a long time ago. In a showcase of talent, the relaxed Italian master with the slow and low shots overcame the pressure-loving American blaster.


Davide Sanguinetti over Andy Roddick 6-4 4-6 6-4

You gotta love this match for the welfare of the game. Never count out a clever marksman and assume the young gun will win easily. Give Andy credit for the fight despite his illness. This was a fun match to watch. Roddick later would say “it’s hard to rip the ball against him because he keeps it so low.” He went on “I tried to get in a groove and bully him around, but this took a lot of energy and I could not keep bluffing it.” Sanguinetti wore out the young Roddick with his soft shots, control, and persistant passing shots and angles saying “I knew he was frustrated and I took the pace off the ball to see what would happen.” He attributed his great success not to talent, but to a grueling 6-week workout routine that improved his confidence. By winning, Sanguinetti was the first player on the tour with two championships in 2002.


If you want a suntan and some great tennis in March, come down and to the International Tennis Championships. Delray Beach is a great little resort town by the sea with cozy restaurants and a European downtown feel. The tennis is up-close and excellent. Keep pushing your mental skills to a higher level and I’ll see you again soon!

This article was on sports psychology.


Sports Psychology Column – Dec 1, 2001 – By Dr. John F. Murray – One of the most difficult states to overcome is fatigue. It has been said that fatigue makes cowards of us all. This is not true for everyone. Following a 33-hour solo flight, Charles Lindberg landed safely in France. Give in to fatigue and you are cooked. Fight through it properly and you gain a huge advantage! Let’s take a closer look.

No matter how fit you are you have undoubtedly experienced the ravages of being exhausted during a match. Fatigue should always be considered from both a psychological and physiological perspective.

Safety First

It’s essential to know your body and physical condition well before undergoing any rigorous activity. Always have a medical exam and ask your physician before attempting to withstand 3 to 5 sets of hard core tennis, especially in heat conditions. Look at the recent number of deaths due to heat stroke. If you experience severe pain, headaches, vomiting, inability to sweat, or other common danger signs, always stop playing immediately.

Assuming that you are able to play tennis and not in significant danger, fatigue usually presents itself in a variety of ways. Physical signs that your body is tiring include greater difficulty breathing, slower movements, aching muscles, reduced vision and slower reaction times to name just a few.

Lost Focus

Perhaps the riskiest thing to your tennis game, and eventual ego, is the focus you often lose when you are tired. The mind has a way of wandering all over the place when the body signals exhaustion. This is partly due to the relationship between arousal and attention (Optimizing Arousal in Tennis) whereby narrow attention allows many distractions to intrude. It is also true that when you become tired, your focus has a tendency to turn inward and dwell on your condition. Again, focus is lost because it could be much better spent attending to more relevant performance cues.

What can be done to battle this robber of attention and energy? If you are seeking a crucial edge for your game, let’s take a look at my ten tips to battle fatigue:

1. First and foremost, make sure that you get plenty of sleep prior to the big match. Nothing prepares your mind and body better to fight fatigue than recharging the batteries the conventional way.

2. Eat small balanced meals throughout the day and never consume a large meal before the match. Eat light a few hours before the match, but make sure to get some good complex carbohydrates in your body the day before the match too. For more details, consult with a nutritionist. Everyone’s body and performance demands are different.

3. Drink plenty of water mixed with Gatorade or fruit juice prior to and throughout the match. Start hydrating at least two hours before the match. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.

4. Pace yourself throughout the match. Anticipate your opponent’s style in advance and know what will be needed to win in the final set if necessary. If needed, take a little longer before serving and setting for the return. Control the pace of the match and you save valuable energy for later.

5. Wear a hat and light-colored clothing in the sun. These minor measures mean a lot when battling outdoors. Protecting the head is especially important. White reflects sun.

6. Lose weight. Carrying an extra load around makes everything more difficult. Like a hot air balloon, throwing off some of the excessive baggage helps you soar higher for much longer.

7. Visualize yourself as a powerful force. When you become tired, an energy jolt is often helpful. See yourself as a space shuttle taking off rather than as a donkey bogged down in the sand.

8. In an emergency, end points sooner. If you are hopelessly outclassed by a more consistent player and realize that your energy reserves will not last, find another way to win. Thinking of two and three point combinations to end the rally sooner will sometimes do the trick. Don’t get wild, just bring the point to a close sooner and conserve energy.

9. Never let your opponent know how tired you really are. Psychological warfare often involves deception. Show how tired you are and your opponent gains both a tactical and emotional boost. Disguise your fatigue by turning toward the fence to catch your breath and your energy.

10. Breathe continuously and steadily through the match. Players sometimes hold their breath under stress. Just like a world-champion weight lifter, oxygen is essential. Breath in and out with your strokes. Use deep slow breathing during changeovers.

I hope this article has rejuvenated your energy and given you another weapon to unfurl on the court. Like many other distraction, fatigue should be managed wisely to your advantage.

Keep your comments, suggestions and feedback flowing. This is truly an international tennis forum and I love hearing from you, wherever on the globe you type. I’m in Munich for the next couple weeks and can be contacted using this form.

Article written by Sports Psychologist Dr John F. Murray


Sports Psychology Column – Nov 1, 2001 – Dr. John F. Murray – Talent, desire and mind-body skills all work together to enhance performance. This increases the probability that success will occur, but the opponent has to cooperate before winning actually takes place. Remember — higher performance never guarantees success, but only increases the probability.

In providing sport psychology services to athletes at many levels, I’ve found that one particular mindset is useful in unlocking true potential in a person. It is the attitude of the beginner’s mind, open and trusting, that seems to work well. No matter how accomplished an athlete may be or how much they know, an innocence and almost trust in our plan together is what sets the stage for learning and excellence. Let’s call this attitude belief.

Scientists usually scoff at the notion of belief in their research and knowledge creation. After all, we’ve sent men to the moon and discovered the cures for many diseases not by believing, but by analyzing and thinking in an extremely critical fashion. This healthy doubt is the hallmark of the scientific revolution and serves us well in creating knowledge, but doubt in an athlete’s mind only sidetracks progress and interferes with performance.

The problem with doubt for the athlete is that an awful lot of energy and left-brain thinking is required to analyze critically and consider the many possibilities of action. Doubt creates distractions that disrupt flow and focus and reduce confidence. To perform with grace and efficiency on the tennis court requires an almost single-minded and simple trust in the chosen training method.

In working with an athlete, whether as a coach or sport psychologist, it is essential to establish trust up front and spell out the benefits that occur by letting go of control and believing in the plan. This is not to say that every word out of a good coach or sport psychologists’ mouth is scientifically based. Far from it! A good part of any coaching and counseling is art, based upon intuition, smart risks, trends and hunches.

Still, it is often the athlete’s belief, as well as the precision of their knowledge, that leads them to progress. Much has been written about the placebo effect in medicine. A sugar pill will often cure pain as effectively as an established pain medication. The mechanism here is belief. This placebo effect is equally important in getting an athlete ready for peak performance.

Here are some guidelines in helping promote belief in an athlete. Whether you are an athlete, coach, sport psychologist or highly involved tennis parent, you will find these useful:

1. Whatever you are doing, make sure that your approach is based on sound principles. Although belief is important, belief alone will never suffice. Part of the challenge in establishing trust is showing how what you are doing is credible and state of the art.

2. Paint a total picture for the athlete from the outset. Show the person what it takes to achieve high performance and how goals will be accomplished. Only after showing the overall plan is it time to get specific and address details.

3. Simplify your message. Rather than trying to accomplish too many things at once, focus on one skill at a time until mastery occurs. Confusion rarely enhances belief or performance.

4. Never promise victory, but always promise higher performance. There is no way to absolutely control the outcome of an athletic event. False promises only reduce belief.

With solid knowledge and a total belief in the program and goals chosen, the athlete is more confident, uncluttered by doubts and free to express their own creative genius. Teach belief as much as you teach skills and you’ll unleash a force with few limitations.

Hope you enjoyed a useful and important passage written by Dr John F. Murray

Top 10 Reasons to See a Sports Psychologist

Special from John F Murray – September 10, 2009 – See the new article on the Top 10 Reasons for Sports Psychology today. It was posted on the Squidoo website.

For more information overall about the field and to hear 2-minute audio mental tips, go to the main site about sports psychology.

Is Oudin’s Run the Best Ever for a Teenager?

Sports psychology insight – New York Times – Nicholas McCarvel – September 9, 2009 – Women’s tennis has always been littered with talented teenagers. Martina Hingis reached her first grand slam quarterfinal at 15 years of age. Venus Williams did so at age 17. Steffi Graf was 16.

So when comparing Melanie Oudin’s meteoric run at this week’sUnited States Open to the past, it doesn’t seem so meteoric; Oudin is a mature 17 herself.

But for Hingis, Williams, Graf and a host of other women, their appearance in such late-round matches early in their careers were expected of them. They had been predicted to make it big from a young age; they had been primed for the big time.

Oudin, on the other hand has had to fight for every point, game, set and match on her way from world No. 373 in 2007, to a current rank of No. 70.

Moreover, she has taken the hardest path to a Grand Slam quarterfinal by any little-known teenager in recent years.

In the past decade, only three players under 18 have advanced to a Grand Slam quarterfinal while possessing a ranking outside of the top 50 in the world: Oudin, Sesil Karatantcheva and Lina Krasnoroutskaya.

Karatantcheva’s run came at the 2005 French Open, where as a 15-year-old she stunned Venus Williams in the third round. Her path, otherwise, was rather padded: she beat one other seeded player and faced two players ranked outside the top 90. The average rank of her four opponents was 57.

Krasnoroutskaya also made her run at the French Open, but as a 17-year-old in 2001. She beat no. 9 Nathalie Tauziat in the opening round, but then did not face another seed until Justine Henin handily beat her in the quarterfinals. The average rank of her opponents was 67.

In contrast, Oudin has faced magnificent resistance at Flushing Meadows. Her first-round opponent, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, was ranked No. 36, and was only the third player not to be seeded coming into the Open. The average rank of Oudin’s first four opponents? 21.

The biggest obstacle for any young player to overcome is her older opponent’s power. On clay – where both Karatantcheva and Krasnoroutskaya accomplished their quarterfinal feats – the speed of the ball is slowed significantly, and power is neutralized.

At the United States Open, however, the courts are DecoTurf hard courts that play extremely fast, making Oudin’s ball-retrieving, power absorbing and counter-punching that much more impressive against the powerful groundstrokes of Elena Dementieva, Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova.

Is Oudin’s run to the second week the best ever by a low-ranked youngster? It’s hard to say. But she can certainly put herself in an elite group with a win over Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday night.

No American teenager has been to a Grand Slam semifinal since Serena Williams did so here a decade ago. Good company to keep for the No. 70 player in the world.

Melanie certainly has the eye of this sports psychologist

Sports Psychology Needs to Stop Shooting itself in the Foot

Editorial by John F. Murray, Ph.D. – – Sports Psychology commentary – With today’s news that Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Warren Moon credits therapy and going to a psychologist for much of his success over the years, we are faced with an exciting opportunity to once and for all put the nail in the coffin of ignorance about psychology, sports psychology, therapy, mental health and whatever else you wish to call it.

Many have written about the terrible stigma associated with going to a psychologist, and I have worked very hard to help eliminate that. I have been on national television and radio talking about it, I have written hundreds of articles, and I have been quoted in over 2000 articles and often extolling the same theme that talk is tough and that it is more manly to admit to a problem and seek help than to hide from counseling as if it is some deep dark secret that can never be revealed. And my thesis today is that one of the primary reasons for this stigma comes directly from my own profession – from the thousands of psychologists and few sports psychologist in America who only further the terrible stigma by taking the principle of confidentiality and perverting it to an unnecessary degree!

In graduate school and in professional supervision, we as psychologists are taught about the virtues of total patient confidentiality so much that I think we go way overboard. Now I am not saying that every client does not have the right to total privacy, even about the fact that they entered therapy or sports psychology counseling, or whatever you call it, and this right is essential to getting people to open up, feel safe, and deal with difficult issues in a professional manner. But what really irks me is that many psychologists take this principle to the absolute extreme with their introverted personalities, and their hush hush environments, and that this behavior contributes unnecessarily to the stigma that we all need to eradicate. Many clients (by the way I hate using the word “patient” as it is demeaning and puts the client in the role of a sick person) end up with the view that what they are doing is somehow shameful, embarrassing or taboo. No wonder so many people like Warren Moon had to sneak into the therapist’s office late at night, probably dressed in disguise, so that nobody would find out that he was seeing a shrink!

Get real world. The biggest problem is that people are not accessing mental heath care and they are not accessing sports psychology the way they all know they should. This stigma associated with psychology is especially pervasive in my specialty of sports psychology because athletes are supposed to be “tough” and to not need help from another person. How silly and insane is that? People like Warren Moon are the toughest and strongest of them all by coming out and admitting to a problem. Moon got help. Did it hurt him? Is being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame such a bad thing?

Now confidentiality is indeed important and I tell all my clients that this is their total right. I explain to them how it helps them. But the fact that they are seeing a therapist or a clinical psychologist or a sports psychologist should not be such a deep shameful secret. I am certainly not going to tell anyone who my clients are without their consent and participation and desire, but there are no reasons why any individual on the planet should feel that they have to sneak into their therapist’s office late at night! It is this shame and this ridiculous stigma that prevents people from accessing care and getting the help they need in the first place. It is this absurd baggage that prevents NFL teams and coaches from employing team psychologists as regularly as they do trainers and physicians. People – stop equating counseling and psychology with shame! It is just a profession to help people become more well adjusted, and sports psychology can also give them a better chance to win the Super Bowl with vastly improved mental skills such as confidence, focus, energy control and goal setting. Even Joe Namath recently talked about how hard it was to stay totally focused.

I recently received an email on a list of a group of psychologists from a therapist that I will not name after the Warren Moon news came out. Here is a direct quote: “can athletes really feel safe when so many sport psychologists advertise who they work with (whether it is an individual, team, etc). I do whatever I can to make sure no one ever knows who I work with for so many reasons, but in our field, it is rare…let’s work to improve this.”

While every therapist and sports psychologist is entitled to their opinion and to practice the way they see fit, it is the spirit of this message which got my attention and which irritates me to no end. Why would it be a shameful thing for a team to say they had a team psychologist or sports psychologist? I would say that we need to improve our marketing much more and to remove the stigma by shedding light on what we do, not running into a corner and pretending like our clients just committed an embarrassing act by coming to see us! He did not say anything inherently wrong but the field of sports psychology is cloaked in shame and secrecy so much that good athletes are suffering and good teams are being prevented from improving.

My message to all therapists and fellow sports psychologists is that we need to be much louder in talking about our work, and we need to do a much better job of telling everyone that we exist and that our services are needed, not going into hiding as if we just committed a crime! The shame associated with seeing us is ridiculous and we are our own worst enemies in promoting confidentiality so much that it makes it seem like a horrible thing for clients to come see us.

I say remove all stigmas about going to see a psychologist but retain total confidentiality about what is discussed. Promote to your clients and promote in your advertising that going to see a psychologist is like going to your dentist, medical doctor, or publicist. We are providing a vital service to society that is being terribly neglected because we have too many introverted, OCD, and secretive characters who are fearful of telling our clients to let others know that we exist. We are greatly needed, we should be confident in that truth, and there is nothing at all shameful in seeing us.

On the contrary, our clients should be raving about our services. Why did it take Warren Moon many years after his career to finally tell the world his secret. It should not have been a secret at all. It should have been a celebration that he was getting help for his issues and others should have known about it so that they could get help too. In some ways, confidentiality taken to the extreme is not only weird, it is selfish because it prevents others from knowing about a great profession!

The Berlin Wall only fell because there was an overwhelming movement and tipping point that revealed that keeping people locked up behind a wall is somehow wrong. What an interesting view. When the wall came down everyone asked why it did not happen earlier. Today we face the same problem in psychology and sports psychology. As a society, let’s band together to tear down the wall of ignorance and shame surrounding psychological services.

Most people will have some form of depression or anxiety in their lifetime. All athletes need mental training to be at their best. Brag about your sports psychologist. Brag about your psychologist. Brag about your counselor and social worker. Tell your teammates they are wimps and losers for not going to the sports psychologist when they need it. Tell your coaches that they are neglecting the team by not having a regular sports psychologist on site. Deal with mental health and mental training issues long in advance as preventive care, not long after it is too late and someone abuses dogs, shoots someone in a nightclub, beats their wife, goes in hiding before the Super Bowl, or suffers from social phobia so much that they go to Australia to smoke weed and destroy a team and all their fans in the process.

The bottom line is that Warren Moon just took a big chunk out of that wall of absurdity with a big and strong sledge hammer. I encourage every one of you who reads this article to start swinging and pounding away at that wall of idiocy until it falls even harder than the Berlin Wall did! I hope you enjoyed this editorial article on sports psychology.

Joe Namath Talks about How Difiicult Focus is in Football

Sports psychology comments from the Orlando Sentinel – Ethan J. Skolnick – September 5, 2009 – Towards the end of this article, the coach of the Miami Dolphins, Tony Sparano, is quoted as saying, “So nothing is owed to you. Nothing is guaranted.” Skolnick continues, “And even the guy who made football’s most famous guarantee can attest.” He then quoted Joe Namath: “And I can tell you, our brains throw a lot at us, man,” Namath said. “You know, they’re tricky. We like to think we’re very strong, too, but we can be brought to our knees very easily with some strange things, man … Total tunnel vision is very difficult to achieve. Tunnel vision, my goodness! But focus is so critical and distractions play such a role. We think we’re ready when we’re really not. It’s hard to convince yourself, but sometimes you really get fooled.”As Namath put it, “We talk about how frail the brain is. You lose some of that urgency. You get spoiled, maybe.”

Focus is indeed so important in all sports and sports psychology is the profession best suited to train this critical mental skill. Hope you enjoyed the commentary by another NFL legend, Joe Namath, on sports psychology.