History for 500 Please: America’s First Sport Psychologist

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  – by Elliott Waksman

“Improving a man’s frame of mind, his outlook, the way he feels”.  This was the approach of America’s first sport psychologist, Dr. Coleman Griffith, when consulting with the Chicago Cubs over 70 years ago.

ColemanGriffith

Griffith, a University of Illinois experimental psychologist, hashed out the team’s mental training program alongside chewing gum king and Cub owner Phillip Wrigley.  Griffith incorporated high-speed movie cameras, chronoscopes, and individual therapy sessions in his work with the Chicago ball players.

The empirical research and lab equipment have progressed since the 1930’s.  But has the goal of consulting?

Decades later sport consultants across the country are being relied upon more and more to give teams and players an extra mental advantage in hopes of maintaining a mentally tough approach.  Over 70 years ago the Cubs knew where to turn for a competitive spark.  Do you?

Click here to read more about America’s first sport psychologist:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/sport.aspx

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