Category Archives: Articles

Lessons From Hoylake

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP In the latest from the Lessons From... series, we look at three valuable takeaways to draw from watching some of the game's top players try and chase down Rory at his best.  In the end, Rory's best is about as good as it gets. 1) When it comes to your thought process, simpler is better Immediately after Rory holed his putt to win on the 72nd hole, he sat with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi and shared about his mental approach throughout the week.  It boiled down Read more [...]

Water the Bamboo

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP Seeds for giant timber bamboo are planted deep in the soil.  After one year of watering, the bamboo has grown…not at all.  After two, and even three years, the bamboo has still yet to break through the soil. But sometime in the fourth year, after many months of faithful watering, the bamboo shoots up and can grow up to 90 feet in 60 days! How many things in sport (and in life) are just like this?  We invest our time, our energy, our effort - only Read more [...]

Lessons From Pinehurst

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP As with any major tournament, there are plenty of lessons to be learned.  After such a grueling test, the latest in the Lessons From... series looks at what we can learn from the players who survived and thrived. 1) When playing with a lead (or trying to go low), strive to Play Brave "When you lead such a big tournament with five shots, it's very, very difficult to keep going.  A lot of people can say, 'I want to keep going, I want to play aggressive.' Read more [...]

What Cool Runnings Can Teach Us About Performing Under Pressure

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP In my previous post, I introduced the idea of making the intangible components of performance tangible.  In the field of applied sport psychology this is often accomplished by way of mental skills.  These skills (i.e., self-talk, goal-setting, relaxation techniques, focus cues, mental imagery, etc.) are the tools that make it possible to address the mental side of performance in measurable, tangible ways. But to stop there would only skim the surface – the Read more [...]

Making the Intangibles Tangible: The Overlooked Components of Greatness

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP Most athletes, coaches, and performers are in constant pursuit of answers to the same question: What will it take to become great?  Through many years of working with athletes in the roles of teacher, coach, mentor, and now sport psychology consultant, I have come to discover that the answer to this critical question can be summed up in a single word.  Intangibles. There is a direct correlation between sustained success and the quality of one’s intangibles. Intangibles Read more [...]

Lessons from Augusta

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP There are a few events in sport that I consider must-see, and Sunday at The Masters is near the top of the list.  Golf gives us an up-close view into what it looks and feels like to try and summon your best performance under the kind of pressure that can make the greatest players in the world look normal.  After watching the events unfold this weekend, here are three takeaways you can apply to your own game, no matter what your sport: 1) Play within your Read more [...]

A Routine Path to Greatness

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed., CC-AASP As sports fans, we often watch the greatest athletes and marvel at their ability to perform at such a high level under the brightest of lights.  It is only natural to wonder how they can execute with such power and precision when there is so much at stake.  But a behind-the-scenes look at two of the greatest athletes of our time offers a surprisingly simple explanation.  In fact, these amazing, record-setting, Hall of Fame-bound athletes’ secret can be summed Read more [...]

What do the greatest athletes, coaches, and performers have in common?

By Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed. What do greats like John Wooden, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Jack Nicklaus have in common?   How did they succeed at levels others can only dream of?  There have been more talented athletes, coaches who knew the game better, and certainly those who have put in just as many hours of preparation, but none have succeeded at such a high level.  The reason?  In a word, mastery. Mastery is a mindset - a way of viewing yourself, your sport, and competition in Read more [...]

Super Bowl XLVIII: Mental Preparation Provides the Separation

By Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed.                                                                   Photo: Peter Yang As fans here in Denver struggle to pick up the pieces after a heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLVIII, one can’t help but wonder what happened to a team with the greatest offense in the history of the game, statistically speaking.  On the biggest stage of all, a Broncos offense that scored an NFL-record 606 points during the regular season only Read more [...]

Sport Psychology Top 5 FAQ

Matt Long, M.A., M.Ed. When I tell people that I am a sport psychology consultant, there are a variety of responses.  But there are almost always questions about what it means and what exactly I do.  So hopefully this brief FAQ offers some clarity as well as a deeper understanding of how working with me can be helpful to a variety of people. 1. What is sport psychology and how can it help me? Sport psychology is quite simply the study of how the mind affects performance in sports, Read more [...]