Sports Psychology For Dummies
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by Leif H. Smith, PsyD, and
Todd M. Kays, PhD
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Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data
Smith, Leif H.
Sports psychology for dummies / Leif H. Smith, Todd M. Kays.
1. Sports—Psychological aspects. I. Kays, Todd M. II. Title.
GV706.4.S62 2010 796.01 C2010-902900-3
Printed in the United States
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Leif H. Smith, PsyD, is the president of Personal Best Consulting, a sports
psychology and performance consultation fi rm located in Hilliard, Ohio. He
has worked with hundreds of individual athletes from all walks of life — from
amateurs and weekend warriors to professional athletes from Major League
Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football
League. Leif’s company contracts with the Department of Athletics at The
Ohio State University to provide counseling and performance consultation
to its 36 sports and nearly 1,000 athletes. He has also worked with teams
and athletes from The University of Iowa and Duquesne University, among
others. Leif is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dayton, teaching
graduate courses in clinical assessment. He earned his doctorate in clinical
psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and did
his postdoctoral fellowship in applied sports psychology and counseling at
The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Center. His work has been cited
in publications such as The New York Times, The Columbus Dispatch, and
Entrepreneur magazine, among others.
Todd M. Kays, PhD, is president of the Athletic Mind Institute, a sports and
performance consulting fi rm in Dublin, Ohio. He is a licensed psychologist,
devoted to helping athletes and people of all walks of life achieve peak
performance on a consistent and frequent basis. He attended the University
of Notre Dame for his undergraduate degree and earned his doctorate at
the State University of New York at Buffalo. His training and guidance have
helped hundreds of athletes eliminate the most common mental errors and
breakdowns in sports. For fi ve years, Todd was the sports psychologist for
the Columbus Crew, the major league soccer team in Columbus, Ohio; he
continues to work with numerous soccer players and coaches throughout
the country. He has consulted with athletes and coaches from all different
levels of sports, including Major League Soccer, USA Olympic Hockey, the
Professional Golf Association, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
He consults regularly with the athletic departments at The Ohio State
University and Ohio University, both of which he serves as an adjunct
faculty member. Todd was the fi rst sports psychology fellow at The Ohio
State University, training several athletes, coaches, and teams, including
national champions, all-Americans, and Olympians. He has coauthored two
books — Positive Transitions for Student Athletes: Life Skills for Transitions in
Sport, College, and Career (Holcomb Hathaway Publishing) and The Parent’s
Playbook: Developing a Gameplan for Maximizing Your Child’s Athletic
Experience (Champion Athletic Consulting ) — and produced Peak Mental
Performance in Golf: Sharpening the Mental Side of Your Game, a CD, book,
and video series addressing mental training for the sport of golf. Todd has
appeared on radio and television and in newspapers and magazines, includ-
ing ESPN, Fox Sports, the New York Post, and NASCAR Illustrated.
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This book is dedicated to Aiden and Gable Smith, my boys and my greatest
teachers, and to Todd Kays, who shared my dream of getting this book in the
—Leif H. Smith, PsyD
This book is dedicated to the numerous people who have inspired me in my
journey, including my family, Kathy, Jake, Charley, Bill, Mark, Jenny, Jeff,
Paul, Don, Tom, and Naomi. And to my coauthor, Leif — it has been a blast,
and I look forward to many years of continuing to advance the fi eld together.
I would not be here without all of you.
—Todd M. Kays, PhD
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