Exercise and Sport Psychology Resource Topic List

There are many articles and books published on topics within exercise and sport psychology. However, in our work with students and athletes/clients it may be helpful to have articles and video clips that are not academic per se but more oriented towards the educated layperson and can be used as instructional tools and/or to make salient points in a meaningful fashion. In a discussion on depression, for example, a short video clip from Michael Phelps on his experiences with depression may be more powerful in connecting with a student/athlete than something we as a teacher/consultant may offer.

Each topic listed below provides lists for Video Clips/Videos and Articles (magazine and Internet). Lists are intended to be fairly topic specific. Please note separate listing/web site for sports movies at the end, as well as more general sport psychology videos, which cover multiple topics listed below.

For video clips, there may be multiple clips available on a given topic (such as Michael Phelps talking about depression – see Depression) – generally, only one example is provided but readers are encouraged to check out websites to see if other video clips are available which might be more suited for their needs if one provided below is not quite what you are looking for.


https://prosportpsychsym.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/the-psych-of-the-fight/    (Article discussing the different types of aggression seen in athletes as well as how to manage your own potential aggressive actions on the field)

Anxiety (including stress)

  1. NCAA explains how to better understand athletes experiencing anxiety: http://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-anxiety-disorders
  2. Victoria Garrick (D1 Volleyball player) discusses her experience with anxiety/depression/eating disorder:See also Depression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqdbzqpc3QM
  3. How to control your anxiety in times of stress during games, practice, or life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lxj5FEpEG4

Arousal Regulation

  1. Tips for controlling arousal regulation (both high and low) to improve performance :https://drstankovich.com/how-human-arousal-impacts-sport-performance/
  2. Brief conversation discussing general tactics that can help arousal regulation for athletes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TaqCcEesCw
  3. Arousal Regulation tips laid out: https://rangeofmotion.net.au/arousal-regulation-psychological-skills-training/

Attentional Control

  1. (NOTE: This is a more scholarly type of resource. However, it is short and easy to understand for someone looking for some quick tips and tricks) : https://www.apadivisions.org/division-47/publications/sportpsych-works/concentration-and-attention.pdf
  2. https://exrx.net/Psychology/Attention

Burnout (including staleness and overtraining)

  1. Very brief introduction to Burnout (includes how to prevent and treat burnout in 5 steps) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICdY4txDDT4
  2. How to prevent your child/player from experiencing burnout : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHeJlmVSPbw
  3. Recognizing and treating overtraining to prevent burnout : https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/sports/playmagazine/02play-physed.html
  4. Two Olympic athletes detail their personal experiences with fighting burnout: https://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/19/how-top-athletes-battle-burnout/

Character Development

  1. Explanation and brief overview of how to enhance character development amongst youth players: https://novakdjokovicfoundation.org/building-character-through-sport/
  2. Article for coaches or parents on advice for creating better character development opportunities within programs :https://www.stack.com/a/why-athletes-must-focus-on-developing-their-own-identity (short video included on Colin Kaepernick on drive and motivation as well – I will cross reference that under the motivation topic)
  3. An article exposing the importance of character development in sports (tips for coaches and advice for parents) : https://changingthegameproject.com/do-sports-actually-teach-character/


  1. Brief article that emphasizes the importance of communication in sports : https://www.athleteassessments.com/importance-of-communication-in-sports/
  2. More in depth article on the do’s and don’ts for coaches communicating with their players: https://appliedsportpsych.org/resources/resources-for-coaches/coaching-through-conflict-effective-communication-strategies/


  1. How Failure Got me to the Olympics (15 minutes, very relatable and good energy) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B056xz8Ztlk


  1. The Mind of a “Winner” TED Talk :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7v4y_xwzQ
  2. Getting in “The Zone”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9xH9fIYMfc


  1. FOR COACHES: How to lift their players up rather than drag them down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HYZv6HzAs
  2. How to boost your confidence (some suggestions on exercises that help enhance an athlete’s confidence) : https://www.peakendurancesport.com/endurance-psychology/coping-with-emotions/sports-psychology-self-confidence-sport-make-ego-work/#:~:text=When%20athletes%20feel%20confident%2C%20they,inordinate%20effect%20on%20their%20performance.
  3. Short video on how to have proactive confidence rather than reactive confidence : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKe4qXEu5bY
  4. Tips for how to boost confidence (directed more towards helping parents build their child’s confidence but could be useful for an athlete to watch on his/her own): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09iKU0o_L2I
  5. Short read on how to improve self-confidence in athletes (focuses on identifying when an athlete feels a lack of confidence and then using that to help them boost their confidence / avoid feeling a lack of confidence ) : https://www.gncc.org/about/documents/training/73-10-mindsets-that-shrink-confidence/file


  1. An article directed at parents on emphasizing healthy competition and cooperation within sports for their child : http://educatedsportsparent.com/competition-vs-cooperation/
  2. Another article focusing on how parents can emphasize choosing sports teams that teach community building skills such as cooperation : https://www.parentmap.com/article/team-sports-benefits-kids-cooperation-community


  1. Article outlining what courage looks like for athletes, parents, and coaches : https://www.competitivedge.com/being-courageous/
  2. Article for parents describing how to improve their child’s sports experience: https://studio5.ksl.com/courage-confidence-sports-life-teaching/


Video Clips/Videos

Michael Phelps talks about depression (10/25/2018):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQGEc-JD3_g

Victoria Garrick Depression and Eating Disorder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqdbzqpc3QM

Victoria Garrick Ted Talk on Depression (a bit longer but extremely valuable information) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdk7pLpbIls

Professional Athletes who have dealt with immense pressure resulting in depression : https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/pressure-and-the-pro-why-do-so-many-of-our-top-athletes-suffer-from-stress-424937.html

Articles (magazine and Internet)

Kevin Love – Everyone is Going Through Something

March 6, 2018 – The Players’ Tribune


Eating Disorders

  1. Why Athletes (especially female athletes) tend to develop eating disorders: https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/athletes-anorexia-lean-obsession
  2. NCAA on athletes and eating disorder development : http://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-eating-disorders
  3. Thorough article detailing how to prevent eating disorders from developing in athletes: https://www.sportsmd.com/womens-health/prevent-eating-disorders-female-athletes/
  4. Female athletes started a project called Lane 9 (first link is a brief article about their project + a video of a personal story, second link is a direct url to the Lane 9 page) : https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/many-female-athletes-struggle-eating-disorders-these-women-want-change-ncna977061 & https://lane9project.org/
  5. (Cross list from stress : Victoria Garrick talks about stress and eating disorders): Victoria Garrick (D1 Volleyball player) discusses her experience with anxiety/depression/eating disorder:See also Depression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qqdbzqpc3QM

Goal setting

  1. The importance of goal setting for athletes as well as a helpful acronym to help athletes effectively set goals : https://metrifit.com/blog/the-importance-of-goal-setting-for-athletes/
  2. Brief video of Michael Phelps discussing how he sets goals and alters them : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArdvcoHcqYQ


  1. Brief introduction to why imagery is important and some tips on how to practice it: https://appliedsportpsych.org/resources/resources-for-athletes/sport-imagery-training/
  2. Olympic athletes on what mental skills they use to help them perform their best : https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/11/4-olympians-share-the-mental-tips-they-use-to-achieve-their-goals.html
  3. Tips for how to use imagery to achieve your athletic goals: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-prime/201211/sport-imagery-athletes-most-powerful-mental-tool

Injury Rehabilitation

  1. tips for how athletes can use imagery to help with their injury rehabilitation process : https://appliedsportpsych.org/resources/injury-rehabilitation/using-the-mind-to-heal-the-body-imagery-for-injury-rehabilitation/
  2. How your support network can help athletes during their rehabilitation process: https://appliedsportpsych.org/resources/injury-rehabilitation/with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/


  1. Brief run down on the different types of leaders on a sports team: https://believeperform.com/leadership-and-the-role-of-a-leader-in-sports/
  2. The traits of a successful leader according to men and women in the field of sports: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eELW7Y5pQGo
  3. Democratic leadership & a short video on Tim TeBow : https://kinefusion.com/coaching/culture/leadership-action-and-example-not-a-position-or-a-title/

Mental Toughness

  1. Introduction to mental toughness (short video) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evw4IkdTr7Y
  2. Mental toughness (coping and anticipating events in order to remain mentally tough) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV3Gvlp68Fo
  3. How Olympic Athletes remain mentally tough : https://theconversation.com/how-olympians-train-their-brains-to-become-mentally-tough-92110


  1. Video clip at the beginning of the article discussing Colin Kaepernick’s pathway to success and his incredible motivation: https://www.stack.com/a/why-athletes-must-focus-on-developing-their-own-identity


  1. Brief introduction to pressure (what it is, how it is created, and a few tips on how to prevent an athlete from experiencing it): https://www.peaksports.com/sports-psychology-blog/does-pressure-affect-your-performance-during-competitions/
  2. Brief article on how pros experience pressure in sport as well : https://www.peaksports.com/sports-psychology-blog/how-pros-learn-to-deal-with-pressure/
  3. Article exposing many professional athletes who have dealt with pressure resulting in depression (cross listed under depression) : https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/pressure-and-the-pro-why-do-so-many-of-our-top-athletes-suffer-from-stress-424937.html

Resilience (including grit and perseverance)

  1. Brief article on Carli Lloyd’s experience with being resilient : https://jvearle.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/lessons-in-resiliency-from-carlilloyd/
  2. More on Carli Lloyd’s career highs and lows as well as how she handled adversity : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/07/27/carli-lloyd-dreams-big-chases-third-olympic-gold/87605160/


  1. Doubt & Self Talk Quick tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjy9MmvJNMg
  2. Tips on self talk as well as tips on how to use it effectively: https://www.coachestoolbox.net/mental-toughness/positive-self-talk-for-your-athletes
  3. Nike Video on self-talk (short) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjYlBFXxda0

Team Dynamics

  1. An article discussing a theory on the perfect team dynamic as well as the perfect composition of players on a team : https://www.athleteassessments.com/sports-team-chemistry-team-dynamics/
  2. A follow up article to the link pasted above (this article explains in more detail each style of player/personality when it comes to sports) : https://www.athleteassessments.com/team-tension-among-disc-styles/

Youth Sports

  1. brief overview of why sports psychology is useful for youth sports : https://www.mentaltoughnesstrainer.com/sports-psychology-youth-sports/
  2. The benefits of kids participating in sports : https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201201/the-psychology-youth-sports

COVID-19 & Sports + Mental Health :

  1. High School Athletes Experiencing Increased Anxiety caused by pandemic : https://www.wpr.org/high-school-athletes-experiencing-increased-anxiety-depression-during-pandemic-study-shows
  2. NCAA on their survey of athletes mental health during pandemic : http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/ncaa-student-athlete-covid-19-well-being-study
  3. CDC resources to help alleviate stress or cope with stress : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
  4. COVID-19 Lockdown and sports + anxiety (Mitch’s Article!): https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-and-sports-how-reduce-anxiety

Sports Movies

Note excellent work by Sam Forlenza (stforlenza@ship.edu) on movies with sport psychology concepts:


     Also check extensive list:

Kornspan, A. S., & Sachs, M. L. (2018). Reading list in applied sport psychology: Psychological skills training (Appendix J). In K. L. Burke, M. L. Sachs, & R. Tomlinson, Directory of graduate programs in applied sport psychology (12th ed.) (pp. 339-361). Indianapolis, IN: Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

General Sport Psychology Videos

Kornspan, A. S., Lantz, C., Lerner, B. S., Johnson, S. R., & Smisson, C. P. (2018). Reference list of mental training/sport psychology videos (Appendix K). In K. L. Burke, M. L. Sachs, & R. Tomlinson, Directory of graduate programs in applied sport psychology (12th ed.) (pp. 362-377). Indianapolis, IN: Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Thank to the following individuals who contributed to this list:

Alessandro Quartiroli

Joseph F. Salwan

List developed by Emily Lorry, Michael Sachs, and Mitchell Greene.