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Sports Psychologist Stanford: NFL Jovan Belcher Suicide – Can Athletes Break under under Performance Pressure?

Sports Psychologist Bay Area Coach Certification Dr. JoAnn DahlkoetterSports psychologist Bay Area – Watch this video as I am interviewed on National Headline News, CTV National News and CNN discussing the NFL Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. I am asked, what causes athletes to break under presssure? I emphasize the importance of sports psychology, mental skills training and performance coaching for professional athletes, coaches and athletes  at all levels. My interview is at 1 min., 32 seconds into this video.  Short but very important words.

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  1. Scott S says:

    Top athletes are faced with many challenges. Most are faced with perfection in their sport, perfection for their team, perfection for their coaches, etc. They are challenged with the expectations of media, fans, coaches, school where they came from, even family expectations.
    With these challenges, many top athletes will put more pressure on themselves and even go over and beyond to risk everything including their families. When athletes get over the edge, and find that everything they have starts to diminish to a point of no return (like losing your family), that loss is accelerated driven by emotions and the fall is instantaneous.
    Sports has been driven by competition in the area of the type of sport. Many athletes are coached to be superior in their physical ability of the sport. There is an interesting aspect here that needs attention. How much time do we spend in practice working on skills? Most would say the entire practice. Here’s my next question, How much time do we spend in practice working with the mindset of our athletes? Most would say little to none.
    In sports, life, in everything, there is balance. Our up and coming athletes from youth, teens, to adults, needs the balance to excel in what they do. Balance is fulfilled with coaches teaching the game, Performing Edge coaches working with mindset of the game. This balance is transferred to the athlete’s life and be better prepared to deal with the challenges that they are faced with.

  2. Dr. JoAnn says:

    Scott – Thanks so much for your excellent sports psychology comments about athletes and performance pressures. Glad that you got to see my video about with my interview on National TV about the NFL player Jovan Belcher and his tragic murder-suicide. This incident highlights, as you say, that coaches need to balance both mental and physical training. That more attention needs to be given to mental skills training in athletes, to develop the whole person. Thanks again for your comments! Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Sports Psychologist, Stanford, San Francisco Bay Area

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