This book provides an integrative empirical analysis of numerous anecdotal notions and cliches that have permeated sport psychology, including just do it, the ideal performance state, mental toughness, focus, and the idea that sport is mostly a mental game. T he author, Dr. Roland A. Carlstedt, travels where no researcher has ventured in quantifying these slogan statements, bringing new insights and data as to their meaning. His Theory of Critical Moments provides a long-overdue, lucid and highly plausible explanation for the dynamics of Zone and Flow states as well as the effects of intrusive cognitions on sport performance. In attempting to quantify the Zone, Carlstedt presents provocative data and perspectives on brain and heart interactions, suggesting that specific parameters of these measures reflect peak performance states. His model has explained up to 44% of the variance in the performance equation that can be attributed to psychological factors - anunprecedented finding that attests to the sensitivity and potency of the predictor and criterion variables Carlstedt has isolated as being crucial and central to peak sport performance. This book is also a valuable source for applied practitioners. It presents innovative assessment methods and advanced approaches to mental training, including on-the-field measurement and manipulation of cortical states and heart rate variability to improve performance. Carlstedt's applied protocol also advances off-the-field assessment of cortical functioning using brain-imaging methods, intervention efficacy testing, critical moments analysis, and database management, sophisticated approaches to athlete evaluation that will soon be de rigueur. Dr. Stanley Krippner, the noted consciousness researcher, calls the theories, perspectives, applications and methodologies in this book seminaland a watershed in the annals of research in sport psychology.his is a book that should be readby practitioners, researchers, educators, and athletes who are interested in an integrative approach to peak performance. It will also be of interest to neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, psychophysiologists, methodologists and personality, health and cognitive psychologists.
"Roland A. Carlstedt's impressive book creatively integrates research from multiple subdisciplines in psychology to arrive at a highly original and coherent theory of peak sport performance. Readers will benefit from Dr. Carlstedt's experience as a professional athlete and coach as well as his solid academic credentials and training in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, psychophysiology, behavioral medicine, and personality. His eclectic background brings new insights, methods, and findings to the field of sport psychology that will have an impact for years to come." - Roger Drake, Ph.D., Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and Western State College of Colorado; Cognitive Neuroscientist "Why do some professional athletes tend to 'deliver' in critical situations, while others are less dependable? Dr. Carlstedt's Mind-Body Model of Sport Performance focuses on this well-known and vexing performance difference between comparably talented professional athletes. He traces these differences to certain basic personality characteristics and their interplay. Depending on their strength and configuration, these general personal propensities may play either a facilitative or counterproductive (but potentially modifiable) role. Carlstedt's model is obviously of great relevance to sport psychologists. Because of its plausibility as well as its amenability to empirical scrutiny and continuing development, it also merits the attention of a wider readership. It has the potential for evolving into a general model for understanding consistent excellence in response to challenge." - Auke Tellegen, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota, USA "R. Carlstedt brings a thoroughly innovative perspective to the field of sport psychology in this new book. His model of peak performance ambitiously and successfully integrates a wealth of physiological, psychological, and cognitive neuroscience data to forcefully make the case that athletic performance cannot only be studied in a controlled fashion, but can be improved systematically. Although scholarly in its methodologies, this book is highly readable, and will be of interest to a wide range of academics, coaches, athletes, and mental health and sport psychology professionals." - Sanjay Mathew, M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Department of Psychiatry; Psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and former ranked tennis player "This book provides a timely model for an evidence-based approach to assessment and retraining peak performance in athletes, particularly during critical moments of competition. Importantly, it points the way forward to bridge the gap between anecdote and testable brain science in this field." - Dr. Evian Gordon, founding director, Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia; CEO, The Brain Resource Company, developer of the world's first standardized International Database on the Human Brain; lead author and editor of Integrative Neuroscience