Olympic Sports Psychologist Shane Murphy

Olympic Sports Psychologist Shane Murphy

Posted by Patrick J. Sweeney on Feb 15, 2018 9:41:06 AM

I sat down with my former Sports Psychologist Shane Murphy - he was the first director of sports psychology for the U.S Olympic Training Center and helped me greatly improve my performance.

The audio quality is terrible, so I've listed his major takeaways below the video. Let me know if you have any questions: 




  • You can’t have great performance unless you have good mental health in your life
  • We let low-level fears self-sabotage our performance by not addressing those fears
  • Don’t try to look at life from “happiness” look at it from performance perspective that you can measure
  • Three stages of athletes:
    • Young competitors (10-15) – want to have fun usually aren’t stressed (best thing to teach them is how to manage their parents
    • Adolescent competitors (16-20) – can self-sabotage by dwelling on mistakes or over-thinking things
    • Mature athletes (20+) – need to use fear as fuel and realize stress is performance enhancer
  • Psychology training must have measurable goals for progress, metrics are important.
  • Subjective experience doesn’t always match reality – especially if you learn to use fear. Might be terrified giving a speech but do a great job because you channel the energy
  • Parents of young athletes need to separate their emotion from answering the question – How can I support my child having a great experience?
  • Don’t look at kid’s sports as an "investment" to get a free ride to college or play in the pros because odds are so low. Rather look at it as a way to build self-confidence and teach your child a life-long sport and set of skills
  • Create a routine you do before every practice or performance so they all seem the same. It’s a comforting feeling to come back to the same routine
  • Recall a time when you performed really well and replay all the details leading up to that performance in your head

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Topics: Reflection, Training, Elite Only, fear as fuel, fear guru, fearguru, video

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