Light and dark: Exercise addiction, and the different forces of cycling

There is a saying that goes, “light cannot come without darkness.” This resonated with me a few years ago, when I was transitioning out of competitive cycling and entering the world of graduate school to become a clinical sport psychologist. I can remember being on a training ride, pedaling up one of my favorite climbs, …


The problem with perfection: How parental pressure can leave children with positive attitudes about doping

Despite the fact most sports-lovers despise doping, many of us still find the psychology of doping intriguing. What is it that makes a person’s will to win so great that they’ll cheat, lie, and potentially harm themselves to stand atop the podium? This is particularly interesting because, aside from the systemic and structural factors that …


How those around you can help your performance

When I first started racing a decade ago, I wanted to know what I could do to train my mind to become a champion. |Related: Mental Fitness Since discovering a love and passion for all things sport psychology related, my bookshelves and mind are filled with mental tools I’d like to share. Below are a …

Why cyclists cheat: seven possible reasons for doping

There’s a consensus in road cycling circles that the sport is cleaner than it was 10 to 15 years ago and yet barely a fortnight seems to go by without news of another positive test. So just how prevalent is doping in road cycling and, perhaps more importantly, why do riders insist on cheating? Psychologist …


Why cycling makes us happy: the positive psychology of being on the bike

Cycling is a beautiful sport. We hear it all the time. We experience it when we ride and race. For the ever-increasing number of us that have caught the cycling bug, we know how happy cycling makes us. But what is it that makes us love cycling so much? Why are we so compulsively drawn to …


New year’s resolutions and goal setting – approaches that work

Now that the calendar has ticked over most of us will be setting some new year’s resolutions. According to Google search trends, most of those resolutions involve diet and fitness and I’m sure many of you reading are looking at those from a performance perspective. Psychologist Justin Coulson takes a look at goal setting strategies …


Why we race: the psychology of winning and what motivates us

For any given bike race there can only be one winner. For many of us, a win may come only once in a season and that one fleeting moment is what makes it so highly addictive. Some of us will even never get experienced that indescribable feeling. We’re all competitive for different reasons and in …


All about the bike: what happens when cycling becomes an ‘obsessive passion’

If you’re reading this there’s every chance you love riding your bike. You might even be a little bit obsessed with cycling. But at what point does a passion for cycling become a problem? Psychologist Dr Justin Coulson ponders this question and considers what new psychology research suggests about the internal conflicts we can feel …


Psychology of the Jersey

Recently I parted ways with the cycling team that I’ve been a member of since moving to Australia. Most of us have come in and out of various teams throughout our lives and it’s part of playing sports. When I step back and look at it there are some fascinating group dynamics taking place.


Mind Power In Performance Sport

This guest post was written by Tony Fahkry. Tony’s life is dedicated to coaching people on the Mind-Body connection. He contacted me on this idea to write about this topic after I wrote the post titled “What Was I Thinking?“ in which talked about all the random thoughts and doubts that typically go through my …


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