The mental game is like frosting on the cake. I think coaches have been doing the mental game throughout their coaching career, but what we did in Heads-Up Baseball was provide a structure and a framework where this related to that and they can see that. Good coaches coach the mental game. What has changed is the environment that athletes are brought up in.
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In the worlds of baseball and softball, the words sport psychology are synonymous with the name Ken Ravizza. Not only did he work with professional, Olympic, and collegiate athletes but high school and little league athletes as well. He would often remind the sport psychology professionals and students that he mentored to bring the same attention and professionalism to work with little leaguers as to work with professional athletes.
He would prescribe the same advice he gave athletes about being focused on the present moment to those he mentored in sport psychology. In , he updated his classic by co-authoring Heads Up Baseball 2. On July 8, , Ravizza passed away. This came as sudden and shocking to many of us who had the honor of learning from him. Not only was Ravizza a pioneer in the field of sport psychology, he was beloved by everyone who knew him. They asked coaches in attendance to share their most meaningful moments with Ravizza.
One coach shared that, as a random stranger, he had cold-called Ravizza in order to pick his brain. By the end of the call, Ravizza had invited the coach to visit him in his home. A1 My most meaningful memory was essentially a random call as a complete stranger to try and pick his brain, and before I was off the call Ken was inviting me to his home — THAT was impactful AbcaChat. Although I had an athletic background and I was knowledgeable about sport psychology, I had never played baseball.
I bought a copy of Heads Up Baseball and I was hooked. I kept the book close to me and reviewed it frequently as I prepared sport psychology workshops for high school and college baseball players. Ravizza went on to describe his methods of combatting negative self-talk and its impact on performance. I went on to attend several lectures by Ravizza at professional conferences.
They never seemed to be on the planned topic and they always seemed to go at least a half hour past the scheduled time. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. I consider that day to be one of the most formative in my career as a sport psychology professional. Not only did I get to learn from Ravizza, I got to spend the day chatting, joking, and rummaging through his personal items such as major league baseball scouting reports and his World Series Championship ring.
The field of sport psychology owes much to Ravizza. As a professional and as a human being, I wish I had more time with him, but I am grateful for the time I had and the lessons I learned. Please continue following this blog to read an ongoing series featuring sport psychology lessons learned from Ken Ravizza.
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Peak Performance in Sports with Dr. Ken Ravizza
Ken Ravizza finished his education with a Ph. He then taught at Cal State Fullerton as a professor. He taught classes in sport philosophy, stress management, and sports psychology. Cal State Fullerton baseball coach, Augie Garrido, learned of his work with gymnasts, and asked Ken to work with the baseball team.
Mental Toughness Tips #1: Lessons in Sport Psychology from Ken Ravizza
Ken Ravizza, a Cal State Fullerton professor who was among the leading sports psychologists in the nation and a guru of sorts for dozens of major league baseball players, died Sunday night, six days after suffering a heart attack while driving in Orange County. He was Ravizza worked with the Angels for about 15 years, from to , where he developed a close relationship with then-Angels coach Joe Maddon, who went on to become manager of the Tampa Bay Rays in and the Chicago Cubs in Maddon retained Ravizza as a mental skills coach for several years in Tampa Bay, and Ravizza followed Maddon to Chicago, where several Cubs players credit Ravizza for his work in helping them win the World Series. Ravizza worked individually with players on other teams and often maintained ties with former Cal State Fullerton players such as Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who went on to play in the big leagues. He also worked with several U.
The Life of Ken Ravizza, Sports Psychologist
I was a year-old college baseball player rehabbing from a shoulder surgery, and I happened to be in Boston with four friends from Alaska whom I had met that summer at The University of Vermont where I was working as a residential assistant while they were in town doing an internship for IBM. I read the boxes in the book that give you the CliffsNotes version and, for the first time in my life, bought and read a book. I received a handwritten letter from Ken in August and was on a plane to California for a visit in November. On Sunday, July 8, — Ken passed away due to a heart attack. Though there is only one guarantee in life, and that is that none of us will be here forever, you can never fully prepare to lose a loved one. Losing Ken has been hard; there is no way to say it. And I know many others have been rocked by it as well:.
The KR70: 70 Lessons From My Mentor Ken Ravizza
I had the pleasure to interview my friend and mentor, Dr. Ken Ravizza a few years ago as we were preparing for the Peaksports bookcamp…. I asked him who influenced him the most in his career. I mean just a whole bunch.