Rediscovering The Adversity Advantage, by Matt Davidson, Ph.D.

I returned recently to a book from which I have drawn deeply over the years: The Adversity Advantage, by Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer.     It’s a powerful resource that takes a somewhat counterintuitive look at adversity and hardship, arguing that while we often spend our lives trying to prevent adversity, suffering, and hardship, […]

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Forget Perfect; Find Optimal, by Matt Davidson, Ph.D.

I recently heard from a friend/colleague who works at a prestigious high school, which boasts some of the best and brightest students. He shared that they were suffering as a community from the recent loss of a female student who had committed suicide. Not too many things sadder than when a young person takes their […]


Remember: everything is gift, by Matt Davidson, Ph.D.

  Over the course of this year in my work with several different high school and college athletic departments around the country, we have been working on the topic of gratitude. When it was first introduced to me by a collegiate athletic director, I thought, “Wow, interesting topic to focus on for high performing student-athletes […]

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Attitude & Effort: Still No Substitute–by Matt Davidson, Ph.D.

  I was at a sports banquet yesterday and one of the coaches shared about how they had made attitude and effort a core focus for the team.  As a team he wanted them to focus only things within their control. Of all the things within our control attitude and effort are at the top […]


Optimal Performance

The Olympics always provide rich insight into elite performers, their approach to training and in particular their mental preparations. This article today from the New York Times on figure skater, Gracie Gold, touches on many common themes that we encounter in our work at IEE. The quest for excellence often leads athletes (and too often their […]

EXCELLENCE WITH INTEGRITY

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It’s all about improvement: Stop worrying. Embrace adversity. Keep moving forward.

Let’s face it, we like it when our kids win, get A’s, or deliver a flawless performance. I like it as much as anybody. But again and again I’m reminded—in the research on optimal performance and in my own personal experiences—that it’s through our struggles and failures, our mistakes and adversity that the real growth […]


Next play. Next pitch. Next shot. Next game: Leading Self and Others to Play Present

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is. —William Blake Officially, Spring is here. And yet, talk to two different people about this objective truth and you often get two different reactions:  First person:  “Spring is here. The days are getting longer. Winter is Over. Yeah!”  Second person:  […]