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Paging Dr. Bob RotellaA Leading Sports Psychologist on the Nee to Keep Golf in its Proper Place

Dr. Bob Rotella is one of the world's leading sports psychologists who has worked with dozens of professional golfers. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Bob Rotella has established himself as a preeminent name in performance coaching. He has worked with a menu of golf professionals that includes several major winners, ranging from Tom Kite to Rory McIlroy, Pat Bradley to Keegan Bradley; his ninth book, “Make Your Next Shot Your Best Shot,” came out in September. Rotella’s thoughts about the rash of athlete anxiety are worth considering, especially for parents.

 “Anxiety in terms of mental health is different from the anxiety of playing sports,” Rotella said. “When someone is having those sorts of issues, I think they’ve made their sport way too big a part of their life. This is the result of a whole generation that grew up forced to specialize in sport, so it had to become a big part of their life and a big part of their identity.

“When people are playing a game and they’re really good at it, the temptation is to identify too strongly with the result. As the money and fame have grown, people with philosophical issues in their approach are going to have problems. People have to remember what’s important in life. They have to get a life. They need to lock in when it’s time to practice and time to play. I suggest to my players about 15 to 20 minutes of prep time, but other than that they need to forget about it. They need to have other activities and interests.”