Ben Strack, Ph.D. – Owner, Hitting Instructor, Sport Psychology & Mental Skills
Sport Psychologist (PSY24425)
Professional Hitting Instructor
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Ben Strack is a licensed psychologist and certified sport psychology consultant (CC-AASP). In his clinical/sports practice (Newport Beach & Santa Ana, CA) he consults with professional athletes (MLB, NHL), Olympic athletes (USA Women’s Indoor Volleyball; Swimming, speed skating), college, and youth athletes.
Dr. Ben Strack is author/editor of the sport psychology book “Applications of biofeedback and neurofeedback in sport psychology” (2011). He is a former division I college baseball player and founding partner of Proball Inc., private baseball academy. During the 1999 and 2000 MLB seasons, he was the batting practice pitcher for the Anaheim Angels. From 1999 to 2004, he was hand-picked to pitch in the MLB Players’ Association and ESPN’s Big League Challenge Home Run Contests where he was the personal pitcher for Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Raphael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Shawn Green, Magglio Ordonez, Andruw Jones, and Troy Glaus.
Dr. Ben Strack is a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport Psychology Registry Member, board member of the Orange County Psychological Association and a co-chairperson for the Optimal Performance/Functioning division of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. He is also an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP).
As an adjunct professor at California State University Long Beach and Argosy University, Dr. Ben Strack taught sport psychology classes in the undergraduate and graduate programs. He is also a frequent speaker at workshops and conferences throughout the country. His work with athletes has appeared in various media including ESPN, The New York Times, and on local television shows in Southern California. In 2008, he appeared on the KCAL-TV show ‘The Doctors’ http://www.thedoctorstv.com/
In a preliminary research study using biofeedback, we found a 21% improvement with just batting practice for the control group. However, subjects who received the biofeedback training, in addition to batting practice, had a 60% improvement in batting performance (Strack, 2003). Baseball players’ self-reports from this study showed that the biofeedback training helped them “relax at the plate, see the ball better in games, improve their pitch selection, improve timing , clear their mind of distracting thoughts and take pitchers ‘deeper’ into the count. Other participants claimed that the biofeedback helped them become less “forgetful” at school via improved concentration.
Studies using similar biofeedback training modalities with other sports provide additional confirmation of the utility of this approach for improving performance (Garet, et al., 2004; Lagos et al, 2008; Raymond, et al., 2005)
Garet, M., Tournaire, N., Roche, F., Laurent, R., Lacour JR., Barthélémy, J.C., Pichot, V. (2004). Individual Interdependence between nocturnal ANS activity and performance in swimmers. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2004 Dec; 36(12): 2112-8
Lagos, L.M., Vaschillo, E.G., Vaschillo, B., Bates, M.E., Lehrer, P.M., Pandina, R.J. (in press). Virtual Reality Assisted Biofeedback for Enhancing Golf Performance.
Raymond, J., Sajid, I., Parkinson, L.A., and Gruzelier, J. (2005). Biofeedback and Dance Performance: A Preliminary Investigation. Biofeedback. 30(1), 65-73.
Strack, B., Linden., M. & Wilson, V.W. (2011). Biofeedback and Neurofeedback Applications in Sport psychology. AAPB, Wheat Ridge, CO.
Strack, B. (2003). The Effect of Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback on Batting Performance in Baseball. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 64, 1540.