Archive for October, 2011

Real Loss

While we are sports guys, we know that wins and losses on the playing field are quite trivial in the grand scheme of things. This is even at the highest levels of sport… losing on the playing field is trivial. Today, the PSPS family has experienced a real loss. Dr. Ed Kingston our friend and colleague passed away.

It is likely that you also heard that Al Davis passed away today as well… Ed could not be more different than the flamboyant man who also visited Saint Peter on this day. While a broad smile and a booming laugh was ever present when he was in a room, he was humble, truly ego-free, and gracious in every way in which he lived his life.

He had a great passion for soccer as a fan and a sport psycher. Neil Roberts (BU’s men’s coach) and coaches in the Seattle Sounders player development academy would certainly sing his praises. This may be important for some, but yesterday was a greater window on Ed Kingston. He was at soccer practice with his son. The sidelines of his son’s games were far more fulfilling and meaningful than those of a nationally ranked NCAA team. The humbleness of family sport trumped the glitz of the higher levels… just the way it should be.

I have many times muttered his thoughts on the journey towards excellence and why few succeed (in particular in the field of sport psychology), “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but few want to die.” He was truly excellent and there is not an ounce of doubt in my mind that he is in heaven at this moment.

Please take time to dig through the PSPS archives and read his posts. He offered much and they truly reflect his essence. We will continue post and write and hopefully will be blessed by his kind spirit and educational wisdom.

Today the world lost a father, husband, friend, sport psych coach, teacher, son, collaborator, colleague, and many more things. God bless.

10/12/2011 addition: If you would like to support the Kingston family in this time of loss, please visit: . Thank you.

Words shared by Adam Naylor at Dr. Kingston’s memorial service 10/21/2011:

Ed laughed at my jokes. My wife reminds me regularly that I’m not that funny. So I suspect that Ed laughed at all of your jokes as well… that big, booming, grandiose laugh.

He was a big man that brought his own form of grace to life. He was a doctor in the sport sciences, but preferred being known as “coach” to the Blue Thunder. When he could have adopted one of Boston’s title bound teams, he remained loyal to the Irish… and his friends worried. When you came over for burgers and franks, he lovingly prepared you a special Southwestern or blue ribbon All-American burger that he had been dreaming about creating all week. Humble, loyal, and passionate towards you and the simple things.

Simple things, but not trivial. While we all look toward the horizon and achievements that lie ahead, Ed never lost focus on the family in front of him. Jack and Reese: play with you at home, on the fields, and around the stadiums were your father’s World Cups. Laura: a romance that spanned from the Pacific to Atlantic and back again highlights the tie that binds. Sitting on a dock of Lake Padden he reminded you that life was about moving forward towards dreams, while fence sitting was hard on the butt and spirit. Play, adventure together, and love took center stage in the story of Ed Kingston.

Ed was a lot of things. Looking over the many memories and reflections of the past two weeks it was clear that Ed was much to many people. Friend, mentor, coach, student, teacher, son, father, husband. For a guy that never sought out the spotlight… our focus of attention shined bright on him. Once you met Ed, you wanted to hang on to him. Life just seemed a bit better when you understood the world according to Ed. We all can use a little Ed in our lives each day.

10/29/2011 addition: Some of Dr. Ed Kingston’s collected writings are now available at  All proceeds from sales go to the Ed Kingston Memorial Fund.


The Choke’s On You

Terry Francona drove away from the Red Sox clubhouse September 30th part of what’s being labeled the biggest choke in baseball history. Good for him. He’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last that was yoked with choking in a public eye. That’s sports… that’s the sports that we love to watch, we love to Monday-morning quarterback, and we love to compete in.

To be great. You must risk the label of “choker.” If you are ducking tough competition or playing outside of the public eye you are probably pretty safe… choke-free.

It’s humbling… but to compete in the public eye and in competitions that “matter” you must be willing to run the risk of wearing the label of “choker.” Sometimes the label is accurate and it’s time to get your mental game in order. Sometimes it’s foolish fans having “fun” and not appreciating that at the highest levels, good play may not be good enough. This being said, most times being willing to live with whatever label may follow an event leads to confident, committed, and successful play.

The choke may be on you… if it is, you took on a challenging and meaningful opponent. Welcome to the big leagues.

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