Mental aspect of sports just as important as physical part


PORTSMOUTH — While playing and coaching sports, Gene Collins and Jeff Ramey learned the concept of mind over muscle.

Both were championship athletes at Portsmouth High School, as Collins is the second-winningest coach in Portsmouth’s illustrious boys basketball history.

Ramey won a state title in basketball and played professional baseball.

They’ve combined to write the “Athlete’s Mental Performance Journal,” a book that emphasizes the importance of mental and emotional performance whether in sports or in everyday life.

“We got together as friends and started talking about athletes from the past and it led to these current athletes,” said Ramey, who played baseball at Indiana University before enjoying a minor league career in the Cincinnati Reds organization. “You always hear, ‘this guy could be so much more if his attitude was better.’ It’s all about controlling the neck up, your emotions, being coachable. We saw there was a need for this.”

Collins and Ramey aren’t just a couple of ex-jocks throwing in their two cents.

Ramey is a certified sports psychologist with degrees from Wright State, Ohio State and Marshall universities.

Collins is a certified sports psychology coach with a degree from Shawnee State University — and 25 years of experience as a social worker with the department of youth services.

Both noticed parents spend thousands of dollars on physical training for kids, but rarely does anyone concentrate on the mental aspect.

“We send them out in the workforce and they don’t have their minds right, Ramey said. “They don’t know how to manage their emotions. It goes well beyond sports.”

Collins said the book helps people manage their time, mindset, habits and attitudes and other crucial aspects determining success or failure.

It includes checklists, so readers may keep track of their progress.

It also includes Bible verses throughout to back up the points made.

“One of the things I always tried to do was manage any crisis, manage situations,” said Collins, who went 201- 130 in 14 years as head coach of the Trojans. “Before I was a coach, I worked in juvenile corrections. Every day you were managing a crisis. When I became a basketball coach, it was a lot easier for me to deal with difficult kids because I had dealt with difficult situations. We try to teach kids how to avoid those situations and put themselves in a position to win and not lose.”

The book targets parents, athletes, coaches and others.

“This goes well beyond sports,” Ramey said. “It makes people have an awareness, have accountability and take a daily inventory.

Collins and Ramey said the journal could be a great tool for teams to use for 10 minutes at the end of each practice.

Each day features 15 questions.

“If you can answer yes to those 15 questions, you’ll probably get the most out of your day,” Ramey said.

The book promotes building discipline.

“That’s a huge part of it,” Collins said. “When you look at the routine we built into the book, it promotes discipline. You need that to get proper sleep, to eat right, to have proper fluids. It’s also about affirmation and gratitude. The Bible scriptures we connect to those are all feel-good things society needs more of.”

“Athlete’s Mental Performance Journal” is available at, and will soon be available in local bookstores.

It also is available at

This story was originally published in the Portsmouth Daily Times.

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