All posts tagged: Dr. Mark Robinson


This summers FIBA World Cup wasn’t a wake-up call for the USA, it was a Shock and Awe for the world.  I have never heard the USA make excuses for losing, so this was shocking to me.  The other “teams practice more; they have been playing together for years; FIBA basketball is different than the NBA.”  None of these excuses was present over the years when the USA dominated the international competition.

The experience of a seventh-place finish behind countries such as Spain, France, Argentina, Australia (who beat the USA in a friendly) Serbia and the Czech Republic.  Should illustrate to the basketball community that athletic ability will no longer win games at the highest level.  Fundamental basketball skill, tactics and teamwork all overshadowed athletic ability.

 USA basketball needs to make a few fundamental changes or at the very least should consider the following:

Consider hiring Top European coaches as assistants.

The USA coaches were all American NBA or college-level coaches.  Much was said about the lack of international experience of the NBA players.  I would say the same discussion could be made regarding the knowledge of the coaching staff.  Adding European coaches that know the FIBA game would give USA Basketball a tactical advantage.

Consider adding American players who are currently playing in the top Euro-leagues.

Americans have been playing in FIBA competition for decades.  Some of them are good enough to be in the NBA but for many reasons are playing abroad and playing well.  NBA scouts know who the best American players are in Europe.  Its a matter of inviting the right guys to camp to see what they can do.  But more importantly, giving them an opportunity to make the team.

Mark Robinson 




Dr. Mark RobinsonNBA Vs FIBA BAll
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Playing High School Sports: A 14 Step Process


Does your child want to play middle school or high school sports? ?If the answer is yes or maybe then you should ask yourself these questions to see how many steps your child needs to take in oder to be ready to compete for a spot on the team. ?I usually ask the following questions:

  1. Move?two steps if you want to play HS basketball.
  2. Take one step if you played recreational basketball in the past two years.
  3. Move?four steps is you have played AAU basketball.
  4. Take Five steps if you work out individually with a basketball trainer for a year or more.
  5. Move?two steps if you work out with a basketball trainer in a group setting for a year or more.


Dr. Mark Robinson is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.

Dr. Mark RobinsonPlaying High School Sports: A 14 Step Process
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My Kid didn?t make the Middle School Team: Now What?


One of the unfortunate parts about coaching middle school basketball for me are the days during tryouts. ?The disappointing news I have to give a player and parent on their non selection.? Each year parents and kids attend basketball tryouts hoping to be selected to play for the team.? I have experienced two different types of parents of youth athletes.? You’re either a parent who is investing money and time into your child’s athletic skill development or a parent who is not.? Youth sports is a billion dollar business.??The parents who have not embraced the billion dollar business are usually the parents upset when their child is not selected for the team. ?

Over the years I have noticed how more and more how parents think their kid should make the team. ?Without understanding their child’s particular skill set.? The top four reasons parents? believe their son should be selected are (not in a specific order):

  • ?My son is passionate.”
  • ?He is a good teammate in other sports.?
  • “My kid just needs someone to teach him.?
  • ?But is a good kid.?

Middle School Basketball is Requiring More

Most kids playing youth sport display the above attributes. That doesn?t mean they are ready to play middle school basketball.? Middle school basketball or during this age is the pathway towards high school basketball. ?During this time they need to have a solid foundation of a basketball skill set.? The players selected on our team usually move on and play high school basketball.? My responsibility is to do my best to prepare them for the journey ahead.? Kids that neglect developing a basketball skill set before entering middle school usually struggle to make the team and if they make the team, require a great deal of development work to catch their peer’s skill set. ?

The above attributes are great to have in any sport for all kids, but with limited gym time and a variety of skill levels, the development curve is steep.? For example to have a kid in an AP Math class who has never taken basic Math before automatically places the child at a disadvantage in grasping the content and passing the level.? Is it impossible for a child to catch up?? Of course, not but again significant development has to occur?

Moving Foward in Middle School Basketball

Not making the middle school team is not the end of the world.? However, what can a parent do if their child is serious about the sport?? I tell the parents of players we don’t select to do the following:

  • Locate a great basketball skills development trainer (one with quality basketball experience).
  • Research a developmental AAU team (not a shoe team) with players of similar ability, so your child can play.
  • Take your child to the gym and rebound (even if you know very little about the sport).
  • Have your child invest time daily on dribbling?

In order for kids to advance in youth sports today. Investment of time and money has become mandatory.? Trainers, group workouts, strength and conditioning sessions are creating a divide in youth sports. Unless you want to see your child disappointed at the end of tryouts, development is needed and needed now.


Dr. Mark Robinson is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.

Dr. Mark RobinsonMy Kid didn?t make the Middle School Team: Now What?
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PPD MAG What’s Changed ?

Since 2013 we have delivered news, articles, and videos regarding the personal development of athletes.  In 2019 what has changed?  The desire to produce more blogs, fewer articles and less interviews.  As a result, we have revamped the look and feel of PPD MAG.  We provide content convenient and a quicker.  More importantly we had to analize athletes and non athletes personal development issues and challenges meeting the common denomnator.

In response to the request, more blog and opinion content on current events regarding the personal development of the athlete.  As well as content on other highly competitive individuals from highly competitive environments.   Money, power, and status are the common denominators for the athlete and an individual seeking to excel in a competitive corporate environment.  Moving forward understanding the personal development of these individuals is part of the personal player development agenda.

A review of our visitor’s analytics pushed the 2019 revamp.   Who’s reading our content and why? How long the average visitor actually spent on our site?  Interest in PPD MAG original viewership is deep-rooted in the topics we cover.  As a result the addition of a serious blog element on the personal development of highly competitive individuals.  In-lines us with global players from all professions competing to be the best in a competitive environment.

Dr. Mark Robinson is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.

Dr. Mark RobinsonPPD MAG What’s Changed ?
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Parenting the Middle School Athlete, Five Tips!


Middle school is an important time for youth athletes.? It’s when the foundation and development of skills and understanding begin to take shape.? It is also at this time that key questions and decisions should be made. ?Is your child playing sport as a recreational activity? ?Is you child playing sport to inprove to make the high school team? Does your child want to play in college? ?Is your child playing sport because of mom and dad?

Ask your child if they want to play sport in college?

If a child wants to play sport in college. ?Parents should examine the High Schools in the local district. ?Do your homework on the program and coach. This means, find out how many players from the school have moved on to play college sports.? How many of those players played for the current coach?? Does the coach have connections or a network on the college level? ??Does the school have a quality strength and conditioning program?? What does the summer development program consist of? ?Attend a game or practice if necessary. ?All of the above activities will allow you to get a feel for what type of program and coach a child will become a part of.?

Review the policy and rules regarding attending the districts other schools.?

School districts have a policy in place regarding boundaries in a school district (if public) area.? You should familiarize yourself with these policies. Understand the reason certain districts allow kids from other boundaries to attend schools in that district.? Most school boundaries are in place for equal enrollment purposes, not athletic purposes. ?

Take time to review the academic advising or counseling department.

Speak to some of the counselors and find out if they have experience with the NCAA academic requirements and understand what classes athletes should be taking.? Also, find out if they understand the difference between NCAA divisions 1,2 and 3.

Find out what type of kids your son/daughter will be joining.

If a player is good enough to compete on varsity as a freshman parents should understand that player will be around older kids every day and this could expose a player to the ills of playing sports.? A freshman hanging around a senior is not always a bad thing but from a social standpoint, attending parties and being exposed to alcohol and drugs could be.

Ask yourself if you want your child to play in high school more than your child?

Sometimes as parents we want our child to be so successful that we forget it’s not about us it’s about the child.? If your child doesn?t want to play high school sports leave it and find another activity for them to enjoy.? Pushing your child to play sport will only damage your relationship.

Playing a sport on the collegiate level is difficult, and not many have the opportunity. Many parents leave the investigative legwork to others.? While some parents are not educated on the things that will provide their child with the necessary developmental aspects of playing in college.? If a child is willing to put in the effort, a parent need to make sure they are doing their part.


Dr. Mark Robinson?is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.

Dr. Mark RobinsonParenting the Middle School Athlete, Five Tips!
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Highly Competitive Individuals: Highly Competitive Environments



Our society has always been a competitive one ? however, the personal development of individuals competing in competitive environments. Compared to individuals competing in competitive athletics may have more in common than we recognized. More importantly, the personal development methods used in athletics to combat personal issues could be useful in assisting the everyday competitive employee.

We often see athletes as competitors and while this is true many in the tech industry, as well as other parts of the corporate world, are struggling to thrive in these competitive areas. Having the right resources accessible is essential for these individuals to make sound decisions, understand the power they hold, and the status that comes with that power. The common denominator between the weekday competitive employee and the competitive athlete is how they function and manage to achieve desired outcomes in the workplace or the athletic arena.

A few years ago, I volunteered to be a mentor for a matchmaking mentor company for corporate professionals. My intended purpose was to use my method of working with athletes and apply them to a competitive fast pace environment. I wanted to determine if my theories and practical application for personal player development was useful.

The Competitive?Tech Industry?

Throughout the course of six months, I met with my mentee from twitter at convenient locations close to the Twitters downtown San Francisco office. Our specific topic centered around how he could become more competitive in pitching his concept to Twitter Executives. He explained to me that the competition in tech is fierce, relentless, and high turnover. On one occasion, we had a session at Twitter. ?As he gave me a tour, I noticed people on Macs everywhere. ?Diligently working, while centered around coffee bars, al la carte meals, and flat-screen televisions. He was correct the competition was fierce and relentless, which mirrored the competition on a football team at a power five conference for a starting spot.

During our sessions, I delivered the techniques I use with athletes, and the results were extremely positive. He pitched his idea, they loved it, and he ended up receiving a new position as well as an increase in pay. Ultimately he left Twitter and took a higher paying position with another tech company in months of his initial pitch to Twitter.

My encounter with my mentee from Twitter allowed me to validate that people working in competitive environments can not only benefit but thrive from the personal player development pillars of success. As a result of this experience, I slowly began to include this population in my practice and continue to see the vast similarities in helping the competitive employee and the competitive athlete.

Dr. Mark Robinson?is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.

Dr. Mark RobinsonHighly Competitive Individuals: Highly Competitive Environments
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The Five I’s of Athletic Identity: Initial

The first perspective of the athlete?s worldview is termed the Initial Perspective. At this point, the athlete has usually played club sports, youth sports, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) sports while in high school, and has entered their first year of college. These athletes believe they have a very good chance of competing in professional or Olympic sports once they complete college. The entitlement contributors reinforce this belief as discussed in the previous chapter.


The mentality of these athletes relates to the sports they play. This mentality began in elementary school, and in many cases continued on into college. Once in college, these athletes see school as a way of fine-tuning their athletic skills to enable them to play professionally. As far as the athlete is concerned, attending college is only a means to an end. Academics and any non-sport related activities are of no real interest to athletes in this stage, primarily because the main reason they are attending college is based on their athletic ability. The elements that make up the athlete?s mindset in the Initial Perspective are outlined in the figure below. In this perspective, athletes possess a serious thought process focusing on athletic development, a feeling of personal freedom related to being away from home for the first time, and a cautious approach towards academic and professional development.

Although their academic pursuits assisted these athletes in gaining entry to college, athletics was the number one reason they were recruited. More importantly, athletics is ultimately the reason they will continue to persist on campus. Lack of academic or athletic performance could result in the loss of a scholarship, unless the student is attending college on an academic scholarship. Therefore, the number one priority for college student athletes is maintaining a mental focus on their sport.

The student athlete attending college on an academic scholarship also has a state of mind connected to the Initial Perspective. According to Athena Liao, a former student athlete at Yale University in swimming from 2009-2013:

All of the Yale athletes are smart and work hard in the classroom, [and] although they don?t give athletic scholarships, people still complain about being so busy in sport. But at the end of the day, we are really students first, and that?s a big difference between scholarship athletes and non-scholarship athletes. Another difference is how the scholarship athlete is tied to the university through sport. If I wanted to quit the team and just continue to go to school, I could have at any time and my decision would not have affected my status at the institution. This is something that happens with non-scholarship athletes all the time. I guess the pressure is less to perform in some cases, because you know your sports participation is something you can walk away from at any time. People come and go all the time. If someone decided to leave, there?s really nothing the coach can do, and you can continue to attend school.

The Initial Perspective of the student athlete is compounded by the desire to please the coach or coaches. These student athletes will virtually do anything the coach asks because in their mind the coach or coaching staff is their ticket to the next level. Attending extra film sessions, shooting extra shots, running extra sprints, etc., are all done with one goal in mind: to play as much as possible. In certain situations, athletes will agree to redshirt or not play their first year of college just to stay in good standing with coaches. They will ignore the fact that coaches will still recruit athletes for the following year. This places the redshirt athlete in a position to battle for a starting spot or playing time, reinforcing the fact that nothing is guaranteed.

The Initial Perspective of the athlete?s worldview can be deemed as genuine and normal for student athletes, particularly competing in signature sports such as football and basketball. Athletes who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to compete in these environments worked hard to get there. Through hard work, they deserve the scholarships offered based on their athletic ability. Student athletes in the Initial Perspective are still naive to the realities of sport.



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PPD MagThe Five I’s of Athletic Identity: Initial
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Athletes Chasing The Idea Of Perfection

The pursuit to become proficient in every aspect drives athletes to eat, sleep and breath excellence. Since a young age, the idea that ?practice makes perfect? is drilled into their mindset, but where does striving for perfection draw the line between healthy and unhealthy?

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. ?Vince Lombardi

There is no doubt that sports carry many benefits including discipline, team work, decision making, goal setting, and dedication. Nevertheless, this competitive environment also has the ability to aid in the downfall of the individual. For the athlete that spends countless hours seeking improvement, they have become their own worst critic. Left dissatisfied when the outcome doesn?t meet their expectation, instead of recognizing their ability to progress. What athletes really mean to say is that they seek perfection, the unreachable notion of being flawless. But what is perfection? Is it the no hitter? Is it the ideal body image? Is it doing what we never thought we could?

Vince Lombardi said, ? Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence?. To the athlete seeking perfection, communication and education is key. We are so fixated on the little things that we fail to see the bigger picture of having a healthy, balanced and positive lifestyle as individuals. That includes letting go of what we cannot control. Behavior such as this is more common than we realize, especially in athletics.

Sports culture is obsessed with perfection; from performance to appearance, athletes are statistically evaluated and under the constant pressure to meet expectations. The higher the level of competition, the more pressure there is, and while we understand that less than 2% is what separates the good from the great; when do we reach a point where we are satisfied with ourselves?

The combination of various factors can lead athletes to partake in unhealthy behavior that is self-destructive. High-risk drinking, drug use, and eating disorders are just some of the better-known behaviors that athletes fall vulnerable to when they internalize stress and don?t know how to properly approach these situations.

In an environment that prides itself on mental toughness, any sign of weakness that could impact performance is negatively looked upon. Athletes feel too proud, fear, or deny that they are struggling and in return it becomes internally damaging to the individual and the athlete. The inability to be perfect does not discredit them as a person, it only allows them opportunity to develop and progress.


Let us redefine how the sports culture views perfection. Perfection is the point where a person?s satisfaction starts and ends with them. As an athlete you cannot allow others to define your success or your self worth. Sports are about your passion and ability to reach your full potential, no one else?s. So should we stop trying to achieve perfection? No, chasing perfection gives us direction and motivates us to do better. For some, that athletic identity may extend for a longer period of time than others, but at the end of the day they all eventually come to an end. When that day comes we want athletes to continue to view perfection as their distinct ability to live a positive, balanced and healthy lifestyle.

As for our imperfections, they are what make us perfectly imperfect. They make you the athlete that you are, but more importantly they make you the person you are. Vince Lombardi was right, perfection is unattainable, but teaching athletes to reach their full potential, that is its own model of excellence.

Article written by?Danielle Gleason,

Founder of DNG?and?Personal Player Development Specialist

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PPD MagAthletes Chasing The Idea Of Perfection
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Danielle Gleason, and the IPPD Specialist Certificate Experience

Danielle Gleason is a former collegiate swimmer for Colorado State University. ?She has a?Bachelor of Science in Health Exercise Science and a?Master of Education in?Higher Education. ?Danielle was a graduate assistant in the Student Athlete Development office for Arizona State University, which is where she realized her true passion is working with athletes in the personal development arena. ?Since then, Danielle enrolled in the Institute for Personal Player Development?(IPPD) and has received her Personal Player Development (PPD) Specialist Certificate. ?We wanted to get feedback on her IPPD experience.


Dr. Mark: Why did you enroll in the IPPD, PPD Specialist Certificate program?

Ms. Gleason:?I was originally referred by Jean Boyd, Sr. Associate Athletic Director at ASU?to contact?Dr. Robinson?and after speaking to him, I decided to enroll in the IPPD, PPD Specialist Certificate program.

I felt that the work that was being done would have of not only benefited me greatly during my time competing, but more importantly after. This program has the endless possibility to help former, present, and future athletes. By enrolling in the program, I was?able to gain the proper knowledge to assist athletes?live the positive, balanced and healthy lifestyle that the IPPD program so adamantly teaches.


Dr. Mark: What did you think about the program curriculum?

Ms.?Gleason:?I thought that the program was very well researched, it was relevant, and it provides a lot of value to those who are taking the course. The curriculum allowed me to learn from a number of professionals in the field and apply the concepts in multiple ways.


Dr. Mark: Would you recommend this program to other people who want to or are working with athletes??

Ms.?Gleason:?Definitely! Regardless?of?the capacity that a helping professional works with athletes, it is always a great opportunity to get professionally trained to help athletes?develop as an individual in a positive, balanced, and healthy way.


Dr. Mark: What was one of the most important things you learned through the program?

Ms.?Gleason:?One of the?most important things I learned was that, PPD specialists help athletes?realize their maximum potential as an individual, not just as an athlete. IPPD has provided the framework to assist would be helping professionals?in the best possible way.


Dr. Mark: What are your plans moving forward within the PPD industry?

Ms.?Gleason:?Moving forward, I plan to start my own consulting service as a Personal Player Development Specialist. I also plan on developing workshops and presentations geared towards the female athletic identity and transitional phases.

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PPD MagDanielle Gleason, and the IPPD Specialist Certificate Experience
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