“The Freud of Football” - Washington Post
“The Football Shrink” - South Florida Sun Sentinel, Arizona Republic
“One of the Major Psychologists in Sports” - Fox Sports
Dr. John F. Murray a licensed clinical and sport performance psychologist (aka the “Football Shrink,” the “Freud of Football” by the Washington Post and the author of “The Mental Performance Index: Ranking the Best Teams in Super Bowl History”) correctly forecast that the Philadelphia Eagles, led by an unproven quarterback and coach would handle pressure better than Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and beat the official spread in Super Bowl 52. As predicted, the Eagles executed better under pressure and defeated New England 41-33.
The MPI system has now defeated the official spread in 8 of 10 attempts (80% success) made publicly before Super Bowl games. The system has also held up in research looking at over 7000 past NFL games. The book Murray wrote on the MPI in 2011 and revised in 2013 showed overwhelming evidence that mental performance is the most important factor in Super Bowl success.
The MPI measures how well a team does overall including on mental performance. Its power comes from the number of plays in a game (approximately 150) and the inclusion of mental factors in the scoring. While the MPI scores achieved in game ratings almost always predicts to game outcome, the numbers also indicate which teams are performing better, in precisely which specific areas, and regardless of which team won in the past. This gives coaches great insight before their upcoming games as they are able to more clearly see not only how their own team is performing, but to anticipate the fine differences, strengths and weaknesses. In the past few years, we have expanded this football analysis to the area of prediction with extensive statistical historical analysis.
Sports psychology is a great source of inspiration and I love helping people improve, whether in mental skills training to enhance performance or in a clinical situation calling for psychotherapy, stress management or better life adjustment. In dealing with performance situations, the goal is usually to compete better and win more in business or sports. As far as sports, I was lucky to grow up in South Florida in the early 70s with lots of great weather and many sports. My dream at age 10 was to bat 4th for the Yankees and quarterback the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl win. In some ways, these sports dreams have become reality as I’ve coached and played tennis worldwide, worked with many pro athletes and teams as a sports performance psychologist, helped NFL quarterbacks overcome slumps, coached tennis at major tournaments like the Australian Open and Wimbledon, trained athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and UFC 100 in Las Vegas, and developed a unique system for rating mental performance in football. I’m absolutely convinced that solid mental training and mental toughness is a huge key to success, and an often overlooked advantage.
The secret to the success is the set of proprietary tools developed through years of research and game simulations.