Dr. Richard Coop Champion Sports Psychologist
As a youngster, Dr. Coop became fascinated with the psychology of sports as his father coached basketball, football and baseball in a small town in Kentucky. He played basketball and baseball at the high school level and was a relief pitcher in college. In graduate school at Indiana University, Dr. Coop tutored a PGA Teaching Professional in exchange for golf lessons. As he learned to play golf, he began to apply all of the content he was learning in his educational psychology courses to the game. At that time, there were no formal programs in sport psychology so Dr. Coop put together courses from different perspectives to develop a specialty in the area. After graduation, Dr. Coop joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began working with the golf team in 1975 and with the other athletic teams in 1983. One of the more interesting athletes who took up the game of golf shortly before his last year in school was a guy named Jordan. Dr. Coop enjoyed several golfing trips to Pinehurst with Michael as he started to get very serious about learning the game. In 1985, Dr. Coop began working with Ben Crenshaw and other tour players, and through word of mouth, his client list quickly grew to include major champions such as Larry Mize, Payne Stewart, Nick Faldo, and others. Dr. Coop says, “I have learned something from every player with whom I have worked.” Over the years, Dr. Coop has learned that “great psychology cannot overcome poor physics on the golf course. But, then again, even the great ball strikers need to master the psychology of the game. In my view, there is room for both physics and psychology”.