The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 22, 2013

MSU opens Center for Sport and Performance Psychology

MANKATO — It’s hard to find a more positive person than Cindra Kamphoff. She’s all smiles, welcoming, full of positive energy.

Which is why it wasn’t a surprise to see so many people from the Minnesota State University community show up to the grand opening ceremony of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology of which Kamphoff is director.

Kamphoff and the center have a lot of momentum right now, and the 50 or so people in the lobby outside the Stadium 6 theater — the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology is right next door — were proof of that.

Among the crowd was Aaron Keen, interim head football coach at MSU.

During the previous season, the football team went on an impressive run, finishing with record of 13-1 and ranked third nationally among Division II programs.

Keen attributes some of that success to his team’s work with Kamphoff, even if he entered the relationship not really knowing what to expect.

“It definitely made a difference, on and off the field,” Keen said.

Football coaches are good at training an athlete’s body. And they have ways to help players improve mentally. But working with Kamphoff, he said, showed him and his players new ways to think about performance.

The biggest difference, he said, was getting guys to stay in the moment. In many cases players are focused on the record, or on being champions. Kamphoff taught them ways to focus on getting better at completing the immediate task at hand. By doing that, Keen said, they’re able to reach those other goals, too.

Part of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology’s goal is to reach out to the public and let them know the center is there for them, too. The reason they located the center off campus is so it’s easier for people to see it as something they have access to.

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