A Professional Baseball Mental Training Consultant: The Work of Harvey Dorfman

Alan Kornspan, University of Akron, USA

Theme: Consulting/private practice

Poster Number: 12

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Although there is a long history of mental training consultation within professional baseball, there is a dearth of literature which has explained how these organizations began utilizing the services of full-time mental training consultants during the 1980s. An individual who began consulting full-time in professional baseball during the early 1980s was Harvey Dorfman. For over twenty-seven years Dorfman worked with three professional baseball organizations and the Scott Boras Corporation. Moreover, to advance the field of mental training, Dorfman authored four baseball specific mental training books (e.g., Dorfrman & Kuehl, 1989; Dorfman, 2000; Dorfman, 2001; Dorfman, 2003). Additionally, Dorfman described his consulting in a three part autobiographical memoir which explained his life’s work. Thus, the purpose of this poster presentation is to pay tribute to the life and work of Harvey Dorfman (1935-2011). In order to document Dorfman’s accomplishments, primary source material was utilized from his three autobiographical works: Persuasion of My Days (Dorfman, 2005), Copying it Down (Dorfman, 2010a), and Each Branch, Each Needle (Dorfman, 2010b) as well as articles from the periodical literature. Thus, the present poster presentation begins by providing an overview of Dorfman’s work before entering professional baseball. This is followed by details about his consulting with the Oakland Athletics, Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the Scott Boras Corporation. Next, a brief portrayal of Dorfman’s roles and responsibilities and how he provided consultation services to athletes is delineated. Finally, Dorfman’s influence on the field of sport psychology as well as the athletes he worked with is discussed.

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