I’m Dr. Tom Hanson, and I’ve been working with athletes for the past 20 years, including the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and hundreds of professional and amateur athletes. My corporate clients include Microsoft, American Express, and Fannie Mae.
Golfers, you may know Dr. Bob Rotella, the top mental game coach among PGA Tour players. He was my advisor for my Ph.D. at the University of Virginia back in ’91, so I practically got my Ph.D. in golf psychology. I was the hitting coach at UVA, and a head college baseball coach for 7 years after that. I was granted tenure for my teaching and research performance as a college professor, then left academics to work more extensively with clients. So I’ve been at this sports performance enhancement thing for quite some time.

“The Yips Used to Kick My Butt”
I admit that for most of my career I was like the other sport psychology coaches: I could talk a good game about the yips (“You’re too focused on the outcome, you need to focus on the process, you need a new grip…blah blah blah”), but I couldn’t really fix it.
And I wasn’t alone…
Don’t you think baseball greats Rick Ankiel and Chuck Knoblaugh and golfers Johnny Miller and Bernard Langer could afford the best sport psychologists?
They could and did, but none of those guys got their problem fixed.
Standard approaches such as breathing, visualizing, “talking it through” and developing a pre-shot routine are fine coping strategies.
But “coping” is not your goal.
“Tolerating” is not your goal.
You just want to play the damn game without being terrorized by a fear of what should be the easiest part of the game!
Fortunately, 18 years of trial and error have led me to a new approach, with new results.
Since I started developing my approach to the problem, I’m happy to tell you I’ve had tremendous success eliminating the yips.

Career highlights include:

  • Full-time Performance Enhancement director for the New York Yankees (2001)
  • Performance Enhancement Consultant for the Texas Rangers (1999, 2000)
  • Performance Enhancement services for Anaheim Angels & Minnesota Twins
  • Head baseball coach and tenured professor at Skidmore College (NY) (1990-1997).
  • Author, “Play Big” (available March 2011)
  • Co-Author of Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time.
  • Interviews with Hank Aaron, Rod Carew, Pete Rose, Tony Oliva, Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial, Kirby Puckett, Billy Williams and others for my research on the Mental Aspects of Hitting.
  • Interviews with pitching greats Nolan Ryan, Tommy John, Ferguson Jenkins, Bert Blyleven and many current major league players.
  • Corporate Coaching and Training for businesspeople and organizations ranging from
  • Fortune 500 company start-ups


  • Ph.D. in sport psychology from the University of Virginia (1991)
  • M.S. in sport psychology from the University of Illinois (1987)
  • Certified Personal and Professional Coach, The Newfield Network (2000)
  • Certified Yoga Teacher, Kripalu Yoga Center, (1996) 

“One Dramatic Adventure Changes Many Lives”


At age 36, Dr. Tom Hanson changed his life dramatically.

Two years earlier he’d won the biggest prize in his field: Tenure. A sport psychology professor and head baseball coach at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast, Hanson’s previous 6 years of work was scrutinized by the toughest committee on campus and they gave him their stamp of approval. He had a secure job for the rest of his life.

    To the shock of many, he soon left it all and set off on an extraordinary personal adventure. “I just imagined how my life would be better if I could fully focus on what I was most passionate about,” he said.

His passion for enhancing human performance lead to the creation of his company, Heads-Up Performance, Inc. and consulting gigs with the likes of Microsoft, Fannie Mae, Kaiser Permanente and, in 2001, a full-time position coaching the New York Yankees.

    “They were really good and wanted to get a lot better,” said Hanson of the Yankees, “that’s the profile of the people I help most. Plus it fulfilled a life-long dream for me. I like making dreams come true – especially mine!”

Bounty from Hanson’s personal adventure includes insider success secrets from elite performers in many fields. Sometimes they came in formal interviews with people like Home Run King Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose, or Fortune 500 executives, and sometimes they came from his individual coaching clients.

“My doctoral research at the University of Virginia, my coaching, and most importantly, my personal experience show clearly that in order for people to make significant changes in their lives on the outside, be it getting rich, succeeding in their own business, or even losing weight, they need to first make significant changes on the inside,” Hanson said. “They need to think better.”

Hank Aaron’s thinking changed Hanson’s life. “He gave me a road map to high level, consistent excellence. He transformed himself from humble beginnings to the breaking the most coveted record in American sports and attributes his success not to any particular technique or strategy, but to the mental approach he detailed to me.”

“My mission is to share the message that dramatic change is possible, and not all that hard, if you have some know-how, use your imagination, and take action.”

Hanson has had considerable success driving that message home. His first book, Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time, has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide and is called “the bible for learning mental toughness in baseball” by the leading publication in amateur baseball. It was required reading for the U.S. Olympic baseball team and many pro teams.

His second book, Who Will Do What By When: How to Improve Performance, Accountability and Trust with Integrity has already empowered thousands of leaders with a step-by-step guide for manifesting their vision. Hanson’s coaching, keynote speaking, and products (including his latest, “Confidence Conditioning”) have all brought great acclaim.

Regardless of his audience, Hanson follows his dream by coaching others to reach theirs — first by exercising their imagination, then by “stepping up to the plate” and getting into action.

As he sits poolside at his spacious home in Tampa, Hanson is a dramatic adventure away from his former job in the frozen Northeast, and is living proof that you can live the life you imagine.

10 Responses to “About Dr. Tom Hanson”

Donna Patterson says:

April 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Dr. Tom, We seriously need your help! My daughter has had a successful softball career and is now a senior and has signed to play at a D-1 college. However, this year (senior) she has encountered the inability to field a bunt and make the throw to the bases. You can see her freeze up and the ball may go 10′ over the fence or in the dirt. She, myself, and the coaches feel helpless. Her coach has told her that he, himself, encountered the yips and eventually worked through it, but she has a bad case. HELP PLEASE! please also respond to [email protected]

About the Author – Dr. Tom Hanson « Yips Be Gone! says:

April 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

[…] Dr. Tom Hanson, and I’ve been working with athletes for the past 20 years, including the New York Yankees, Texas […]

Sara says:

September 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Son played in H.S for 1 year (Sr. year) also played at a D1 University for 1 year was converted from an Infielder to a Catcher likes both positions. Stronger MIF. Really Good srm POP time 1.9 New Coach came in reinstated his bb scholarship and day 1 of fall practice before letting anyone on the field he cut 75% of the Roster and brought in his own players. My son taking a semester off before he starts at another school He needs some confidence drills and mental training. His biggest deficit he feels and I feel he is correct is his hitting. Trained with pro players has a nice swing. Blames everything on timing and lack of playing time, I think its mental. He’s come very far with little opportunity to play. SHOWCASES WELL. Can’t seem to transfer it to the game. He works with a scout for the KC Royals (former major leaguer) here in Oldsmar Florida. Very bright, Deans list student. Coach feels he’s got the stuff to play. Gotta work on his head game. He’s 20 and has a small window left. This is his dream. If it doesn’t happen let it not be becuase he didn’t pursue the mental part of the game. He’s gotten on every single team he has tried out for but during the game he’s either so confident he hits like crazy or can’t hit a thing. Would prefer private lessons.


DrTom says:

September 22, 2011 at 4:03 PM

I’m your man.

Especially since I live 10 minutes from Oldsmar…

Call me at 813 968-8863.

Dr. Tom

michael says:

February 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

hey dr tom

my name is michael and im a junior in high school in hawaii. im a utility player, but i mostly play catcher and third. one day when i was catching in the game, i couldnt get the ball back to the pitcher. i was sailing it and even bouncing it back. i lost all confidence when i play, but at warm ups i can throw, its just when i get on the field. i think i have the yips and its killing me! what should i do?

DrTom says:

February 21, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I hear you, Michael — really a drag. I worked with 61 players with some form of this (including golfers) in 2011 and am ahead of that pace in 2012. Best is to call me to discuss. 813-968-8863.

Something happened that clogged up your neural highways and you need an emotional tow truck to clean up the mess.

Dr. Tom

Dillon Jayne says:

March 5, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Hey dr tom,

I called you a few months ago about the yips that im trying to get through and the money was an issue. But i have talked with my parents and they will pay now.

DrTom says:

March 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Hey —

Great. Just call me and we’ll get you rolling.

Basically you’re signing up for me to coach you through Call of Duty: Throwing Edition. There are several levels for you to get through but I’ve had several great emails today from players I’m coaching getting back to having fun.

Dr. Tom


          Bill says:
          April 15, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Hey Dr. Tom

I’m a sophomore on varsity baseball. I play first and third and have been doing fine on the field except warming up and throwing in drills I tense up and my throw becomes ridged and awkward or I loose grip on the ball. I’ve got the yips and have no idea what to do.

DrTom says:

May 28, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Hey Bill – check your email. Then go to hansoncalendar.com to set up some time for us to chat