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Brain Coherence in Sports

I have had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable performances of championship athletes, thanks to the exceptional coaching skills of Greg Warburton. With years of experience with golfers, basketball players, and baseballers at Oregon State University, Greg has honed his coaching expertise in high-performance techniques, including incorporating EFT.

In collaboration with Greg, we conducted tests with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the renowned OSU Beavers (Church, 2009). Our objective was to measure their success rate in free throws, with one group receiving EFT treatment while the other received a placebo.

National Collegiate Athletic Association HeadquartersFollowing the treatment, the EFT group demonstrated a remarkable 38% improvement compared to the control group. As I observed them on the court, one notable aspect caught my attention—the consistency among the players. Some of them could effortlessly sink 10 balls into the hoop, time after time, while others consistently achieved only three or four successful shots.

What set the athletes apart who struggled to score consistently? Their athletic abilities were unquestionable, as they displayed their prowess intermittently. The key difference lay in their mental coherence.

I closely observed one player in the attempt to score consistently. Despite his efforts to concentrate, distractions surrounded him. The noise in the stadium, the heat, along with the cacophony of thoughts inside his own head hindered his focus. If I were to visualize his brain waves on an imaginary EEG, I could observe this internal chaos and disarray. In contrast, the champion shooters maintained brain coherence, even under immense pressure.

EFT and Team Work in SportsGreg’s work with the golf, baseball, and basketball teams yielded unprecedented success for the Beavers. Soon after he started coaching, the baseball team secured consecutive league victories. In 2018, they once again triumphed in the College World Series. When athletes possess the ability to regulate their emotions (a specialty of EFT) and maintain brain coherence, anxiety and stress no longer impede their innate athletic abilities.

Those who excel in activities like long-term meditation, achieving flow states, and practicing qigong or tai chi are masters of focus. They possess the remarkable skill of performing consistently at the highest level. For competitive athletes at the pinnacle of their game, it becomes evident that it is not just physical ability that matters. 

Coherent mental focus can often be even more crucial than physical strength and coordination in determining successful outcomes.


Church, D. (2009). The effect of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) on athletic performance: A randomized controlled blind trial. Open Sports Sciences, 2, 94-99.

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