Illinois Pioneers

Human Kinetics founder Rainer Martens

7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 25, on WILL-TV
Rainer Martens

Rainer Martens

Rainer Martens is an internationally recognized sports psychologist, known for creating the most widely used coaching education program in the U.S. and for writing Successful Coaching, America's best-selling coaching textbook. Host David Inge talked to him about the mental side of sports and the coaching style that he advocates.

Martens' parents were German, and his father was killed in World War II. He moved to Kansas after his mother was remarried to an American soldier. "I was a little German boy in 1947 Kansas and that wasn't a very popular thing to be," he said. "But I found as I was going through grade school that participation in sports, if I could play as well as the next kid, was the great equalizer. So sport became a really important part of my life."

He talks about working as a sports psychologist with the U.S.Olympic ski team during the period of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and helping athletes overcome their fear of failure. He also talks about founding Human Kinetics, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is now owned by its employees.

Watch the full episode: