Bring Your

Bring Your "A" Game: A Young Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness

by Jennifer L. Etnier


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Bring Your "A" Game: A Young Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness by Jennifer L. Etnier

Mental training is just as important as physical training when it comes to success in sport. And like physical fitness, mental toughness is something that can be taught and learned. Yet many young athletes have not learned the psychological skills needed to develop their best game. This book was written specifically for young athletes interested in improving their performance and reaching their potential in sport.

Bring Your "A" Gameintroduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition.

Whether used at home by student athletes or assigned by coaches as part of team development, Bring Your "A" Game will help young performers develop a plan for success and learn to deal with the challenges of pursuing excellence in sport.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807859902
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 12/15/2009
Edition description: 1
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 149,648
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Jennifer L. Etnier is associate professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A soccer player and former coach, she leads sport psychology seminars for the United States Soccer Federation and is a consultant to professional athletes.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 What Does It Take to Perform at a High Level in Sport? 5

3 Physical Characteristics 9

4 Technical Skills and Tactical Abilities 23

5 Selecting a Coach and Team 36

6 Mental Toughness 46

7 Goal Setting 51

8 Outcome Goals versus Process Goals 70

9 Attributions 83

10 Self-Talk 94

11 Controlling the Controllables 102

12 Energy Management 109

13 Pre-Performance Routines 125

14 Imagery 135

15 Burnout 145

16 Confidence Building and Maintenance 157

17 Sacrifices, Balance, and Dealing with Disappointments and Adversity 165

18 Dealing with Parents 177

19 Conclusion 187

Acknowledgments 190

Note to Coaches 191

Note to Parents 193

Index 195

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

I have found that the first step in building a championship team is to get each individual player to think like a champion. Jennifer Etnier's Bring Your 'A' Game is essential reading for any young athlete who dreams of playing at the highest level.—Anson Dorrance, women's soccer coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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