The Brave Athlete is a practical, step-by-step guide that solves the 25 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races. In this mental makeover from professional athlete Lesley Paterson and sports psychologist Dr. Simon Marshall, you’ll find new speed and joy in your sport by overcoming patterns of thinking, feeling, or acting that sabotage your potential and enjoyment.
Whether you’re facing your first 5K or lining up at the World Championships, endurance sports demand courage, determination, and the ability to save yourself from mental pitfalls. Applying new science and hard-earned wisdom, The Brave Athlete gets down and dirty to conquer real problems faced by athletes of all levels.
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About the Author
Lesley Paterson is a professional mountain biker, 3-time world champion in off-road triathlon, and foul-mouthed Scots lassie. Growing up in Scotland, Lesley was the only girl on an all-boys rugby team, which is where she nurtured her love of dirt and dirty words. Soon banned from the team, she took up cross-country running and triathlon and was soon winning national titles and competing internationally. Lesley founded Braveheart Coaching, a San Diego-based company that trains athletes to be faster and happier. She is also a screenwriter and personal trainer to Hollywood actors.
Dr. Simon Marshall trains the brains of endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts to become happier and more mentally tough. He is former Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego and Professor of Exercise Science at San Diego State University where he was Director of the Graduate Program in Sport & Exercise Psychology. He has published over 100 scientific articles on the psychology of exercise and has been cited in the scientific literature over 10,000 times. He has served as invited expert on exercise science for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society. He is currently the Performance Psychologist for the BMC Racing team, a WorldTour professional cycling team based in Santa Rosa, CA. As the sherpa-husband of professional triathlete Lesley Paterson, he is the founding member of Team S.H.I.T. (Supportive Husbands in Training), and competes in triathlon or cycling events as the husband of Lesley Paterson.
Table of Contents
1 Hello, Brain! A peek inside your 3-pound lump of crazy
HEART: Hone your passion, motivation, and identity
2 I Wish I Felt More Like an Athlete: Tackling the flawed thinking around your athletic identity
3 I Don’t Think I Can: Building confidence and self-belief
4 Setting Goals Is Not Your Problem: The secret of doing
WINGS: Deal with obstacles, setbacks, and conflict
5 Other Athletes Seem Tougher, Happier, and More Badass Than Me: The power and peril of comparison
6 I Feel Fat: Dealing with body image in a world of athletes
7 I Don’t Cope Well with Injury: How to respond to setbacks, big and small
8 People Are Worried About Me: Exercise dependence and the incessant need to do more
FIGHT: Get stuck in with new battle skills
9 I Don’t Like Leaving My Comfort Zone: How to cross the fear barrier
10 When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Leave Me Behind: Resisting the urge to quit
11 I Need to Harden the F*ck Up: Learning to embrace the suck
12 I Keep Screwing Up: Developing Jedi concentration skills to become a better athlete
13 I Don’t Handle Pressure Well: How to cope with stress, anxiety, and expectations on race day
About the Authors