The Brave Athlete solves the 13 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races.
You don’t have one brainyou have three; your ancient Chimp brain that keeps you alive, your modern Professor brain that navigates the civilized world, and your Computer brain that accesses your memories and runs your habits (good and bad). They fight for control all the time and that’s when bad things happen; you get crazy nervous before a race, you choke under pressure, you quit when the going gets tough, you make dumb mistakes, you worry about how you look.
What if you could stop the thoughts and feelings you don’t want? What if you could feel confident, suffer like a hero, and handle any stress? You can.
The Brave Athlete from Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson will help you take control of your brain so you can train harder, race faster, and better enjoy your sport. Dr. Marshall is a sport psychology expert who trains the brains of elite professional athletes. Paterson is a three-time world champion triathlete and coach. Together, they offer this innovative, brain training guide that is the first to draw from both clinical science and real-world experience with athletes.
That means you won’t find outdated “positive self-talk” or visualization gimmicks here. No, the set of cutting-edge mental skills revealed in The Brave Athlete actually work because they challenge the source of the thoughts and feelings you don’t want. The Brave Athlete is packed with practical, evidence-based solutions to the most common mental challenges athletes face. Which of these sound like you?
· Why do I have thoughts and feelings I don’t want?
· I wish I felt more like an athlete.
· I don’t think I can.
· I don’t achieve my goals.
· Other athletes seem tougher, happier, and more badass than me.
· I feel fat.
· I don’t cope well with injury.
· People are worried about how much I exercise.
· I don’t like leaving my comfort zone.
· When the going gets tough, the tough leave me behind.
· I need to harden the f*ck up.
· I keep screwing up.
· I don’t handle pressure well.
With The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion, you can solve these problems to become mentally strong and make your brain your most powerful asset.
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About the Author
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, an elite WorldTour professional cycling team. 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.
Lesley Paterson is a professional mountain biker, 3-time world champion in off-road triathlon, an Ironman® triathlon champion, endurance coach, 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. Banned from the team when puberty struck, she took up cross-country running and triathlon and was soon winning national titles and competing internationally. Lesley founded Braveheart Coaching to train and inspire endurance athletes to compete with passion, toughness, and an unwavering “Braveheart” spirit in overcoming obstacles. Paterson is a trained actress, a screenwriter, and personal trainer to Hollywood actors.
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