The Brave Athlete- by Simon Marshall & Lesley Patterson, the RunBlogRun review


thebraveathlete1.JPGThis is a review of The Brave Athlete, written by Jeff Benjamin. Jeff has written for American Athletics, American Track & Field and RunBlogRun. Jeff is a high school history teacher, life long runner and observer of the sport!

The Brave Athlete- by Simon Marshall & Lesley Patterson
Book Review by Jeff Benjamin
"The eight inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world. - Sebastian Coe (as he said this Coe held his finges up to his head)"
Fall is here. Leaves change colors. Weather gets cooler. School starts to pick up. And many runners get ready for the start of Cross-Country season. Yet, while many physically have trained and are ready to toe the line, the greatest challenge for any athlete is the mental facet of performance, which is the greatest challenge of all.
While there have been many books put out about the mental challenges and approaches faced by athletes, a new book, "The Brave Athlete" by Simon Marshall and Lesley Patterson attempts to boldly and bluntly shape an athletes' mental challenges and fortitudes through the major event yet to come, whether it is the cross-country starting line or any other event which the athlete has set goals for.
However, be warned- this is NOT your standard "Psychology of Sport" book. Written concisely and forcefully (along with vocabulary of the vulgar sort for resonating purposes!). Both authors write not only about preparation for race day, but also the training mentally over a period of time to be ready for it.
This new approach consists of the idea that there are, according to the authors, 3 brain categories constantly battling for control of the person- the ancient Chimp brain, the modern Professor brain, and the Computer brain. It is the mastery and balance of the 3 parts which can lead to psychological success for the athlete.
Along the way, and using their past research, the authors give the reader writing exercises, charts and psychological preparation points whereby the athlete can adjust to any potential forks in the road. The chapter on how to deal with injury is an enlightening and must-read part for any athlete, whether elite or recreational, to
learn new ways to conquer those "goblins".
As the authors state, this book is more of a start-up kit for the athlete than a be-all, know-it-all kind of work. And while the background of the authors center around the triathlon, it's safe to say that this book transcends into every sport where mental preparation and adjustment is key for success.

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