The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive by Jim AfremowThe Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive by Jim Afremow

The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

byJim Afremow

Hardcover | January 14, 2014

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Even amongst the most elite performers, certain athletes stand out as a cut above the rest, able to outperform in clutch, game-deciding moments. These athletes prove that raw athletic ability doesn't necessarily translate to a superior on-field experience-it's the mental game that matters most.

Sports participation-from the recreational to the collegiate Division I level-is at an all-time high. While the caliber of their game may differ, athletes at every level have one thing in common: they want to excel. In The Champion's Mind, sports psychologist Jim Afremow, PhD, LPC, now offers the same advice he uses with Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes, including:
. Tips and techniques based on high-performance psychology research, such as how to get in a "zone," thrive on a team, and stay humble
. How to progress within a sport and sustain excellence long-term
. Customizable pre-performance routines to hit full power when the gun goes off or the puck is dropped

The Champion's Mind distills actionable advice into clear and concise steps for athletes looking to find confidence, concentration, and mental preparedness-the mental edge that sets champions apart.

JIM AFREMOW, PHD, LPC, is a sports psychologist and licensed counselor for Arizona State University. He has worked closely with athletes at all levels, including pros from the MLB, NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, and LPGA Tour as well as business professionals, performing artists, and others in demanding careers. He lives in Phoenix, AZ...
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Title:The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and ThriveFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.73 × 5.76 × 1 inPublished:January 14, 2014Publisher:Rodale BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1623361486

ISBN - 13:9781623361488

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Smart and stimulating Factual story telling that keeps you awake until 5am because you can't put the book down. Don't let the title fool you, this book is not just a read for people who are athletic or who enjoy sports. It is an interesting and insightful read for all that I highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful This is a great book for any sports fan, but really hit me hard was the section on early specialization in youth sports. I know so many parents, myself included, who have pushed their kids into sports early in life and the knowledge shared here really altered my ideas about it. Worth the read.
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating Look into Sports and Genes! Fascinating look into the nature versus nurture argument in the production of elite athletes. Yes, passion for a sport, conducive local environment plus the 10,000 hours of practice rule help in athletic excellence but genetics and body-types are key to becoming an elite athlete. Enjoyable quick read. This book could easily have been expanded to include more insights into soccer and F1 racers fitness and genetic uniqueness.
Date published: 2015-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A look at nature and nurture applied to sports Contrary to the title, there isn't one gene that makes you great at all sports, but there are genes that can make you better at specific sports. So really, this is a book that goes over the genetics of successful people in every sport, from sprinting to dog sledding. With that said, it isn't a book that says only genes matter, it also looks in how the way Kenyans grow up and the opportunity of distance running plays into their success at that sport. Overall it seems to be a balanced picture at what makes successful athletes. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Date published: 2015-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating! An excellent response to the 10,000 hr rule from the outliers. An interesting read for anyone interested in what it takes to be at the top of their sport. Great research , well written.
Date published: 2014-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating, even for casual athletes If you're even a casual athlete or weekend warrior, you'll be fascinated by this study of how different athletes of varying backgrounds and echelons of performance respond to different types of training. There's a lot more to Kenyan running success than altitude, for example, but altitude training does help, and it helps some Kenyan runners far more than others. The book surfaces big questions like, what's professional sport supposed to do with people whose natural physiology trips blood-doping tests? Human beings are really, really complex organisms, and sport pushes our limits in really interesting ways. I still think about this book when I'm out for a run.
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Sports Gene Insightful. I'll never look at training the same way again.
Date published: 2014-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Sports Gene. Will Written and well Researched. Learned a lot of insight into not only Athletes but groups of people. Highly Recommend this Book!
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read! I am only a short way into this book and I am already loving it. It's organized so you can read small portions at a time. I've read a lot about improving physical fitness and this book is great for improving your mental fitness.
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for coaches Incredibly well researched book, and thoroughly enjoyable to read. It had me rethinking much of what I had previously thought concerning what it takes to be a good athlete
Date published: 2014-07-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really fascinating read I really enjoyed this book. Doing it all fascinating... Love the genetics aspect, but also the research that it backs it up.
Date published: 2014-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Analyst This book opened my mind to the complicated interplay genetics have in sports. It challenges stereotyping and generalizing, and ultimately the bias we bring into our understanding of people and their abilities. The book is nuanced, which is a fair way to assess the topic.
Date published: 2014-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sports Gene Great book. Highly interesting and thought provoking. A must read for anyone interested in the Science of Sport
Date published: 2013-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Brief Summary and Review *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, August 20, 2013. What does it take to become an elite athlete? The intuitive answer for most of us is that it probably takes some lucky genes on the one hand, and a whole heck of a lot of hard work on the other. Specifically, that we may need to be blessed with a particular body type to excel at a particular sport or discipline (after all, elite marathon runners tend to look far different from elite NFL running backs, who in turn tend to look far different from elite swimmers), but that beyond this it is practice and diligence that paves the way to success. When we look at the science, though--as sports writer David Epstein does in his new book The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance--we find that the story is much more complicated than this. In general terms we find that nature and nurture interact at every step of the way in the development of an elite athlete, and that biology plays far more of a role (and in far more ways) than we may have expected. To begin with, when it comes to physiology, we find that biology does indeed have a large role to play in influencing our height and skeletal structure (as we would expect), but that biology also influences physiology in many other ways that are important when it comes to elite sports. For example, we find that people naturally vary widely in all of the following ways: the size of our heart and lungs, and the amount of red blood cells and hemoglobin that pumps through our veins; the specific type of muscle fibers that are most prevalent in our bodies (and the specific number of each); as well as our visual acuity--and again, all of these factors play a significant role in determining just how athletic we will be (and in what sports we will excel). Second, when it comes to training, we find that hard work is not all there is to it. For biology not only shapes our physiology, but also how our physiology responds to training (including how much muscle mass and aerobic capacity we are able to build through exercise). The fact is that we naturally vary widely in just how much we respond to exercise (to the point where some of us improve dramatically through exercise, whereas others of us respond hardly at all). And we also respond differently to different training regimens (to the point where a training regime that works for one person may in fact harm another). And while we may wish to take credit for just how hard we train, here too biology is found to play a role. For it turns out that we differ widely in just how naturally disposed we are to push ourselves. And over and above this, biology also influences how much we experience pain, such that even among those who experience the same desire to push themselves (both in training and in competition), one may find it much easier to handle the pain involved than the other--which, of course, can have a big impact on results. And speaking of pain, our biology even influences how easily we injure and how well we recover from our injuries--which, once again, has a significant impact on performance. As an added bonus, Epstein not only covers which biological factors have an impact on sports performance, but the evolutionary story of these biological factors (including why different populations that have adapted to different environments have come to acquire traits that make them well-disposed to different sports and disciplines [for example, why many elite marathoners have origins in East Africa, many elite sprinters have origins in West Africa, and many elite swimmers and weight-lifters have origins in Europe]). In short, then, biology plays much more of a role in elite athletic performance that we may have realized. Not that the point of the book is to say that athletic performance is all in our genes. Just the contrary, as mentioned above the book makes the point that genes always interact with the environment to produce athletic outcomes. Genes are essential in shaping the athlete, but just as essential is the athlete's upbringing and culture, and that they do in fact get the training that is needed to make the most of their natural talents. This book is a triumph. I can't imagine it would be possible to cover the topic better than the author has. The science involved is thoroughly researched; the anecdotes are perfectly chosen and add both context and interest (many of them are downright inspirational); and it is all presented in a very clear and thoroughly enjoyable way. Well done Mr. Epstein. A full executive summary of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, August 20; a podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.
Date published: 2013-08-13

Editorial Reviews

"The Champion's Mind is loaded with great lessons, advice, and perspectives on how to be successful. The skills and strategies that Jim provides here are essential in carving a path to success, no matter what field you are in or what your goals are. I can honestly say that I have lived by many of the strategies offered in this book and I can also say I wish I had lived by more of them. But it's never too late to be as good as you can be!" -Dan Jansen, Olympic gold medalist, speed skating"I learned early on in my professional baseball career that players at the elite level are generally pretty similar from the perspective of physical aptitude. Yet, what tends to differentiate the all-stars from the rest of the pack resides between the ears. Jim Afremow does a great job of exploring this subject in The Champion's Mind. This is a great book for coaches and athletes of all ages who are looking to improve performance at any level, in any sport." -Shawn Green, two-time MLB All-Star"The Champion's Mind reveals the mental skills and strategies Olympic champions use to perform their best when it matters most. Dr. Afremow's matchless book is a must for athletes and coaches." -Shannon Miller, Olympic gold medalist, gymnastics"The Champion's Mind is a mental training book that will help you reach your potential in sports. I highly recommend this book to all athletes and coaches." -Jackie Slater, NFL Hall of Famer"Dr. Afremow nails all the basics and gives readers an excellent window into how a champion's mind works before and during 'the process'." -Randy Cross, three-time Super Bowl Champion"I read this book with my eyes wide open and the content continued to keep them open at all times. Jim's advice and tips are very simple and easy to understand. Read only one chapter at a time and apply it to your approach to Tennis, Sports, and Life." -Nick Bollettieri, Founder/President of Nick Bollettieri IMG Tennis Academy"The Champion's Mind shows you how to take your game to the next level." -Tony Womack, MLB All-Star and World Series Champion"Dr. Afremow's training and tips have been an important part of the preparation and success of our athletes when they take the Wonderlic test at the NFL Combine. In The Champion's Mind, Dr. Afremow provides simple, yet powerfully effective strategies to help athletes and coaches reach their full potential." -Mark Verstegen, author of Core Performance"How sweet it is to breathe that rarified air of a high performance athlete! How refreshing it is, as well, to recognize so many of the techniques in Dr. Afremow's book that get you to that privileged place. The Champion's Mind is simple, straightforward elixir for the high achiever in all of us." -Morten Andersen, NFL's all-time leading scorer"The mind is a powerful thing. As a baseball player the more confidence I have and the more mentally prepared I am, the better I perform when it matters the most. Dr. Afremow'sbookThe Champion's Mind will help guide you to reach your potential both on and off the field!" -Travis Buck, MLB outfielder, Houston Astros"Athletes who want to learn the secrets of the mental game should read The Champion's Mind." -Carli Lloyd, Olympic gold medalist, soccer"One can always learn from others. The Champion's Mind holds a wealth of insight as to how you can become a winner in your everyday life." -Phil Mahre, Olympic gold medalist, Alpine skiing"It's amazing to see how Dr. Afremow points out what athletes go through every day. He describes a lot of situations that I have experienced as well. In this book, you can find a lot of simple but very useful tips and principles that might help you to improve your performance." -Britta Heidemann, Olympic gold medalist, epee fencing"The Champion's Mind is very informative and full of great principles and guidelines for any athlete that is searching for excellence in their performance." -Mike Candrea, three-time Olympic gold medal coach of USA softball, eight-time national champion coach of the University of Arizona women's softball team"Athletes can unlock a new level of performance by learning the power of training their mind as they train their body. From preparation to rehabilitation to competition, The Champion's Mind gives the mental guidance necessary to allow an athlete to reach their full athletic potential. Dr. Afremow's playbook for increasing mental strength gives clear direction to make the reader a better athlete, a better teammate, and a better person." -Curt Tomasevicz, Olympic gold medalist, four-man bobsleigh"We all have an athlete in us; we were all born to run, jump, swim and compete in some way or another. The gold medal at an Olympic Games has been declared as the highest honor to reward discipline, commitment, power, strength, finesse, passion, precision, patience, speed and skill, just to name a few. You too can go for gold in all areas of your life by following Jim's strategies. Decide what you want and go after it with all you have to give, every single day. Daily acts of excellence are the secret. Choose your success today." -Natalie Cook, Olympic gold medalist, beach volleyball"Do you want to learn how the best in the world got there? In The Champion's Mind, Jim distills a myriad of golden Olympic stories into clear tools we all can use. I am positive that you will read insights in this book that will help you rise to the top of your discipline. If you read this book you will be inspired. Thank you Jim for writing this book!" -Adam Kreek, Olympic gold medalist, men's eights rowing"When I read The Champion's Mind it quite frankly reminded me of many instances, mannerisms, and thoughts leading to my Olympic Championship, and it has given me many other wisdoms to pass on to the athletes I now coach. Choose your path, follow your path, any path worth choosing will have its ups and downs, but The Champion's Mind will help you with ideas to keep moving forward on that path. The focus you gain will help you reach the top of whatever you seek." -Nick Hysong, Olympic gold medalist, pole vault"Dr. Afremow hits a grand slam with The Champion's Mind. Every athlete should keep a copy of this book in their locker or gym bag." -Leah Amico, three-time Olympic gold medalist, softball