Updated: Feb 2, 2019
This book is brilliant. It addresses all of the mental aspects to be successful in sports, and in doing so, really defines the mental facets to be successful at anything in life. From the martial arts through to sports, the physical side always pales to the mental aspect. It’s like Yogi Berra said about baseball: “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.”
This book breaks down absolutely every aspect of a winning mindset. For example, one chapter addresses goal setting. Myself, I’ve always considered myself to be very conscientious about setting goals. Well, Afremow has a seven-point checklist, of which I was executing three, I was aware of two others, and there were yet two other points I didn’t even know about. In this book, there are sections about meditation and visualization. The author quotes the research that proves the effectiveness of these practices. Separately, Afremow speaks to the fact that the Samurai recognized that a clear mind was a powerful mind and dedicates a full chapter to Zen parables. For each of which, the author breaks down and explains how they relate to modern sports. In yet another chapter, the author relays stories from Olympic champions, their hardships and how they overcame their challenges to achieve greatness. For athletes, martial artists, Olympic hopefuls or even weekend warriors, I really cannot recommend this book enough. This book is not only educational, it is inspirational.
The Five Keys to Mastery – by George Leonard
I attempted to listen to the audio version of this book, and I was painfully unsuccessful. In attempting to provide inspirational quotes from famous people, it instead resulted in simply being disjoint and incohesive. The audio book may have improved after the first 30 min, but that’s the limit I set.
The Prophet - by Kahlil Gibran
This audiobook taught me that there is only a limited genre of books I can listen to while running. Spiritual, philosophical books are not in that category. While running, this audiobook simply required too much of my limited brain power to process. Books like the Champion’s Mind that I mentioned earlier, give me food for thought while running and more importantly, they are motivating. If I return to The Prophet, it will have to be a hard copy I read.