Book Reviews

“The Champion’s Mind; How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive”

by Jim Afremow, PhD

The-Champion-s-MindThis book is so good I have been reading it to my team, section by section. Dr. Jim Afremow’s writing is straightforward, simple, yet profound. The Champion’s Mind has multiple usable nuggets on almost every page that you can add to your mental skills toolbox. Afremow’s explains how the techniques he uses have helped Olympic medalists, Super Bowl winners, Heisman trophy winners, and countless professional athletes.  My swimmers have been bringing up Afremow’s advice in conversation later, a sign that his words are sticking with them.  I highly recommend this book for coaches AND swimmers. Don’t take my word for it — here’s another review.

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ENDURE; Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

by Alex Hutchinson

endureI initially picked up this book because of my other athletic interest, running.  Hutchinson is a former runner and frequent writer on the topic, so I was looking forward to reading how I could improve.  What I found was a very thorough examination of why we run, swim, and bike as fast as we do, and why we stop or slow down.  I have a degree in exercise physiology, but Endure helpfully explained the developments in our understanding of human physiology and how scientific thought changed over the last few decades.  Hutchinson uses vivid examples from his own career to artfully disentangle the limiting factors of both the mind and body.  Endure isn’t just about “distance” events though — Hutchinson uses the term endurance as “the struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop,” which applies even events that only last 10 seconds. This book will inspired, educate, and make you question what you have previously thought of as “limits.”  Read another review of the book here.