I am so excited to announce that my latest mental training book, Train Your Mind for Athletic Success: Mental Preparation to Achieve Your Sports Goals (Rowman & Littlefield) is now available in hard cover and e-book. Train Your Mind is the culmination of a decades of work with athletes from top juniors to professional and Olympic athletes and explores everything I know about mental preparation in sports. The book is comprehensive, deep, and of practical use for any athlete who wants to be more mentally ready to perform their best when it matters most and for coaches who want to help their athletes to achieve their maximum mental readiness.
Much too often, the mental aspect of sport performance is overlooked. While all top athletes are in outstanding physical condition and technically exceptional, mental preparation is often what separates the best from the rest. This is just as true for young athletes as it is for pros and Olympians. And even though relatively few athletes will ever reach the top of their sport, the attitudes and life lessons learned from mental training—such as motivation, confidence, focus, perseverance, and resilience—will serve them well in all aspects of their lives.
In Train Your Mind for Athletic Success: Mental Preparation to Achieve Your Sports Goals, Dr. Jim Taylor uses his own elite athletic experience and decades of working with some of the world’s best athletes to provide competitors of every ability with insights, practical exercises, and tools they can use to be mentally prepared when it really counts. His Prime Sport System explores the attitudes that lay the foundation for athletic success, the mental obstacles that can hold athletes back, the preparations they must take, the mental muscles they should strengthen, and the mental tools they need to fine tune their competitive performances. Most importantly, Dr. Taylor shows athletes practical strategies they can use to become mentally strong so they can perform their best when it matters most.
Train Your Mind for Athletic Success goes well beyond the typical mental skills that are discussed in other mental training books. Readers will not only learn why mental preparation is so important to athletic success, but also where they personally are in each area thanks to brief mental assessments in each section of the book. In addition, each chapter includes exercises to show athletes how to incorporate mental training directly into their overall sport training regimen. The most comprehensive and in-depth book on mental preparation for athletes available, Train Your Mind for Athletic Success is an essential read for athletes, coaches, and parents.
In this intense and comprehensive guide to the mental component of physical exercise, Taylor, a psychologist who works with athletes, adopts the stance of a coach taking the reader through a workout. Peppered with exercises, the book encourages active participation, challenging fitness enthusiasts to identify and confront their mental weaknesses. Taylor offers upbeat catchphrases such as ‘every day is a good day of training’ and ‘remove the word perfection from your vocabulary.’ The goal is to achieve the performance level he calls ‘prime sport,’ which means competing ‘consistently at a high level in the most challenging conditions.’ Addressing the athlete’s attitude toward sport, negative feelings, and fear of failure, Taylor poses questions to ask and answer before an athlete even sets foot in the gym. Once in the gym, Taylor writes, ‘Train like you compete,’ be positive whenever possible, and when things don’t go well, ‘use negative thinking positively.’ Taylor has some unorthodox tips, telling readers, for instance, that smiling even when unhappy can help relax the mind and lower intensity. Even non-athletes should find value in Taylor’s sage advice about applying oneself purposefully to challenging endeavors. (Publishers Weekly)
This book, authored by the very experienced and highly competent consultant, Jim Taylor, is a substantial contribution to the advancement of applied sport psychology, mental preparation, and training. In a manner that is practical as well as conceptually and technically sound, Jim describes his Prime Sport system which considers the athlete not only as a performer but also as a person. This system, which assists the athlete to strive for consistent high level performance under challenging circumstances, is a non-trivial advance in the applied professional literature. This is a book that is not conflated with rhetoric and general discourse. Rather, it is a necessary resource for athletes, sport psychologists, mental skills coaches, and other who want to deal with sport in the real world. (Charles A. Maher, Sport and Performance Psychologist, Cleveland Indians)
I have read many sport psychology books for athletes and it is very difficult to combine proven strategies with writing that speaks clearly to athletes, using their words and matching their experience. Dr. Taylor’s book meets this challenge beautifully. Athletes who use the information and tools in Train Your Mind For Athletic Success can expect to be as mentally prepared as they can be to perform their best when it matters most. (Gloria Balague, Sport Psychologist, Chicago Bears, USA Track & Field)