brilliant books to be a better athlete

There is No Wall by Allie Bailey

There is No Wall is an incredibly easy to read book with incredibly tough content. Bailey writes about her life; growing up, working in the music industry and weaves her extensive ultra running races and challenges alongside it. It covers her alcohol addiction,...

Book review: Hidden Potential, Adam Grant

This book does not offer new research or concepts. Instead (I guess like most smarter thinking books) it takes studies and ideas that many of us in psychology think about in isolation and weaves them together to make a great case of how to uncover hidden potential. It...

Book Club discussion guide for The 10 Pillars of Success

Chapter 1 - A Sense of Belonging. You have an innate need to belong. When you don’t belong, your physical and mental health diminishes and your opportunities for success reduce. When you feel like you belong, you are far more likely to succeed. Question: Which groups...

Book review: The Applied Sport & Exercise Practitioner

Edited by Andy Borrie, Charlotte Chandler, Andy Hooton, Andy Miles and Paula Watson One of my biggest bugbears in Sport and Exercise psychology is the disconnect between researchers, those teaching sport psychology and practitioners. I don't know how we work better...

Book Review: The Race of Truth, Leigh Timmis

“The perfect athlete is a robot, programmed to perform at its limit. But behind every athlete is a human.” There are lots of good books to learn about sport psychology. What can sometimes feel like it is missing though is the context. You read about a technique you...

Book review: Navigating Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology

When I heard about this book I was a little sceptical – who wants to learn from emerging practitioners when there are so many established ones to learn from? But my cynicism was misplaced because there are some really great things to learn from this book and the...

Gnar Country by Steven Kotler

I’ll be totally upfront: I am probably not the best person to review this book. Actually I may be the worst. While I love learning about peak performance and flow state (which is the running thread through the middle of the book) the majority of the book involves...

Book review: Perform and Thrive by Sarah Broadhead

When I began looking into Sport Psychology in 2013 there were not many books on it to investigate. Over the last nine years probably hundreds have been published. Is there room for one more? What can yet another one add? In the case of Perform and Thrive from Sarah...

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Cycling Psychology by Dr Jim Taylor and Mark Beaumont.

I adore the psychology of cycling. I ride everywhere I can, offer a discounted rate to female pro cyclists (my tiny contribution to a massive gender imbalance in pay in the sport), write cycling psychology features for Cycling Weekly and I truly enjoy helping cyclists...

Book review: Expert by Roger Kneebone

You can spot a qualified sport psychologist by the look of despair which sweeps across their face when an athlete mentions the 10,000 hour rule as a reason for overtraining. “It is not a rule” we will shout. It is 4,000-16,000 hours (10,000 plus or minus 6,000) and it...
Book Review: Listen by Kathryn Mannix

Book Review: Listen by Kathryn Mannix

When I began my training as a psychologist my supervisor suggested that all sports psychs should attend a counselling course. It was enlightening. On our MSc we had been taught a couple of interventions but on this course we were taught not to intervene, not to...

Female athlete autobiographies

Female athlete autobiographies

A great sport psychologist I chat to says 'Success leaves clues'. And it does. We can often learn what works, and what doesn't work from others. We can be inspired by their journeys, comforted by how they survived their setbacks and learn lots about sport and...

Review: Master the Marathon, Ali Nolan

Review: Master the Marathon, Ali Nolan

‘Master the Marathon’ arrived to review just after I’d figured out with my physio that my hip really wasn’t designed for marathon running and that I should instead focus on getting faster at 5k and 10ks. I saw the book and sulked. I love the magic and power of a...

Book review: You’re so strong

              I have a bit of an issue with books – a good one, but an expensive one; I love them. Something so special about holding one and knowing it is going to teach you something, make you feel differently about a subject or just completely sweep you away into a...

Book Review: Bespoke (Tom Bromley)

I was recently working on a piece for Cycling Weekly on Imposter Syndrome and realised one of the reasons cycling can seem such a mysterious world (even to really competent riders) is the history and the language. We may know that simply grabbing our bike and going...

Book review: Start at the End

Dan Bigham is a cyclist and engineer who wanted to use his engineering knowledge to have a crack at the national team pursuit championships. I won’t give too much of a spoiler but the process went well and gives a story we all love to read; the wannabe’s underdogs...

Book Review: Running Stories

I was intrigued about this book as one of the authors (Jerry Lockspeiser) is at the same running club as I am. It was co-authored by Andrew Roberts. I love hearing the stories of runners; what they love about running, what they hate, what helps them to thrive and what...

Book Review: Start with Why, Simon Sinek

The performers I work with often ask which books they should be reading in order to be able to maintain their high performance. There are always two I recommend because their subject matter is so fundamental to being able to perform under pressure; Professor Steve...

Book review: Need for the bike, Paul Fournel

I recently broke my elbow. It at the end of a triathlon I was savagely thrown off my bike by a bump or a dent in the road and so now, in the glorious heat of the summer, having suffered all winter, I cannot get my reward and go out riding (or running, or swimming, or...

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