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The Genius of Athletes

What World-Class Competitors Know That Can Change Your Life

By Noel Brick, Scott Douglas

Whatever your biggest goals are in life, learning to think like an athlete is a game changer.

If you ask research psychologist Noel Brick and bestselling fitness author and journalist Scott Douglas, the “dumb jock” stereotype is way out of bounds. Modern advances in sports psychology confirm what fans have known all along: No world-class athlete—whether an Olympic runner, swimmer, or cyclist, or a pro basketball, baseball, or football player—gets to the top without a strong mental game. Champion competitors have unique ways of taking stock of a situation, self-motivating, and even thinking about time. Cutting-edge discoveries (including those by Dr. Brick) reveal exactly how they do it—and how we can, too.
You don’t need to be facing a literal hurdle to use elite athletes’ tool kits of strategies: They can help you stick the landing at a job interview or get your thesis to the finish line. Brick and Douglas pair groundbreaking science with a highlight reel of instructive moments from across the sports realm to show how legendary marathoner Meb Keflezighi runs on self-talk and how making if-then plans at practice buoyed Michael Phelps to a gold medal at the Olympics. Wherever you are in your own ambitions—from the “middle muddle” to the final stretch—The Genius of Athletes will put you right in the zone.

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Scott Douglas

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Review quotes
“The biggest limits are the ones in your head—which is why this remarkable and authoritative roadmap to the amazingly versatile tools of modern sports psychology is so powerful and widely applicable. Clearly explained and rigorously researched, this book will help you take practical steps to unlock your full potential.”—Alex Hutchinson, New York Times–bestselling author of Endure
“Required reading for ambitious dreamers, this is the training toolkit I didn’t know I needed. The Genius of Athletes is the mental equivalent of lacing up your sneakers next to a trusted teammate—it’s guaranteed inspiration to get you up and moving in the right direction.”—Beck Dorey-Stein, author of the New York Times bestseller From the Corner of the Oval
“The benefit of sports for people with busy lives and demanding careers is not simply about keeping in shape or the pounds off. Brick and Douglas show that the genius of athletes isn’t just in their physical successes, but what they can teach us about managing a life, not overthinking things, and how to keep trekking even when quitting seems the obvious course.”—Juliette Kayyem, senior lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School and former Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
“Essential cross-training for your mind, revealing the secrets of athletic success, applicable to chasing personal bests, a promotion, or anything else worth your striving.”—Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Let Your Mind Run
“Offers concrete insights that can be applied to everyday life, whether you consider yourself an athlete or not.”—Brad Stulberg, bestselling author of Peak Performance
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Publication date
June 08, 2021
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