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Mind Gym

An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence

By Gary Mack & David Casstevens
10-minute read
Audio available
Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack & David Casstevens

Mind Gym (2001) sheds light on the important role our minds play in physical performance and athletic excellence. These blinks draw on the Mack’s work with professional athletes to provide you with the tools you need to acquire a top-performing state of mind.

  • Competitive athletes
  • Individuals seeking greater focus and motivation as they work toward goals
  • People learning a new sport or skill

Gary Mack is a sports psychology consultant who has worked with many professional athletes. David Casstevens is a writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and a bestselling author. Mind Gym is their first bestselling book together.

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Mind Gym

An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence

By Gary Mack & David Casstevens
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack & David Casstevens
Synopsis

Mind Gym (2001) sheds light on the important role our minds play in physical performance and athletic excellence. These blinks draw on the Mack’s work with professional athletes to provide you with the tools you need to acquire a top-performing state of mind.

Key idea 1 of 6

Top physical performance is impossible without a well-trained mind.

We all know that good old Nike slogan: Just do it. You might also know that, for all it’s simplicity, this piece of advice is often hard to follow. Why? Negative thinking stops us from taking action.

It’s funny how our thoughts seem to impact us precisely the way we don’t want them to. If, while playing golf, you tell yourself not to hit the water, you’re likely to hit it anyway. Why? Your thoughts were so focused on the water that your body began aiming for it, too. Avoid outcomes like this by keeping it simple and focusing on what you want, not all the things you’re afraid might happen.

Of course, the power of thought alone can’t carry us toward success. It’s the combination of physical and mental training that allows us to perform to our full potential. One study of three groups of basketball players demonstrated just this.

The first group took free throws for one hour, the second sat and visualized their free throws for an hour, and the third did both for 30 minutes each. When it came to the free throws afterwards, the third group outperformed the others by far.

While most of us know more or less how to train our bodies, few really know what to do when it comes to training our brains. Like our bodies, our minds have their own strengths and weaknesses. Pinpointing these will give us both confidence in our abilities and a clear idea of where we need improvement.

Get started on your brain training journey with some inspiration from the Japanese concept of kaizen. This refers to constant daily learning simply for the sake of improving yourself one step at a time without stressing too much about the final outcome. If you think like this, you’ll have an open mind ready to take in anything that can make you a stronger, better person.

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