A Champion’s Mind

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them- a desire, a dream, a vision.” -Muhammad Ali

This quote is on a poster that hangs in my training studio. It also appears in the book, A Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow, PhD. Afremow is a sports psychologist and licensed counselor, who has worked with both professional athletes and top business professionals to help optimize their mental performance. This book is packed full of useful information and tips to help all people become peak performers. It is not only for elite athletes. Recreational athletes and business professionals will benefit from the book as well. Let’s look at several key things that can help us become masters on the field, court, and in the boardroom.

It all begins with the key champion question. What will your life look like when you have become your own champion? Visualize the answer to that question with the most detail you can muster. What would it take to be the best version of yourself consistently? Afremow refers to this as your gold level self. Here are three ways to become your gold level self.

  1. Act like a champion to become one.
  2. Bring it everyday.
  3. Think gold, and never settle for silver.

The author goes on to talk about the following ways to help build mental strength and toughness.

  • Set Goals
  • Use mental imagery
  • Foster positive self talk
  • Be confident
  • Find breath control
  • Build mental toughness
  • Control anxiety
  • Humor is the best sports medicine
  • Improve your body language
  • Psych yourself up
  • Personal affirmation

You should always strive to win and perform your best. If you play not to lose, then this actually facilitates a no-win situation. If you put in your best effort, you either reach peak performance or you learn what needs to be done to get there.

These topics are touched upon in the first several chapters of the book. It’s is literally saturated with valuable information for becoming mentally strong. There are chapters on the wisdom of a champion, dealing with injuries and setbacks, getting into the zone, and interviews with gold medal athletes. The final chapters are dedicated to helping you create your own game plan to be mentally tough.

Sorry for the short post, but I am up in Corvallis for a Triathlon. I am still working on a post about nutrition trends, but I need more time to finish that one up. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!


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