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Psychology of Champions


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"If you want to know how to get the job done, read this book. Every champion has a story to tell that you can benefit from." -- Joe Frazier, Former World Boxing Champion "I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit personally and professionally from this book. Psychology of Champions is at once insightful, entertaining and, above all, USEFUL! The lessons in this book, gleaned from interviews with over 60 superstar athletes, can be immediately applied in anyone's life. James Barrell and David Ryback have done us a great service; they've taken greatness and made it accessible to you and me. I can think of no more valuable gift." -- Bill Treasurer, Author of Right Risk Former member of U.S. High Diving Team "Wow! Incredible! This book puts it all together when it comes to winning at sports or, for that matter, any competition in life. Read it and be the best you can be. Barrell and Ryback have really discovered what it takes to be a champion." -- Doug Smart, Author of TimeSmart "This exciting book will have great value for sports fans, and for anyone interested in becoming a winner in his or her chosen profession, and in life itself. Because I have followed college and professional sports closely for several decades, I have wondered--many times--how and why superstars separate themselves from the pack. This book provides vital, easy-to-emulate answers. Fortunately, the book draws its findings from primary sources--superlative athletes in a cross-section of sports. Also, the authors avoid clinical psychological jargon. The writing style is clear, yet compelling. My prediction: Those who read this book and apply its findings will benefit from Psychology of Champions, whatever their activity might be." -- Bill Lampton, Ph.D., Author of The Complete Communicator "Psychology of Champions is a must read for coaches and athletes alike at all levels--high school, college, pro. James Barrell and David Ryback have taken the Focus Edge mindset that great athletes use to achieve their success and broken it down into its basics. This book will be a tremendous asset to coaches as they bring out the potential in their average athletes. It is superb reading for the sports-minded layman, exploring what makes the super-athlete tick. For everyone, it offers a blueprint for maximizing success in life." -- T. J. McFerrin, Football Coach of the Year, State of Ga. State Championship with 300 wins over 34 years "I love it! Plunges to the inner depths of how to succeed by talking to champions about what they know best--how to win. Here's the formula--unlocking the doors to success on the playing fieldand in life." -- Kip Grosenick, TV Producer "A great road map for reaching the finish line as a winner." -- Eric deGroot, Pres. of Global Education Matters, Finisher of 18 marathons "There are three things I love about this book. First of all, it's an easy read. Second, the principles it puts forth make lots of sense and are easy to apply. Third, and most important of all, it cuts across a wide variety of sports and range of athletes. This is quite a unique feature among sports books." -- Dr. Paul G. Schempp, University of Georgia "Psychology of Champions is a book that is highly unique, a welcome addition to the literature of achievement and excellence in sports performance. As a sports physician who cares for athletes of all performance levels, I found the book's direct approach to understanding what it looks like when an athlete is in the zone simple to understand and, more important, easy to teach. This is a book I will have at my practice, and will recommend to my athletes with the utmost confidence." -- Thomas Dougherty, M.D., Emory Sports Medicine Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD Gordie Howe PREFACE INTRODUCTION 1 What Fuels Our Fires 2 Big Goals 3 How Challenges Motivate the Super-Athlete 4 Little Goals: The Aim in Competition 5 Results of Process? 6 Comparing the Goals of Super-Athletes with Others 7 Believing in Yourself 8 What the Super-Athletes Say About Confidence 9 When Confidence is Lacking How to Build It 10 Putting Confidence to Work 11 Being in the Moment 12 What Super-Athletes Say About Concentration 13 Broad and Narrow Attention 14 Inside That Elusive Now-Zone 15 Helpful Rituals and Visualizations 16 Where it All Comes Together, Under Pressure 17 How Super-Athletes Deal with Pressure 18 Getting Rid of Your Performance Anxiety 19 The Focus Edge Formula for Dealing with Pressure 20 Applying the Focus Edge Mindset Conclusion Biographical Sketches

About the Author

James J. Barrell, Ph.D., is a professor, researcher, and consultant. With more than 25 years experience as a consultant and human factor specialist for professional sports organizations and athletes, Barrell's affiliations have included the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and the Orlando Magic. He has also worked individually with numerous athletes in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, golf, tennis, track, car racing, and professional boxing. His most recent successes include consulting on performance enhancement with the coaching staff of the University of Florida athletic teams, playing an integral role in supporting the Gators in their 2006 and 2007 NCAA championships. As an educator, Barrell has been affiliated with the University of Florida, University of West Virginia, Stanford Research Institute International, Medical College of Virginia, and the National Institutes of Health.David Ryback, Ph.D., is a board-certified psychologist consulting under the banner of EQ Associates International, of Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of numerous books, more than 60 journal articles, and book reviews in publications including Psychology Today. An active member of the National Speakers Association, Ryback is a former columnist for the association's national magazine, Speaker. A former lecturer and professor at the University of Maryland, Georgia State University and Emory University, Ryback consults on issues of success in sports, business, and leadership skills.


"This how-to guide to performance is based on extensive in-depth interviews with some of the most successful athletes in various sports. Barrell and Ryback had access to championship-level athletes and used information gleaned from those individuals to develop a psychological training technique they call 'focus edge mindset.' Recommended." - Choice

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