August Best Reading List in 2015

Just like you, I love reading anything that’s got to do with improving my sports performance and be a better version of myself every time. Every now and then, I like to take notes of my thoughts while I read and stash them somewhere in Evernote or Moleskin.

Problem is, my notes ended up scattered everywhere. Hence, I’ve decided to share my reading lists and notes with you, one way to keep them in one place and the other to recommend great books to you.

So starting from today, you’ll get an updated list of books to impact your sport and life once every month.

This is what you will get in each list:

  • a super short summary of what the book is about
  • 5 high performance quotes to unlock your athletic genius
  • a very good reason why you should buy the book

Hope you gain as much knowledge as I do with these lists! If there’s more you prefer or if you’ve also read the book and wish to share with us, leave us your feedback and comment below the list and let’s discuss.

Here are the few books I’ve read recently to make up this August Best Reading List in 2015:

The Art of Mental Training: A Guide to Performance Excellence (Collector’s Edition)

Short Summary of this Book: You are not a champion by winning the gold medal. It’s never about the colour of the medal. A champion is someone who takes accountability in what they do, keep pushing their limits to move forward with relentless grit.

Best Quotes from this Book: Here are power quotes to get you fired up.

  • “Mental athletes understand that they can’t always control what takes place during an event. Things don’t always go the way we’d like, no matter however well (and however hard) we’ve prepared.”
  • “Mental athletes know that nobody wins all of the time. Not in life, not in sports. When things don’t go their way, they know it’s OK to be disappointed. What’s not OK is dwelling on the disappointment.”
  • “Just a little work a day, you don’t need 3 hours, just 3 mins a day can make a difference between winning and losing your most important game of your time.”
  • “Powerful mental techniques are user-friendly and capable of delivering results very quickly”
  • “Whatever is going on inside your head has everything to do with how well you end up performing.”

Why You Should Buy this Book: No rocket science to what the author, DC Gonzalez wrote. He makes it so simple to understand with step by step instructions for you to control your mental state. This is the book for you if you feel that mental imagery is a mystery and unable to figure out what you should be thinking about to overcome the anxiety in your next game.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

Short Summary of this Book: Although David Epstein runs through the science of how good athletes are good, born or made, there’s no straight up answer on which works in real life. Conclusion: both training environments and genes will affect your performance, point is, you need to identify which one to emphasis on to bring your own game to the next level. Every chapter is a different story that leads you to the scientific research and findings.

Best Quotes from this Book: Here are power quotes to get you fired up.

  • “The same medicine should not be prescribed for every athlete. For some, less training is the right medicine.”
  • “Find six honest seven-footers, and one will be in the NBA”
  • “At the DNA level, of the three billion letters in the recipe book, humans are generally about 99 to 99.5 percent the same. In a sense, you probably knew that intuitively. If you had to build two human beings from scratch, no matter where in the world they were from, most of the instructions would be identical: two eyes, ten fingers and toes, a liver and two kidneys, all the same bones and brain chemicals.”
  • “Strong people were taken from Africa; that the strongest of those survived the brutal voyage to Jamaica; that the strongest of those strong fed the Maroon society that cloistered itself in the most remote region of Jamaica, and that the Olympic sprinters of today come from taht isolated, warrior genetic stock.”
  • “The leg is akin to a pendulum, and the greater the weight at the end of the pendulum, the more energy is required to swing it.”

Why You Should Buy this Book: Time is of essence, and what you’ll get in this book is a whole lot of relevant data to the findings of how height, geography, ancestry even the history of where you come from affects your game. You don’t have to go rummage for all that information. This book links them all together in one.

The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

Short Summary of this Book: This book covers a holistic view of what a champion does and how a champion becomes who they are. Jim Afremow puts everything on the table with simple step-by-step plan that a champion should take to be a world-class athlete. From mental skills, to nutrition and rest, to having the right game plan to dominate in your sport.

Best Quotes from this Book: Here are power quotes to get you fired up.

  • “If you can spot greatness in someone else, then you already have some of that greatness within you, because only a person with similar traits can recognize those traits in others. Think, “If I can spot it, I’ve got it!”
  • “The mental abilities of confidence, concentration, and composure are crucial for being a champion in everything you undertake, be it work or sports or both.”
  • “Part of this process requires us to maintain our eagerness to learn and grow, and to take well-trained, disciplined action to make solid change in our lives.”
  • “Identify precisely what you do that hurts your own cause the most. Eliminate that action or viewpoint immediately. To perform at a champion’s level, you must break any bad habits, such as tendency to arrive late to practice or just going through the motions when you get there.”
  • “Attitude is a decision, and it is also a learned behaviour, requiring discipline and energy to sustain”

Why You Should Buy this Book: How I wish I had this book when I was competing for my country. So you should read this book as long as you are serious enough to compete in any sports event that gives you the jitters just the thought of it. Do you have this choking feeling down your throat when approaching your big game? Study this book and follow exactly what Jim Afremow says, you will arrive and never get this choking feeling again!

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.

Short Summary of this Book: Daniel Coyle speaks of one simple idea of how a skill can be developed with a standard system based on how the neurological mechanism works. You’ll learn about how to crack this code and unlock your secret door to acquiring any skill no matter how different they may appear to us.

Best Quotes from this Book: Here are power quotes to get you fired up.

  • “The sweet spot: that productive, uncomfortable terrain located just beyond our current abilities, where our reach exceeds our grasp. Deep practice is not simply about struggling; it’s about seeking a particular struggle, which involves a cycle of distinct actions.”
  • “Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.”
  • “Deep practice feels a bit like exploring a dark and unfamiliar room. You start slowly, you bump into furniture, stop, think, and start again. Slowly, and a little painfully, you explore the space over and over, attending to errors, extending your reach into the room a bit farther each time, building a mental map until you can move through it quickly and intuitively.”
  • “The good Lord, in his infinite wisdom, did not make us all the same. Goodness gracious, if he had, this would be a boring world, don’t you think? You are different from each other in height, weight, background, intelligence, talent, and many other ways. For that reason, each one of you deserves individual treatment that is best for you. I will decide what that treatment will be.”
  • “The staggering babies embody the deepest truth about deep practice: to get good, it’s helpful to be willing, or even enthusiastic, about being bad. Baby steps are the royal road to skill.”

Why You Should Buy this Book: According to Daniel Coyle, in order to crack the talent code within you, you must go through three phases, deep practice, ignition, master coaching. Should there be any of these missing, your progress towards acquiring any skill slows down. All you need is six minutes with these three phases and you’ll see your progress sky rocket like never before. You have what it takes to master any skill you need to reach your goals. Although there are no shortcuts to success, this book somehow gives you that magic wand towards instantaneous mastery of your inner genius.

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

Short Summary of this Book: Tim S. Grover walks you through the journey of successful athletes like Kobe Bryant and how champions like him is laser focus on one goal, get their act together no matter what circumstance and to act proactively when it’s time to do so whether they feel like it or not.

Best Quotes from this Book: Here are power quotes to get you fired up.

  • “Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.”
  • “We never saw obstacles or problems, we only saw situations in need of solutions.”
  • “Physical dominance can make you great. Mental dominance is what ultimately makes you unstoppable.”
  • “The greats never stop learning. Instinct and talent without technique just makes you reckless, like a teenager driving a powerful, high-performance vehicle. Instinct is raw clay that can be shaped into a masterpiece, if you develop skills that match your talent.”
  • “Do the work. There is no privilege greater than the pressure to excel, and no greater reward than earning the respect and fear of others who can only stand in awe of your results.”

Why You Should Buy this Book: I feel immediately unstoppable just by reading this book. This book is my favourite out of the others in the August 2015 Reading List. How many times do you train with relentless grit when no one is giving you undying encouragement or even just by watching you? Get this book to learn how to do just that with conviction even while training alone towards your most challenging goals. You will develop a high performing state of mind to overcoming any obstacle you will face in your sport, work and life.

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