Friday, May 11, 2012

As you begin the off-season, it is important to look ahead to improving your mental game as well as your physical game. Two books that I have found incredibly helpful are “Rugby Tough” edited by Bruce Hale & David Collins and “Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence” by Gary Mack with David Casstevens.

The reason I like “Rugby Tough” is that it is written by rugby coaches and researchers that have a first hand knowledge of what it takes to be successful. It helps develop what it takes to be a mentally tough rugby player from practical tips to identifying your strengths and weaknesses to how to manage your mental focus during games and practices. It will help you identify what you need to work on in the offseason and develop a strategy to achieve those goals.

“Mind Games” is a great book because it is filled with real life applications of very practical sports psych advice. Gary Mack has worked in professional sports and worked with many athletes. He has developed some very easy and implementable rules to help you develop a strong and successful mental approach to sport.

I would suggest buying one and reading it. Start implementing one piece of advice. When you feel like it has become a part of your routine add to it. Good luck with preparing for your off-season. This is the time to do work, but there is no point starting without a plan.

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