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The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion Paperback – June 8, 2017
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“Lesley Paterson is one of the most mentally tough professional athletes I know, and Simon Marshall knows why. Their special sauce has finally been bottled and the strategies described in The Brave Athlete promise to help athletes of all abilities become dirty fast.” ―Tim Don, World Champion triathlete
“Forget marginal gains, Dr. Simon Marshall understands the most important part of performance: the athlete’s mind. His expertise is an invaluable resource to help athletes master theirs.” ―David Bailey, PhD, Head of Performance at BMC Racing Team
“My training background and philosophy evolved under the coaching of Lesley and the mental slapping of Simon.” ―Jessica Cerra, professional cyclist
“I have admired Dr. Simon Marshall’s talent as a scientist and a communicator for more than two decades. In The Brave Athlete, he brings this talent to the fore as he translates psychological science into meaningful strategies to help athletes become more confident, motivated, and calm.” ―Dr. Kirsten Davison, Professor of Public Health, Harvard University
“At the Leeds Triathlon Centre, we pay as much attention to psychology as we do to physiology. Few things are simple in sport but in The Brave Athlete, Simon and Lesley tackle the complexities of getting the best from yourself in a clear and engaging way.” ―Jack Maitland, Head Triathlon Coach, Leeds Beckett University
“The Brave Athlete will take you deep inside yourself so that you can identify what you thought were your limits and, with Simon and Lesley’s help, smash them to smithereens.” ―Bob Babbitt, host of Babbittville Radio, USA Triathlon Hall of Fame inductee
“Simon and Lesley get to the heart of what it takes to be a brave athlete. It’s about creating a mindset that goes to bat for you rather than against you. The Brave Athlete is an invaluable guide to help you sort your head out. Plus it’s funny. Really bloody funny.” ―Flora Duffy, World Champion triathlete
“Marshall and Paterson, in some kind of post-Western duo, limn their own version of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Only the guns and whiskey are replaced with doctoral degrees and world titles. In The Brave Athlete they challenge the reader to draw swords on the psychic battlefields of sport but do so with the gift of Continental mirth and compassion.” ―Scott Tinley, two-time Ironman World Champion, author, and teacher
“Working with Lesley and Simon has been one of the biggest life-changing experiences.” ―Mauricio Méndez, XTERRA World Champion and Ironman 70.3 champion
“Simon and Lesley bring years of training at the world-class level, in multiple sports, together with years of working in academia―all in the real world.” ―Janel Holcomb, professional cyclists and coach
“Lesley's passion for helping others grow and enjoy a deeper sense of satisfaction with their lives is evident in everything she does. In her book, she expertly addresses the concerns and setbacks so many people face in their pursuits, and outlines a simple and elegant strategy for helping anyone become their very best.” ―Ben Hoffman, Professional Triathlete and Ironman Champion
“I always struggled with my inner self and demons during races. Simon taught me not only how to deal with those demons, but how to manipulate them in such a way to take my racing to an entirely different level.” ―Kyle Hummel, Ironman 70.3 Age Group World Champion
“The formula for this book is a winner and can be applied to any challenging situation.” ―Dr. Jacqueline Kerr, Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California at San Diego
“Dr. Simon Marshall and World Champion Lesley Paterson remind us that that the best kind of sport psychology is when evidence-based science meets the minds of real athletes. The Brave Athlete bridges this gap with humor and compassion, whilst revealing tenacity for moving forward. This book shows us how to cope with common demons that threaten to disrupt our performances and enjoyment of sport.” ―Dr. Alison Pope-Rhodius, Professor & Chair, Sport Psychology, JFK University
“Combining their experience in triathlon, psychology, and writing, Lesley and Simon are a force to be reckoned with. They’re brilliant and hilarious.” ―Mitch Thrower, Founder and Chairman of Events.com, Author, and 22x Ironman Triathlete
“The tools I've learned from Simon are simply priceless, and to have it all encapsulated into a book for everyone to read is critical reading for any athlete looking to perform at their very best.” ―Amy Dixon, Paralympic Hopeful, ITU World Ranking: #5
“Lesley has also shown me the ability to suffer like no other with the strategies outlined in The Brave Athlete. With these skills, neither family or sport is jeopardized, bringing a much-needed balance to my life.” ―Brandon Mills, age-group mountain biker
“Dr. Marshall has such way of explaining the human mind, in the simplest terms and why we think the way we do. Both of them were there day one when I fought the biggest battle of my life: breast cancer, and I’m still winning. Simon and Lesley are coaches who ‘walk the talk’!” ―Marison Beniek, age group triathlete and breast cancer survivor
The Brave Athlete is a practical, step-by-step guide that solves the 13 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races.
Top customer reviews
My first encounter with Si was manning the last sag wagon at the Team Braveheart Highland Games winter training camp. He was a sight for sore eyes as I walked my brand new bike up the last half mile of Mount Palomar, perversely relieved I had not learned to clip in and could therefore hike through the icy slush in my trainers instead of the down in the heels tromping of a true velominati. As we loaded my bike into the last spot in the bike rack, I braced myself for a politely passive aggressive earful about how grossly unprepared I was for this camp and the myriad ways I was inconveniencing the elites who had come here for a real workout, basically a continuation of the playlist of mental chatter I had been entertaining myself with over the past several hours humping along in granny gear at a blistering 3 mph, which I muted only briefly to thank some well meaning van pulled over to the side of the road shaking a cow bell at me or offering me snacks I was too uncoordinated to eat while pressing on.
I misjudged Si; tough love coaching isn't his style at all. But there's only so much wisdom he could impart on the 12 mile, 4.5k foot descent of hairpin switchbacks while alternately trading 70.3 MTB elite gossip with his shotgun passenger. This book filled in lots of those mental toughness gaps and working through the exercises at the end of each chapter is now my favorite part of my training rotation. Hopefully by the next Highland Games I can trade my seat in the sag to brave the downhill with an upgraded mental playlist.