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Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World's Fittest Athletes Paperback – July 17, 2017
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"Ben's ability to develop mental toughness and the approach he shares in Chasing Excellence is a game changer for athletes in any sport."
- Javier Vazquez, Major League Baseball All-Star
"You need to know absolutely nothing about CrossFit to appreciate the wisdom and incisiveness of Chasing Excellence. Ben Bergeron has written a must-have handbook on how to take your mental toughness, career, relationships and your life to the next level."
- Chris Hinshaw, Professional Triathlete, winner of Ironman Brazil and Creator of AerobicCapacity.com
"This book will do for you what Ben has done for me--take you to the next level and show you how to be the best. His insights on the mental game are second to none. You will feel prepared for anything."
- Bethany Hart-Gerry, US Olympic Bobsled Team
About the Author
Ben Bergeron has been coaching athletics since 1990, and coaching elite CrossFit Games® athletes since 2009. As the owner of CrossFit New England, his sole professional focus is pursuing a standard of competitive excellence in training. A former competitor himself, he has coached five different CrossFit Games® champions and currently coaches top CrossFit athletes Katrín Davíðsdóttir, Mat Fraser, Cole Sager, and Brooke Wells. His other great loves are his wife, Heather, and his children. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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First, this is a good book that could have been great! It's a book that includes a little insight with a lot of behind the scene stories. It's about building champions, but really it's mostly focused on Katrin Davidsdottir. What could have been a book with the same impact and longevity of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" it instead falls short to a one and done read book.
I follow Ben's podcast and am a member of the Comptrain Masters program that Harry Palley & he have created. I believe he has a lot of really great insights there and unfortunately the majority of them never really make it on the pages of this book.
1. If you love behind the scene stories and insights from those on the competitive floor and you didn't follow the CrossFit Games or any of CrossFit's "Behind the scenes" coverage then you might not know many of these stories. If you have, then there will be no new insights or stories..
2. The book is written in a user friend and non-academic way, so you can draw some inspiration for the stories and small bits of encouragements.
3. There is a lot of opportunity for Ben to write a second book going into more detail with sample training plans, worksheets, and mental training that he has Mat, Katrin and Cole (Sager) go through. Perhaps Ben will write a second book with these insights and details, but they're not there in this edition.
The Not So Good
1. The title leads one to believe you'll find ways to "Chase Excellence" using specific details on "Commitment", "Grit", "Positivity", "Confidence", "Maximizing Minutes", "The Process" and more. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above this book is more about sharing the story of how Katrin went from sixth place to back-to-back champion, but without sharing the details of how she did. As alluded to at the end is a line where Ben shares how Mat, Katrin and Cole tell him not to "give away the playbook", but that's what the title and chapters alude to. We don't get much more than some general quotes and a whole lot of back story. This is a plus, if this is how the book is outlined and titled from the beginning, but the subtitle should be "The Behind the Scenes of Mat & Katrin's Fittest Man & Woman Titles" instead.
2. One shouldn't expect a secret or strategy that's never been heard of before. It's true that some knowledge, humility and hard work are the secret to success. That said, there is nothing here that prepares one to chase excellence that you can't get from "The Obstacle is the Way", "Ego is the Enemy", "Mastery" or other books.
3. The book ends very quickly with an epilogue when the Games are over, as if there was a publishing deadline. It would have been great to incorporate some of the books, course, worksheet or other items here, if it's not going to be part of the chapters. Further, a workbook of sorts would be fantastic to provide the same.
4. There is no "Reading List" or suggestions for other book that "Chasing Excellence" could use.
I love Ben Bergeron's programming and podcast insights. I think this book was the antithesis of the title and was not his best efforts. The good news in publishing is that you can create a second edition and include these items. Further, the book should be the catalyst for an online video training course for implementing these habits. Buy this if you want to read again of Katrin mostly and some of Mat trying to win the Games. Save your money and buy "The Obstacle is the Way" if you want practical insights in living many of the principles briefly discussed in "Chasing Excellence"