Mental training is just as important as physical training when it comes to success in sport. And like physical fitness, mental toughness is something that can be taught and learned. Yet many young athletes have not learned the psychological skills needed to develop their best game. This book was written specifically for young athletes interested in improving their performance and reaching their potential in sport.
Bring Your “A” Game introduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition.
Whether used at home by student athletes or assigned by coaches as part of team development, Bring Your “A” Game will help young performers develop a plan for success and learn to deal with the challenges of pursuing excellence in sport.
Jennifer L. Etnier is professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A soccer player and former coach, she leads sport psychology seminars for the United States Soccer Federation and is a consultant to professional athletes. Illustrator Dominy Alderman is an artist and educator currently living in Laramie, Wyoming.
216 pp., 24 illus., 2 figs.
ISBN 978-0-8078-3347-6 $37.50 hardcover
ISBN 978-0-8078-5990-2 $19.00 paperback
ISBN 978-0-8078-9851-2 $37.50 ebook
Available at local bookstores, from online booksellers, and from UNC Press.
Praise for the Book
“Teaches how to implement the mental skills that contribute to mental toughness. . . . While [it] is written for the young athlete, adults who work with young people will also find it helpful.”
“Offers strategies for junior- and high-school athletes to reach their potential through mental training. . . . The advice is concrete and clearly rooted in the author’s wide experience.”
“I have found that the first step in building a championship team is to get each individual player to think like a champion. Jennifer Etnier’s Bring Your ‘A’ Game is essential reading for any young athlete who dreams of playing at the highest level.”
–Anson Dorrance, women’s soccer coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“I learned early in my career that proper mental training and preparation are what differentiates the good from the great performers in sports. Bring Your ‘A’ Game is a must-read for young athletes looking to get the most out of their potential and perform at the highest level on the field, on the court, or in the classroom.”
–Brad Woodall, former Major League Baseball player, owner of Woodall Baseball Instruction, Middleton, WI
“Bring Your ‘A’ Game introduces young athletes, their parents, and their coaches to fundamental principles for enhancing the level and consistency of sport performance. Dr. Etnier offers lively real-world examples from high-level sport and practical exercises to connect with readers. Best of all, many of these valuable concepts can also be applied outside of sport to enhance performance in other important areas of young people’s lives.”
–David E. Conroy, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University