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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Sports Psychology Book is Out!

About 3 years ago I was approached by a sports psychologist from the UK. He had worked with some of the Ryder Cup players, and he was interested in doing a book with me. (Yes, I was a bit surprised as well, but he had been reading the blog and liked the way I approach the game.) We kicked some ideas back and forth for about a year -- put together quite a bit of material, actually -- before outside opportunities got in the way for both of us.

Think Like a Golfer cover While I learned that I knew quite a bit about sports psychology, I also realized that a lot of important areas were being ignored -- not the least of which concerned the terminology. In many ways modern sports psychology is a child of the self-help movement of the early 20th Century. However, those early self-help writers built their approach using theological terms which were commonly understood at the time. In our modern world, that is no longer the case.

As a result, much of what passes for sports psychology sounds more like "wishcraft." It's hard to build anything lasting if you don't understand exactly what you're trying to do.

So I finally broke down and wrote my own sports psychology book called Think Like a Golfer. It's not an evangelistic tract, but it does explain the basic meaning of all those theological terms. The basics of self-belief are the same whether you're talking about belief in God, belief in yourself, or belief that your car will start when you turn the key in the morning; it's just a matter of degree.

The irony of it all is that by explaining the theological terms that sports psychologists use, it's easier to take a more scientific approach to building a bulletproof self-belief. Once you understand what you're trying to accomplish, the methodology is so simple that anyone can do it.

Here are some of the things I included in this book:
  • how true self-belief differs from mere self-hypnosis and wishful thinking
  • the mechanics of self-belief—how a belief is actually built and grounded in reality so it improves your performance
  • why trying to believe "hard enough" rarely works
  • what useful self-talk sounds like and techniques for getting dependable results
  • how self-belief helps you make better strategy decisions on the course
  • how to avoid the pitfalls of self-doubt and deal with pressure
  • what "the Zone" is and how it's related to self-belief
Although I made it one of the Quick Guides, it's actually much longer than any of them. In fact, only Ruthless Putting is longer (and Think Like a Golfer has no diagrams taking up space -- it's all words). But I got to the point as directly as I could and, once you've read through it completely, you can go back, skip around and focus on the areas where your self-belief needs the most help.

Unlike the last book -- which gave me all kinds of problems getting files to the distributors -- all of the ebook versions are already shipping, including the special PDF I do here at the blog. Only the paperback hasn't hit the market yet, but the publisher has everything and I'm just waiting for them to OK the files. I expect it to be available at Amazon by the end of the week, and the other online distributors not long after.

All of the ebook versions are $6.99 and the paperback will be $11.99 when it comes out later this week. I think this may be the most useful Quick Guide I've done so far. I hope you'll all agree.

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