The greatest athletic performances spring from the mind, not the body. Elite athletes have known this for decades and now science is learning why it’s true. In his fascinating new book How Bad Do You Want It?, coach Matt Fitzgerald examines more than a dozen pivotal races to discover the surprising ways elite athletes strengthen their mental toughness.
Fitzgerald puts you into the pulse-pounding action of more than a dozen epic races from running, cycling, triathlon, XTERRA, and rowing with thrilling race reports and revealing post-race interviews with the elites. Their own words reinforce what the research has found: strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors. Each chapter explores the how and why of an elite athlete’s transformative moment, revealing powerful new psychobiological principles you can practice to flex your own mental fitness.
The new psychobiological model of endurance performance shows that the most important question in endurance sports is: how bad do you want it? Fitzgerald’s fascinating book will forever change how you answer this question and show you how to master the psychology of mind over muscle. These lessons will help you push back your limits and uncover your full potential.
How Bad Do You Want It? reveals new psychobiological findings including:
Mental toughness determines how close you can get to your physical limit.
Bracing yourself for a tough race or workout can boost performance by 15% or more.
Champions have learned how to give more of what they have.
The only way to improve performance is by altering how you perceive effort.
Choking under pressure is a form of self-consciousness.
Your attitude in daily life is the same one you bring to sports.
There's no such thing as going as fast as you can―only going faster than before.
The fastest racecourse is the one with the loudest spectators.
Faith in your training is as important as the training itself.
Athletes featured in How Bad Do You Want It?: Sammy Wanjiru, Jenny Simpson, Greg LeMond, Siri Lindley, Willie Stewart, Cadel Evans, Nathan Cohen and Joe Sullivan, Paula Newby-Fraser, Ryan Vail, Thomas Voeckler, Ned Overend, Steve Prefontaine, and last of all John “The Penguin” Bingham
""How Bad Do You Want It?" will make you see your world as an endurance athlete in a new way. Fitzgerald's research will help you become your own sports psychologist." - Joe Friel, leading endurance sports coach and author of the Training Bible series
THE GREATEST ATHLETIC PERFORMANCES TAKE PLACE IN THE MIND, NOT THE BODY.
"How Bad Do You Want It?" looks at epic moments in endurance sports to mine habits and tactics we can use to cultivate our own mental strength.
Top athletes can seem godlike in their abilities. But no matter how skilled they are, talent takes them only so far. The hardest races demand that a champion rely as much on the mind as on the body, using it to confront the fears that we all face: fear of failure, suffering, or change, to name a few.
In "How Bad Do You Want It?" renowned endurance sports journalist Matt Fitzgerald examines the "psychobiological" model of athletic performance, exploring how athletes are able to overcome physical limitations with mental might. In gripping accounts from triathlon, cycling, running, rowing, and swimming, Fitzgerald puts the reader inside breathtaking races, shedding new light on what science says about mental fortitude and how anyone can cultivate the mental strength to surmount challenges--in sport and in life.
Matt Fitzgerald is a journalist, coach, sports nutritionist, and author of more than 20 books, including the best-selling "Racing Weight." "