If this is your year to take your sport seriously, even competitively, then it’s time to hit the books. Time spent working on your Personal Best, clocking up kilometres on your bike or grinding away at those core exercises will of course get you far. But all athletes know that to really get ahead your mental fitness is paramount. The big guns have a team of coaches (for both their physicial and emotional fitness), but how can you find your mojo, motivation and other drivers when it’s just you and your FitBit? These books cover a range of issues that will assist you. So, set your alarm clock an hour earlier in the morning and do your “homework” before you put on your traning gear and head out the door.
1) Thrive by Brendan Brazier
Brazier is an Ironman pro. His success didn’t come without a good 40 hours a week of training. He also is the founder of a sports performance product, having put in equal hours of sweat learning about nutrition and the body. His insights into clean eating to reduce injury and maximise performance are fascinating.
Read it if: You are feeling low in energy, feel you are just hitting your “average”, or struggling with pain.
2) Unleash Your True Athletic Potential by Julianne Soviero
This is a comprehensive look at reaching your potential – yes there is a super performer lurking in there! It covers the topic holistically from nutrition, training, injury prevention, optimal recovery, hydration, the mental component of performance, and more.
Read it if: You are not looking for a quick fix, but rather a lifestyle you can follow to achieve your best.
3) Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives by Anna Kessel
Hello, it’s 2017! But, we all know how sexist the world of sports still is. Kessel’s fascinating book looks at not only why females need better access to and treatment in competitive sport, but also why sport needs them. Some accounts will infuriate you (such as an Olympic hopeful who missed out on on Games because she could not find suitable childcare), but also give you insight into why your past experiences may be holding you back.
Read it if: You are struggling to have balance in your life and sport and need motivation to find the strength to push yourself that bit harder.