The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan
In The Fighter's Mind, Sam Sheridan follows up his previous work by digging into the question of how great fighters think. Where A Fighter's Heart is mostly about Sheridan and his own experiences, The Fighter's Mind is essentially a collection of interviews and talks with various combat athletes and coaches, along with a few less combatively oriented candidates, like ultrarunner David Horton.
I unashamedly love this book. It's great. I say that as someone who believes profoundly in the supreme importance of mental strength in the success of a fighter (or anything else, for that matter), so I'm biased. As a practitioner, the challenge of combat sports has always been as much mental as physical; indeed, the thing that drew me to combat sport (and to Tony Blauer and his research) was my recognition that I needed/wanted to challenge myself mentally as well as physically. A lot of the last decade of my training has involved my own search for ways to strengthen my own mental game, and for wasy to improve the mental strength of those I coach.
For me, this book is a gem. It offers an opportunity to get in the minds of a number of legendary fighters, some of whom I'd never have the opportunity to speak with otherwise (Kru Mark Dellagrotte being a notable exception), and learn a bit about what motivates them. I felt like there was probably something useful I could take away from every chapter. It's one of the few books I've read recently tht I'm likely to re-read SOON, rather than eventually.
If you are a combat athlete, read this book. If you are interested in sports psychology, read this book. If you want some idea of how champions are made, regardless of the sport, read this book. It's worth it.
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