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Mind Game The Secrets of Golf’s Winners By Michael Calvin & Thomas Bjorn

Release date: 19th May, 2019
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press

List Price: Ł18.99
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On the eve of last Saturday’s Champions League final, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed the remarkable extent of his players’ mental preparation for their showdown in Madrid with Liverpool. The Spurs coach had had his men walking over hot coals and even breaking arrows across their throats in an attempt to prove, if any proof were needed, just how important the right mental approach is to a big game.

The following night, in the wake of his shock defeat in New York, Anthony Joshua appeared annoyed with himself – not necessarily for losing to a guy who looked as though the Spanish word dieta had been eradicated from his vocabulary, but for his indifferent mental preparation. He acknowledged that it was this aspect of his armour he would need to concentrate on before launching a challenge to reclaim his world champion status.

Mental preparation and application are now among the most significant characteristics of top-flight sport. Fewer professional sports require greater levels of mental intensity than golf. While the amateur hacker alternates between frustration and occasional euphoria, those who play the game at the very highest level understand that to be successful, their mind must be absolutely focused on the task in hand.

In Mind Game, Michael Calvin and Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn determine what, from a mental perspective, is required to play what Bjorn calls this “casually cruel profession” at elite level. This, the bearded Dane reckons, is a “constant and draining self-assessment” which has players questioning why golf means so much to them. He concludes that “strength of spirit” is essential to the successful golfer.

He may have suggested that it has become a prerequisite for any sportsman or woman. Sport has become so valuable to so many people that rarely do we watch interviews with track and field athletes, rugby stars, tennis players, footballers and others in which the interviewee announces that he had a few beers, a curry and a very late night before a big game. Perhaps that’s where us amateur golfers are going wrong: reading Mind Games will persuade you that there is an alternative means of competing with the leaders in your club’s monthly medal.


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