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The Mental Athlete
by Kay Porter

The Mental Athlete is a guide on improving your psychological health. It includes check lists, work sheets and specific techniques designed in improving your thought processes and evaluating your awareness. It is not a book to pick up and read now and then. It requires introspection and note taking. The Mental Athlete would be a good team tool, where results are discussed, and techniques enforced. It is useful in lifting the athlete out of the slump and putting them into a place where they can succeed again. I found it difficult to go through many of the worksheets myself. This is where a group would be beneficial, to provide brainstorming techniques.However, the individual distance runner, relying on thought processes to improve performance, will find The Mental Athlete to be very useful in self-talk, visualization and positive thinking. The book provides excellent ideas in optimizing performance and letting go of goals when it is necessary. It devotes quite a bit of time to training down, the period after the goals have been made. The information on visuzlizing health was also very good, providing scripts for healing and pain control. The pain control script can come in handy during the marathon run. Bottom line: The Mental Athlete can be very useful for the competitive runner in improving the mental thought processes and in reaching their running goals.

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