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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Book Review, The Champion's Mind

Want to improve your athletic performance without working out more, then get this book by Jim Afremow. I almost did not want to review this book since it has so much solid and practical advise for improving the mental side of athletic performance.

Every chapter is backed by research and he includes exercises to practice every performance tip.

I first became aware of this book when I read an article in Self magazine about pro golfer Michelle Wie. She talks about how the principles in this book have helped her game.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Self talk
  • Self confidence
  • Focus
  • Breath control to calm down or pump up
  • Dealing with anxiety
  • Positive affirmations
  • Champion leader
  • Pure-race and post race routines
  • Dealing with mental errors
  • Focus on what you can control
I read this book at the beginning of my triathlon season this year. I have been able to bounce back much better after a bad race than I have in the past. One of the things I worked with on my coach in the last year was focusing on the things I could control.

One of the things my coach does is pre race planning and post race analysis. After every race she has taught me to ask three questions that Afremow also discusses in this book:

  • What did I do that was good?
  • What needs to get better?
  • What changes should I make to become my best?
The goal is always to learn from experience, not repeat mistakes, visualize success and improve performance.

Afremow states his goals for any athlete using the skills outlined are to:
  • Train with passion and purpose
  • Achieve victory through variety in training exercises
  • Believe they are worth the time it takes to exercise
  • Find support and encouragement
  • Break work into manageable pieces
  • Keep an exercise workout calendar
  • Treat themselves like a champion
There is a mental toughness quiz to assess strengths and weakness. Then you can decide which of the strategies will be your top priority.

The book is well worth the time of any athlete looking to improve performance.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.  

 In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 1756 members in 31 states. We also have members in Australia, England,Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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