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The Mental Edge: Maximize Your Sports Potential with the Mind-Body Connection
by Kenneth Baum with Richard Trubo
1999

Like the classic Napoleon Hill book, Think and Grow Rich, Kenneth Baum's book is about a lot more than what its title implies. The Mental Edge doesn't just apply to traditional, competitive sports - you could just as well use it in your Pilates routine, to make your step class more enjoyable, or to achieve goals that have nothing to do whatsoever with physical activity. Baum explains in plain language what we in the mind-body community has always known - that for the body to work properly, the mind must be engaged. What makes this book such a standout is that it gives concrete, specific steps to achieve this.

The steps described by Baum in this book aren't your ephemeral, pie-in-the-sky visualizations often found in New Age circles - he is talking sports, after all, which are as concrete and earthly as you can get. His approach is about creating "Action Plans" and "Performance Cues," and about bringing all the senses and emotions into play to create compelling visions and goals. There's positive thinking and then there's Baum's "Mental Edge." Do his methods work? Considering that he has taught them to U.S. Olympic teams, and football, baseball and soccer professionals - and the demand for his mental coaching continues to grow stronger - it's clear the answer is yes. Baum points out that all top, world-class athletes use some form of the "Mental Edge"; when competitors are at the peak of their physical strength and endurance, it's only the mind that separates one from another. A competitor can come from behind if his or her mental skills are greater than those ahead of him. That's a fact - and it applies in all areas of life, even if you're only competing against your own past performance. Even if you've never picked up a ball in your life, and don't care to, either, Baum's book will give you a new outlook - stronger, more positive, and able to embrace all of life's challenges. The Mental Edge is invaluable tool, no matter what your passion is, and it's highly recommended.

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