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The Mental Athlete


The Mental Athlete
Kay Porter
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Improved mental ability means improved sports performance. Athletes who excel do so not just because of their physical abilities but because of their mental awareness, preparation, and skills as well. The Mental Athlete will help improve your overall performance by providing the tools, guidance, and practical insight you need to sharpen your mental skills. This conditioning manual for the mind will help you

  • further enhance mental strengths and address weaknesses through effective self-assessments,
  • increase confidence in personal abilities and avoid the fear of failure,
  • heighten awareness of inner-thought processes and learn ways to improve them, and
  • be free of inhibitions to initiate action and to respond intuitively and positively to challenges.

No matter what sport you play and at what level you play, you will find this practical, reader-friendly book useful because it not only lets you know what you need to do to improve your mental abilities, but it also shows you how to improve them. It contains exercises, tests, and worksheets that help you move through the steps of mental achievement. In addition, The Mental Athlete contains the following features:

  • Sections that cover specific sports and issues
  • Sport-specific visualizations for football, soccer, volleyball, and many other sports
  • Information on issues such as team building; recovering from injuries; and letting go of mistakes, losses, anger, and fear

Take full advantage of your physical skills by fully developing your mental skills—the aim of The Mental Athlete!

About the Author

Kay Porter, PhD, has worked in the sport psychology field since 1979 and has trained hundreds of athletes and teams. She is the owner of Porter Performance Systems, a training, counseling and consulting company. Formerly a professor at the University of Oregon, she spent 13 years as a sport psychology consultant to the athletic department.

She is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee Sport Psychology Registry and a consultant in sport psychology, certified by the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP). She is considered an international expert in the field of mental training and has given presentations and workshops at conferences nationally and internationally.

Porter is a former varsity athlete in tennis and was a national champion in master’s track in the 1500 meters and competed in master’s running for 20 years. Additionally, she coaches a walking group every year for the Portland Marathon. Porter has published more than 30 articles on mental training and peak performance and has produced two videotapes and 20 recorded guided visualizations for sports performance. She wrote The Mental Athlete in its original version and was published in English, German, French, and Japanese. Additionally, she is the author of a book titled Visual Athletic published by W.C. Brown/McGraw-Hill.

Porter lives in Eugene, Oregon, and enjoys running and walking marathons, hiking, meditating, and traveling. For more information on Kay Porter visit

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Copyright © 2003 Athletic Insight, Inc.
ISSN 1536-0431