The Obstacle Is The Way (Book)

I got this book suggested by someone who used to be a D1 kicker on the football team in the ACC, built and owns a multi-million dollar business, is a scratch golfer, travels on the national squash team, and for fun plays tennis at a remarkable high level. He said that this was the best book he read for athletes and high-performers and re-reads the a couple times per year. Naturally I bought the book, loved it, re-read it, and made my Junior Davis Cup team read it in lead up to our World Championship….

Ryan Holiday, the other of this book, divides the book up in three main chapters: 1) Perception, 2) Action, and 3) Will. He subdivides each of these topics in smaller chapters where he breaks down the definition and provides examples of past leaders, generals, athletes, etc. who have lived these values. This book is very easy to read, the examples he provides are enjoyable and diverse, and a great book to take change your perspective on your job, personal life, and day to day. Enjoy!

Flow Genome Project; Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler on altered conscious state and stealing fire

Michael Gervais is a world-class psychologist who has worked with world class athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, and more. In his podcast he interviews some of the best performers in their field to decode the many paths toward mastery and provide applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives. Jamie and Steven together wrote the book Stealing Fire together and have independently written a lot of books on flow, the zone, mindfulness, peak performance, and all other altered conscious states. These guys are really cool as they have taken it upon them to uncover that mystery of these altered states athletes, concert goers, and others have enjoyed. In this conversation together with Michael they begin to talk about their background and how and why they got their lifelong interest in these desired feelings high performing people are looking for and/or already doing.

Maria Sharapova; Mental Performance, Work-Life Balance and the Rise to the Top (Podcast)

Tim Ferris, best-selling author and investor, deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas in his podcast to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. Maria Sharapova is a professional tennis player who won her first Grand Slam at age 17 and has been the highest paid female athlete for the past twelve years. It’s an interest period for Sharapova who has just finished her 15 month suspension after failing a drug test In this podcast Tim and Maria talk about her background, parenting, coaches, tennis (technique and psychology), and her life outside of tennis including her business, book, and personal life. As a tennis enthusiast, I’m curious to see how she will do in the Grand Slams this year!

Cal Newport; How to Become an Elite Cognitive Performance

Niyi Sobo is a former NFL running back who owns Peak Mindset Consulting. Sobo has a sports motivation podcast that does book reviews, has athlete spotlights, provides advice and has interviews with different guest. In this episode host, Niyi Sobo, interviews bestselling author and tenured professor at Georgetown Cal Newport. This episode there is a lot of comparison between elite athletes and elite cognitive performers (such as writers or researchers). Newport provides examples out of his own life and includes research to support some of the methods elite cognitive performers effectively use. Some of the topics discussed are importance of saying no, why you should plan, the issue of focus in today’s world, why following your passion is not good, lag vs lead measures, and more.

The Who, What and Why of Global Personal Player Development (Article)

BelievePerform is a website developed to bring together those who have a passion for sport psychology as well as those who want to get a better understanding of the field. Writer, Dr. Mark Robinson, is founder of Personal Player Development LLC and assists the athletic community in understanding the issues and challenges athletes encounter along the athletic journey. In this article, Dr Robinson writes about the importance of Personal Development for athletes, though elite performer in their field/industry/concentration could benefit from this. Robinson claims that personal development assists in understanding athletic identity, decision-making, and coping skills throughout life. This aspect appears to often often be ignored in an athlete’s life. Explanation is provided why there is a lack of guidance in personal development and what the cost of this has been for many athletes around the world.

Finding Mastery with Michael Gervais; David Epstein (Podcast)

Michael Gervais is a world-class psychologist who has worked with world class athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, and more. In his podcast he interviews some of the best performers in their field to decode the many paths toward mastery and provide applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives. Interviewee, David Epstein, is a writer on sports science and has worked for companies such as Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and other well-respected publishers/magazines. In this podcast Michael asks David about his childhood, why he got into his job, his book (the Sports Gene), how he approaches his professional life, and more. Topics they address is self-discovery = mastery, the need for tailored learning environment, a coach’s role, work ethic/philosophy, outlook on sports for the next generation, and more.

The Art of Learning (Book)

This book is written by Josh Waitzkin. Waitzkin is a world-champion finalist in chess and became a world-champion in martial arts (thai-chi, push hands) after his chess career. Currently Waitzkin is a consultant in peak performance of some of the top hedge fund managers in the world and is the founder and President of the JW foundation. The book is split in three parts: first his life growing up and his chess career, then his transition into martial arts, and finally combining the lessons from both disciplines and applying those lessons to life. Experiences Waitzkin shares are about his development as a chess player, the new lessons learned as a martial artist, the impact teachers had on his professional career, how he dealt both positively and negatively with pressure, and how he continues to use and develop the art of learning for himself and others. Specific topics Waitzkin explains are thematic interconnectedness, incremental learning, teacher’s/coaching philosophy, numbers to leave numbers, beginner’s mind, making smaller circles, presence/awareness, being in the zone/flow, beginners mind, and more.

Leo Messi and Larry Ellison Have More In Common Than You Think (Article)

The European Business Review is the leading business intelligence magazine provides readers with indispensable insight, current best practices and breakthrough ideas. This article discusses the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and how Leo Messi (Barcelona striker) and Larry Ellison (CEO Oracle) both use it though one is for sport and the other for business. Explains HRV’s physical and emotional advantages. Heart Rate Variability is used for recovery, energy efficiency, program/work tailoring, and stress management. 

Andre Agassi, Open (Book)

This autobiography is of Andre Agassi, one of the best tennis players to have ever played the game. “Open” is widely regarded as one of the best autobiographies in sports because of the originality of the story, his brutally honest writing, and his favorable personality. The book starts with his family and how his father got to America and is written chronologically. The final part of the book is about his final match and retiring from the sport. Some of the more shocking material in this book was his love (or lack of) for tennis, his experience with the coaches he had, his tough junior career, and his off-court issues. 

The Art of Learning (Video)

Google puts all of the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers and doers in the same room, so you could hear what they have to say. Talks at Google is created for you to find out what drives them and how they make our world a better place. In this talk, Josh Waitzkin, chess champion and world champion martial artist, talks about his book the art of learning and how it relates to all fields/specialties. Some of the topics he speaks on are how he has seen that patterns in life have transpired in his chess or thai chi (thematic interconnectiveness), talks about the influence of losses on him, how teachers/educators/coaches should operate, how your character should come out in your art/sport/work, and more.