A little while ago, I wrote a book about the psychological elements of sports performance. I wanted to understand how elite athletes were so much better than the rest in the way that they thought, in what they believed and somehow figure out why this made them great. I devoured books and research papers looking for a better answer than just “natural talent”. That didn’t make enough sense to me.
I shared parts of the book with a few friends and they were politely unanimous: it really kind of sucked. Don’t try to be Gladwell, they said. One of them pointed to a paragraph in the middle of the book, a story about my life and struggle with tennis. This part is quite good, he said. I’d read more about that.
So I started over and wrote a second book; this time it was about a kid who discovered tennis one summer and dreamed about becoming really good at it. In the process of writing, I pieced together the psychological ingredients of elite performance woven through my own story. It’s called The Importance of Walking: A Journey to Elite Performance from Dublin to Monte Carlo.
Now I’m at the final step: publishing the damn thing. In the next several weeks, I’ll share what I’m going through both practically and in my head to get the book into the world. Truth: I’m scared. Even though I recognize fear as a completely manufactured excuse (one of the things I learned in writing the book) it still grabs me.
If you know me or even if we’ve not met yet, I encourage you to kick me in the backside for the next two months in the Comments, on Facebook or on Twitter. I have to get it launched by the Monday after Thanksgiving, November 26th.
Here we go…