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Winning Strategies

by Editor
Wednesday 24th July 2013

Book review: Performance coach Midgie Thompson, who we interviewed in our run-up to Spring marathons (HERE), has written a great book to help us get the most from our running, and from our lives in general

Run247 contributor Tracey Moggeridge has read a copy and wrote a great review for us. In addition, I asked Midgie what’s in this book for the runner.

Midgie’s response:

Winning Strategies is a unique book to help you get the best from yourself. Regardless of your level of running or your seriousness about competing, everyone can get something from this book that will help them in their ‘performance event’. This event is a time where you want to switch yourself on and be the best you can be whether that is a sports arena, business or in life. What makes this book particularly unique is that is coaches you through the process of figuring out first of all what your goal is and then explores where your goal fits in your life. Often times we set goals yet fail to actually figure out where in our busy schedules all the training and preparation will actually fit.  The book then goes on to help you develop the mental skills and strategies that will help you perform to the best of your abilities including having a strong and confident mindset, dealing with those thoughts that doubt in your abilities and are fearful of what you are about to do. It also touches on those pre-race nerves and how you can get into ‘the zone’ easy. The book concludes with providing a step for continuous improvement whereby you review and reflect on everything that you have done leading up to your performance event so you can evaluate what worked well (and needs to be kept) and what did not work so well (and needs to be adjusted for the next time) so you create your own unique ‘Recipe for Success’ for the next time. Overall, the Winning Strategies for Sports and Life book is a must read for anyone wanting to get that extra edge for their performances and strengthen their mental muscles.

Tracey’s review

BOOK REVIEW: Winning Strategies for Sports and Life, Midgie Thompson

Winning Strategies for Sports and Life, Midgie ThompsonWhen you get asked to write a book review you think, fantastic, what an honour, and as an avid reader, and frustrated writer, it should just be a case of read a book, write about it, right? Right. No.  Trouble sets in when a book is so jam-packed with fabulous gems, sage advice, tried and tested methods for success that you become selfish.  You don’t just want to read about it to write about it and get all word-smithy in the process, you want to digest, experiment with the strategies, and work out a game plan for your own success.  That’s what happened when I read the book ‘Winning Strategies for Sports and Life’ by Midgie Thompson.  It took far too long to write this and for that, I owe an apology to my run coach who asked me to write this review AGES ago, yet I absolve myself of most blame and lay it squarely at Midgie’s door for writing such a helpful and practical book.

The book aims to help you to achieve peak performance levels in all that you do.  That is quite some statement, it’s so bold, but then it’s a statement made by a huge achiever, a lady who has overcome some significant personal challenges to her health to accomplish fantastic personal sporting achievements, she ran a marathon just 11 months after being hit by a debilitating illness. Midgie has lived and breathed the advice she imparts, she shares how her strategies have helped her with a delightful honesty and refreshingly down to earth approach that is for everyone.  If you want hints and tips for achieving sporting success on any level in whatever discipline you follow, this book is for you.

Midgie’s style is clear and practical; her approach for success is simple to follow and broken down into easy steps.  She summarises beautifully at the end of each chapter the key take-away points with illustrations of how the elements she covers have helped on her personal journey.

Midgie’s opening gambit is that success in sport is not just the physical act of doing; it is also about paying attention to what goes on inside our heads; our attitude.  The book therefore provides a balanced and holistic approach.

She starts by discussing the importance of goal setting. It’s such a simple and easy tool but I found the positive impact of doing so to be incredibly powerful, it helps us the reader to formulate a very clear picture of the direction we wish to follow and the steps required for achievement.

The book is realistic; whilst Midgie takes into consideration that we lead busy lives she also conveys that there is effort involved, a need for some discipline, it’s not an easy fix, and there will be work to do! However, it also provides great tools for motivation and maintaining your approach whilst being realistic while we are at it. Midgie helps us, the reader, to appreciate our unique motivations so that our understanding is embedded so readily it makes you feel armed, dangerous, and itching to spring into action.

There are some great chapters that you can read on their own and that you can apply to all aspects of life, not just to sport.  It is the sort of book you’ll dip in and out of continually. It covers some fascinating topics that are really of the moment in the world of psychology; topics such as the power of positive thinking, mental rehearsal – visualising your goal in action, and the positive results by doing so.

All in all it’s a gem of a book, it’s absolutely stuffed with easy to follow advice, some cracking chapters on a variety of topics from goal-setting to getting down and dirty with our internal chatter, how to maintain focus, and the dark art of life-balance.

Read it folks, you’ll find some pearls and a-ha moments in here, and if you are like me, you’ll also come away with a plan, a focus, a direction, a positive mental approach to achieving your dreams, oh and arm-ache from all the furious writing.


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