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Four Books to Improve Mental Toughness Both in and Out of the Water

By Courtney Mykkanen, Swimming World Magazine, 02/01/19, 12:00PM CST

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“You only need to take a series of tiny steps, consistently, over time, to radically improve your life.” – Darren Hardy

We all know swimmers don’t have much spare time, but finding a couple minutes each day to read a few pages of an inspirational book can be very advantageous to improve mental toughness. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media before bed, make it a goal to read 10 pages of a book instead. Many swimmers have read or are familiar with Anthony Ervin’s Chasing Water: Elegy of An Olympian and Michael Phelps’ Beneath the Surface: My Story. The following list of books takes a broader perspective by focusing on individual mental toughness and strategies outside the water that can translate to success in the water.

1. Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack

Mack explains how the mentally fit minds of world class athletes is what leads them to be top performers and allows them to reach success beyond just intense physical training.