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Mind Games Reviews

Mind Games by Annie Vernon


Annie Vernon

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Bloomsbury Sport
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date: 21 Mar 2019
ISBN: 9781472949110

A fascinating insight into the psychology behind elite-level sports.

4 stars out of 5
27 Aug 2020

"This is probably a book for people who are as ceaselessly competitive as Vernon herself"

It’s reassuring to learn that even sporting greats have superstitions. Indeed, a theme of Annie Vernon’s book about what makes elite athletes elite is how normal they are. We think they’re superhuman but, deep down, they’re just like us. Rower Matthew Pinsent (pictured) was so nervous on the way to an Olympic final that he secretly yearned for the driver to crash the car, so he could say, ‘Oh no, my thumb’s broken, you’ll have to go without me’. And we might think athletes have a God-given instinct for their sport, but that’s simply the result of those thousands of hours of training. As Vernon points out: ‘Knowing whether to pass a rugby ball or run into the nearest human fridge who’s wearing rugby shorts, that’s not instinct. That’s learned.’