SPORTS & RECREATION

Ninety Percent Mental: An All-Star Player Turned Mental Skills Coach Reveals the Hidden Game of Baseball

Tewksbury, Bob & . Da Capo: Perseus. Mar. 2018. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9780738233789. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780738234939. SPORTS
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Former journeyman pitcher Tewksbury is among the pioneers of professional sports mental conditioning; a field that was in its nascent stages when he retired after a successful MLB career in 1998 and pursued a graduate degree in sports psychology. Mental performance counseling was barely considered by most professional sports teams in the 2000s; now 22 of the 30 MLB teams employ a mental performance coach, and players such as Jon Lester and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs and Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians credit their success to such guides. Tewksbury's first book, coauthored with sportswriter Miller, discusses his work with these players in a narrative poised both as an overview of Tewksbury's professional life and as a self-help book with personal recommendations. The book is most compelling as a memoir, providing insight into how the field has grown, along with how it has been part of some of the greatest events in the game.
VERDICT While not quite practical enough for self-help, readers interested in how professional athletes mentally prepare for big (and little) games will enjoy the stories shared.

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