Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book review: "Locker Room Power"

   Many, if not all, matches are won or lost before a player steps on the court.
   That's the underlying theme of "Locker Room Power: Building an Athlete's Mind" (2014) by David Sammel of Great Britain.
   Locker Room Power, Sammel writes, is desire + weapons + belief + results. Essentially, it's an aura of superiority.
   To develop an aura, Sammel says players must build their game around weapons, which create confidence, and work on weaknesses only if they undermine the ability to use weapons.
   The 106-page paperback is easy to read. It's clearly written and divided into 27 chapters, each summarized by key points at the end.
   The book contains many good tips, such as "To succeed, you will have to take risks, and with risk comes some failure." It also features numerous inspirational quotes from such diverse figures as ancient Greek poet Aeschylus, Winston Churchill, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Muhammad Ali, Andre Agassi, John Wooden and Dan Marino.
   Two of the best quotes come from Ali:
   --"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses -- in the mind, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
   --"I told the world I was the greatest. I figured if I told them often enough, eventually they would believe me."
   The book, however, boils down to: Work hard and be positive. Hardly earth-shattering advice.
   In addition, the book needs editing. Problems include commas, "you're" vs. "your," "who" vs. "whom," "its" vs. "it's," and "there" vs. "they're."
   Sammel knows much more about tennis and psychology than grammar. 

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