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This sports strategy book aims to be practical, to the point and motivating. The retired, but young, Army Lt Colonel Bender writes to athletes in a coach-like voice, providing hard-hitting, pragmatic advice on how to train. Bender used these strategies to hone the mental and physical toughness of 10,000 soldiers for Operation Desert Storm. An accomplished athlete in his own right, Bender received the highest possible score possible on the Army Physical Training Test 35 consecutive times; he served as the Instructor and Physical Training Coach for the US Army Command and General Staff College at Leavenworth, KS, where he was voted Instructor of the Year from among 65 fellow lieutenant colonels; he served as athletic director at Ford Ord, CA, and for Allied Forces Europe; he has 20+ years leading soldiers, 75+ seasons playing team sports and 25+ seasons coaching team sports. The book talks about getting your mind right , how to prepare for competition, how to work effectively as a team member, how to deal with distractions, how to hone a warrior's winner-take-all attitude and more. The author has used these same strategies to prepare tens of thousands of soldiers for battle. Train Tough is more concerned with how athletes think rather than what they think. If how they think is improved, athletes can define the details of what they think on their own. Shaping how athletes think in order to improve their performance in any sport is the mission of this book. To that end, each chapter includes military-inspired quotes, addresses a different aspect of the mental game and concludes with a Train Tough Challenge to help readers incorporate the chapter's lessons into their own training. This book offers athletes the very essence of the toughest mental-training techniques developed over centuries of training warriors for deadly serious encounters where proper mental and physical preparation means the difference between life and death. From high school to the pros, Train Tough aims to show athletes in all sports how to meet athletic challenges, crush the competition and have a great time in the process.
Lt. Col. Mark Bender (US Army, ret.) has spent his entire life either playing sports, coaching sports, training athletes or soldiers, or all of the above. He prepared and deployed 10,000 soldiers for Operation Desert Storm; trained Physical Training instructors for the Army; established sports leagues at Fort Ord, CA and directed the base's amateur boxing program; and was an All-Army athlete and a NATO Officer of the Year for his sports programs. Bender also advised and counseled 3-Star commanders and graduated at the top of his class at the Adjutant General School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN. He has appeared as a subject-matter expert on Dwight Eisenhower on A&E's Biography. He maintains a very active speaking schedule as a popular motivational speaker for many sports teams, including the Cleveland Browns and the NY Yankees. He currently serves as Partner, VP, and Managing Editor for American Biography, and is an active competitor in many sports.