Author(s): Ben Oakley
Podium sheds new light on the biological, environmental and psychological influences that can shape a champion's rocky path to the top. From Ian Thorpe, Mo Farah and Usain Bolt to Jessica Ennis, Michael Johnson and Michael Phelps, all we see is smooth progression to gold, but in fact their paths are actually punctuated by critical episodes, and it is largely how athletes respond to these events that shape their progression to the top. By scratching under the surface of the life stories of serial champions, common training, environmental influences and, above all, mental characteristics from their formative years and beyond are revealed - tales of individual brilliance are given a fresh twist. Find out how sports science, along with parents, siblings, coaches, sports organisations and the athlete's own mindset when facing adversity contribute to their likelihood of success and transform ordinary people into extraordinary athletes. Written for anyone interested in sport or the variables contributing to sporting success, this enthralling read will enrich your interpretation of champions' lives and provide a map of the complex paths through sport to the podium.
Ever wondered what it really takes to 'podium'? Revealing what attributes and influences are key, this book shows what a champion needs to take home a gold medal.
Ben Oakley is Head of Sports and Fitness at Open University. He was a world champion competitor at windsurfing and then a coach at two Olympic games for the sport. Ben has also acted as academic consultant to the BBC during and in the build-up to the Olympics, writing for the BBC Sport website.