Top 3 Books on Sports Visualization and Mental Rehearsal

What‘s the critical factor for peak performance?

What’s the number one determinant that keeps you going… despite fierce competition, frustration, failure, weariness?

Your mind. As human beings we all –and I dare to generalize– have the same potential. We could all win a Gold medal. We all have the potential to be a best selling author. We all have the capability of creating our own business, leaving behind mediocrity.

What keeps us from breaking the barriers to peak-performance?

Peak-performance hinges on mental toughness.

Yet, we‘re never really taught how to do what, for example, gold medal winners are learn to do.

To fortify our minds, shape our self-image, and manufacture laser-targeted passion.

And that‘s where following books come into play.


Top 3 Books on Sports Visualization and Mental Rehearsal

With Winning in Mind – Lanny Bassham

With Winning in Mind - Lanny Bassham

With Winning in Mind[Amazon]

Lanny Bassham, who won the Olympic Gold medal in sports shooting, provides us with lots of practical insights and exercises to put our self-image in the right shape for the “win.”

I‘ve adopted his performance journal method to my weekly routine with great success to bolster my productivity. Still, you‘ll find, the „Direct Affirmation“ technique even more valuable. (This is not just another version of the usual self-help book affirmation!)


  • Very practical guide with a lot of examples of how to use his methods. His system is based on personal experience and not mere theories.


  • I wish he‘d added a printable template of the performance journal. Although, you can order them on his website.


10-Minute Mental Toughness – Jason Selk

10-Minute Mental Toughness - Jason Selk

10-Minute Mental Toughness[Amazon]

Jason Selk‘s book is primarily dedicated to athletes who want to excel in sports. In his books he equips you with an exact plan on how to do that. His plan relies on centering breaths, affirmations, and sports visualization.

Although he wrote this book for athletes, you can apply all these mental toughness principles to any area of your life.


  • His mental training routine takes only ten minutes to complete and still delivers great efficiency. He gives lots of examples about athletes he coached personally.


  • His goal setting template requires serious planning. If you‘re serious about mental toughness, this might suit your needs.


Peak Performance – Charles A. Garfield, Ph.D.

Peak Performance - Charles A. Garfield

Peak Performance[Amazon]

If you wanted a complete manual on how to perform better through toughening up your mind, then, I think, there‘s probably no better book out there.

Charles A. Garfield packed the book with lots of exercises based on science and professional experience with pro-athletes.

For instance, he gives clear instructions on how to reach a deep, refreshing state of relaxation that‘ll enable you to get into the right mental state prior to your sports visualization and athletic performance. A relaxation technique I haven‘t seen anywhere else.

Next, he gives detailed instructions on how to mentally rehearse peak performance most efficiently which will serve your physical output as a blueprint.


  • By far the most practical book of all three. Plenty of spoon-feeding instructions to excel in your focus area.


  • Unfortunately, this book is out of print. If you‘re lucky, you might get hold of a second-hand version on Amazon.


I‘ve read several other books on mental toughness and sports visualization. But, so far, these three books stand head and shoulders above the rest. Why? Because many other books are filled with verbiage, banal pep-talk and just little practical meat (Like „The Art of Mental Training, Unbeatable Mind, etc.) and the books reviewed in this post deliver practical, real-life strategies.

We’re all seeking to perform better in some area in our lives. Sometimes we can’t seem to get ahead because we’re held back by our physical limitations. Sometimes, it appears, we self-sabotage our ascension to success through bad habits, failure repetition and what not. Here’s where we need to whip our self-image into shape to allow it to support our goals, not defeat them.

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