Bring Your "A" Game

A Young Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness

By Jennifer L. Etnier

Illustrations by Dominy Alderman

216 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 24 halftones, index

Not for Sale in South Asia

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5990-2
    Published: December 2009
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8329-2
    Published: December 2009
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-9851-2
    Published: December 2009

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Mental training is just as important as physical training when it comes to success in sport. And like physical fitness, mental toughness is something that can be taught and learned. Yet many young athletes have not learned the psychological skills needed to develop their best game. This book was written specifically for young athletes interested in improving their performance and reaching their potential in sport.

Bring Your “A” Game introduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition.

Whether used at home by student athletes or assigned by coaches as part of team development, Bring Your “A” Game will help young performers develop a plan for success and learn to deal with the challenges of pursuing excellence in sport.

About the Author

Jennifer L. Etnier is associate professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A soccer player and former coach, she leads sport psychology seminars for the United States Soccer Federation and is a consultant to professional athletes. She is also the author of Coaching for the Love of the Game: A Practical Guide for Working with Young Athletes.
For more information about Jennifer L. Etnier, visit the Author Page.


"Teaches how to implement the mental skills that contribute to mental toughness. . . . While [it] is written for the young athlete, adults who work with young people will also find it helpful."—ForeWord

"Offers strategies for junior- and high-school athletes to reach their potential through mental training. . . . The advice is concrete and clearly rooted in the author's wide experience."—Kirkus Reviews

"Bring Your 'A' Game offers young athletes . . . a nice primer for mental training. . . . [A] great first step . . . helping young 'achievers' understand the mental aspect of their game or other activity."—PA West Touchline

"Bring Your 'A' Game introduces young athletes to key strategies such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery."—Carolina Country

"I have found that the first step in building a championship team is to get each individual player to think like a champion. Jennifer Etnier's Bring Your 'A' Game is essential reading for any young athlete who dreams of playing at the highest level."—Anson Dorrance, women's soccer coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"I learned early in my career that proper mental training and preparation are what differentiates the good from the great performers in sports. Bring Your 'A' Game is a must-read for young athletes looking to get the most out of their potential and perform at the highest level on the field, on the court, or in the classroom."—Brad Woodall, former Major League Baseball player, owner of Woodall Baseball Instruction, Middleton, WI