Simon Marshall, PhD, and Lesley Paterson: How To Be A Brave Athlete By Managing Your Brain

September 6, 2017
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We’re joined by pro triathlete Lesley Paterson, a 3x world champion in offroad triathlon, Ironman champ, pro mountain biker and endurance coach at Braveheart Coaching, along with her husband, Simon Marshall, PhD, who is a sports psychologist, exercise physiology professor, and the go-to guy for endurance athletes to train their brains and build mental toughness. This show will teach you to “build a better brain” and we cover concepts in their new book, The Brave Athlete – Calm The F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion, a book we highly recommend purchasing (and be sure to use so with our amazon link!). Also, to hear Lesley on Endurance Planet in 20176 where she candidly discusses her struggles with Lyme’s disease, click here.

On this show we discuss:

  • Introductions and about their new book, The Brave Athlete – Calm The F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion.
  • Simon and Lesley team up to help athletes over at Braveheart Coaching.
  • Laying out the framework and science on how our brain is structured, and how it affects and directs our thoughts, decisions and so on.
  • Defining our chimp brain, the professor brain, and computer brain?
  • Why are these parts of the brain important for athletes to be aware of, and what do they each control?
  • Real-life application to how the chimp brain vs. professor brain works.
  • How and why to manage your chimp brain.
  • On self-identity, self-efficacy and negative perceptions we will feed ourselves, like “I wish I felt more like an athlete,” “I’m slow therefore I don’t qualify as an athlete” or “One day I’ll be….”
  • How to fix these underlying identity issues in athletes and build more positivity and confidence in ourselves.
  • Simon and Lesley’s take on social media, the pros and cons, and being able to broadcast yourself and/or compare yourself with others.
  • Impression management, what that is and what we need to know.
  • Exercise dependence – it’s a real thing, why does it happen and what are the criteria?
  • In the book, they cite an article that says 52% of triathletes met criteria for exercise dependence, and runners at 25%.
  • Some traits of exercise dependence and how do we know what we are doing is healthy and innocent enough vs. exercise gone too far and becoming unhealthy?
  • If you are dependent, why is this potentially a bad thing and how should one deal with it?
  • What is “symptom hypervigilance”?
  • And much more!

One Comment

  • Metarando says:

    Great podcast and worth a re-listen.

    Puzzled by a slide I saw at last pre-Western States meeting on medical findings titled "Comparison of Problems That Impacted Race Performance". Common ailments were listed (nausea/vomiting, blisters, muscle pain, etc.) but nothing specifically related to mental state. Is this something that medical researchers are ignoring? Do they not trust athletes to self report? Is this not considered 'medical'? Puzzling when mental state during this event seems to significantly impact performance.


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