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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
In Train Like A Champ: Harnessing Peak Performance, Dr. Cate Coker begins with a focus on optimizing athletic performance through a holistic understanding of the human body, sports, and the environment. Rejecting universal training, she advocates for personalized, intelligent approaches tailored to each athlete. Integral to Dr. Coker's paradigm is visualization, enhancing confidence and decision-making. She analyzes multiple different sports and their athletes, the physiological aspects, and the resonant adaptation for training. Dr. Coker stresses how cellular metabolism and hormonal regulation are key, as are balanced challenge and recovery. She discusses the interplay of the emotional brain, autonomic nervous system, and hormones, and speaks in depth on group dynamics, limbic lock, and emotional influence in teams. Throughout, the author explains the transformative athlete journey, intrinsic motivation, and integration of physiological and emotional systems for sustained peak performance.
Train Like A Champ: Harnessing Peak Performance by Dr. Cate Coker is an excellent, comprehensive book that examines areas where athletes who may not have more than a standard understanding of training can increase their performance. My concern when I selected this book was that the science behind it would be too complex or inaccessible, but the author delivered her expertise comfortably. For me, it was her explanation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, connecting hormonal control with the autonomic nervous system, that proved most helpful. By explaining how motives influence the HPA axis and, consequently, athletic performance, I gained a full understanding of the physiological processes governing our bodies. Overall, this is an intelligent, well-written, and wonderful resource for athletes and trainers of all levels.