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About the Author | Table of Contents | Words of Praise
Even the most physically gifted athletes struggle in competition when they lose control over their thoughts and emotions. Mastering Your Inner Game arms you with the tools to understand, manage, and maximize your mental and emotional forces-factors that often determine whether you're an all-star and or an "also-ran."
Author David Kauss looks at how athletic performance fits into your own life experience. His "total athlete" system takes into account your internal strengths and weaknesses instead of applying a predefined set of mental training exercises.
Mastering Your Inner Game begins by presenting five vivid case studies that illustrate real challenges faced by real athletes. You'll experience the thoughts and emotions the competitors were dealing with as they worked to overcome their obstacles using Kauss' personalized mental training methods. Then you'll begin to understand how the method can work for you-whether it's breaking out of a slump, building confidence, or sharpening your focus.
Kauss then leads you through the process of self-assessment. Self-guided exercises help you recognize the people and events in your life that have either contributed to your success or undermined your sport performance. Plus, you'll learn more about how your life has shaped your athletic identity through additional exercises that
Once you have pinpointed the underlying causes of your performance blocks, Kauss teaches you how to develop individualized mental training packages that will help you perform your best no matter how difficult the challenge. Only by analyzing and then rechanneling these forces in positive ways will you truly be able to reach your full potential.
David R. Kauss, PhD, has been practicing psychology since 1978, but he began his psychological consulting work with athletes and coaches-including the UCLA football and baseball teams-four years earlier. In his role as a consultant, Kauss has provided performance-enhancement training to athletes and coaches at the elite and professional levels. He wrote about his early work with athletes in his first book, Peak Performance.
In 1984 he became a registered sport psychological consultant for the U.S. Olympic Committee, working with athletes before and during their Olympic competition. His work with athletes also involves coaching: Kauss coached senior-league baseball for seven years and assorted youth sports for many years.
A member of the American Psychological Association, Kauss is also an associate professor of psychology at UCLA. He received his BA from Harvard University and his doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA. When he's not helping athletes improve their performance, Kauss enjoys tennis, travel, and spectator sports. He and his wife, Laurel, live in Pacific Palisades, California, with their two children.
"I was 35, the mother of two small boys, and trying to prepare for the most important competition of my life, the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Dave Kauss enabled me to reach my goals. He gave me the tools I needed to acknowledge my fears, capitalize on my strengths, and balance my home life with my competitive life. I couldn't have done it without him. Thanks, Dave."
1996 U.S. Olympic volleyball team
"As a professional motocross rider, I know that mental preparation is just as important as physical training in my sport. Dave Kauss showed me how to mentally prepare for a race, ride relaxed, and work on my weak points to make them as strong as my strongest points. I believe the results of his program speak for themselves."
Four-time U.S. national outdoor motocross champion
"The program Dr. Kauss has developed provides a functional mental preparation program that I use daily for training and competition. It naturally encompasses cognitive components in preparation for the mental and physical demands of competition. The program also incorporates important values and beliefs that carry over to my life and goals beyond athletics. It is a functional and focused mental preparation program that effectively equips athletes with the necessary tools to meet the mental demands of competition."
World-class middle distance runner