Preface: Spiritual Matters

In this book I refer, on rare occasions, to my relationship with a great spiritual teacher. At no point do I identify my spiritual path or my teacher’s name. And that’s deliberate. The principles of sports training are the same whether we follow Christ, Buddha, Zoroaster, Moses, Yogananda, Mohammed, or no one.

Expansive values of kindness, compassion, and love are prized in all spiritual traditions. They are universal. And it’s impossible to talk about success in sports without mentioning these positive dimensions of the human heart. Research that I cite in chapter 5, “Science of the Heart,” shows that feelings such as kindness and compassion are intimately related to sports performance. For example, expansive feelings make the heart beat in an efficient rhythm that allows us to exercise harder with less strain.

I believe this book will help followers of any path, or no path. In these pages, you’ll discover how elite athletes, coaches, and scientists are confirming that positive thoughts and feelings and success go together.