A local author is trying to teach endurance athletes about the link between the physical and mental aspects of competition.
John Brent Pye, a USA Cycling certified coach, is the author of Your Brain On a Bike. Pye says the purpose of the book is to educate cyclists -- and athletes in other endurance sports like running, swimming, or skiing -- that better thoughts lead to better results.
"Most people are really hard on themselves. They're negative," Pye says. "Most people lose before they even start, because they don't think they can do it. If you think you can't do it, you can't do it. You have to think that you can do it. And it has to be a real feeling that comes from a good, solid foundation of self-belief in yourself."
Pye has been coaching cycling for years, and has conducted more than 400 personal development seminars across the country.
"I actually just got a letter from a guy in Denver who asked, 'Are you a psychologist? Because you're in my head. I'm that guy who talks negative to myself all the time, and I keep losing,'" Pye says. "So I told him to try thinking positive, and see how it goes."
Pye says Your Brain On A Bike is the first in a planned series, with future books targeting runners and swimmers. But he says the book's keys to mental improvement -- confidence and optimism -- apply to all endurance athletes.
"Always be positive," he says. "Think of what you're saying to yourself. You're programming your mind. Do you want to program it for success, or for failure? You want to marshal all your energies; be positive. Think in the present tense. 'You will.' 'I am.'"
Pye's book was published by Cool Gus Publishing earlier this month, and is available online from Amazon (paperback), Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.