6 April, 2023


Image source: Booktopia

To help our staff and students with an excellent sports mindset, from Term 2 onwards, we will be going through the book, “In Pursuit of Excellence” by Terry Orlick, PhD.  This was the book that Mr Ali Foot used to gain his edge for competing at the World Championships in Rowing.

I was so interested in how just reading a book and doing what it says, changed him, that I decided to interview him so that we can see the benefit of the upcoming challenges that this book will assist us with.  Resilience, as we know, is one of the Wellbeing Priorities at the College this year, and this book and the learnings we gain from it will stand us in good stead for our sporting and life endeavours from now into the future.

Here is a record of our interview.  At the outset, I handed him our brand new copy from the library and asked:

Q.       Ali, when you see the book again, what is your immediate response?

A.      Trust, excitement and confidence.

Q.      What is the most beneficial reason, you would suggest our coaches and students read it?

A.       A vital tool in finding your best performance.  When you have done all the physical training, it’s all the mental skills that are the sharpener and can sometimes be the major component of your performance on any given day.

Q.       What is the key aspect of this book’s sub-title, “How to win in sport and life through mental training”?

A.        Making you aware of different emotions and being able to deal with these and having the tools to deal with these, whatever the situation.

Q.      What would you say is the most transferrable skill between the two?

A.      The ability to find a way.  Nothing’s easy, we are set challenges that really test us but our ability to find a way helps us to achieve our desired outcome and not let our fear get in the way of us taking action.

Q.       In closing, would you urge our students who are interested in a life of excellence to read it, and why?

A.      I highly recommend the book.  It helps you build your skills and your internal dialogue to be able to handle whatever situation you are presented with.

Resilience and Sports Mindset are a must and as you can hear from Ali, he is very committed to us achieving all that we choose to do and succeed in life.

I look forward to walking through the chapters of this book with you all next Term.

Rev Grace
Sports Mindset Coach