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Albinson, John G, and Steve Bull.

London (Ont.), Spodym Publishers, 1988. 104pp. paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-921911-02-5. Distributed by Spodym Publishers, 11 Ravenglass Crescent. London, Ont. N6G 4J9. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Ed Somerville

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

This is a brief yet comprehensive guide to the psychological or mental skills aspects of sports training. This facet of athletic competition received considerable attention during television coverage of the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games.

The co-authors, both athletes, coaches, teachers and sports consultants, present in their words "a program designed for the coach and athlete at the beginning stages of development in the training of mental skills." In a progressive, yet not overly clinical approach, the book presents separate chapters on topics including evaluation of athletes' current strengths and weaknesses in mental skills, goal setting. Imagery and concentration. The fundamentals of psychological training for athletes are adequately covered. An excellent and unique aspect of this book is its suggestions for producing audiotapes for athletes' use. Sample scripts for several alternate relaxation techniques are contained in an appendix.

The typeface and lay-out of the book are good. It has a table of contents, but no index, illustrations or bibliography to prompt further reading. The book's format, and particularly its readability level, would restrict its usefulness as a student resource to the upper secondary level. Jargon such as "stress inoculation" and "self-affirmation training," although adequately explained, contributes lo this limiting factor. The Menial Game Plan is a welcome addition to the growing base of knowledge related to the psychological aspects of sports training. Alternate choices for information on the same topic are In Pursuit of Excellence (Coaching Association of Canada, 1980) and The Mindset Jar Winning (La Crosse. Wis.: Coulee Press. 1987).

Ed Somerville, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Red Deer, Alta.
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