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Summary

The secrets of superhuman performance.

The inside track on how champions are made, written by one of the world's top sports scientists and an award-winning sports journalist.

Never have the best sportspeople seemed so far removed from the rest of us, their prowess so unfathomable. So how are these extraordinary athletes made?

The Best reveals how the most incredible sportspeople in the world get to the top and stay there. It is a unique look at the path to sporting greatness; a story of origins, serendipity, practice, genetics and the psychology of excellence, as well as of sports science and cutting edge technology.

Packed with gripping personal stories and exclusive interviews with top athletes including Siya Kolisi, Marcus Rashford, Pete Sampras, Steph Curry, Jamie Carragher, Ian Poulter, Helen Glover, Ada Hegerberg, Elena Delle Donne, Joey Votto and Mike Hussey, it explains how the best athletes develop the extraordinary skills that allow them to perform remarkable feats under extreme pressure.

Get inside the minds of champions and understand first-hand what makes them perform during high-octane competition, what they think about in the heat of the moment and what drives them to do what they do.

By combining examples from numerous original interviews with top athletes and leading sports science research, The Best deconstructs superhuman performance and answers the question on every sports fan's mind: How did they do that?

©2020 Mark Williams and Tim Wigmore (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Insightful, thoughtful and altogether wonderful." (Daniel Coyle, New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code)

"This book is a must read." (Eddie Jones, Head Coach, England Rugby)

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What listeners say about The Best

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Engrossing

As a lifelong sports fan, I found some chapters fascinating, others just mildly interesting. I actually thought it was well narrated and mimicking the accents of the various protagonists lends authenticity, as it would in a novel.

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Very interesting, but let down by distracting impressions

This is clearly an excellent book with lots of interesting and insightful information, which has been very well presented. Personally however, I found the impressions of the featured athletes and personalities both unnecessary and very distracting. These could have been read in the same fashion as the rest of the book. Some people may actually find some of these borderline offensive. Very nearly an excellent audiobook.

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Best book ever

Best audio book I’ve listened to by far. Tremendous insight into high performance and in depth look at things which help the best become the best like month of birth, being a younger sibling, dominant top hand, what size town you are from, unstructured play and more.

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Worst narration I’ve ever heard

I deleted this book after 4 chapter. The content is very good but the narration is simply awful. A real shame. I couldn’t listen to it any longer. If you find someone trying to do extremely poor American, South African, Australian, Scottish, New Zealand, London and Finnish (there are more) accents then do not download this book. If a new version comes out with the words being read normally I’d certainly download it again.

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Informative and engaging

Really enjoyed this book, some very interesting studies around performance. One drawback for me was the narration. Felt it was really unnecessary for the narrator to put on the accents of whom he was quoting. American, Scottish, New Zealand, Liverpudlian and so. Very cringe and very off putting.

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NARRATOR IMPERSONATES EVERY INTERVIEWY

Cannot believe how bad the narrating is.
Why on earth is he impersonating the accent of everyone that was interviewed! It’s so annoying.

The content is interesting.