Reading for mental strength

Lacking motivation? Struggling to build confidence in a social situation? Want to boost your situational awareness? Hit a training plateau? Want to tap into the mind of the elite? Then read on.

Below are 10 books, picked by our coaches and community, that helped them in someway to accomplish the unattainable. If you don’t believe us, join and ask them.


1. What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney

This book is particularly good if you’re coming out of an injury or seem to have hit a plateau in your training and want to get out of your comfort zone. Scott Carney demonstrates how we can regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forebears.


 2. Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley

Left of Bang takes tons of research in the field for the USMC and turns it into something that anybody can use to assess what is going on around them, and take action if needed. Which can range from the threat of violence, Which the authors intended, To being able to recognizesomething is wrong with a loved one.


 3. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield

This book recounts spartan life and culture through the eyes of a young helot. Climaxes with the battle of Thermopylae, Addresses themes of discipline, Fear and Brotherhood. Dive into the mindset of the original warrior.


 4. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

This book teaches you to work hard in a smart way, Highlighting ways to take small positive changes repetitively daily which will gradually create positive change and success. Yes, It’s common sense, Or so it would seem, But he also explains why so many people don’t do this. It’s a very motivating kick-in-the-pants read. Very simple, But very effective lessons.


 5. Unbeatable Mind by Mark Divine

Written by a former Navy SEAL commander with expected and unexpected techniques on building Mental clarity, Leadership authenticity, The warrior spirit and the offensive “sheepdog” mindset.


 6. The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow

Need a rocket up your arse in the gym? This one could be the one. This book covers the high performers of fitness and team sports. The mental game seems to be the focus, going into plans of action and how to make it sustainable. Each chapter is straight to the point for the busy athlete and also has lessons learnt by the great.


 7. Navy Divers by Gregor Salmon

This book is a collection of history of the RAN Clearance Diving branch through World War 2, Vietnam to previous conflicts Iraq and Afghanistan. It includes a rare insight to what it takes physically and mentally to join the elite diving unit. The author gains access to a group of Clearance Diver recruits. He highlights individual adversity and the team as a whole while they endure the hardest selection the Royal Australian Navy has to offer, The Clearance Diver selection test.


 8. Every Day Is Game Day by Mark Verstegen

Mark Verstegen has trained the world’s top athletes in sports including the NFL, Major League Baseball, and worldwide soccer powers, along with the “tactical athletes”—U.S. Special Operations Forces personnel. He presents a training system that is a combination of his above experiences. This book is useful for anyone currently looking for information or ideas for performing in combat sports.


 9. Never Let Go by Dan John

This book is more of a series of diary entries with a combination of humour, life lessons and strength and conditioning training techniques, simple and to the point. This man carries a tremendous amount of wisdom and he talks to both athlete and coach. Forget training for looks Dan talks “real” training alongside his own philosophy on life and how to deal with adversity.


 10.  How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

A recount of past events with successful humans which is linked to successful positive self-image, self reliance, and cooperative relationships with others. What we thought was the take home in this book was how to engage to others positively and effectively a much needed interpersonal skill which is lacking in this day and age.



Take action! Commit to reading at least one of the above books and take notes. Practice what you have recorded now, as it will build mental toughness and discipline that will permeate quickly into your life.

Need a training plan or a community to hold yourself accountable? Join our Tactical Fitness League for weekly workouts and gain access to our veteran coaches. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for further knowledge bombs!



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FILE PHOTO: Acting Commander of HMAS Arunta Lieutenant Commander Kingsley Scarce takes part in an extreme reading challenge. Photo by Leading Seaman Bradley Darvill: 11 Jul 2015.









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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