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Oct 10, 2017

Dr. Michael Gervais on Mental Mastery

If you’re a top-tier professional athlete trying to train your brain, you’re likely going to turn to Dr. Michael Gervais. (Photo: Courtesy of Michael Gervais)
If you’re a top-tier professional athlete trying to train your brain, you’re likely going to turn to Dr. Michael Gervais.

For most athletes, achieving peak performance means training hard, eating right, and maybe some stretching. But when you get to the elite level, where everyone’s doing that, it’s the mental game that makes winners and losers. How hard can you push your body? How much pain can you tolerate? How can you avoid getting psyched out before a big event?  If you’re a top-tier professional athlete trying to train your brain, you’re likely going to turn to Michael Gervais, a renowned expert in high-performance psychology. His clients include the Seattle Seahawks, various Olympians, and Felix Baumgartner, that guy who jumped to earth from the edge of space. In this second installment of our four-part look at the science of performance, Outside editor Christopher Keyes sits down with Dr. Gervais to ask what advice he has for the rest of us.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.