How bad do you want it? Book by Matt Fitzgerald


It's the bell lap. Your legs are screaming and you are desperately trying to hang on to your position. Is it physical fitness or technical skill that separates you from the pack? Perhaps. But cyclocross also demands a special degree of mental toughness that you'll need to sharpen up to succeed, just as you train your body. 

The greatest athletic performances spring from the mind, not the body. Elite athletes have known this for decades and now science is learning why it’s true. In his fascinating new book How Bad Do You Want It?, coach Matt Fitzgerald examines more than a dozen pivotal races to discover the surprising ways elite athletes strengthen their mental toughness.

How Bad Do You Want It? reveals new psychobiological findings including:

  • Mental toughness determines how close you can get to your physical limit.
  • Bracing yourself for a tough race or workout can boost performance by 15% or more.
  • Champions have learned how to give more of what they have.
  • The only way to improve performance is by altering how you perceive effort.
  • Choking under pressure is a form of self-consciousness.
  • Your attitude in daily life is the same one you bring to sports.
  • There’s no such thing as going as fast as you can—only going faster than before.
  • The fastest racecourse is the one with the loudest spectators.
  • Faith in your training is as important as the training itself.

Featured athletes include: Sammy Wanjiru, Jenny Simpson, Greg LeMond, Siri Lindley, Willie Stewart, Cadel Evans, Nathan Cohen and Joe Sullivan, Paula Newby-Fraser, Ryan Vail, Thomas Voeckler, Ned Overend, Steve Prefontaine, and last of all John “The Penguin” Bingham.

282 pages


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