“Chatter” by Ethan Kross – Athletic Bookworms March Pick

by | Mar 6, 2022 | Mindset

I love a good sports psych book, but when I heard Ethan Kross on a podcast recently, I realized that his book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, might be the perfect bridge between a book that could help with everyday life (therefore improving our ability to train efficiently) and a book that could really help on race day. I find sometimes, sports psych books are too race-day-focused. It’s too much about race day nerves, and not enough about the everyday training side of things. Or, if it is talking about that, I admit that maybe I’ve just read too many sports psych books and articles over the years and find them a bit repetitive. But a book that’s more about self-talk/the voice in our head that NEVER shuts up? Now that, I’m here for.

And this is especially relevant for me this week since Peter has caught me stuck in my own head and missing chunks of our conversations twice in the past few days, which is prompting me to worry that maybe I’m thinking about way too much right now and I need to get the voices in my head to turn the volume down just a bit.

ANYWAY. About Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It:

An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how to harness it to combat anxiety, improve physical and mental health, and deepen our relationships with others. Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus—you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I’m going to fail. They’ll all laugh at me. What’s the use?

In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies—from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy—Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk—what he calls “chatter”—can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure.

But the good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight—in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces.

Love it. And if you’re struggling with the idea of reading a non-sports book about psychology, a) there are tons of sports examples in it, and b) just read that description over and replace business with sport/school with training and so on. Trust me, this one is going to read like a sports psych book and you’re going to love it.

Grab Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It by Ethan Kross here 


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