Book Title:    Boost! How the Psychology of Sports Can Enhance Your Performance in Management and Work
Author:   Michael Bar-Eli
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
List Price:   $29.95
Format:  Soft Cover, 328 Pages
Publication Date:   Nov 2017
ISBN: 978-0-19-066173-1
Reviewer:     Michael Carlew, PMP
Review Date:   April 2018



We all desire to maximize our performance in one if not multiple areas or our lives.  Whether it is in the office, on the playing field, or in our relationships, we all want to perform at a higher level more consistently.  In his book, Boost!, renowned sports psychologist Michael Bar-Eli applies over 3 decades of experience working with some of the top athletes across the globe to explain how the correct mental preparation techniques can increase performance for leaders or managers in every aspect of life.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is comprised of 12 chapters, each of them dealing with a particular facet of cognitive practice and how it can be applied to improve performance.  Each chapter opens with a quote from an ancient philosopher, inventor, composer, or athlete, setting the stage for Bar-Eli to explore how various mental coaching experiences with superior athletes can be equally as effective when used by leaders in the workplace.

Each chapter is an amalgam of anecdote, experimental data, reporting charts, and personal revelation, used to convey the ideology that high levels of performance and achievement are more often than not the result of an individual’s successful endeavors toward meta-cognition.


The greatest inspirations to be drawn from this book are found in the one-on-one interactions that Bar-Eli describes with the athletes he works with.  Through these interactions, the reader is able to look into the psyche of top athletes and understand that even those individuals are often times able to achieve high levels of performance not through natural ability alone, but by hard work and a repetition of mental preparation and visualization that can be used by almost any individual in any situation where stimulation levels are extremely high.

Highlights: What I liked! 

Personally, I drew inspiration from Bar-Eli’s interaction with basketball players trying to improve their free through shooting percentage. One athlete was coached to understand that not only does he have 5 seconds at the free through line to collect his thoughts, but also the 10 seconds of dead time before the free throw clock is set. There is a similar story in which a very famous basketball player was able to drastically improve his free throw shooting percentage by reciting a personal mantra at the free throw line; “this is for my wife and kids”, thereby mentally reframing and putting a new perspective on the situation.


To read entire Book Review, click here


About the Reviewer

Michael Carlew

Dallas, Texas, USA




Michael Carlew, PMP is currently the Manager of Development for a landscape design/build firm in Dallas, Texas. Michael currently manages a team of designers and project managers responsible for creating high-end residential landscapes. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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