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Publisher's Summary

Former Major League pitcher and mental skills coach for two of baseball's legendary franchises (the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants) Bob Tewksbury takes fans inside the psychology of baseball.

In Ninety Percent Mental, Bob Tewksbury shows listeners a side of the game only he can provide, given his singular background as both a longtime MLB pitcher and a mental skills coach for two of the sport's most fabled franchises, the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. Fans watching the game on television or even at the stadium don't have access to the mind games a pitcher must play in order to get through an at-bat, an inning, a game. Tewksbury explores the fascinating psychology behind baseball, such as how players use techniques of imagery, self-awareness, and strategic thinking to maximize performance, and how a pitcher's strategy changes throughout a game. He also offers an in-depth look into some of baseball's most monumental moments and intimate anecdotes from a "who's who" of the game, including legendary players who Tewksbury played with and against (such as Mark McGwire, Craig Biggio, and Greg Maddux), game-changing managers and executives (Joe Torre, Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean), and current star players (Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Andrew Miller, Rich Hill).

With Tewksbury's esoteric knowledge as a thinking-fan's player and his expertise as a "baseball whisperer", this entertaining audiobook is perfect for any fan who wants to see the game in a way he or she has never seen it before. Ninety Percent Mental will deliver an unprecedented look at the mound games and mind games of Major League Baseball.

©2018 Bob Tewksbury and Scott Miller (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Cutting edge stuff in the new frontier of baseball readiness. Forget WAR and heartless analytics, former All-Star pitcher Bob Tewksbury and veteran scribe Scott Miller explain that baseball success and failure is 'Ninety Percent Mental.' This book should be required reading for all ballplayers, coaches, and parents." (Dan Shaughnessy, New York Times best-selling author and 2016 Spink Award recipient at Baseball Hall of Fame)

"Bob Tewksbury and Scott Miller combined to produce a must-read book for anyone fascinated by the mental side of baseball. This is about so much more than the journey of a veteran pitcher. It's about the journey of one of baseball's most inquisitive minds." (Jayson Stark, former senior columnist, ESPN.com)

"Tewks and I were teammates when Tewks was ending his career with the Twins. I saw him use his mind to be successful on the mound. Years later, we were once again on the same team with the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox, and I again saw him use his mind - this time to help others. I know he helped us win, and I know this book can help anyone who reads it." (David Ortiz, 10-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion, and New York Times best-selling author of Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits; called "the most important player in Boston Red Sox history")

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantastic for Sports & Life

Great listen for you, your kids, your job, whatever. Loved all of the subtle baseball references too. Loved to watch BT work as a pitcher. Now I know why! Thanks!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Unique and fascinating perspective

What made the experience of listening to Ninety Percent Mental the most enjoyable?

A compelling book that takes you behind the scene and into the minds of professional baseball players and coaches. Any athlete at any level will relate to and benefit from Tewksbury's mental coaching approach.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Insightful

I struggled a bit to get into the book due to Bob's narration. He doesn't have a lot of excitement in his voice. The content was fantastic and Tewk's should be commended for that! I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for an edge in baseball!

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Good Listen

Not too much new stuff here that isn't mostly common knowledge, but a good refresher. Enjoyed it. Some good insight into specific player stories and hardships on the road to MLB.

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Baseball coach and player must read.

Also applicable to every day life. I will suggest listening to it at least at 1.25x speed.

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if you have a passion for baseball this is a must

if you have a passion for baseball this book takes a look at the mental side of the game...

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Very good book on the mental aspect of baseball

One of the more popular quotes about baseball attributed to Yogi Berra was “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.” Today, many teams are paying attention to the first part of that statement as 22 of the 30 major league teams have a mental skills coach. Former All-Star pitcher Bob Tewksbury is one of those mental skills coaches, having held the position for the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants. This memoir, co-written with Scott Miller and narrated by Tewksbury, tells about not only his journey from pitcher to mental skills coach, but also some of the secrets he shares to players who come to him for help.

While he obtained the necessary education for holding a position in which he aids other people develop the proper mental attitudes and self-awareness needed to succeed, Tewksbury also shares stories from his own major league career. He was an all-star pitcher in 1993 and his description of his performance and his mental state during that performance was one of the best baseball stories shared in the book. He pitched for several teams, including the Cardinals, Yankess, Padres and Twins. He shares anecdotes about his time with each team, but not in strict chronological order. Instead, the baseball stories are those that are pertinent to the subject discussed in the chapter.

These subjects all cover various aspects that cover the mental game that players, especially pitchers, will encounter in every game, every road trip, and every season. Tewksbury even breaks down what goes through a pitcher’s head – his own experiences and those of pitchers he has coached such as Jon Lester, Andrew Miller and Rich Hill. He delves into what may cause negative thoughts to creep into a player’s mind such as fear. He uses the acronym “False Evidence As Reality” to describe when that player is fearing failure. Overcoming negative self-talk, using anchor statements to motivate one’s self and concentrating on one pitch at a time are all skills he uses. While these sound simple and basic, these have been overlooked so long that the game is finally catching up to Yogi’s observation.

This book is one that general baseball fans will enjoy, especially with the easy-to-understand language and the down-to-earth narration Tewksbury employs. It isn’t too technical for casual fans, nor is it too simple for more dedicated baseball lovers. If the reader is interested in the mental aspect of the game this book is for them.

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👏🏼 excellent

A great combo of game day stories, work with other professional athletes and life lessons. Excellent book and read well by the author.

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Loved it.

A very informative and revealing listen on the mental performance an athlete must have in order to be successful. A must read (listen) for every athlete of every sport.

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Great insight into what the best of the best think

Flew through the book. Great insight into what it takes to make the next step mentally, told by real MLB examples from a dude who went through it all himself!