The Phenomenon

The Phenomenon

Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch That Changed My Life

Book - 2017
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"On October 3, 2000, 21-year-old pitcher Rick Ankiel took the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game One of the National League division series. All was going well until Ankiel, who'd been lauded as the next Bob Gibson, threw a pitch that missed the mitt--wildly. Then he threw another. Then another, five in all. Slowly at first, then rapidly, his once-impenetrable pitcher's psyche crumbled. He would forever look back on that day as the day the unwelcome, inexplicable Phenomenon arrived. In this book, written with veteran sports journalist Tim Brown, Rick Ankiel tells the story of his personal battle with an anxiety condition widely known as the Yips, the courageous soul-searching that followed, and his eventual triumph over the demons in his own mind to reenter the game. For the next four and a half years after that day in October, Ankiel fought the Yips with every bow in his quiver: psychotherapy, medication, deep breathing exercises, self-help books, and, eventually, vodka. Yet the cure eluded Ankiel, much as the clinical diagnosis eluded the physicians and psychotherapists who studied it. Forced not just to retire from baseball but to reconsider his whole life the age of 25, Ankiel made an amazing turnaround, returning to the major leagues, this time as a hitter. He played seven successful years in the majors, finally retiring in 2013. This book is the story of a once-in-a-generation talent, a man haunted by strange personal demons, and who found the strength to overcome them"--
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, ©2017
ISBN: 9781610396868
Characteristics: 292 pages ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Brown, Tim 1962-- Author


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Apr 25, 2017

I thought this book was just awful! I made it 40% of the way through on eBook before giving up.

The book has very little real substance. The ghostwriter has taken many chapters to repeat the same things--
--Rick had an awful childhood with an abusive father, but it says almost nothing about what actually occurred.
-- Ad infinitum we read Rick was determined to beat this thing (the yips), repeated over and over with little to no new material. Again and again we hear how he felt about himself.
-- The writer expanded a very few pages' worth of information into many chapters.
-- The whole narrative stays very static, barely moving forward in time at all.
--We never get a clear idea of HOW the sports psychologist helped him.
-- In reading 40% of the book, I never got to the point where Rick returned to MLB as an outfielder.

My impression? The writer wrote this just to make money off Rick Ankiel's name. Don't waste your time on it. You'll garner almost no substance from your reading.

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