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  • How Bad Do You Want It?

  • Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle
  • Written by: Matt Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Matt Fitzgerald
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Sports & Outdoors
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Fitzgerald puts you into the pulse-pounding action of more than a dozen epic races from running, cycling, triathlon, XTERRA, and rowing with thrilling race reports and revealing postrace interviews with the elites. Their own words reinforce what the research has found: Strong mental fitness lets us approach our true physical limits, giving us an edge over physically stronger competitors. Each chapter explores the how and why of an elite athlete's transformative moment, revealing powerful new psychobiological principles you can practice to flex your own mental fitness.

The new psychobiological model of endurance performance shows that the most important question in endurance sports is: How bad do you want it? Fitzgerald's fascinating book will forever change how you answer this question and show you how to master the psychology of mind over muscle. These lessons will help you push back your limits and uncover your full potential.

©2015 Matt Fitzgerald (P)2016 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about How Bad Do You Want It?

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Must hear

It’s a great book to read and hear…extremely interesting testimonies of athletes which will help you dig deeper to perform better.

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Gripping! Absolute must for endurance atheletes.

Listening to this book I realised there is so much mental strength than physical strength when it comes to endurance sports. absolutely loved it

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  • Rod
  • 05-04-16

Great inside it's worth the listen

A number of people have commented that the performance is terrible. I've listened to a lot books on audible and there are other books that I haven't been able to finish listening to because the narrator was so terrible. This is not one of those books. Clearly the author is not Charlston Heston but his voice narration doesn't detract from the outstanding and inspiring message of the book. The benefits of listening to the book far outweigh any deficiency in the narration.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Pedro Pernia
  • 19-02-17

Great but....

The information was great and the compilation of the stories was incredible, but the narrative was a strong monotone, with no changes in emotion. My suggestion is to have someone else do it, or get a narrative coach... At the end I loved the book...

15 people found this helpful

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  • Mama D
  • 14-03-16

Great information, horrible delivery

If you could sum up How Bad Do You Want It? in three words, what would they be?

Great information, but the author really should have hired a professional narrator. Instead of a relaxed conversational tone, every sentence is barked out in drill-instructor fashion. Exhausting and unpleasant to listen to.

38 people found this helpful

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  • andrea
  • 09-11-16

Great book

This book, the philosophy it presents, as well as the narrated stories are second to none. The only thing that made it hard for me to follow was the narration. Even though it is the author himself, it is not the ideal voice from my point of view.

7 people found this helpful

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  • fifth
  • 08-07-16

Analytical, but a bit too much so.

I liked the book. The audio is clear and very easy to understand. The material in some spots gets boringly analytical and I found myself spacing off. If it had shorter stories about each athlete, and a more personal and emotional connection to them, I think it would've been better. So I liked it, but can't whole heatedly recommend it, unless you really geek out on psychology.

7 people found this helpful

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  • rundespitelogic
  • 15-03-16

Average book but drawn out

Narration felt like a long lecture. The book would have been much better with a better narration. Still, a couple good chapters ended up being drawn out far too long.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Gifford
  • 19-07-20

Incredible value for all humans.

The techniques, stories and information in this book have taken my athletic career from amateur to a professional who is 3rd in the USA. It has also taken the company I started from 40 monthly clients to 200+. Endless applicability.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kate S
  • 07-01-17

Inspiring & motivating read

Even though the book specifically discusses the psychology behind the athlete's mindset, this can be applied to any scenario where you want to achieve to your highest potential.
Packed fully with scientific research and written in a way I felt I was at breaking point on the Tour de France, or collapsing in KONA, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to take their goals to the next level.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Yasuke
  • 25-02-19

Mr. Matt Fitzgerald do to yourself a huge favor. Do not read any of your books ever again, please!

I always finished no matter what, but I couldn’t do it wit this one. The author doesn’t deserve even not a start in performance. Good histories but horrible performance!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 06-09-17

A series of barely linked anecdotes

Would you try another book from Matt Fitzgerald and/or Matt Fitzgerald?

No

Would you ever listen to anything by Matt Fitzgerald again?

No. Matt’s voice cracks. It becomes increasingly more difficult to listen to as the book roils on.

How could the performance have been better?

Fewer stories, fewer details on the stories. Color of shirt? Number of burgers? Shade of sand? None of these added to the quality, they worked to fill the story.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It has those inspirational stories about others who have faced more challenges than most of us listening to the book ever will

Any additional comments?

Skip this one

5 people found this helpful

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  • RabbitLemon
  • 19-07-18

Well revealed

very good listening for any athlete and amateur with aspiration. can be applied to many parts of our lives. Using well explained examples of different aspects of mostly mental stumbling blocks that, once overcome or understood, enable us to perform so amazingly. If this is the age of neuroscience intelligence, this is great place to start

5 people found this helpful

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  • Alexander
  • 27-10-16

Methods through story's.

The book is an unreal lesson on mental toughness through the story's of others and their lives.
Bare with the first chapter, then get stuck into the awesomeness of the book!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • LisaMarie
  • 25-10-16

Good but I spaced a lot!

Liked the stories of individual athletes told in an engaging way. Perhaps over dramatises the events somewhat in order to make it exciting to the reader but comes across as trying too hard sometimes or too much describing the even rather than just getting on with it. Found myself spacing out a bit too much with this audio book & no idea what was being said & having to rewind.
However it was a good listen & quite motivational for all walks of life & levels of fitness.

2 people found this helpful

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  • RLS
  • 07-06-16

The author loses his purpose

It felt like the author forgot what he was meant to be writing about and he pronounces things incorrectly with the leading example being his pronunciation of Gloucestershire. How hard is it to research the correct pronunciation of place names?

The "teachable moments" were not particularly relevant or well explained for the amateur athlete. This felt more like a collection of uninspiring anecdotes and some of the athletes were poorly chosen.

Much better books are The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters or a much more practical and helpful book is The Ultra Mindset by Travis Macey.

5 people found this helpful

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  • james abel
  • 13-12-16

The Greatest audio book for sports people

The narrator wasn't great but the book was gripping so, that didn't really matter. Fantastic

1 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 04-07-22

He really should have got someone else to read it!

The book is ok but I found his reading voice awful. He came across as extremely egoistical.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-03-22

Not For Me

There was some really good points in there and worth while. But it was a bit of a struggle to hang on in there if I'm honest. It very much went around the bush to get to the point but the facts were very interesting. A love hate relationship with this one.

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  • Dave
  • 07-01-22

And I thought I knew my why

As an Ironman man amateur athlete and plenty of 70.3’s under my belt I’ve always loved the mental aspect of the sport. This is incredibly an enlightening book and makes you want your next race to be tomorrow. Simply a must read for any amateur or even precessional athlete.

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  • glen danbury
  • 10-11-21

Great book

Fantastic read detailing how perseverance, belief and attitude can take you further than you think

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  • chris hall
  • 15-06-21

Engaging and motivating

Loved this booked and Matt has a gift for describing races; but it would have been better if read by a professional narrator. Nevertheless it is well worth the listen/read.

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  • T. Bowman
  • 04-03-20

An excellent book about sports psychology

Great advice and insights for all levels of athletes, told by using stories. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zahin
  • 29-11-17

Great motivator.

Good insight. Enjoyable listen. Trippled my best in the pool after listening to the first few chapters. Lessons derived from real examples.

2 people found this helpful

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  • daniel
  • 17-05-22

outstanding

Thoroughly enjoyable book. First time I'll re-listen to an audiobook instantly, love Matt Fitzgerald's work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-01-22

Fantastic read

These insights on how a diverse selection of world class athletes overcame adversity are absolutely fascinating giving us fellow athletes loads of learnings.

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  • Scott Wood
  • 23-12-21

Inspirational to athletes at all levels

Interesting & inspiring examples of the power of mental strength & determination. I love the take home messages from each example. Matt articulates each athletes story & journey so well. He had me engaged the whole time as he reads. It has made me personally consider to myself... what do I want? Why do I want it? How much do I want it? What do I need to get what I want? Lessons not just in the pursuit of athleticism, but many of lifes challenges. I highly recommend this book for those that need some guided motivation & looking to find a new level to push towards. Thanks for this book Matt. I will listen to this again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-10-19

Fascinating

I couldn’t stop listening and I think I’ll replay this immediately. Fascinating insight into endurance athletes’ psychology and brilliant storytelling.

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  • Oliver Brinkmann
  • 18-05-19

Too many irrelevant facts

As always, every book has some good chapters and so does this one too. However, there are extremely long passages of mere storytelling that leave you lost. For example the part where the Chicago marathon is described. Sure I understand that how the race unfolded it takes a lot of mental Toughness. But why do I have to listen to a lengthy description of the race in the style of a radio reporter providing every detail. Far too many facts, dates, times, and scientific information. Didn't get much out of the book and stopped one third through.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-19

Amazing

Full of insights while also interesting and captivating through his athlete profiles. Will read it again.