Anyone read this book? I've read (and own) both of Arno Ilgner's books and have found them to be extremely helpful, however I need all the help I can get. I'm not afraid of falling; my issue is redpoint jitters...
Post by MarkAnderson on Feb 27, 2018 17:42:29 GMT -7
That's a good listen. Fans of Revelations will recognize most of the stories, but with the odd extra tidbit thrown in. If you're just interested in hearing about the book, they only really talk about it for the last 20 minutes or so (start listening ~45:00 in).
I've only read part of the book so far, but from what I've read his description of it seems pretty accurate.
Post by MarkAnderson on Mar 16, 2018 9:27:31 GMT -7
Ok, here goes...
Bottom Line: This is a great resource for experienced Performance-Oriented Climbers. This is not an introductory text, nor will it be useful for recreational climbers. For anyone new to the mental side of climbing, I would highly recommend starting with the Rock Warrior's Way, practicing those methods for a few years, then advancing to Mastermind.
Background: Jerry Moffatt is one of my greatest climbing heroes--perhaps the single most significant when you consider his affinity for training and his willingness to share his experiences through his writing. I have read his autobiography Revelations at least 5 times--my copy is full of underlines, highlights and notes in the margin. It is my favorite book. I quoted Moffatt heavily in the RCTM for good reason. If you are familiar with Revelations you will recognize some of the stories in Mastermind.
Overview:Mastermind presents essentially three parts. The first section is a description of the mental factors and methods that effect climbing performance (such as confidence, visualization, self image). This section includes many useful asides from top climbers (mostly Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, and Chris Sharma) that illustrate the value of different methods, etc. These can be hit or miss, but generally really help emphasize Moffatt's points. The second part discusses the various "styles" of climbing (Onsight, Redpoint, Bouldering, Trad, Comps) and how to mentally prepare for each. Unfortunately much of the text, throughout the book, is slanted towards competitions, because that is where Jerry struggled and learned to overcome his mental weaknesses. For example, the Onsight section is only two pages. Since I don't care at all about comps, I would prefer if the examples, etc were directed more towards rock climbing, but the anecdotes help amplify the thin sections in this part of the book. There is even a section on soloing, which I was surprised to see simply for liability reasons! The last part is a serious of 1-2 page short stories from famous climbers about specific instances in which they've overcome mental challenges. I found these rarely helpful, though I really enjoyed Kilian Fischhuber's. Looking back at my highlights, all but one are in the first section (the other is in Kilian F's testimonial).
The book itself is a work of art, witch a beautiful, elaborate (and presumably expensive) cover design with Bible-style ribbon place-holders, pages for note-taking, etc, a pencil holder and elastic strap to contain extraneous notes. Key passages are bolded or popped out for emphasis. There are random quotes peppered throughout from the likes of Bruce Lee and Muhammed Ali. There are inspiring color photos of elite climbers throughout, and the text is livened by clever illustrations.
Opportunities for Improvement:Revelations was written "with" Niall Grimes, and apparently he did a lot to straighten out the prose. Moffatt mentions in the podcast about Mastermind that he often wrote by dictating to the computer, which then transcribed the text. This is evident in the writing. Furthermore, the book was published by the German Kafe Kraft team, which apparently was unable or uninterested in editing an English text. This doesn't harm the quality of the content, but I think it makes the content difficult to access. The information is often a bit scatter-brained, rambling and poorly organized. I had to fill in gaps and connect a lot of the dots myself, and I think someone who was new to the subject would have a lot of difficulty extracting the key points and formulating them into actionable steps.
Conclusion: As mentioned above, I think those new to the mental side will get lost in this book. Start with something more basic and expansive like the Rock Warrior's Way. Even then, to get the most out of Mastermind, I would recommend reading Revelations first, maybe a couple times, to provide more context for Jerry's experience, expertise, and journey along the path to climbing wisdom. I am reluctant to make a broad recommendation for this book because I don't see it as a stand alone text, nor an accessible read. That said, I think there is very powerful information in this book that will really help certain climbers. For me personally, Mastermind has already been a significant benefit to my climbing, but I had a lot invested in the subject and the author before I started. I've read it a couple times now, marked key passages, and I re-read them weekly if not nightly. If you're willing to put in the time, I think this book can be very helpful, but it won't be an overnight fix.
Interesting... Thank you for the review. I believe, judging by last season, I have lots of room for improvement in my mental game. Based on your review, I may re-read the Rock Warrior's Way first, and potentially look into Revelations and Mastermind this summer when it's hot and swampy outside.
BTW, read it several times?!? How fast do you read?!? I guess I don't get too much time to myself. The time I do have, I use training (early morning) and sleeping (after the kids go to bed). I can't make it to the bathroom without someone banging on the door.
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2018 17:23:02 GMT -7 by Chris W
I just finished Mastermind last night. It is, without a doubt, the most poorly written, disorganized, rambling, typo filled and grammatically incorrect book I have ever read. Granted, I'm no English scholar, but I'm frankly shocked that it was printed and distributed as is.
Having said that, there's a TON of great information in the book, and I'm glad I read it. Arno's book is gold. Jerry's book has a lot of nuggets of gold in it; you just have to sift through the silt to find them.
To get the most out of the book, I'm going to have to sit down, re-read it, take notes and organize those notes into more coherent thoughts and an actual training plan.
Ouch! I have very vivid memories of my mother dissecting my papers as a child with a red pen. She reads so fast that I can't comprehend how she can absorb any of the information she consumes. I'm pretty sure she would have a heart attack if she tried to read Mastermind.