Today, aspiring athletes have to work harder and be more dedicated than athletes of previous generations who did not have to contend with the messages of a popular culture that promotes winning at all costs and implicitly condones "shortcuts" to winning. Many of today's athletic superstars glorify and demonstrate cheating and illicit, destructive conduct. Whether off the field antics or on the field cheating through the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs typify an athlete's lack of personal values, the bad behavior displayed by many in a broad range of sports is hard to escape. The result is that too many such negative role models and influences are out there, diverting today's developing competitors down a seductive path to failure rather than upward to excellence and lasting, honest achievement.
Becoming a True Champion: Achieving Athletic Excellence from the Inside Out fills a critical need by speaking in a frank and direct voice directly to today's aspiring athletes about these crucial, controversial issues and the personal choices they face. At the same time the book presents them with the antidote to these negative influences-the fundamental values, attitudes and concepts, both mental and practical, that support and lead to athletic excellence.
A "true champion" is an athlete with the specific qualities of character, mental discipline, and physical skills necessary to generate and keep increasing athletic excellence and success throughout his or her career. These qualities can be learned and developed; they need not be inborn. Becoming a True Champion goes deeply into each quality to show developing athletes how adopting it directly affects and enhances athletic performance, longevity, and dignity. Through relevant examples, inspiring stories, and a personalized approach, the book shows athletes how to avoid the many pitfalls, and overcome the inevitable obstacles, so common in today's sports culture.
Kirk Mango was a collegiate Division I National Champion and gold medalist on the still rings in 1979, defeating several Olympians to earn this honor. The previous year Kirk had won the silver medal on this event in the 1978 Division I National Championships. He was selected as a collegiate All-American in both 1978 and 1979 and to the present day still holds the Northern Illinois University school record for the still rings event. Kirk is also a three-time Hall of Fame athlete and was selected in 2009 as Number 8 on the list of "Top 50 Huskies of All Time" by the NIU Northern Star. He has been a high school teacher for 32 years, coaching for 17 of them. He has coached girls' gymnastics teams to three conference championships, four regional championships, one sectional championship and three Elite-Eight IHSA (Illinois High School Association) state championship competitions. Kirk has also been a member of the Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, which is dedicated to the promotion of the quality of life through fitness and wellness.
Daveda Lamont is an author, ghostwriter and developmental editor with many books to her credit. This is her fourth book and third as co-author. In 2000-2001, Daveda served as a contract editor for Powered, Inc., editing and co-writing courses for the corporate online universities of clients such as Barnes & Noble, Dell, VISA, and Bloomberg.com. Her developmental editing experience includes fine art appreciation, film and music instruction, artist memoirs, creative nonfiction, nutrition, alternative healthcare, family financial planning, consumer investing and finance, investment risk and reward, online commerce, and various self-improvement subjects.