This is Your Brain on Sports

“So often the appearance of lunacy in sports isn’t lunacy at all. As outlandish as sports conduct might seem, it is rooted in basic human psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive tendency. All that crazy we associate with sports? We’re going to explain why it’s not so crazy after all. And then we’ll explore what lessons and principles sports offer for better navigating our daily lives as managers, business owners, consumers, parents, and more. As Errol Morris said, sports touches on everything.”

-L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers

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With the Olympics practically around the corner, I am delighted by all things sports. Yes, it is still hockey season, and yes, I enjoy college basketball and am definitely ready for baseball, but I adore hearing the stories of all of the Olympians.

This is precisely why I enjoyed This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, The Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon. Simply put, it is the perfect blend of Freakonomics-style examinations of the ordinary and an engaging look at why Americans are fascinated by sports. With hilarious stories of die-hard sports fans, and an inside look at some of the behind-the-scenes details about coaches, t-shirt cannons, and the addictive tendencies of ultra-endurance athletes. With laughable chapter titles (i.e. Why We Want Gronk at Our Backyard Barbecue – and Why He Wants to Be There) and insight that extends beyond the arena (the notion that running extreme races is similar – mentally and emotionally – to running your own business), this book is totally enjoyable for sports fans and armchair-neurosciences alike.

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