The Drew Review: The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure by Ian H. Robertson

drew-review“The brain is the most complicated entity in the known universe and consists of many different parts working mostly unconsciously but─ we hope─ in a reasonably co-ordinated way.”  -I. H. Robertson

As we all know, in athletics, what ultimately matters are wins and losses; both at the individual and team levels. The Winner Effect, goes deeper into the science of what happens when we do win and the changes that take place because of winning, both the good and at times bad. I found this book to be full of great insights and fascinating examples of how winning effected people and drove those people to make decision that immediately impacted those around them. There were times during the reading where the style was annoying to me, mainly it took a while to get to a point instead of just providing the finding and then reflecting. Because of this the book was difficult for me to read during the later chapters of the text. I really liked this book and in it are plenty of other resources I plan to further investigate.

DR Winner EffectThe Winner Effect has 6 chapters, the extent of which is no more than 290 pages. Each chapter, the neuroscientist and trained clinical psychologist, Robertson; asks a different question on winning.  Such as, Are we born to win? Is winning a matter of chance and circumstance? or Does winning have a downside? The titles of each chapter are interesting as well (The Mystery of the Oscars, The Enigma of Bill Clinton’s Friend, and The Winning Mind; to name a few) which always kept me amused along with the exercises Robertson has you complete as you go through the book. For strength coaches who want to read this book, you will find an incredible perspective on winning from the scientific realm. After reading The Winner Effect you yourself may develop a different mindset when it comes to training your athletes because you will understand the ramifications that come with winning and losing that you might not have thought about before.

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