Book Review: It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moawad

Trevor Moawad is one of the best mental coaches in the world. He has helped Russell Wilson, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher, and hundreds of other athletes and coaches throughout his career. His experience has given him the knowledge and tools to write a great self-help book called It Takes What it Takes.

One of the main focal points of this book is the concept of neutral, objective, and process-oriented thinking. Moawad points out that people often think the only two options available are positive thinking and negative thinking. We all know negative thinking isn't helpful. Positive thinking can be very helpful at times, but sometimes it is unrealistic given our circumstances. When facing adversity, jumping straight to positivity isn't always attainable. Sometimes we need to shift to neutral before becoming more positive. Neutral thinking also has the benefit of settling down our emotions, which helps us execute the task at hand.

Perhaps my favorite part about this book is the motivational message behind the "It takes what it takes" mantra. Moawad writes about the "illusion of choice." He says that when you want to be great, you really don't have a wide range of options to choose from. To be great, you have no choice but to walk the narrow path to success. You can't always do things "your way." You have to be humble and disciplined to do what it takes to succeed. It takes what it takes! Don't complain about what it takes, because there's no other way. Whatever you have to do, you have to do it, or else you won't succeed.

Another thing I liked about this book is Moawad's emphasis on behaviors. While the cognitive aspect of psychology is still very important, it's equally as important to understand which sets of behaviors lead to success. Moawad teaches about the attitudes and behaviors that lead to success. By learning and committing to time-tested behaviors, you can "behave" your way to success. In the process, you'll also improve your mindset to facilitate your behavioral changes.

Moawad also writes inspiring and insightful chapters on planning, self-talk, the impact of consuming negative info/media, visualization, self-awareness, pressure, leadership, and role models. Altogether, Moawad gives you a clear picture of what it takes to succeed in sports and in life.

However, I do have some criticisms of this book. I was a little disappointed because I had high expectations. I thought the book could have been written more coherently. I also didn't like how Moawad tried too hard to recreate the wheel. He seems to try to sell his teachings as something that has never been thought of before, but much of it is related to mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. I think he should have given more credit where it was due. Lastly, I thought the book was going to be more insightful and academic with less cliches. It seemed a little watered down in order to reach a larger audience. I wish I could have learned more. However, I learned enough, and the book was fun and easy to read, so it was still worth it!

Overall, the book is very similar to Alan Stein Jr's book, Raise Your Game. If you're looking for motivation and a basic intro to mindset training, then this is a great book to buy!