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Louis Clay Tharp's Overachiever's Diary: How The Army Triathlon Team Became World Contenders

Updated on April 6, 2011

Triathletes and competitive swimmers are a memorable bunch. Their resolution, dedication and ambition push them to set arduous goals, then conquer them time and time again. And when it comes to overachieving, nobody does it like the West Point Triathlon Team's Cadets. In 2007, they ranked 5th overall in Collegiate Nationals, won an individual gold in Age Group Nationals and earned a bronze medal in the Worlds in Hamburg.

Their road to glory is a fascinating story, and one that is recounted in Overachiever's Diary: How the Army Triathlon Team Became World Contenders, written by Louis Clay Tharp.

Tharp, a World Masters medalist and competitive swimmer, is swim coach of the West Point Tri Team. During his own personal journey towards an improved lifestyle, he unearthed Total Immersion, an uncommon training approach designed to give faster, more fluid results than traditional methods. He used these techniques to help the Cadets maintain efficient strokes, increase speed and maximize workouts through not only physical means, but also psychological.

Louis Clay Tharp wrote daily emails to the team containing what to expect at practice, how it will be carried out, its benefits and why it is necessary. This special coaching instrument resulted in a collection of useful, inspiring and often entertaining emails that ultimately resulted in Overachiever's Diary.

The book is separated into three sections:

  • Mechanics: Drills, tips and techniques
  • Math: Gauging efficiency and speed, plus establishing practical goals
  • Motivation: Inspiring emails sent to the Cadets before important events

Tharp's mentor, and Total Immersion founder, Terry Laughlin, wrote the intro. The book also includes several essays by Laurie Ferguson PhD, psychologist and motivational speaker, on the importance of confidence, attitude and motivation.

Overachiever's Diary simplifies motivation and mechanics into terms every athlete can understand. It enlightens, inspires and tests the psychological and physical limits of overachievers everywhere.

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