Sport: A Stage for Life: How to Connect with the Touchstones of Elite Performance and Personal Fulfillment

Cristiana Pinciroli in collaboration with Pedro Pinciroli Junior

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 406 Price: (paperback) $28.99 ISBN: 9781663233677 Reviewed: July, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

Former professional athlete Cristiana Pinciroli, founder of the human development consultancy WeTeam, draws on 13-years’ experience as captain of Brazil’s national water polo team for this high-powered, self-improvement guide.

Pinciroli notes that lessons she learned through sports influence “practically everything I do.”
In six chapters, with executive summaries and thinking points at the end of each, she outlines a four-part self-betterment strategy that begins with eating healthy, being well rested, and practicing mindfulness, and includes lessons on becoming “antifragile”; pushing through pain, and learning how to fail.

Flashbacks from her water polo career illustrate her points. For example, the author recounts playing in her first world championship at age 19, giving her “all” – “so much so that I lost six kilos while there.” While her team lost, she learned the importance of “details” in winning.

She also includes colorful vignettes about other athletes, such as two-time gold medalist yachtswoman Martine Grael, American sprinter Allyson Felix, and most notably the author’s father Pedro Pinciroli Júnior, who twice represented Brazil in water polo at two Olympics and is now a media executive. Offering a close-up insider’s account of professional sports, these anecdotes will especially enthrall water polo enthusiasts, but generalists as well.

Numerous studies on the psychology of success are discussed, and Pinciroli describes how her methodology can be applied to the corporate world and personal life.

While there’s much of interest here, Pinciroli’s advice is well-worn and will likely already be familiar to regular readers of the self-help genre. Additionally, the book feels overstuffed, exploring everything from the power of journaling to managing the energy of a team. Choosing a more targeted audience – either athletes, business people, or those looking for help in their personal lives – would have given the narrative more focus and allowed the advice to be more pointed.

Still, those willing to sift through the potpourri of information here should find enough useful advice to make the journey worthwhile.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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