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the road to
mental gains

Sports psychology, mental training and guidance for athletes, coaches and their environment

Jens Van Lier met het boek voor wielrenners.

"Your head against your body" dives into the head of the peloton. Literally then. Because to win a race, the legs and the head must be fresh. But how do you mentally prepare for a race? You will find out in this book!

Jens Van Lier takes you into the wonderful world of sports psychology. Using numerous examples and studies, he explains how mental training can improve your cycling performance. Because it is obvious: with innate talent and physical strength alone you will not make it.

This book offers scientific answers to questions such as: why is Oliver Naesen right when he says that the head determines when you break or not? Was Remco Evenepoel right to only look at his cadence and watts during the European Championship time trial? Would it be good to smile when on your bike, even if you are gritting your teeth? And is a massage or ice bath after a race useful or not?


Sometimes I hear athletes say that they don't need a sports psychologist or mental coach, because they are 'strong' enough in their head. This shows that 'mental strength' is still often seen as something you 'have' or 'don't have'. And consequently, that only the 'weaker' athletes should improve their mental aspect, or need mental training. Mental guidance or training only seems necessary if, for example, their motivation is low, or if they experience too much fear or stress. In short, you often hear that working on that part that is between your two ears is only necessary when the results are not there.

And that's strange, because there is probably no one who doubts that the mental aspect is a full and very important part of sports. And that seems more than logical to me. Because you can just as well look at your brain as an important muscle, which you can train just like your legs, back and abs. And just like physical training optimally prepares your body for performance, mental training can optimally prepare your head and your body for the performance you want to deliver.

About me

I have a PhD in Psychology with a focus on sports psychology, 'research nerd' pur sang (according to my wife) and sportsenthusiast.

During my PhD I further trained as a practice-oriented sports psychologist and specialized mainly in the psychology of endurance sports. 

I am author of the book 'Your head against your body': About mental strength in cycling'




Sports and performance psychology/

Workshops and lectures

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