CONCORD, N.C. – Jimmie Johnson and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus know a thing or two about mental preparation.
After all, the duo’s work ethic has helped lead to a record-tying seven NASCAR Cup Series championships for the No. 48 team.
Tuesday, a brand-new book was released, and it includes some insight into the mindset of the championship team.
Author Daniel McGinn’s “Psyched Up” focuses on how the science of mental preparation can help you succeed.
“I’d never met Jimmie or Chad before I did this reporting, but I was drawn to them for two reasons: I’d read enough interviews to know they are both smart and thoughtful, and because of their unmatched record for performance,” McGinn explained.
Knaus and Johnson are featured in a chapter of the book titled, “Why You Need a Pre-Performance Ritual.”
In it, both men discuss how superstitions can have an effect on their mindset as they head to the track.
“We like to joke that we’re not sure we’re superstitious, but we like to cover our bases just in case,” Johnson told the author.
Everything from heads-up pennies to bonsai trees to Martinsville grandfather clocks are covered, providing a unique look inside the mindset of the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champions.
At the same time, the duo certainly doesn’t rely solely on superstitions.
“I’m a believer in the saying, ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” Knaus told the author.
It’s just one section of a book that takes readers inside locker rooms, backstage on Broadway, onto sales floors and even inside DJ booths to provide insight on a successful mindset.
“Jimmie and Chad work in a job where their performance is judged on 36 afternoons,” McGinn said. “They do it on television with millions of people watching. Most of us work in jobs that are much different. But if you work in a job where there are particular days when you really need to bring your A-game, where the difference between being good and being really good comes down to how you do during a handful of stressful hours each quarter, odds are the techniques in this book will help you do it better.”
McGinn is a senior editor at Harvard Business Review. His writing has appeared in Wired, Inc., Boston Globe Magazine and Newsweek.
For more information on “Psyched Up,” click here.