How to be a front runner: Mental fitness for 11+ pupils by Dr Alan Beggs

This book draws on the author’s experience as an Olympic Sport Psychologist and offers some simple, yet powerful techniques to tackle the mental challenges of the 11 Plus marathon. It is highly interactive and user-friendly and contains the best evidence-based practice from the fields of sport psychology and applied positive psychology. It aims to help children to feel more focused, confident and resilient, and thus better able to face and master the first real ordeal of their young lives.


I spent almost twenty-five years in the groves of academe, with a highly successful research career and over fifty publications to my name.

However, my real passion is in making a difference to people. As an accredited Olympic sport psychologist from 1985 to 2000, I saw a gradual acceptance of the tools and techniques psychologists can bring to people striving to be the best they can be. I believe I had a very small – but significant – part to play in 25% of the medals that Team GB brought back from the Sydney Games.

These days, I am using some of the insights and theory from the emerging science of Positive Psychology together with the practical methods of Sport Psychology to help build the sense of emotional engagement and psychological well-being which people need to face their challenges, whatever those may be.

My book which is published on Amazon is aimed at Year 6 children sitting the 11 Plus examination. The impact of this on their mental health and well-being is increasingly becoming evident. It seems that while a great deal of effort in schools rightly goes into honing children’s skills and knowledge, the idea that psychological factors like motivation, engagement, focus, self-confidence, resilience, and stress-management have never been considered important. That is exactly what my book addresses, offering some very practical ways to acquire these strengths and boost a sense of their own wellbeing.

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