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Simon Marshall PhD - Screenwriter | Brain Wrangler | Recovering Academic

Simon Marshall PhD - Screenwriter | Brain Wrangler | Recovering Academic

Episode 172: Simon Marshall PhD - Screenwriter | Brain Wrangler | Recovering Academic

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"The Greg Bennett Show"

In this episode of One Moment Longer with Greg Bennett, Greg is joined by Simon Marshall PhD.

Simon and his wife Lesley Paterson (featured on episode #168) are the authors of the book "The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion" and an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, alongside Lesley, for the Netflix movie, "All Quiet on the Western Front."

Simon trains the brains of endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts to calm the f*ck down and become happier and more mentally resilient. Prior to brain-wrangling athletes full time, he was a Professor of Behavioral Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and a Professor of Sport & Exercise Psychology at San Diego State University.

In this Episode Simon explains Applied neuroscience: understanding how your brain works and how to (as well as how not to) work with your brain rather than against it. How to build confidence (even if you are not a confident person) How to get out of your comfort zone and learn to embrace the suck. Tips for how athletes can go about improving their psychological and mental skills.


4:56 - Greg and Simon discuss how even after winning an academy award, confidence and self doubt can creep in. Thankfully the mental skills that make you successful in sport can be useful in all facets of life.

These are stem cell skills ...

8:09 - Simon describes how as a competitive cyclist, he found a passion for psychology. His journey to study the science of the mind and understand how and why we do the things we do.

What you think has a direct impact on your physiology

12:52 - Simon grew up in Zambia, Africa, and in different parts of the UK. His travelling childhood was spent obsessively playing soccer, rugby, and tennis, before finding competitive cycling. He started training and racing at age 12 and never really stopped. As his dreams of becoming a professional cyclist faded, he decided to study sports science instead. This led to rather lengthy collection of degrees that simply proved with science why “Simon” and “professional athlete” were destined never to be used in the same sentence.

Sport is a failure based business

17:54 - Greg and Simon discuss how vulnerability can be a fuel for confidence and achievement. Realising that people are constantly plagued by self doubt Simon and Lesley were inspired to write a book about it.

23:55 - Simon breaks the human brain down into three seperate networks, The Chimp, The Professor & The Computer brains. He explains the science behind these three metaphors and how we can apply his teachings to our everyday thinking and life.

Letting your 'meat computer' manage things

36:00 - Forming habits by starting with small achievable daily goals can ensure you more forward and stay motivated much more easily. Greg and Simon discuss different methods of calming yourself down.

...'music', is chimp porn ...

45:38 - Connecting breath patterns to send messages to neurons can be as easy as breathing in a certain pattern. Simon demonstrates exactly how to calm yourself within 15seconds.

49:21 - So what are the things you should be thinking about and saying to yourself prior to a significant stressful performance. Oh hold on ... maybe it's what you 'should not' be saying to yourself!?

You don't have to feel good to have a good race

1:01:07 - Understanding sub-text with his clinical patients for many years allowed Simon to transition his learnt skills to screenwriting.

1:06:14 - Simon explains what screenwriting story projects he is working on now the release of All Quiet on the Western Front promotion has completed.

1:10:32 - What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

1:11:54 - Who would you want to have dinner with (nonfamily, living or dead)?

1:14:24 - Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

1:16:37 - Interview concludes.


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He can be reached at

Bennett Endurance is a high-performance consulting business for athletes of all ages and abilities and non-athletes wanting to optimize their performances, health, wellbeing, and longevity.


With a combined 50 years of racing as professional athletes, 30 years as coaches and 30 years as athlete managers, Bennett Endurance has the knowledge, experience, and professionalism for intimate one-to-one, small group consultations, and mastermind groups. Helping you thrive and to live your high-performance life. Find out more >


Passion and Purpose. Greg Bennett is driven and cares deeply about optimizing and living a high-performance life. His passion will cause others to be inspired to optimize their own lives. Greg visibly enjoys entertaining his audience with incredible stories of finding his passion, aligning that passion with his strengths, and taking control of his own life. Be ready to be inspired and entertained. You will leave with the tools and tactics to go live your own high-performance life. Find out more >


An interview podcast show hosted by Greg Bennett. Greg interviews the world’s greatest Athletes, Entrepreneur’s and Executives diving deep into each guest’s life. Probing questions into each guests’ passions, strengths, sleep patterns, teams, nutrition, and everything else in between. These interviews are entertaining, inspiring, and educational. The lessons learned will give you the tools and tactics to optimize your life so you can live your High-performance life. Find out more >

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