Book Nook: 12 Practices of a Real Champion

My wife Sarah and I actually read a fair amount of the same books. We have largely different personalities, but largely overlapping interests. Hey, we make it work.

A few months ago, she attended a work-related training with a guest speaker, Steve Thomas. He gave out little books to the attendees. My interest was piqued when she said he was an assistant coach for Sacred Heart Griffin football. Any old sports reporter in my parts is automatically going to know the connotations of success that go with that distinction. Five state titles and four runner-up finishes since 1995 alone.

So, I grabbed the little booklet before she got a chance to read it.

And it is a booklet more than a book. It could be read in about an hour if you wanted. It also could take a few weeks if you wanted, as it has many pullout questions you are asked to, well, ask yourself. If one were inclined, you could spend hours meditating on the answers.

I chose the middle path, reading a couple of the practices a day, thinking about some of the questions, but never formally writing them down. I may circle back around to that. Putting a few answers down on paper daily would actually be a solid “five-minute journal” practice. Make that Practice 13, if you will.

As for the content, it is nothing new for most semi-functional adults. It is mostly cookie-cutter regurgitation from previous practice/habit/lifeguide readings. In fact, it features a ton of pull-out quotes from previously thought out works.

But I say all that to say it also serves its purpose. For the semi functional, a goal I hope to achieve some day, it is a good refresher. And the concise format serves well in that regard. It is also targeted well. This is mostly not for the everyday man, although it could be useful to that sect as well. It serves better as a lesson plan for other coaches.

A high school coach could do well by assigning this book this their athletes, with discussion to follow. It is a solid, even if basic, guide to follow, and the younger the mantras withing enter, the better they may stick. If nothing else, a coach could probably lift some of the lessons and pass them off to their young charges as their own. At minimum, put some of the quotes on a whiteboard in the locker room on occasion.


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