This month’s book review was a great read and very applicable to those working with young athletes!
Authors: Jon Gordon
Topic: Leadership, Psychology, Coaching
Appropriate for: Coaches
Overall rating: 5/5 – go and read it NOW!
This book was a great read. I had all intentions of taking my time to read it over a few weeks, but I literally read it in 2 or 3 days. I was really inspired by the content and found it really easy reading! The book presents a narrative of a middle aged man, bitter at the world and at the end of his tether. He meets someone who over a number of encounters offers the follow rules to turn his situation around:
- You’re the driver of your bus
- Desire, vision and focus move your bus in the right direction
- Fuel your ride with positive energy
- Invite people on your bus and share your vision
- Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t want to get on the bus
- NO ENERGY VAMPIRES
- Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energises them too
- Love your passengers
- Drive with purpose
- Have fun and enjoy the ride
Whilst there was a whole load of applicable principles here, there was one that stood out to me – “Love your passengers.” Within the context of coaching, this could mean your athletes, other coaches or support staff. This has a similar them to my previous blog post regarding why interpersonal relationships are so crucial to the success or failure of coaching and the concept of athletes being “people first, athletes second.”
Within the book, the author digs deeper to suggest 5 ways to “Love your passengers”:
- Make time for them
- Are we really interesting in other spheres of our athletes’ lives? Do we care enough about their upcoming exams, relationship woes, or difficult home life?
- Listen to them
- Do we have an “open door policy”? Would athletes feel they could come and chat to us about something unrelated to sport? And would we really listen?
- Recognize them
- This fits in with the growth mindset – are we praising effort and rewarding persistence from all athletes? Not just the star players, but the less talented workhorses too? Are there unrecognized athletes in your team?
- Serve them
- Are we coaching to help develop athletes, or to massage our own ego? How do we show this in our coaching practice?
- Bring out the best in them
- Are we genuinely interested in growing our athletes? What if it means the difficult realisation that they have outgrown us a coach? Or if they leave our sport for another, or pursue another passion all together?
I really found this book very helpful in verbalising some of the ideas and concepts I’ve been mulling over recently. I’d have to say these 10 rules are probably going to end up being printed in my office as a daily reminder of how to get the best out of my coaching sessions and athletes each day.
Overall, I would say this book is a phenomenal resource for any coach. Interestingly, there is also a version of the book for children, which might be worth investigating as a Christmas present!
You can find the book here: The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy
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