by John R. Anderson and Rick A. Aberman, Ph.D.
In this fascinating book, a Division I head coach with over 25 years of experience and a sports psychologist with over 25 years of experience working at the collegiate and professional level discuss "the other stuff" that coaches routinely encounter on and off the field.
Meddlesome parents, demanding administrators, misbehaving kids, confusing rules, and negative media all have an influence. The authors offer practical advice on how to survive and thrive in the business of sports.
It's an ideal resource for coaches of any sport and at any level of competition, as well as school & program administrators who hire and maintain a coaching staff.
It’s also an outstanding tool for business leaders, as the authors draw similarities between lessons learned in the corporate board room and on the playing field.
Here's an excerpt from the chapter titled, Coaching and You...
John: “Even though a particular system or coaching philosophy can produce a national champion in one situation, it can produce a disaster in another. Players have different skills, different commitments, and different agendas. You just can’t take a program you may have played under and export it without change...”
Rick: “It is really easy to blame the kids when the system isn’t working. It’s easy to rationalize, ‘Hey, the system works at XYZ University. I know the system and I’m applying it exactly the same way they do. It must be the kids not putting out.’ Remember, you aren’t the same coach as the person who put that system together. You have your own strengths and weaknesses. It is impossible for any coach to be exactly like another.”
And another excerpt from the section titled, What’s Good for the Kid vs. What’s Good for Business...
John: “We hear a lot these days about coaching kids ‘from the neck up.’ What people usually mean by this is teaching the kids discipline, poise, control, and emotional stability. This is getting to be a tougher and tougher job. One reason its getting tougher is the changing nature of youth sports. Good athletes are told at a very early age that they have to specialize in one sport. By the time we recruit these athletes at the university-level, they've developed unreasonably high expectations. The fact that we're recruiting these players only confirms their exalted status. Part of our de-recruiting process is to work with athletes on managing reality.”
Rick: “One of the things I don’t think we do a very good job of is dealing with the fallout, the residue of specialization in sports. Everyone wants these highly talented kids to play, play, play, except, eventually, the kids themselves. They have been pushed and pulled and prodded and coerced for so long they’ve burned out.”
"Coaches who read this will know that they are not alone with their problems and will feel comforted and ready to play the game with new vigor."
- Rick Telander, Chicago Sun Times and ESPN The Magazine
“This book will be a valuable asset to all coaches, not only those who have considered getting out of the game, but those young coaches who are just getting started and have a strong desire for a long future in coaching.”
- Richard D. Schultz, Executive Director, United States Olympic Committee