To read this book you would think that Greg Ryan was a full-time professional coach, but he’s rather more than that – a sports lover passionate about sharing his learnings about being the perfect coach, sportsperson or supportive parent. This experience is gleaned from his young life as a football player, a coach in sports and from his transferable skills in the workplace, and to be honest I think rather benefits from not being clinical and tactical, like many sports coaches tend to be preoccupied with being. It is also not aimed at being a winning coach or a winning team. Rather, Greg’s approach to coaching is a totally human one, with a significant emphasis on person-to-person management, and the wellbeing of the player and the team, not just in sports, but in life generally. Winning games isn’t of paramount importance to Greg, but giving everyone a fair shot and boosting the self-esteem of young people absolutely is, which is fantastic – for that is the very reason why many adults get into sports coaching in the first place. Greg primarily applies his observations to sports, specifically American football, but indeed his teachings can help in any coaching environment, including teaching and the workplace, for his lessons are based on universal truths of fairness and common decency.
What this book is, then, is a holistic yet concise pocket guide, which can be kept handy and dipped into from time to time, for general guidance. It is a perfect accompaniment for coaches at every level, though I think it is particularly suited to those training kids in sports (or indeed any other discipline) at the grassroots level. Each lesson, or chapter, is brief and to the point, written in perfectly relatable language; indeed, the book itself is very short, I would estimate at around 10-15k words, but Greg uses those words to tremendous effect; they are not wasted, but rather tell you exactly what you need to know: those human lessons in universal truth. It is not the only coaching book you will need, by any means, but it is, I think, an essential accompaniment. If you are expecting a stat-heavy, results-orientated encyclopaedia in sports coaching, you should perhaps keep looking. But I would absolutely recommend that you add this coffee table guide to your collection of training resources; indeed, if you are the right sort of person, who values relationships and the importance of breeding confidence, and perhaps got into or fell into coaching without a great deal of preparation, it is a great place to start learning about coaching.
In : Book Reviews
Tags: gregory-ryan coaching non-fiction reference educational