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Five Books (Updated)

Summer's here and that makes me think of the summer reading list. I loved it when I was in high school. We dove into the classics most of which were books I would not pick up on my own, but loved once I did.

This summer for some reason I have been busier than ever and on the road working or visiting New Jersey, DC area, NY, Ohio and more. I've got many more trips in the hopper for July and August, but am hoping that the fall slows down.

Of course there's also the World Cup.

I don't read as well on the road. I get distracted by other people or a tv in the room or the work I am doing or whatever and I mainly read short things online.  Determined to change that here are the 5 books (well 6...) I am currently reading and taking notes on that I will get up in the next month:

Endure Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

I'm about halfway through this book and can say it is a wonderful read. Well written, entertaining and dense, each chapter ca…
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The Subtle Art of ...

"...our struggles determine our successes"

I did not anticipate liking this book.

But,  I have liked it quite a bit. There are several people I want to give it to as a gift.

"...our struggles determine our successes"

"To be happy we need to solve something. happiness is therefore an action." (Similar to Finding Flow-- we are happier doing, living with purpose, acting)

It's very much about caring about the right things, and dismissing the wrong things. Defined as maturity.

Pairs very well with Alan Watts (although Watts is a more complex read)

and, The Wire

and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

March Reading List

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” --Charlie Munger
My March Reading List.  Sports/Coaching

The Captains ClassSam WalkerPhilosophy/ReligionThe Wisdom of Insecurity Alan Watts
Investing/money Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroscience Can Make You Rich
--Jason Zweig
Learning/TeachingHow We Learn  Benedict Carey

History/PoliticsRussian Roulette   David Corn Michael Isikoff
NovelThe Hour I First Believed   Wally Lamb
CuriosityThe Magic of Thinking Big


I use the free version of evernoteto take my notes and do my writing.

The Inner Game of Tennis Again

Did you catch the Richard Farley interview with Emily Sonnet in which she notes the power and influence of the great book The Inner Game of Tennis on her recent resurgence as a player?

“I think, not just my rookie year but now, this past year, my mental side [was crucial],” Sonnett says, reflecting on her path over the last two years. “I’ve read a couple of books -- Mark gave me a book, it’s called The Inner Game of Tennis. They use tennis as a medium to talk about how you talk to yourself, because that’s also really important. One day you’re not performing and then, oh no, you’re getting down on yourself. That’s not going to be good. Then you start believing what you’re saying."

If you have a cerebral player on your team who is trying to make a jump to the next level, or an athlete who has a harsh inner voice, this is a tremendous resource.

As is an excellent coach.

She credits her coach Mark Parsons, who gave her the book, with being incredibly influential in learning the…

Originals, Adam Grant

"Originality is an act of creative destruction." Joseph Schumpeter

Many of the best coaches I know are originals. They move at their own pace, think their own thoughts, and make enormous contributions to the game or the culture around them.

In Originals Adam Grant extols the virtues of these nonconformists who create novel ideas, or go against the grain of convention, and lead successful powerful lives.

Of course we all borrow thoughts from others.  We may even think they are ours. Grant describes this with the great phrase "kleptomnesia."

Grant shows us why curiosity is crucial and leads us to question the status quo and to look behind "what is' to see "what could be."

"When we become  curious about the dissatisfying defaults in our world, we begin to recognize that most of them have social origins: Rules and systems were created by people. And awareness gives us the courage to contemplate how to change them."

Like you and me
The book …

How We Learn and Why It Happens

“There is divine beauty in learning.... To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps.” ―Elie Wiesel
This week is flying by.

I've been working on a writing project for a client and so I haven't read as much nor had as much time to post.


After I put the Ben Hogan classic down and read parts of Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t, I have mainly been entertained by twitter and watching soccer.

Thank you ESPN for covering the She Believes Cup.

There are also some great video of goals and goalkeeping on twitter.

In particular, Women's Soccer United @WSUasa and Our Game Magazine @ourgamemagazine will provide you with useful clips that are entertaining and good for teaching.

I do update each of my current posts as I read something that corresponds to it, adds to it, overlaps or disagrees with it.

I actually use Evernote for notes. It's an awesome way to collect information, or…

A Short List of Soccer Books (Updated)

Entertaining, informative, useful....

Inverting the Pyramid: Not your traditional beach read, but I read it on the beach two years ago over my Christmas break. It's an excellent look at the tactical development throughout the history of the men's game. Great coaches and players are discussed as well as the changes in formations over the years. You will learn a lot, but I also found it to be a page turner.  Jonathon Wilson knows his stuff and is a great writer. Highly recommend.

Team Building: the road to success:  Written by Rinus Michaels, but dedicated to Vera Pauw (Houston Dash Head Coach) and Bert Van Lingen for their help. The book includes Michaels' journey as a coach through the different levels.  'Team building" is one of the three keys to creating a successful team. The other two are the talent you are working with and the match mentality.

I love this book and flip back through it looking for answers on a regular basis.

Focused on Soccer: How to win the me…

March, Book One

I just read my first graphic novel, March, Book One by the great John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.

Dedicated to "the past and future children of the movement," it is a great format to tell an important story,  Lewis's life story.

Although it seems clear the book is aimed at a younger audience, I thought it was great.

The story is understated making the lessons all the more powerful.

His tremendous bravery shines through. And, his generosity of spirit.

March is just the first book in a series.

I've ordered the next two.

"Let the spirit of history be our guide."

"No lie can live forever."

Update: I've now added two more graphic novels to my list on the recommendations of readers. Thank you.

The Stoics: Five Books

Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.The quote above is from Marcus Aurelius the Emperor of Rome from 161-180 and a practitioner of the philosophy of stoicism.

Do you know much about stoicism?

I got curious in my twenties based on my friendship with my father.

My father was a World War II veteran. He rarely talked about it, but I do know he returned home after being shot in his upper arm. Apparently he had nerve damage. In his forties he was diagnosed with colon cancer.  He dealt with it and moved on.

If you asked him he would say he had never been sick a day in his life.

He was very stoic about things. That's what my mom used to say.

My dad was also very warm and lived with a twinkle in his eye. He laughed a lot and told corny jokes.

He told a good story.

You could find him at Mass every morning.

He would say the key to being happy was to not think too much about yourself.  He just dealt with what came along.

No whining, no co…

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons

"The greatest pleasure is obtained by improving."

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons is a charming book.

I am not much of a golfer. In fact, one of my friends advised me to just say "no" when people asked if I golfed. This despite the fact that I do like to get out on the course and play.

Yet I found much to like in this book.

His core philosophy comes down to an emphasis on the fundamentals even for competitors at the highest level. These fundamentals need to be repeated over and over again until they are perfected and can be done under enormous pressure.

This makes great sense to me.

My old college coach used to say you should train in front of the goal so much that when your big moment comes in a game "you feel like you've been there before."

Hogan writes of the pain he felt watching amateurs train repeatedly with the wrong swing. They can  practice all they want, but they will never improve.  Rather, the purpose of training is get a "correct powerfu…