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Book Review: Quiet Strength—The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life

posted by Coach Dawn Writes
Friday, December 17, 2010 at 11:17am EST

My blog is a place for coaches at all levels who are interested in building teams, motivating their student athletes, and coaching ideas that work. You won't find drills or job postings there, but you will find thoughts from a self-proclaimed coaching nerd who wants to help coaches and teams thrive.

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“I don’t yell a lot.  In fact, yelling will be rare.  When I get mad, I usually talk at the same volume I’m talking now.  And when I get really mad…I whisper.  So if my voice at this level won’t get your attention and you believe you need someone to yell at you to correct you or motivate you, then we’ll probably need to find you another team to play for so that you can play your best.” –Tony Dungy

How often do you hear a quotation like that coming from a coach…and a football coach at that?!  Many of us grew up watching or being coached by old school coaches…and “quiet” wouldn’t be a word used to describe most of them.  But in Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy, he talks about his methods and how those techniques ultimately won him a Super Bowl.

The rundown: I think that the title of this book could have been “Quiet Confidence” as well.  Think about the inner strength and confidence Dungy must have had in himself and his way of doing things that he was able to buck the tradition and be a football coach on his own terms.  What an awesome lesson for us to learn!  To have confidence in your calling as a coach when the results aren’t turning out how you’d like.  To have confidence in your coaching style and philosophy when others tell you that you can’t be successful with your methods.  This book details Dungy’s career from player to Super Bowl champion…and all of the ups and downs in between.  But the one thing that is a consistent theme throughout the book is his commitment to his coaching style.

Recommended for: All coaches.  We put ourselves in such unbalanced situations during our seasons…in terms of our family time, our nutrition, our sleeping patterns. On a certain level, I believe we thrive in those situations…but only short term.  The idea of this book though, is that our coaching lives shouldn’t be separate from our faith, from our families, from who we are as people.  If you’re looking for a book that gives example after example of someone living a life of integrity (oftentimes when he wasn’t outwardly rewarded for it), then you’ll enjoy Quiet Strength.

Not recommended for: Dungy makes no apologies for his Christian faith and it’s a strong theme that runs throughout this book.  If that would be offensive to you, this book probably isn’t for you.

So if you’re still stressing about a gift for that coach in your life (Christmas is next week, you know), this would be a welcomed package underneath the tree.

Do you have a coaching nerd in your life who just loves to learn more and more about their sport and their craft?  Then I’d bet that they love to read books!  Keep checking back as I talk about three books that are great for coaches:  Gender & Competition by Kathy DeBoer, Mind Gym by Gary Mack, and Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy.

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