Book Review-The 100-Yard Journey by Gary Pinkel

The 100-Yard Journey by former Toledo and Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel is about his extraordinary life and career in NCAA men’s football. Coach Pinkel shares many lessons and insights from what he learned throughout his career playing and coaching in college football. Many of these insights are lessons we can apply to our own lives. Coach Pinkel shares the commitment and hard work it took to bring programs such as Toledo and Missouri to the winning stages. Much of what Coach Pinkel shares is the knowledge from his mentor, University of Washington Head Coach Don James, during his time as a player and his tenure as an assistant coach.

The 100-Yard Journey goes into detail about Coach Pinkel’s childhood and how his parents raised him to always have integrity. He was taught to never speak badly of anyone and to put your hardest work and commitment into what you are supposed to do. This translated into his work on the sidelines at Washington, Toledo, and Missouri. It was common for him to spend nearly all his awake hours working in his office and preparing for the next opponent. By 2001, he was faced with the decision to either stay at Toledo, or move on to coach at Missouri, where it was considered impossible to win. Coach Pinkel was taught by his mentor, Washington Head Coach Don James, that where there is great difficulty, there is even greater opportunity. He remembered this advice and chose to take the Missouri job, even with heavy opposition from others. Through his leadership, Coach Pinkel built Missouri’s football team into a winning program by 2003. By 2007, Missouri would be ranked #1 for the first time since 1961.

I highly enjoyed The 100-Yard Journey by Gary Pinkel. This is a hard book to put down and I learned many things about what goes into building winning leadership and sports teams. Coach Pinkel exposes the relentless commitment it takes to earn respect of those who are helping you produce victories. He shares the patience and humility it takes to become a successful leader and coach. Coach Pinkel’s insights would benefit anyone who is looking to become a better boss, coach, mentor, and parent. Happy reading!

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Book Review-Mindset by Carol Dweck

Mindset by Carol Dweck is an eye opening read that will make you make you rethink how you interpret each event in your life. Everyone should have a requirement to read this in school. Mindset contains information that is essential for succeeding in everything we do, such as in the workplace, our business, relationships, and our health. Throughout the book, Dweck advocates for us to see everything as a learning experience, and how to trick our minds into it.

Throughout the book, two mindsets are labeled for each person. There is a fixed mindset, where one may believe that their circumstances are unchangeable and that their abilities are fixed. A fixed mindset is a belief in not actually having to work at something, because you can only go so far with natural abilities you are equipped with. However, a second mindset, the growth mindset, is the belief in being able to develop talents and abilities at any time in our lives. It is the belief in working hard enough with enormous practice and continuous improvement in our work.

Mindset is a book that everyone should read. It really is an eye opener for anyone who is ready to challenge self sabotaging beliefs and have much more success in our lives. I feel very blessed to have found this book at a young age and still have enough time to implement the principles Dweck teaches us. Much of what Dweck advocates throughout this book is how we interpret certain events, such as receiving a rejection letter from an important job interview, for example. One with a fixed mindset will take it as if they are an automatic failure, while one with a growth mindset will see it as an opportunity to improve. I hope you buy this book for your benefit. You will be glad you did! Happy reading!

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Book Review-Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins, is one of the greatest personal power books I have ever read in my life. This book made me fall in love with the principles associated with Tony Robbins. He is one of the best sources when it comes to taking back our personal power. Awaken the Giant Within teaches us how to take immediate control of our destiny: mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.

Throughout this book, Tony Robbins takes us through a new world by challenging our long-held beliefs and making us feel we can make the changes we want to make. He shows us how to come up with a plan to acquire what we want. Tony Robbins will also show us how to control our emotions with techniques on how we talk to ourselves and how we perceive events. Awaken the Giant Within will also show us how to act within our values and how to say ‘no’ to things that we have said ‘yes’ to for way too long. This is how we create a better future for ourselves, by focusing more on what we do want, instead of always saying ‘yes’ to things even though they do not help us meet our end game. Awaken the Giant Within will also show us the reasons why we are unhappy deep down. We must consider our personal expectations, and whether to lower those expectations, or pull the plug on something. Tony Robbins shows us how to determine that in this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to take control and strive to have better in their lives. Awaken the Giant Within had me sitting back and reflecting deeply on my life on how I could make things better. This was a low point in my life, and was a time where I knew change was inevitable. I truly believe this book will be a inspiration to all of us, and know it will help you also. Have fun reading!

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Book Review-One Last Strike by Tony LaRussa

One Last Strike by Tony Larussa is an incredible story of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals world series run. It was an amazing comeback by a team who never gave up when everyone counted them out at 10.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves with a month to go in the season. One Last Strike will make you feel as if you can come back from anything, no matter how far you may feel set back from something.

After a devastating sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in St. Louis during late August, the Cardinals would go on to compile a 23-9 record the rest of the way. This would lead to sneaking into postseason play on September 30, the last day of the regular season, with an 8-0 victory over the Houston Astros and an Atlanta Braves loss. Larussa would refer to many of the lessons he learned in his previous 30 years of managing, as how to guide this team through the challenges that were faced during the season. In the National League Division Series, the Cardinals would go on to shock the Philadelphia Phillies by prevailing in 5 games, behind the shutout of Starting Pitcher Chris Carpenter in game 5. The Cardinals would then go off to Milwaukee to face the Brewers in the National League Championship Series. They would go on to beat Milwaukee in 6 games behind the performance of Third Baseman David Freese, who would bat over .450 in the series. In the World Series, the Cardinals would face the heavily-favored Texas Rangers. Third Baseman David Freese would go off to be the hero in game 6, with an incredible double to right field, then hitting the walk-off home run in the 12th inning. The next night, the Cardinals would prevail over the Rangers by a score of 6-2 to secure the franchise’s 11th world championship.

One Last Strike by Tony Larussa is an excellent read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a great story. I was absolutely blown away at Larussa’s knowledge and how he can explain managing a game down to a T. I was very energized when reading this book, as if Larussa was right next to me, teaching fundamentals of the game. One Last Strike includes insights that I never even thought of as a baseball fan. I hope you buy this book, you will learn so much from it! Happy reading!

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Book Review-I Beat The Odds by Michael Oher

I Beat The Odds, by Michael Oher, is an extremely inspring read for anyone who is into great stories about those rising from the ashes to stardom. Oher was an inner city child who seemed to have no future. However, one day he had a life-changing experience when a well-off family, called the Tuohy’s, picked him up off the street. I Beat The Odds is a very engaging read that I throughly enjoyed from the beginning to the end. I could not put the book down!

The Tuohy’s saw talents in Oher that no one else believed in. It turned out that his childhood of playing street sports in Hurt Village benefitted his future in many ways, as he would rise to become a star Left Tackle for Wingate High School and the University of Mississippi. However, his rough childhood set him back from the rest of his peers. Oher was raised by his mother, who was a drug addict, as social services would come to take he and his siblings multiple times. Once the Tuohy’s found Oher, he was able to create a life that very few people from the ghetto can ever dream of. Oher worked tirelessly with his tutor, Miss. Sue, to raise his grades in order to graduate. He eventually was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft, after 4 seasons at Ole Miss.

I highly recommend reading the book, I Beat The Odds, by Michael Oher. This is a very inspirational story that will make you feel you can do anything in this life. Oher provides the prime example of someone who can do anything they want, no matter the circumstances. Even considering the long, hard road going from being an adolescent in the inner city to becoming an NCAA football and NFL star, Oher defied the odds and provides inspiration to younger children and adults who are trying to find their path in life. Happy reading!

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