by Dr. Randall Coeshott

Bio: Dr. Coeshott is a Sport Psychologist located in the San Francisco Bay area who teaches athletes how to achieve greater satisfaction out of their sport, health, and life.

by Mike Harrity, Sellers Publishing, Inc  2012, ISBN 13-978 1-41620655-2

Why it’s Great

In Coaching Wisdom, Mike Harrity, an Associate Athletic Director at the University of Notre Dame, highlights the common strategies coaches like Lou Holtz, Tom Osborne, and John Wooden use to achieve success. Harrity covers the topics of creating a caring environment, motivating and inspiring a team, creating a coaching philosophy, building team unity, and effective communication.

Readers are treated to excerpts from one on one interviews and are provided with direct examples of what the coaching greats have done to become successful. The author connects the dots between the commonalities in approach found across coaches. The strength of the book can be found in the lengthy individual profiles of coaches provided in each chapter. Here the reader is allowed the chance to to gleam a few points of wisdom from each master coach.

Where it Misses

Coaching Wisdom falls short at times when the author fails to elaborate or extend from the coaches comments to shed light on the finer details of a concept necessary for success. While the book does a good job outlining learning or leadership concepts for coaches to learn, some concepts could be laid out more clearly, particularly for those less familiar with the topics to begin with.

If You read Nothing Else

Readers should take note of the “Chalk Talk” provided at the end of each chapter. Here, Harrity expands upon the typical bullet point summary of each chapter by offering several useful tips and strategies coaches can employ to develop each leadership skill. Don’t miss the forward, as it gives a great insight into the mind of Butler Universities’ basketball coach, Brad Stevens, in particular his belief of the importance of learning from others who have been successful.

Rigor Rating:  7

Much of the information provided in Coaching Wisdom is repackaged work that you’ve seen before. That said, the package is well thought out and provides clear direction in applying the concepts to improving your coaching approach.