2016 to 2017 Thoughts & A Book List

2016! What a year!

I was reflecting on one of my flights home from Bahrain about how I needed to do a year end review. I know its cliche at times as a large number of people seem to do their own as well but lets be honest the majority of personal websites and blogs are more for the writer than the reader…although I do always hope that those few who do read the posts get some benefit from it beyond just knowing more about me and what thoughts go through my mind.

Bahrain 01

Bahrain 01

Last month, while I was presenting in Bahrain, we discussed balance as a coach. No, not the single foot stability type but rather the juggling of ones life that includes family, physical health, emotional and mental wellbeing, goals, responsibilities, relationships, and the list continues for quite some time always being highly individual (with no kids my list was quite different than the majority of coaches in Bahrain) but still something that all everyone struggles with. Coach, brother, uncle, son, boyfriend, student, board member, and mentor are just a few and finding time to balance them all is something that I know I don’t do the best job of. Usually I find I empty the pendulum method of focusing in on specific areas. This not only allows me to make huge strides in a single area but also recharges the battery for the other side. Maybe not the best long term strategy but its working. I am happy, healthy (not including the few pounds I need to lose), and overall proud of who I am, what I am doing, and what I have achieved so far.

Insta Top 9

Insta Top 9

This year I was lucky to travel quite a bit: Toronto, New Jersey, Phoenix, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Saskatoon x2, Vancouver, Portland, Oregon, Burnaby, Richmond, Bahrain, and Bradenton, Florida. All of these trips fit into one of three categories….family and friends, track and field, or coaching. I separate coaching from track and field because I have been doing more and more in the coach development side of things and actually find that whole area invigorating. Don’t get me wrong I love being an athletics coach and my town spent around the oval office is something I love but when working in my general “coaching” mode I get the chance to think about sports, situations, athletes, teams, and environments that are new and foreign to me. This challenges me to think far outside my normal box and scope of thought. Bahrain was one of those experiences where coach development was at the forefront and I like to think I did a good job and will get more opportunities to be in that role in the future. I like to think that I have had a positive impact on those athletes, teams, and coaches that I have been privileged to work with but at the same time I hope they know that I benefit from the experience and appreciate the opportunity as well. While I am still brainstorming and thinking about my final masters project I am fairly certain that it is going to head down the coach development pathway.

ANB Awards

ANB Awards

One thing that I did set out do this year was read, a lot. The end result was 51 books. Apologies to those of you who were hoping I would get to 52. I slowed down through the fall and didn’t think I would get as close to it as I did and then ended up in Florida with two books that went by very quickly and wasn’t able to get my hands on the another. Some were amazing. Some were not so good. Others were some where in the middle. Reads that triggered some neurons but maybe nothing that shifted the paradigm too much. Here is the list. Not a ranking. Just the order from the first one I finished on January 2nd, 2016 to the last one on December 24th, 2016.

  1. Practical Sports Coaching – Christine Nash
  2. Developing the Leader within you – John C. Maxwell
  3. Mind Gym – Gary Mack
  4. Mastery – Robert Greene
  5. What Makes Winners Win – Charlie Jones
  6. Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation – David Joyce & Daniel Lewindon
  7. 59 Seconds – Richard Wiseman
  8. Secret Tactics – Kazumi Tabata
  9. Riveted – Jim Davies
  10. Inside Running Basics of Sports Physiology – David L. Costill
  11. 3D Coach – Jeff Duke
  12. Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat – Chris Cooper
  13. Power – Jeffrey Pfeffer
  14. Best Practices Best Coaches – Andy Higgins
  15. You win in the locker room first – Jon Gordon & Mike Smith
  16. Special Strength Training Manual for Coaches – Yuri & Natalia Verkhoshansky
  17. The No Complaining Rule – Jon Gordon
  18. Fierce Conversations – Susan Scott
  19. Winning Matters – Frank Dick
  20. Training Camp – Jon Gordon
  21. The Hard Hat – Jon Gordon
  22. The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
  23. Learning Leadership – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
  24. It should have been gold – Calvin smith
  25. Learning in Sports Coaching – Lee Nelson, Ryan Groom, and Paul Potrac
  26. Leaders eat Last – Simon Sinek
  27. How to win friends & influence people – Dale Carnegie
  28. Talk like TED – Carmine Gallo
  29. Sports Biomechanics: the basics – Anthony J. Blazevich
  30. Sports Training Principles – Frank Dick
  31. The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
  32. Curious – Ian Leslie
  33. Just do it – Donald Katz
  34. Grit – Angela Duckworth
  35. How to say Anything to Anyone – Shari Harley
  36. Shift – Peter Arnell
  37. The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
  38. The Team Captains Leadership Manual – Jeff Janssen
  39. Research Methods in Physical Activity 7th Ed – Jerry Thomas, Jack Nelson, Stephen Silverman
  40. Smarter – Dan Hurley
  41. Qualitative Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health – Andrew Sparkes and Brett Smith
  42. Sprints &a Hurdles – Gerard Mach (Canadian Track and Field Association)
  43. The Pressure Principle – Dave Alred
  44. The Imperfect Board Member – Jim Brown
  45. What We Need Is Speed – Henk Kraaijenhof
  46. Boards That Lead – Ram Charan, Dennis Carey, Michael Useem
  47. The Objective Leader – Elizabeth R. Thornton
  48. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief – Henry Robert 3rd, Honemann, Balch, Seabold, Gerber.
  49. The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
  50. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
  51. The Slight Edge – Jeff Olson

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I am going to try and read less this year in terms of quantity but definitely not hold back on the quality side of things. I have a few larger books at home and the office that I kept on putting off but I feel that 2017 is the right time to crack them open. I would like to say that I won’t buy anymore until I read what I have but that just ain’t the honest truth so best not to agree to it.

But what else I have been working on a new YTP template for some time and am finally nearing the end of this iteration. As I continually learn and need to adapt them I am sure this will only be another stop along the way but as a tool I feel that this one is a big leap forward in terms of its application capabilities as an athletics coach in the sprints and hurdles events. If anyone ever wants to discuss just send me an email.

Then there is school. At the time of writing this, New Year’s Eve, I am still working on a paper and presentation for one my classes which ends with these assignments, then there is one more course, and then literature review and carrying out the final project which will hopefully put me in a position to complete my masters by the end of 2017 or perhaps early 2018. I know I could get it done but at the same time I am focused on producing something that is regarded as having credibility.

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But that is about it for this post. I have been trying to run while in Florida for training camp and so far have gotten 6 in but the goal is to continue this in 2017 and shed a few pounds that I am going to blame on my lack of mobility during the broken ankle period. We have had a great training camp here at IMG and have three more training days and five workouts to go until its back to Saint John we go where it is full swing into the indoor season with meets for 6 consecutive weeks from January 14 to February 25th then a week off before the Sport Nationals in Edmonton on March 9-11 after which all focus will be on the outdoor season and Canada Games.

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Best wishes and thoughts to all in 2017!  May the force be with you!

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