May 4, 2010

Coached for Life Book Review

What is the legacy of a great coach? When the players of the Great Falls Central Mustangs arrived for the first day of practice in the fall of 1962, they had their sights set on the unlikely goal of the state championship. But what their coaches delivered was far more lasting than a championship ring. 

Coached for Life, by Ed Flaherty and Jack Uldrich, is the true account of how two high school football coaches, Bill Mehrens and John McMahon, molded an undistinguished group of young men into state champions. The book includes a dramatic 40 year retrospect from the players themselves (including Flaherty, a former team captain) describing how the principles instilled in them during the 1962 season continued to shape their lives in positive ways long after they left the football field.

Flaherty and Uldrich’s book is not just another feel-good football story. Rather, it is an amazing testament to the profound impact that any leader—the coach, the teacher, the boss, the minister, or the parent—can have on someone else’s life, particularly when he or she is leading young people. Coached for Life provides much-needed encouragement for weary leaders who sometimes wonder if their hard work really makes a difference.

Coached for Life also speaks to students. As Flaherty passes down the life lessons he and his teammates learned over forty years ago, the stories provide a compelling case for the values this generation so often overlooks—discipline, sacrifice, goal-setting, and responsibility, to name a few. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the key point and a set of thought-provoking discussion questions, making it the perfect vehicle for corporate leadership studies, ministry volunteer meetings, and teacher professional development.

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It's teacher appreciation this week and this book is so fitting.  
While I think its super important to be sure to recognize and thank the others in our own children's lives who've made an impact.  We also must remember that we ourselves can also have that impact on others.  We've all been blessed with some sort of gift that we can share with the younger generation to make an impact.  I know personally I sometimes get down and bitter when I feel like I'm doing all I can to raise my kids right and I feel I don't have extra to give.  But when we take the time to be lifted up we can find the motivation.  We may not always see the fruits of that labor but the impact can be amazing.  If you're needing a little inspiration today, check out Coached for Life.


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