Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Book Review - COACHING THE MENTAL GAME by H.A. Dorfman

Title: Coaching the Mental Game

Author: H.A. Dorfman

Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing: 2003

I'm glad they added the ' - AND EVERYDAY LIFE' in the title 'cause while this book may be marketed toward coaches, it is invaluable to any adult who works with children and youth - especially parents.

On Learning...

"A willingness to know it all and that all we do know "ain't necessarily so" are prerequisites for learning and for attaining anything that comes close to true wisdom."

On Change...

"Change is an indication of learning.  Those who can't change don't learn."

On Self-Esteem...

"An athlete [or child] who continually refers to his inadequate performance is, to use Lawrence Durrell's metaphor, "tied to the wheel in the sinking vessel of [his] self-esteem."  His belief and confidence have eroded.  He comes to discount his successes and magnify his failures thus always confirming a negative self-image.  He will be cautious , rather than aggressive.  He will be distracted, rather than focused.  He will expect to do poorly, rather than expect to do well.  And he will tiptoe through life, intimidated by car salesmen and plumbers, never realizing his own self worth, despite being a good son, a good friend, a good teammate, a good husband and father.  A good young man."

On Despot...

"Power without wisdom is tyranny.  Wisdom without compassion is pointless."

On Honesty...

"Credibility is the coach's [or any adult in a leadership role] most important asset.  It is taken from him if he is discovered to be dishonest."

and...

"I never have to agree with everything a person says, but I certainly have to trust the speaker believes what he or she is saying to me."

On Positivism...

"An athlete grows by wheat he feeds on.  Positive language allows him healthy growth.  He affirms himself, rather than degrading himself.  He examines possibilities, rather than pronouncing impossibilities.  He seeks ways to improve himself, rather than seeking ways to judge others poorly.   He is grounded in reality, rather than floating in imaginative thinking.  He expects the best, rather than being certain of the worst.  He looks for solutions, rather than wallowing in problems."

Harvey Dorfman, sadly, passed away in February of 2011 at the age of 75.  His advice for adults involved in youth sports is truly invaluable.  Parents, teachers or any adult in any leadership role will find his philosophy incredibly sensible, simple, yet effective in its delivery.  This is a coaches, teacher's and parent's  Bible.  This book speaks for itself.

My favorite quote....

"The daily pursuit of excellence indicates a commitment to personal and athletic growth, which, in turn, helps build and reinforce self-confidence.  It it were easy, everyone would do it. It isn't; they don't."