Tuesday, May 18, 2010


One of the greatest gifts I received from my mother for the gift of reading. My mother constantly read and encouraged us to read. Even when money was tight, she always seemed to have enough to buy me books. She also introduced me to the library at a very young age. I greatly enjoy reading and know that it has without question made me a better coach/teacher.

I learned to take reading to a greater level when I came to LSU to work for Dale Brown. I've never seen anyone read like Coach Brown. He was starved for knowledge and could read a book faster than anyone I'd ever met. He also made the book personal. He would be constantly underlining certain passages and making notes on the sides of pages -- something I started doing as well. When done reading, I will either type up those underlined words (it helps with my retention) and notes or have a student-secretary do it. Some of the things I've read and underlined have made for some great blog material -- but more importantly, have helped me as a coach. Often it has been I that has been educated but it also gives me great information to share with our staff and players.

At home, I have a library. I like to keep my books. Very often I will re-read a book -- either the underlined section or in some cases the entire book. One of my absolute favorite books is "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. I've read it eight times -- each time finding something new or reading something that hits me a little differently than during my previous readings.

Below is an article by Denis Waitley on reading and it's importance to our growth:

Why do fewer than 10 percent of the public buy and read nonfiction books? One reason is that many would rather get home than get ahead. They are motivated to get by and get pulled along by the company, the economy or the government.

Another reason is that many individuals believe that information found in books, computer programs and training sessions has no value in the business world. How self-deluding!

As the new tools of productivity become the Internet, the DVD,direct digital download of text, audio and video, and the combination of the interactive computer with telecommunications, the people who know how to control the new technologies will acquire power, while those who thought that education ends with the diploma are destined for low-paying, low-satisfaction jobs. In almost the blink of an eye, our society has passed from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Era.

Increase your reading by 100 percent. Decrease your television watching, and that of any children in your family, by 50 percent. Surf the Internet and subscribe to book summaries, or download free chapters from different sources. By reading book summaries, you can gain the essence of all the top business books in a very brief period of time.

Action Idea: Read at least one book each month, and listen to at least one additional audio book during your commute or downtime. One of the best sources for business audio books online is MP3audiobooks.com.

All kinds of reading and listening to fiction and nonfiction will increase your vocabulary and writing and presentation skills. Incredibly, a mere 3,500 words separate the average person from those with superior vocabularies.

Keep a dictionary beside you when you read and look up every word you don’t fully understand. Doing that on the spot helps make those words part of your vocabulary forever. And don’t depend on your computer’s spell checker for your spelling. Not all e-mail service includes spell check. Also, you maybe called upon to write longhand notes, memos, or information on whiteboards or black boards at meetings. You not only want to use the right words, you also will want to spell them correctly.