GETTING TO US – How great coaches make great teams

How Great Coaches Make Great Teams
By Seth Davis
Penguin Press / March 6, 2018
Get it here
Winning is hard. Coaching consistently successful teams is an art form.
This art centers on the mysterious process by which a coach is able to stir his players to reach their potential not only as individuals, but also as a unit, a team. What begins as a collection of hims and yous, becomes Us. The teams that contend for National Championships every year or cut down the nets at the Final Four are teams of Us. And it is the job of the coach to figure out how to get to Us year in and year out.
This spring, New York Times bestselling author, esteemed journalist and broadcaster Seth Davis delves into this process in his new book GETTING TO US: How Great Coaches Make Great Teams (Penguin Press, March 6, 2018). Davis examines the methods of nine of the most iconic coaches of this era—Urban Meyer, Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Geno Auriemma, among others—and the men behind the myths. Coaches are some of the most fascinating people in sports—multihued, paradoxical, by turns brilliant, driven, tortured, compulsive and philosophical—and Davis expertly cuts through the hyperbole and idolatry to grasp the exceptionally difficult question of “How?” How did these coaches get where they are today?
In the book, you will find both Hall of Famers and coaches on the rise. Some are building programs and teams from scratch; others are carrying on long traditions of excellence.  But all of them have a vision: They challenge their players; build trust; chase perfection and championships every year; and they are always trying to get to Us.
Davis traces each coach’s success through their individual “PEAK” profile, an acronym he’s applied that boils down the elements of their success: Persistence, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge. These are the qualities that Davis has identified that makes each coach great, even though each coach has had a different journey to greatness.
  • The dynamics and qualities that informed each man’s PEAK profile
  • The trials and tribulations of the “building years”
  • The toll of great coaching on the body and on the mind
  • The adjustments made to help facilitate their PEAK profiles
  • How they dealt with setbacks, but personally and in their careers
  • How they attempt to find balance in a typically “obsessive” career
Davis’s unique access to both college and professional players and coaches, and his powerful interviewing talents, led him to choose the nine men profiled in the book.  Each chapter is devoted to a single coach, and he gets succeeds in having them open up about their very personal journey:
  • The sabbatical Urban Meyer took between his tenures at Florida and Ohio State and all of the good it did him
  • The very trying early years in Durham for Coach K
  • How to get to Us when success is expected, like when Doc Rivers coached the Big Three in Boston
  • Winning and losing in the Harbaugh household
  • Boeheim’s early years living in a funeral home and how that informed his future success
  • The odd road to coaching excellence for Geno Auriemma
  • Brad Stevens’ task of rebuilding a proud franchise
  • Dabo Swinney’s difficult early home life and his capacity to use it to get to Us
  • Tom Izzo’s guiding personality trait—guilt.
Davis’s prose is effortlessly fascinating as he captures these men at their most authentic.  You’ll come to feel a deep connection to them, and, more importantly, achieve an understanding of what they do that has application in all walks of life and business.
Nine different men. Nine different stories. Nine different ways of GETTING TO US.

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