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InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives

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In this inspirational yet practical book, the man Parade called “the most important coach in America,” subject of the national bestseller Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann, describes his coaching philosophy and explains how sports can transform lives at every level of play, from the earliest years to professional sports. Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a for In this inspirational yet practical book, the man Parade called “the most important coach in America,” subject of the national bestseller Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann, describes his coaching philosophy and explains how sports can transform lives at every level of play, from the earliest years to professional sports. Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a former Syracuse University All-American and NFL star. Perhaps second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can. But most coaches fail to do the teaching, mentoring, even life-saving intervention that their platform provides. Too many are transactional coaches; they focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. Some coaches, however, use their platform. They teach the Xs and Os, but also teach the Ys of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults; they leave a lasting legacy. These are the transformational coaches. These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women. InSideOut Coaching explains how to become a transformational coach. Coaches first have to “go inside” and articulate their reasons for coaching. Only those who have taken the InSideOut journey can become transformational. Joe Ehrmann provides examples of coaches in his life who took this journey and taught him how to find something bigger than himself in sports.He describes his own InSideOut experience, starting with the death of his beloved brother, which helped him understand how sports could transcend the playing field. He gives coaches the information and the tools they need to become transformational. Joe Ehrmann has taken his message about the extraordinary power of sports all over the country. It has been warmly endorsed by NFL head coaches, athletic directors at major universities, high school head coaches, even business groups and community organizations. Now any parent-coach or school or community coach can read Ehrmann’s message and learn how to make sports a life-changing experience.


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In this inspirational yet practical book, the man Parade called “the most important coach in America,” subject of the national bestseller Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann, describes his coaching philosophy and explains how sports can transform lives at every level of play, from the earliest years to professional sports. Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a for In this inspirational yet practical book, the man Parade called “the most important coach in America,” subject of the national bestseller Season of Life, Joe Ehrmann, describes his coaching philosophy and explains how sports can transform lives at every level of play, from the earliest years to professional sports. Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a former Syracuse University All-American and NFL star. Perhaps second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can. But most coaches fail to do the teaching, mentoring, even life-saving intervention that their platform provides. Too many are transactional coaches; they focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. Some coaches, however, use their platform. They teach the Xs and Os, but also teach the Ys of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults; they leave a lasting legacy. These are the transformational coaches. These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women. InSideOut Coaching explains how to become a transformational coach. Coaches first have to “go inside” and articulate their reasons for coaching. Only those who have taken the InSideOut journey can become transformational. Joe Ehrmann provides examples of coaches in his life who took this journey and taught him how to find something bigger than himself in sports.He describes his own InSideOut experience, starting with the death of his beloved brother, which helped him understand how sports could transcend the playing field. He gives coaches the information and the tools they need to become transformational. Joe Ehrmann has taken his message about the extraordinary power of sports all over the country. It has been warmly endorsed by NFL head coaches, athletic directors at major universities, high school head coaches, even business groups and community organizations. Now any parent-coach or school or community coach can read Ehrmann’s message and learn how to make sports a life-changing experience.

30 review for InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Seay

    This book is astounding! I'm about 75% done as i'm writing this, but it's already proving to be powerful for me. I've coached for years and I so badly wish I'd read & absorbed this years ago. I could have impacted so many kids and parents more effectively if I'd done so. I think everyone who coaches kids should be forced to read this first. I love it! I'm now 100% done and it was truly remarkable. Oh how I wish I'd read this before I ever coached one kid. I pray I can live this out! This book is astounding! I'm about 75% done as i'm writing this, but it's already proving to be powerful for me. I've coached for years and I so badly wish I'd read & absorbed this years ago. I could have impacted so many kids and parents more effectively if I'd done so. I think everyone who coaches kids should be forced to read this first. I love it! I'm now 100% done and it was truly remarkable. Oh how I wish I'd read this before I ever coached one kid. I pray I can live this out!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Not sure how this book missed me until now. I've been going to Positive Coaching Alliance trainings for the past 6 or 7 years. Joe Erhrmann is featured in some of the courses as is PCA founder Jim Thompson who is thanked in the acknowledgements. I have always been a huge proponent of positive coaching techniques and philosophy. However, this book provides a much deeper and more personal look at how sports can be transformed into cocurricular and liberating experiences for young people - a place Not sure how this book missed me until now. I've been going to Positive Coaching Alliance trainings for the past 6 or 7 years. Joe Erhrmann is featured in some of the courses as is PCA founder Jim Thompson who is thanked in the acknowledgements. I have always been a huge proponent of positive coaching techniques and philosophy. However, this book provides a much deeper and more personal look at how sports can be transformed into cocurricular and liberating experiences for young people - a place where transformational coaches strive to instill in their players virtues like kindness and empathy and to reject current toxic and omnipresent definitions of masculinity and competition. I'm excited to bring these ideas fully into our school where we have already signed on with the Positive Coaching Alliance and are looking into partnering with other organizations to help coaches transform the landscape of athletics in this country.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I listened to the audiobook and followed along on my kindle when taking notes. Wow! This is a must read for anyone involved with children, teenagers, and young adults, especially if they are involved in sports! I believe that one of the markings of a great book is when the author perfectly encompasses feelings that you have but have never been able to put into words. And Joe Ehrnann has done that! As someone who grew up heavily involved in sports, this book connecting with me on a deep level. It I listened to the audiobook and followed along on my kindle when taking notes. Wow! This is a must read for anyone involved with children, teenagers, and young adults, especially if they are involved in sports! I believe that one of the markings of a great book is when the author perfectly encompasses feelings that you have but have never been able to put into words. And Joe Ehrnann has done that! As someone who grew up heavily involved in sports, this book connecting with me on a deep level. It makes me feel regret for never having a transformational coach, and it makes me sad for all of the other kids, past and present, that will also never play for a transformational coach. But the important thing to take away is that it doesn’t have to be that way. We can look inside ourselves, learn, and get better. This book is inspiring because it makes you want to get involved and work on making the world a better place through forming transformational relationships with children and young adults. A must read for anyone that wants to make a difference while teaching the next generation how to be better human beings.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Welling

    This book and author has many very applause worthy takeaways. Sports can be an enormous benefit in teaching children and adults life skills well beyond athletic pursuit. This author is teaching particularly that masculinity isn't best portrayed by dominance, brute strength, or by the conquest of others, and certainly not by disrespecting women. I really liked this book on many levels. Where it went wrong for me, is not the pain that the author lived through during his own childhood and retold. M This book and author has many very applause worthy takeaways. Sports can be an enormous benefit in teaching children and adults life skills well beyond athletic pursuit. This author is teaching particularly that masculinity isn't best portrayed by dominance, brute strength, or by the conquest of others, and certainly not by disrespecting women. I really liked this book on many levels. Where it went wrong for me, is not the pain that the author lived through during his own childhood and retold. My dislike was how he detailed it and rehashed in too much vivid detail for a broad audience. This could be a value book for many, including youth. However, the attention it gives to some of the worse behaviors draws away from the more powerful message and makes it seem only for a) thoughtful college and professional bound pro athletes (limited reach) or b) very wayward coaches who need to be called to repent their ways. Most of my acquaintances don't fall into either category, including myself.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eric Cordina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is a great book to read. One coaches, parents and also young athletes should read. Whilst there isn't a lot of "how to do it" tips for those reading it in the hope of getting a list of things to do in order to get better results both on and off the field, the message here is a deeper one. It is about how attitude and approach change things long-term. It will not be everyone's cup of tea, but then again Ehrmann does point out that trying to coach the way he wants to coach is going against what It is a great book to read. One coaches, parents and also young athletes should read. Whilst there isn't a lot of "how to do it" tips for those reading it in the hope of getting a list of things to do in order to get better results both on and off the field, the message here is a deeper one. It is about how attitude and approach change things long-term. It will not be everyone's cup of tea, but then again Ehrmann does point out that trying to coach the way he wants to coach is going against what most people do nowadays. The questions the book asks, along with the guidelines it proposes for coaches, parents and athletes are worth the book price alone.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juan Chavez

    This was an awesome book. Really grounds you as a coach and makes you reanalyze why you coach. Makes you redefine success. I really enjoyed the book. Some of the suggestions such as having players hold hands walking the hall or opening loving your coaches..was a little unsettling. Or maybe I am not ready to go through the process of inside outside coaching. I think there has to balance of tough love and nurturing. I am definitely going to put some the things i learned into practice. I would high This was an awesome book. Really grounds you as a coach and makes you reanalyze why you coach. Makes you redefine success. I really enjoyed the book. Some of the suggestions such as having players hold hands walking the hall or opening loving your coaches..was a little unsettling. Or maybe I am not ready to go through the process of inside outside coaching. I think there has to balance of tough love and nurturing. I am definitely going to put some the things i learned into practice. I would highly recommend this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Weisser

    Enlightening view of school sports from these inside and in relation to education. It goes to show that God can heal and provide guidance on leading others to healing. Ehrmann is inspirational ac he deactiva his childhood, college, and adult life in graphic detail. He holds nothing back. "Transformational" coaching, mentorship, leading is key to creating a well rounded student, team member, and citizen. Every teacher, coach, and parent should read this book and evaluate your 'style' of interacti Enlightening view of school sports from these inside and in relation to education. It goes to show that God can heal and provide guidance on leading others to healing. Ehrmann is inspirational ac he deactiva his childhood, college, and adult life in graphic detail. He holds nothing back. "Transformational" coaching, mentorship, leading is key to creating a well rounded student, team member, and citizen. Every teacher, coach, and parent should read this book and evaluate your 'style' of interaction with the children in your lives.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    I am not sure what provoked me to buy and read this book. I believe I read that it is a good book to build leadership skills. After reading it, I realized that I found this book about 20 years too late. My kids are getting older and, for the most part, are done with organized sports. That said, I found the storytelling moving and relatable. The writing is strong and flows very easily. I highly recommend this book for coaches, educators, parents of young children and grandparents with young grandc I am not sure what provoked me to buy and read this book. I believe I read that it is a good book to build leadership skills. After reading it, I realized that I found this book about 20 years too late. My kids are getting older and, for the most part, are done with organized sports. That said, I found the storytelling moving and relatable. The writing is strong and flows very easily. I highly recommend this book for coaches, educators, parents of young children and grandparents with young grandchildren. I am going to keep this book for future reference.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robbie

    Aim to be transformational, not just transactional! Reflecting on the coaches he had throughout his life, former NFL star Joe Ehrmann realizes the platform that coaches have to make a difference in the lives of his or her athletes--and created the InsideOut coaching technique based off of that realization. Worry/care about the individual first, then the athlete. Enlightening and a must read for a young teacher and coach beginning his or her career!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tim Maurer

    This book should be required reading for anyone involved in youth coaching. I read it when it first came out years ago because Joe Ehrmann had become a friend, but I re-read it this year because I've now had the privilege to coach rec lacrosse at the U-11 and U-13 levels. Being able to put the precepts of InSideOut Coaching directly into practice made for an especially rewarding season--definitely for the coach, and hopefully for the kids as well! This book should be required reading for anyone involved in youth coaching. I read it when it first came out years ago because Joe Ehrmann had become a friend, but I re-read it this year because I've now had the privilege to coach rec lacrosse at the U-11 and U-13 levels. Being able to put the precepts of InSideOut Coaching directly into practice made for an especially rewarding season--definitely for the coach, and hopefully for the kids as well!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edwin Sam Jr.

    InsideOut Coaching entirely changed the way I view the responsibility coaches hold for the holistic development of their players. It challenged me to go deeper into what formational experiences in my life affect how I coach and to think about what it feels like to be coached by me. A must-read for any teacher or coach of children.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Quentin Wolfe

    Easily going into my all-time favorite list. The lessons and relationships formed through sports have been endless & irreplaceable, and are relevant & helpful in today's chaotic world. This also gave me many chances to appreciate my transformational coaches over the years. Great book for anyone who's ever involved in sports in any capacity. Easily going into my all-time favorite list. The lessons and relationships formed through sports have been endless & irreplaceable, and are relevant & helpful in today's chaotic world. This also gave me many chances to appreciate my transformational coaches over the years. Great book for anyone who's ever involved in sports in any capacity.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Billy

    Enjoyed reading this. It was easy to get through and I found some god parcels of information in it. Joe really emphasizes coaching the players to be their best and not coaching for results (wins). This is also a theme you will find in Bill Walsh books.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    Joe Ehrmann is living out the life of a called man. He is serving his team and inspiring others to do the same. The book hits hard at some difficult topics. The writing moves well. If you coach, have a why, know how it feels to be coached by you, and thank you for your efforts.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    “All young people need to know three things before they graduate from high school. One, they are loved. Two, they are loved and accepted for who they are, not what they do. Three, they need to know that they have something of importance and significance to offer to the world.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eric Reidsma

    Joe has a great message but I would have liked more stores and examples

  17. 4 out of 5

    Keri Holm

    Loved this book and the heart behind it. Such a good reminder about the influence that a coach can have on their players.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Great things to think about not only as a coach but as a human being. Many ways like a self-help book but I feel that we all need help and should improve ourselves so that we can help others.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Raju

    Good motivation!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael DeNeef

    Transformational Recommended years ago - finally dug into it. The idea of intentionality to coach beyond the sport; affecting change in others - and yourself - is so powerful.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Harry Grose

    Thank you Coach, very good advice, sound strategies for being a great coach and teaching young men how to work hard and do the right thing in life!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amy Carlson

    Worth the read, not only for coaching but also for parenting, especially boys. Male-centric, but he is a football coach after all.

  23. 5 out of 5

    G.G. Harris

    Transformational Between reading this book for a class and reading for personal and professional self-betterment; I have fallen in love with not only the idea of Coaching Inside Out, but have fallen in love with living Coaching Inside Out. Every coach and athletic dept. should have the opportunity to be exposed to this book and it’s teachings! Thank you Joe!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michael Bundalo

    A great message from an influential coaching role model, but at times felt preachy and could drag. I would recommend reading "Season of Life" before this one. A great message from an influential coaching role model, but at times felt preachy and could drag. I would recommend reading "Season of Life" before this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Bayer

    I found this book compelling from both a coach's and an athlete's point of view. It made me reflect on why I "meshed" well with some coaches instead of others. As a teacher, I feel a lot of this content can cross over into the classroom. I enjoyed the reflective process as part of the journey of this book. I found this book compelling from both a coach's and an athlete's point of view. It made me reflect on why I "meshed" well with some coaches instead of others. As a teacher, I feel a lot of this content can cross over into the classroom. I enjoyed the reflective process as part of the journey of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I have given this book three stars. To say "I like it" would be incorrect because I did not like it as a resource for myself. It offered few insights into coaching of which I was not already aware or that my staff did not already practice. It certainly offered some affirmations and different language to be used. I think that for Ehrmann writing this book was equally as important as having other people read it...maybe more important. However, this is a good book for many coaches because it diverg I have given this book three stars. To say "I like it" would be incorrect because I did not like it as a resource for myself. It offered few insights into coaching of which I was not already aware or that my staff did not already practice. It certainly offered some affirmations and different language to be used. I think that for Ehrmann writing this book was equally as important as having other people read it...maybe more important. However, this is a good book for many coaches because it diverges from what is often the norm, especially amongst older coaches and coaches of boy's/men's sports. There is a definite emphasis placed on the development of the complete person which I agree should be the aim of coaching, and really all endeavours with youth. But the book lacks in the practical implications of such matters, neglecting to offer specifics on how to infiltrate the culture, a problem especially profound for those who do not coach the "cash sports" of football and basketball, although I imagine this is because it is truly a situational issue, depending on the culture and environment of the school/organization for which you coach. The other issue for which the book has a limited scope is for coaches of female athletes of which I am one. While Ehrmann attempts to address these issues, he does so in a way that is clearly limited by his lack of experience coaching female athletes. As a result, his examples are not only male-centric but football dominated making a lot of his ideologies and practices challenging to incorporate into a system without having to massively overhaul them to meet the needs of our specific student-athletes (although better to recognize this and work with the materials then blindly try to implement it like many other coaches have and will). Ultimately, I wish that Ehrmann had simply attempted to impact male coaches with this book, a task I think he may ultimately be able to achieve and thus the three stars I gave this book. On a side note, for anyone reading this particular review, I am looking for a book on coaching that A.) addresses women's athletics specifically and B.) is more academic/theory based and less ancedotal. Also, the religious scholar in me would be remiss if I did not congratulate Ehrmann on what for me is one of his finest recognitions in his book, namely the religious (he terms spiritual) nature of sports. I believe that this contribution to the coaching realm is of extreme significance as it is important for coaches to recognize that for many athletes, sports are extremely powerful to the extent that they may become for someone a temporary or even all pervasive ultimate sense by which their actions are guided and directed. The responsibility this creates in the realm of athletics is of extreme significance and is often overlooked because of a fear of being seen as irreverent or blasphemous. Thank you Mr. Ehrmann for sharing these thoughts with coaches around the country.

  27. 4 out of 5

    marcus miller

    Found a copy of this book after it was recommended at a coaching clinic I attended. This book would pair well with Parker Palmer's book, The Courage to Teach. Many of the ideas seem like common sense, yet in the world of athletics, common sense is often missing. First, Ehrmann writes about the importance of knowing oneself and being able to tell one's own story. Doing this background work helps to understand why you are coaching. Is it to help young people learn a sport, learn some skills and te Found a copy of this book after it was recommended at a coaching clinic I attended. This book would pair well with Parker Palmer's book, The Courage to Teach. Many of the ideas seem like common sense, yet in the world of athletics, common sense is often missing. First, Ehrmann writes about the importance of knowing oneself and being able to tell one's own story. Doing this background work helps to understand why you are coaching. Is it to help young people learn a sport, learn some skills and teamwork, and have fun, or is it to boost your own ego, relive your childhood and maybe catch a few of those "glory days." Ehrmann spends a good bit of time describing and criticizing "transactional" coaches who coach for reasons other than the good of the athletes. Instead, Erhmann encourages what he calls "transformational" coaching. The basic premise is that participation in athletics can be an important key to helping young people mature, develop character, and moral values. Erhmann provides examples from his experience as an high school, college and professional athlete, along with examples of both transactional and transformational coaches in his life. Ehrmann's approach resonates with me and I like to think I have done some of what he recommends during my coaching career. This book is an excellent reminder of the power coaches have in the lives of young people. It is a call to coach in a way which brings out the best in youth and to focus on more than the won-loss record. I would recommend this book to all, especially those just starting their coaching careers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Solid stuff recommended by a friend. For many years, as both a coach and educator, I stumbled around who I was trying to become (Why do I coach?) and if I was getting the job done (What would it be like to be coached by me?). This book crystallized those answers, and while this acted more as validation than information, I am now much more able to articulate my goals as well as look at other coaches and accurately critique their approaches (which is actually part of my job as coaching director). S Solid stuff recommended by a friend. For many years, as both a coach and educator, I stumbled around who I was trying to become (Why do I coach?) and if I was getting the job done (What would it be like to be coached by me?). This book crystallized those answers, and while this acted more as validation than information, I am now much more able to articulate my goals as well as look at other coaches and accurately critique their approaches (which is actually part of my job as coaching director). Some bonuses... 1.) Code of Conduct and roles for coaching staff - great template 2.) Code of Conduct for parents - amazing 3.) Player Agreement - solid stuff that is easily adapted I appreciated this book very much. I also found a kindred spirit in Joe - seems like we've read and been inspired by much of the same material. So while I'll never play Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately" while my players hug each other (as Joe and Biff do), I feel even more encouraged to go forward and preach the gospel of athletics as a place of empathy, growth, and personal/internal competition to be YOUR best, not the best.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roy Peek

    Excellent reinforcement of transformational Coaching. If this is a new idea to some, a great read and enlightening on options to coaching and how we can contribute to a better society. I have worked with many transactional coaches and they are all good at what they coach, but looking at the transformational coaching approach allows all of us to make better people of those athletics and people we can influence. The passage on page 239 “what do you make?” is a perfect description of why many do not Excellent reinforcement of transformational Coaching. If this is a new idea to some, a great read and enlightening on options to coaching and how we can contribute to a better society. I have worked with many transactional coaches and they are all good at what they coach, but looking at the transformational coaching approach allows all of us to make better people of those athletics and people we can influence. The passage on page 239 “what do you make?” is a perfect description of why many do not understand coaching and why so many people sacrifice their time and energy to athletes. After reading InsideOut Coaching I think many of you will look at your role differently in some aspects and others will smile and be reaffirmed that you are making a difference and have the opportunity to make better people out of the athletics and families you influence. Take the time and read about transformational coaching, it will have you asking “Why do I coach?”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mike Matiscik

    I think for coaching children this is a must read and more importantly a MUST practice! Coaching is tough-- kids, parents and the coach all have expectations. I think a book like this helps you have the right perspective. I left off one star because of some aspects of theology. Otherwise a stellar book. It confirmed much of my philosophy. Note: I have seen too many coaches ruin kids. I don't want to be like that. Yet at the same time parents with unreasonable expectations can make a coach look li I think for coaching children this is a must read and more importantly a MUST practice! Coaching is tough-- kids, parents and the coach all have expectations. I think a book like this helps you have the right perspective. I left off one star because of some aspects of theology. Otherwise a stellar book. It confirmed much of my philosophy. Note: I have seen too many coaches ruin kids. I don't want to be like that. Yet at the same time parents with unreasonable expectations can make a coach look like the bad guy when he is not.

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