In December of 2006 a colleague gave me a copy of “Season of Life” by Jeffrey Marx. It told the story of Coach Joe Ehrmann from Baltimore, Maryland and his pilgrimage through an abusive childhood, college and professional football, drug and alcohol abuse, the crushing death of his brother and eventually to recovery, ministry and transformational coaching of a high school football team. I was deeply moved and recommended the book strongly to many of my friends in coaching with remarkable results. In the ensuing years I met Coach Ehrmann, spoke with him a few times and then had him come to my area for a coaching conference and to speak at my FCA banquet, just eighteen months ago.
In August of this year, Coach Ehrmann released a book of his own. “InSideOut Coaching – How Sports Can Transform Lives” is published by Simon and Schuster and is among the best reading and most applicable book on coaching I’ve ever read. Coach Ehrmann does a tremendous job of describing the difference between being a “Transactional Coach” and a “Transformational Coach” along with a process for making the change from one to the other.
Part I describes the InSideOut Process as experienced by Coach Ehrmann and which, if one has the courage, can lead to a transformed life and renewed coaching.
Chapter headings include:
• Stepping Inside
• My Heroes have always been coaches
• A Complex Transaction
• The Play’s the Thing
• The Why: The Way and The How
Part II describes the InSideOut Program as Coach Ehrmann has presented in countless talks, workshops and conversations with coaches across the USA.
Chapter headings include:
• Community: A Team Without Walls
• The Classroom After Class: Sports as Curricular
• Contact, Communicate, Connect
• “Just Win Baby”
More often than not, coaching books are full of sport success stories, but applicable ideas for making changes in one’s coaching habits, practices and even core beliefs are sorely absent. This book provides incredibly candid self-revelation of the author’s painful childhood and its long lasting effects as well as a well-defined process for dealing with one’s own past, a way to define and shape his coaching as well as practical examples for how to live out one’s transformed life as a “transformational coach.”
I highly recommend this book to anyone coaching at any level of sport. It would also be of tremendous value to those who serve as Sport Chaplains, Sport Mentors and Character Coaches as we need to examine why and how we coach the hearts of sportspeople.