As the title suggests, Coach to Coach: An Empowering Story About How to Be a Great Leader is a coaching story.

I actually consumed the audio version of this book via an Audible Plus free trial. It’s only about a 4-hour recording. I listened to about the first 45 minutes while taking walks, then the rest while driving to a tournament for recruiting. It was the first audiobook I’ve listened to in many, many years! I am much more of a reader, but this book worked very well in narrated form, both because of the quality of the narration and the content.

Let’s talk about that content.

As I noted above, this book tells a story. It’s not a biography or anything like that, though. Think of it more as one of those tales where a stranger appears at a low point in someone’s life and helps them turn things around.

The two main characters are a college assistant football coach and an older coach. It’s not explicitly stated that the older character is also a football coach, though. Honestly, we don’t get to know a whole lot about him. Regardless, a lot of the story is the old coach teaching lessons about coaching (and general life) to the younger one. They are intertwined with the latter implementing what he’s learning with one of his key players, as well as with his family.

And those lessons are powerful!

I am not going to provide them here. Better you read/listen for yourself as I have a strong suspicion that each reader will have their own personal takeaways. Broadly speaking, though, the lessons fall into a couple of categories. One is the internal in terms of your sense of purpose and direction. The other is external in terms of interacting with your players (and others).

While the specific sport focus of the book is football, that really only serves as a framework. There’s very little to the story that is specific to any one sport. And while college sports is the competitive context, this isn’t a story about coaching in college. As such, I think it is broadly applicable.

I might suggest the ending of the story got a little dragged out, but that’s a really minor quibble. It was a very enjoyable listen. I highly recommend it both from that perspective and with regards to the thoughts and ideas it will inevitably trigger in your head.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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