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My son had been coaching high school girls’ basketball for several years when the opportunity to coach a college team was offered. So when the opportunity came to read You Win in the Locker Room First, The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life by Mike Smith and Jon Gordon, I decided I would take it. I wanted to understand all I could about coaches and coaching successfully.

Instead I found myself embracing the principles for myself. These 7 principles will work anywhere in life where one is willing to make the application.

The book is co-authored by Mike Smith, former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Jon Gordon, a bestselling author and motivational speaker. The book bounces between the two – one offering his experience in the sports arena, the other applying the same wisdom to business and life.

This book is easy to read, whether or not you coach or even have sports knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed all Mike Smith shared, finding him to admit his mistakes humbly. His stories were inspirational and will be valuable to those coaching as he fully understands the dynamics of unity in a team. And yes, I did find myself texting quotes to my son as I wanted him to glean from every principle as he began his new journey.

  • “As a leader, it is so important that your words equal your actions. You must do what you say and say what you do.” (Mike Smith)
  • “Culture drives expectations and beliefs. Expectations and beliefs drive behaviors. Behaviors drive habits. Habits drive the future.” (Jon Gordon)
  • “Every team has the same goals. So it’s not your goals that will lead to your success but your commitment to the process, one game at a time, that will define your season.” (Mike Smith)
  • “Focus on the journey, not the destination.” (Mike Smith)
  • “Leadership is a transfer of purpose, passion, optimism, and belief.”
    (Jon Gordon)
  • “A coach can give the team the gift of belief or the curse of doubt.”
    (Jon Gordon)
  • “Complaining is toxic to the team and locker room.” (Mike Smith)
  • “Don’t change with the wind; instead, be like a strong-rooted tree that does not waver, regardless of what is happening around it. Be the kind of leader everyone knows they can trust and count on.” (Jon Gordon)
  • “Complacency is a disease.” (Mike Smith)
  • “Team beats talent when talent isn’t a team.” (Mike Smith)

There were many thoughts which I found applicable for varied experiences in life – coaching, business, parenting, and mentoring. It is a book for everyone, for truly we are all “coaching” someone each day. I would recommend reading this book with a highlighter as there are many points you will want to go back to read again and again.



*** A copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

You can find out more about the book here . You can also follow Jon Gordon on twitter for more inspirational quotes.

Today I am joining … Literacy Musing Mondays and Booknificent Thursday .