Saturday, February 28, 2009

Our Best Reads For February

Gerard's Favorite book in February is:

For the Thrill of It: Leopold Loeb And The Murder That Shocked Chicago Jazz by Simon Baatz (20 stars) Don't think I will read anything better this year! This will be hard to beat! This book that takes place in 1924 is just riveting. It tells the story of the killing of Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Leob. What makes the book so good is that you feel like you are right there while all this is going on! The writing is that good. This book grabbed me from the first page and held me to the last. The first part of the book is especially good, focusing on the planning that went into the so-called perfect crime and then picks up again in the courtroom. You will keep turning pages with this one. It is hard to put down! It would make a very good movie. Well done, Mr. Baatz. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

Karen's favorite for February is:

Leading With The Heart--Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life
by Duke's basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski

Helpful book about coaching. Every coach should read this one because there are so many practical tips that Mike shares and solid principles to follow. After each chapter is a summary of the main points. Mike shares from his experiences to illustrate his points in a very interesting way.

Some key points Mike gives on coaching that stood out to me:

1. Recruit players with character who respect their parents, willing to be part of the team and are coachable.

2. Do not have a bunch of rules that limit you, it's better to just have one rule: "Don't do anything detrimental to yourself."

3. Use plural pronoun's such as "our," "we," "us" so it's the player's team and not just the coach's.

4. Always look your players in the eye and tell the truth.

5. Share the goals with the players.

6. Lead with confidence, show your players what they need to see.

7. Imagine the loose ball you're chasing has your name on it. It belongs to you.

8. Stress honor in all things.

9. Set goals that revolve around playing together as a team, never the number of wins. Define your own success.

10. Five fundamental qualities that make a team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride.

11. Win or lose together--don't play the blame game.

12. Address the little things you may encounter in a real situation.

13. Be positive about all things that happen to the team. Look at nothing in the past as failure. Learn from every game.

14. Plan but be flexible.

15. Believe you can win, but don't assume you can.

16. Always respect your competition.

17. Set up some team traditions.

18. Maintain a good sense of humor--having fun reduces pressure.

19. Show strength, hide weakness.

20. The only way you lose is if you don't try your best.

21. When people achieve something that they've really worked hard for, it makes them feel great, superb, wonderful.

22. You have to work at staying in contact with your friends so that the relationships will continue and live on.

23. Is something isn't working, try something new and different. Never give up, find a way to win.

24. Spend time with your players outside of practices and games to get to know them and become friends.

25. At the end of each season, thank the team for their hard work.

I'll be pulling for Duke more than ever now in the March Madness tournament since I read this book.

We really read a lot of books this month as you might have noticed if you check our 11 yrs. of marriage widget at the top right of our blog. It was very hard picking just one, but we do post reviews on all the books we read on our Zemeks' Updates blog at if you are interested.


The Author said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. I enjoyed reading all the coaching suggestions! I'm off to find the other book on Leopold and Leob.

Anonymous said...

I'm always looking for good book to read. Thanks for the sugestions

Ruben said...

Thank you very much for the book suggestions. it was really fun reading your article. It makes me more intense to have this books in the household?

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