I have with me around 8 to 10 Autobiographies of different athletes/ sport persons. I bought those book for fun as well as learning. But this is first autobiography form a coach's perspective. And according to me it is the best of all the autobiographies that i have. And it serves the purpose of entertainment as well as learning.
The book has many insights from indian dressing room (cricket) which are coupled with learning lesson for everyone who is willing...
The language is simple,lucide yet sometimes poetic. Author shares his honest experiences and learnings he derived from it.
Paddy Upton is well known in world cricket for the work he has done in strategising and in helping players get over their mental blocks, especially Indian cricketers. In this book he lays up some of his personal philosophies and helps us understand the making of a sportsman. He mainly shoots down the accepted notion of patriarchal or compulsive coaching and instead suggests that the coach gets into a constructive or cordial arrangement with a player to help his game. He develops the notion of the 'servant-leader' who is collaborative in his approach rather than confrontational. "Winning at any cost' is not a desirable philosophy. His approach is admirable in many respects. But Upton fails to note that most top players today are the products of parental tyranny or systematic strictness. For instance Totenham Hotspur's Korean forward Son was made to hit 'Uppies' for three hours at a stretch without dropping the ball by his tyrannical, oppressive coach of a father. Upton goes overboard in certain aspects and makes us feel is sport is an insurmountable science , while it is after all a game at the end of it. Upton is among the slew of sports scientists who emerged from South Africa in the last two decades, helping us understand sport much better. This book is a valuable addition to sports science.
I got interested in the book because of two reasons one, no doubt, was cricket n my love for it and the other one was rather an unusual one - my professional needs as a facilitator. Yes, you read it right its a must read for all mentors, trainers, teachers, and others of the ilk. Its less a book about game and is more about mind-games. Its written in a very lucid language with loads of amazing anecdotes and refreshing references. The author comes out more of an academician and surprisingly an interesting one to boot. He is honest and hits highs quite often and stays there for majority of time, me think being a world-class surfer is helping him to ace it. Its a journey that every cricket lover (who reads, I know this reduces the size of fraternity) should lay his hands on this book and give it a go. Its refreshing and do not fall into the typical subcontinental trap of appeasing the high and mighty of cricket - on field or off field.
Its a coaching manual for todays times. And since it covers the golden period of this cricket crazy nation - it will surely lead to many a stomach churn and goosebump moments to its fans.
Kudos to BCCI and esp Gavaskar as they were instrumental in finding a Gary and Paddy for us. We ll always be grateful. And although both of them already earned their stripes with World Cup n #1 ICC Test Team, this book adds one more feather to their collective cap.
Wonderful insights on coaching. Started reading this to understand about the Indian world cup winning journey. But this was much more than that. This is also an excellent self help book if I may term it so. In fact much better than many self help books