On the Court and Inside the Heads of Basketball's Best Players
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An unlikely inspirational book by the trainer for the NBA's biggest stars.

Ravin became an athletic trainer without the seemingly requisite formal education or experience. Yet, solely through word of mouth from the league's biggest stars, he has built a career training elite athletes in their shared quest to improve their games and achieve their highest goals. Ravin didn't stay at his previous boring and soul-killing job; he created one based on the game he loved. Always an outsider, he remained mistrustful of organizations that would make him "sacrifice [his] identity or authenticity to try to blend into the environment." In devising his innovative training philosophy, the author figured if players could consistently handle "the complexity, intensity and pace of the workouts I dreamt up, then practice and games would feel like Oreos soaked in milk." Pampered NBA superstars fly him across the country and pay for the privilege of working out in empty practice gyms with no amenities, having their weaknesses exposed, and competing "under strenuous circumstances designed to fatigue, test and build." He earns their trust by creating an environment of collaboration and mutual respect based on accountability, honesty and positive reinforcement. Ravin's writing mimics the quick, staccato rhythms of the game. He shares his experiences in short, free-standing chapters that create a constant flow of his observations and beliefs. With characteristic modesty, the author might reject the idea he has written not only an insightful look at what motivates NBA players, but also an uplifting life guide. (Indeed, the words he repeats throughout are “intuition,” “love” and “faith.”) Ravin doesn't reinterpret such familiar aphorisms as "Do what you love" and "Follow your bliss"; rather, this book uniquely overlaps the genres of memoir, self-help, organizational psychology and philosophy.

A sports book that will motivate readers to live a purposeful, authentic life.

Pub Date: May 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59240-891-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Gotham Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014


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