The Only Rule Is It Has to Work by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

Filed under:History,Sports — posted by Randolph on June 1, 2016 @ 7:29 am

The Only Rule Is It Has to Work by Ben Lindbergh

In this book, a couple of baseball podcasters with just a little management experience between them get the opportunity to manage a baseball team by the numbers. They offer to manage the team using statistics, similar to those used in the major leagues. The get the opportunity in a very minor league in Sanoma, California, the Sanoma Stompers.

In the course of their adventures, they learn that statistics aren’t everything. They get resistance from players and other managers who don’t want rules from outsiders. They learn about the politics of baseball, and that some things are more important than the statistics.

At times the books is outright funny, it is insightful, and you can learn a lot about the inside activities of baseball. It is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in the sport.

Delavier’s Stretching Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, Michael Gundill

Filed under:Sports — posted by Randolph on February 23, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

Delavier's Stretching Anatomy by Frédéric Delavier, Jean-Pierre Clémenceau, Michael Gundill

This book provides a large number of stretching exercises to work on flexibility, agility, and toning. I thought it interesting that the book was translated from French and only first published in 2010 (in Italy), given how many there are on stretching already.

The book gives a very strong first impression. Although in paper, it is on very good quality paper with a sewn binding. The images are of high quality, and the translation is done professionally, it is not readily apparent that the book is not originally done in English.

The book has three sections, an introduction to stretching that includes some basic anatomy, details of the stretches including anatomical drawings and varying difficulties, and last program suggestions.

The introduction talks about the value of stretching, how to breathe, risks, injuries, and such. It is the kind of stuff you find in a lot of exercise books.

The core of the book is in the stretch descriptions. Each stretch has a basic and advanced version. It starts with a basic description of the stretch and muscles. All of the stretches have a version that can be done alone, some include using a partner or some kind of equipment, such as a bench or ball. The stretches are described in good details so that it is clear what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish. They are accompanied by anatomical drawings that show the targeted muscles and includes labels for the different muscles.

The last section describes exercise programs. There are three generic programs, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Then includes expert programs that are tailored for a variety of sports.

Overall, I was very impressed with the book. However, there is one glaring omission. That is anything about the authors and why they are qualified to write such a book. They are easy to find on the internet, though.

The Little Book of Coaching: Motivating People to Be Winners by Ken Blanchard and Don Shula

Filed under:Philosophy,Sports — posted by Randolph on July 29, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One  by Stanley Fish

Ken Blanchard and Don Shula teamed up to create a book on the basics of coaching. I was curious about this book and Don Shula’s contributions, but must say that I did enjoy them. The parallels they draw between football coaching and business are good, the principles presented apply equally to both areas.

The wisdom provided aren’t surprising. This is more of a primer or a book to reinforce good practices than it is a book to provide new insights or ideas. But it is a quick and enjoyable read.

The Athlete’s Clock by Thomas W. Rowland, MD

Filed under:Sports — posted by Randolph on June 21, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

The Reading Group Handbook by Rachel W. Jacobsohn

This book is about the human clock, about timing at a conscious and unconscious level. Dr. Rowland looks at a number of timing events from breath and footwork in running to throwing a football at a moving receiver. In each case, he looks at the data objectively and draws his conclusions.

During his analysis, he looks at biorhythms and different aspects of training to evaluate the best training times and methods, the best times for events, and whether it is better to save energy until later or expend it in a flash.

Early in the book, the author suggests that his own belief is that most of our timing is left to the subconscious, but he does a good job of presenting alternate views and not really pushing any conclusions. Later in the book, this issue seems to be lost. The last chapter, entitled Aging and Sports Performance, hardly touches on this theme at all, and felt quite different from the rest of the book. Overall, the book didn’t quite feel like it had a unifying theme.

In spite of the minor shortcomings, the book is full of interesting information. It would be a valuable read for anyone planning to enter training for the first time, and an interesting read for anyone interested in sports.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace