Players First

As Seth Godin would say, “I love books. Books are a bargain. [In many cases] they’re written by experts so $20 for an expert resource on your shelf forever is worth it.”

It’s been said a thousand times, but teaching comes in many different forms. It can be a coach on the court. A casual blog entry by a couple of world-class economists. A motivational speaker at a corporate seminar. The agent for some of the hottest names in sports. These four books explore the 5 Ws of their craft. Often digging deep in self-reflection to truly understand their careers, their lives, and how to win at both.

I love drawing inspiration from places that are really far removed from music. It’s fascinating to read about what inspires others. What motivates their will to do something. And finding a creative ways to find parallels to my personal story.

I challenge you to check these out. Let me know what you think. Tell me if you think they’re valid.

Actually read these books. Don’t listen to the audio book. Go to your local bookstore and buy it.

And sit with a pad and pen. You’ll want to take notes.


Players First by Coach John Calipari

Players First

The UK Men’s Basketball Coach led the 2012 Wildcats to a national championship. The student athletes that come to UK aren’t your typical basketball talent. They’re always the best available. They’ve never been average. However, a fascinating thing happens when basketball players come to Lexington, KY. They all form a team of elite athletes. And suddenly they’re all average. When everyone’s great, no one stands out. And this book dives into how to deal with inflated personalities, how to “be your brother’s keeper”, and becoming “the best version of yourself”.


Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner


“Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. 

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.” – Amazon


The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon

The Energy Bus

The Energy Bus, an international best seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home. Jon infuses this engaging story with keen insights as he provides a powerful roadmap to overcome adversity and bring out the best in yourself and your team. When you get on The Energy Bus you’ll enjoy the ride of your life! – Amazon


A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating by Molly Fletcher

A Winner's Guide

The strategic guide to getting the most out of every negotiation from “the female Jerry Maguire” (CNN) Effective negotiation is rooted in establishing trust and building relationships–one conversation at a time. In this practical guide, trailblazing sports agent Molly Fletcher reveals her proven approach to landing more than $500 million worth of deals throughout her career. It all comes down to doing five things well:

  • Setting the Stage
  • Finding Common Ground
  • Asking with Confidence
  • Embracing the Pause
  • Knowing When to Leave

Master these steps and you’ll not only close more deals–you’ll be setting yourself up for the next big one. – Amazon