Book Review: Raise Your Game by Alan Stein Jr.

Raise Your Game by Alan Stein Jr is structured into three parts. First, Stein teaches about five of the most important traits for athletes, which are self-awareness, passion, discipline, coachability, and confidence. Next, the book goes over five of the most important traits for coaches, which are vision, culture, servant, character, and empowerment. Lastly, Stein shows how athletes and coaches can work together to form high performing teams that are greater than the sum of their parts. According to Stein, the five most important characteristics of teams are belief, unselfishness, role-clarity, communication, and cohesion.

On a macro-level, I really like this book, because it gives you clear guidelines of what makes a high functioning team. By learning what characteristics great teams consist of and how they are formulated, you can take direct action to improve. This book is equally great for players and coaches, and it also can be applied outside of sports.

However, I do have some criticisms of this book. The chapters aren't as coherent as I would like. There's a lot of repetitive sentences, and there's not that much insightful knowledge you'll get from this book. It's filled with cliches, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're looking to learn something you don't already know, then you might want to read something else. If you want an easy-to-read book that refreshes your knowledge about coaching, leadership, and performance, then this book is great for you!

The author states that his goal for the book is to motivate people to take immediate action. He succeeds in this goal. One of the best parts of this book is that it is motivating! After each chapter, you'll feel motivated to better yourself as an athlete or coach.

Lastly, I like how the author doesn't try to sell you some crazy kind of method or ideology. It's just common sense. Sometimes you just need to focus on the fundamentals!

One idea I liked from the book is what Stein calls "performance gaps," which are the gaps between what we know we should be doing and what we are actually doing. Almost every athlete and coach knows that things such as passion, confidence, character, unselfishness, and communication are important, but many of us don't practice what we preach. This book helps motivate you to apply what you learn and close your performance gaps.

Overall, for what the book is trying to be, it's very good! I definitely recommend it to any dedicated athlete or coach who wants to learn and find motivation.