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Summer Reading List: Penn State Football's James Franklin

by on May 29, 2018 1:00 PM

It can be hard to forget sometimes in a day and age where almost everything we read is a tight collection of dots on a screen that actual books, physical, smelling of paper and tangible in the real world, still exist. 

Sure maybe you've got the digital version, but the point remains. And for many coaches across Penn State's campus books have been a source of insight and inspiration into both life and sport.

So enter a new series. Originally the plan was personal. To better understand the coaches that you cover, sometimes you have to think the way they do as well. At the time I was going to collect a list of books from coaches at Penn State and read it myself as something of a summer project. 

But why not share those books with you too.

The first in a series, three books that James Franklin has read and have impacted his career. The following are the titles and the synopsis of each book from GoodReads. If it sounds interesting, look it up and read along.

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Legacy - James Kerr

In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world’s most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. 

Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success – sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you’re gone?

Win Forever - Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll is one of the most successful coaches in football today. As the head coach at USC, he brought the Trojans back to national prominence, amassing a 97-19 record over nine seasons. Now he shares the championship-winning philosophy that led USC to seven straight Pac-10 titles. This same mind=set and culture will shape his program as he returns to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks.

Carroll developed his unique coaching style by trial and error over his career. He learned that you get better results by teaching instead of screaming, and by helping players grow as people, not just on the field. He learned that an upbeat, energetic atmosphere in the locker room can coexist with an unstoppable competitive drive. He learned why you should stop worrying about your opponents, why you should always act as if the whole world is watching, and many other contrarian insights.

Carroll shows us how the Win Forever philosophy really works, both in NCAA Division I competition and in the NFL. He reveals how his recruiting strategies, training routines, and game-day rituals preserve a team's culture year after year, during championship seasons and disappointing seasons alike.

Win Forever is about more than winning football games; it's about maximizing your potential in every aspect of your life. Carroll has taught business leaders facing tough challenges. He has helped troubled kids on the streets of Los Angeles through his foundation A Better LA. His words are true in any situation: "If you want to win forever, always compete."

The Talent Code - Daniel Coyle

A New York Times bestselling author explores cutting-edge brain science to learn where talent comes from, how it grows—and how we can make ourselves smarter.

How does a penniless Russian tennis club with one indoor court create more top 20 women players than the entire United States? How did a small town in rural Italy produce the dozens of painters and sculptors who ignited the Italian Renaissance? Why are so many great soccer players from Brazil? 

Where does talent come from, and how does it grow? 

New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition—in athletics, fine arts, languages, science or math—that can be successfully applied through a person’s entire lifespan.



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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