Beliefnet

It's more than just a book - it's a testimonal of life. It's a chance for you to look into the life of a someone who invested a great portion of their life to helping others. Webster defines coach as a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team and makes decisions about how the team plays during games. 

After reading Art of the Upset you will reconsider that definition and appreciate author Bruce Reynolds' trials and tribulations that he shares. Beliefnet sat down with the inspirational coach.

What inspired me to write the book?

I wanted to stay involved in some form when I retired from active coaching. I contacted Nike "Coach Of The Year Clinics" and asked how I could become involved in their program as a clinician. They suggested that I write articles and possibly a book that would bring some exposure to my experiences as a long time coach. I decided that a book followed up by technical and motivational magazine articles would be the best way to pursue my goal. I also wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with young coaches who could benefit from a life-time of "on-the-job" learned lessons.

Was there a time that clarified your retirement ? A time when you knew that it was time to retire?

I don't think that there was any one thing that told me that it was time to retire. But, in anyones life there comes a time when circumstance and a multitude of factors add up to a decision to step down. For me some of the most significant factors were my work as a State Representative and Chairman of the House Education Committee in Delaware, and the opportunity to work in an Administrative position with my school district. I also wanted to leave when our program was strong. I never thought it was right to leave when things looked bleak for the next season. I wanted to leave the program in good shape and ready for the next coach to step in and continue our great tradition.


Any advice for coaches that read this book and what do you want for those who read the book to get out of it?

I would like coaches and anyone reading this book to understand and do the following:

1. Don't measure winning by number of games won. Measure winning by "Effort." When you give your all you are a winner regardless of final score.

2. Know that developing a winning program is a process with no short-cuts.

3. Establish a program based on loyalty, hard work, a never quit mind-set, great sportsmanship, and a passion for what you do.

4. Create your own internal reality. External reality ( they're too big, too strong, too quick, undefeated etc.) will only affirm in your team's mind that they should lose the game. But when you develop your own vision of what can be if you give your all, never quit, play as a team and do it with great passion, you can create a climate of success that will enable you to pull off the upset.

5. This book is not just for coaches. The principles espoused in the book can be applied to any walk of life.

Here's a preview of Art of the Upset:

I would like to state clearly from the start that this book is a result of a lifetime of interaction with thousands of people. I have benefited from books, lectures, conferences, sermons, and a host of personal experiences and observations. When I speak of success, I have tried to be careful; it is all too easy to fall into the “I” syndrome, but it is clear to me that any success that I have ever had has not been done alone. I have benefited from nurturing and supportive parents, family, friends, teachers, colleagues, coaches, and players. Art of the Upset is a compilation of these influences. Where I have written a reference to myself and used the “I” word, please mentally substitute the word “we.”

I also want to make clear for the record that I have had the good fortune to lose big games as well as win them. I say “good fortune” because it was in the losses that I gained the most knowledge on how to win. This book, however, is not just about how to win the big games. It is more about how to develop a program and a philosophy that make the upsets possible. The mark of a successful program is consistency, but consistency cannot be maintained if you can’t win the games you’re supposed to win, and win some of those program-defining games that all coaches dream of pulling off – the upset.

I was a head football coach for 27 years; therefore, I have derived most of my illustrations from my chosen sport. However, the philosophy of the book applies to all sports and, I believe, to any chosen profession. I have also applied the methods and philosophy described in this book to my 31-year career as a social studies teacher; my 4-year career as the Coordinator of Community Relations for the Colonial School District; my 17 years as an Assistant Athletic Director; my 18-year career as a State of Delaware Representative and chairman of the House Education Committee, and my 35-plus-year career as a banquet emcee and motivational speaker. The lessons learned in all of these endeavors are reflected in this book. My goal is to share with you the core philosophy that will enable you to pull off the big upset and to offer something in this book that will be of help to you and your career. If you are a coach, try some of the things that my staff and I have learned through trial and error. Who knows? One idea learned here just might be the catalyst for that long-desired and dreamed-of upset of your archrival.

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