40 Years with a Whistle
Life Lessons from the Field of Play
Foreword by Chris Long
“’Unputdownable’ is a cliche in book reviews, however, I literally read this book from start to finish in one sitting. I have always been a huge fan of Dan’s writing and in “40 Years With a Whistle” I think he has surpassed himself. Like Dan’s previous work, the book is immensely readable and crammed with deep wisdom, training ideas and programmes, truisms, anecdotes and jokes. As always, the material presented transcends sport, and Dan offers a wealth of life lessons.
“I defy any coach to read the book and not re-evaluate some aspects of their practice. However, where the book really shines is in its emotional depth. Dan’s eulogies to his most important mentors and his family cannot help but move the reader, and I really felt like I was on Dan’s journey with him. I think that is where the book is exceptional – in demonstrating how the development of the coach is inseparable from the development of the man. And Dan is an outstanding coach…”
~ Dr. Dan Cleather, Programme Director, School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, St. Mary’s University
Audiobook sample, narrated by Dan John
40 Years with a Whistle—40 years of coaching tips woven into a touching memoir of a coach’s life
Dan John has been performing as an athlete for six decades. His coaches—the mentors he describes in this book—steered him on the narrow path toward success in both sports and life. These coaches emphasized performance, yes…but they all also insisted on the balance of health, fitness and longevity.
From Dan’s Introduction to 40 Years with a Whistle:
I’ve learned a lot over those decades and would like to share these lessons with you. I didn’t want a book filled with “Xs” and “Os” or sets and reps. I wanted to share the lessons that apply to life and living.
I begin with what are clearly my 10 best lessons of coaching. Each of these works well for the teacher, student, parent and neighbor too. Following the advice of the 10th lesson, I explore the stories of the people who shaped my career and the gems of advice they shared with me. I finish with my vision of coaching—basically looking at training from the big picture and the toolkit to allow one to succeed.
The lessons are simple.
The application is difficult.
The rewards are worth everything.
The lessons learned on the fields and in the gyms will lead to a successful life. Hop on board.
“As I read through this book, over and over I found myself mentally saying, ‘Yup’ and ‘Absolutely.’ If you’re a coach, an athletic administrator or the parent of a school-age athlete, you need to read this book. I know my coaching staff will be reading it.”
~ Chris Long, Athletic Director, Juan Diego Catholic High School
Dan’s 10 Commandments of Coaching
1. Constant assessment
2. Constant upgrading
3. Ignore perfect
4. This isn’t moral theology—there are no “good” or “bad” exercises or systems
5. Everything works!
6. Achieving a goal versus achieving success (not the same thing…sadly)
7. After the peak is the cliff
8. Self-discipline is a finite resource
9. Fundamentals trump everything else
10. Take a moment to appreciate those who went before you.
“In 40 Years with a Whistle, we get to enjoy the view as Dan looks back not just on his fantastic career and lessons he’s learned within it, but also tells us about the people who helped him get there. This is Dan’s masterstroke of looking back to say “You made me the athlete, the coach and the man I am today; this is how I pay my humble respects.”
“This book helps peel another layer back to understand why he is one of the most respected in our field. Someday, when all of us fitness professionals write books about our influences, it will be Dan’s name showing up in those books much as he revealed in this book.”
~ Jason Leenaarts, Owner of Revolution Fitness & Therapy, Host of the Revolutionary You podcast
To enjoy Dan’s life lessons from the field of play, order your copy today.
Dan spends his work life blending workshops and lectures with full-time writing and teaching religious studies as an instructor for Columbia College of Missouri.
His other books on strength include Now What?, Before We Go, Can You Go?, Intervention, Never Let Go, Mass Made Simple and From Dad to Grad. He co-wrote Easy Strength with Pavel Tsatsouline and Fat Loss Happens on Monday with Josh Hillis, and is already at work on his next book on strength training and coaching.