Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life

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Fuel Your Performance, and Life, with the Clarity of Stillpower

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Fuel Your Performance, and Life, with the Clarity of Stillpower

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Garret Kramer has overturned much of the conventional wisdom about coaching and performance . . . Stillpower is an insightful and profound book.”
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“A clear and quiet state of mind isn’t just a key element in sports; it’s also important in finance, relationships, and life. The principles introduced in this book apply to so much more than athletics.”
—Jean Chatzky, author of the New York Times bestseller Money 911

“In covering sports for more than twenty years, I am always looking for what separates the good athletes from the great ones. Garret Kramer looks outside the box when it comes to athletics . . . Stillpower is a must-read for someone serious about performance, or for the casual fan who wants to learn what really makes athletes tick—on and off the field.”
—Ian Eagle, CBS Sports/YES Network/Westwood One Radio

''I believe the principles introduced in Stillpower are the future of athletic mental performance; actually, performance of any kind. This book helped me to recognize that in grinding so hard, I was reducing my chances to perform up to my capabilities. I now see why the game wasn't always as enjoyable as I wanted it to be, and my 'effort' rarely feels like work. In Stillpower, Garret Kramer offers hope for discovering our potential to perform freely, regardless of the circumstances of our lives. I hope, like me, you find this perspective to be extremely valuable.''
—Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils Captain and member of the US Olympic Hockey Team

Stillpower is not just one of the best books on improving sports performance ever written—it is a must-read for coaches and performers in any field of human endeavor. While you work on your game or career, the ideas in this book will go to work on you.”
—Michael Neill, author of Supercoach

“The brilliance of Garret Kramer’s perspective is that he takes the often complicated process of achieving one’s best performance and turns it into a direct, natural, and positive understanding . . . Stillpower provides the simple, yet powerful message the sports world has been looking for.”
—Sean Hutchison, US Olympic swimming coach

“As I reflect back on my personal quest to develop character through the sport of football, I greatly identify with the wisdom and principles of this book. Stillpower is a profound playbook for the athletic and life journey. Garret Kramer shows us that people become what they think in their heart, not in their head.”
—Tyrone Keys, founder of All Sports Community Services, Super Bowl–winning defensive end—Chicago Bears

“Garret Kramer understands the importance of having ‘your head right.’ Stillpower reveals the optimum mental functioning of an athlete and the real source of that functioning. Under this paradigm, individuals involved in sports will enjoy the character-building benefits often promised by participation. Even children will find athletics more enjoyable and, at the same time, achieve high levels of success. I know this may all sound like a tall order, but this book honestly offers that potential.”
—George Pransky, PhD

“I was first introduced to sports psychology in the 1970s when I was playing professional baseball. Like all athletes, I was constantly in search of that magical place called ‘the zone,’ where the game slows down and pitches are suddenly easy to track. Contrary to what most people think, however, finding your way to ‘the zone’ doesn’t come from grinding or strength of will— it comes from another source. Stillpower reveals this surprising source. If you’re a serious athlete, coach, sports parent—in fact, anyone—I strongly suggest you read what Garret Kramer has to say about getting to the top of your game, on and off the field.”
—Rick Wolf, sports psychology expert and host of THE SPORTS EDGE, WFAN Radio, New York

“I first heard Garret Kramer speak in 2009, and I was instantly intrigued by his message and approach to athletic mental performance. Stillpower takes a unique perspective that will challenge your traditional beliefs. If you keep an open mind and really listen to what this book has to say, you will realize how much easier and more positive life can be, and why the notion of ‘no pain, no gain’ will never help in your pursuit of success.”
—Rob Naddelman, president of Baseball Factory

“The message introduced in this book is the reverse of any mental strategy or technique that I have ever tried. Stillpower has shown me that my thoughts and moods create my perceptions. So, instead of being victimized by my circumstances, I determine my own performance level—no matter what is happening outside of me. As a result of understanding the principles of thought and consciousness, I now find myself in ‘the zone’ way more often. Thanks to Garret Kramer I just had the best year of my professional career.”
—Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators forward

“I have often invited Garret Kramer to speak to our elite prep athletes throughout the country. He has opened their minds to a new way of looking at performance. He has taught them that free will is the number one ingredient for success on and off the football field. Take your time reading Stillpower. These thoughtful lessons will change the way you look at the athletic journey. This book is invaluable to anyone who wants to perform better in the heat of competition.”
—Richard McGuinness, president of Football University, creator and producer of the US Army All-American Bowl on NBC

“Garret Kramer has refused to accept preexisting concepts about understanding the cerebral part of athletic competition. Through perceptive analysis and examples, Stillpower unlocks a thought-provoking and groundbreaking approach. Over the past three decades, I have been fortunate to observe, from close range, thousands of athletes and coaches in their pursuit of excellence. All of them could benefit from reading this book, not only to reach new heights on the playing field but in their lives away from the game as well.”
—Rob Cowen, nine-time Emmy Award–winning sports television producer

“Having represented professional athletes for more than twenty-five years, it isn’t often you come across a book so crucial for an athlete. From high school and college prospects to the pros, Stillpower provides athletes a unique edge. In a counterintuitive sense, Garret Kramer takes the player back to a childlike and free state of mind, where external circumstances are irrelevant. The inner peace and mind-set that an athlete can achieve through the understanding revealed in this book can transform the athlete and create a happier day-to-day existence, eventually allowing the player to become extremely effective in the game.”
—Jay Grossman, president of PuckAgency, LLC

“In his thought-provoking book Stillpower (the opposite of willpower), Garrett Kramer challenges the world of sports psychology as sports teams, athletes, writers and fans view it. In so doing, he has also presented a formula which could be applied to one’s everyday life.”
—Christopher Ralph, The Hockey Writers

“Kramer leaves you with a game plan for the future - essentially 10 points to deal with life when you’re struggling -and who among us doesn’t struggle at some point. These are succinct reminders and useful words that can help change your mindset and hence your reality.”
—Leigh McAdam, Hike Bike Travel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582703886
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Pages: 191
  • Sales rank: 273,272
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Garret Kramer is the founder and managing partner of Inner Sports, LLC. His revolutionary approach to performance has transformed the careers of professionals athletes and coaches, Olympians, and collegiate players across a multitude of sports. Kramer’s work has been featured on WFAN, ESPN, Fox, and CTV, as well as in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Zach Parise xv

Preface xix

Introduction xxiii

1 The Misconception: Athletics Teach Life Lessons 1

Performance Coaching: What's Wrong with Current Thinking? 5

Three Paths to Consistency-You Choose 7

The Misalignment Between the Experiences of Athletes and the Strategies of Coaches 9

2 Unbounded Effort, Willpower, and Insight 13

What Is the Zone? 15

Finding that Magical Mind-Set 17

The Grind of Willpower 19

Insight versus Strength of Will 22

The Zone and Willpower: A Final Thought 25

3 Coaching, Wisdom, and Success 29

Love and Coaching 32

Developing True Team Players 35

What About the Player's Responsibilities? 37

The Unknown Secret to Engaging Your Team 40

Engagement, Determination, and Compulsion 42

4 Clear Thinking, Resilience, and Life Beyond the Scoreboard 47

What Lies Ahead if We Look Within 50

Sports Psychology "Control" versus the Natural Flow of Thought 53

Shadow Wrestling 56

The Book Is Never Written 58

The True Path to Learning from a Loss 61

Clear Thinking: Essential for Success On and Off the Field 64

5 The Ultimate Coaching Dilemma: An Athlete's State of Mind Versus Behavior 67

Why Focusing on Behavior Guarantees Fallout 70

The Principle of Consciousness and Tiger Woods 74

The Ultimate Explanation for Any Type of Behavior 76

Performance, State of Mind, and the UConn Women 78

6 The Neutrality of the Outside World 83

Life, Life Situations, and Freedom 84

Goals, Rewards, and the Journey 87

Routine and Potential 90

Leaving School with Wisdom 94

7 Sports, Judgment, and Life from the Inside Out 97

The Understanding of an Icon 100

The Resilience to Move Forward 103

The Fallacy of Bulletin-Board Material 105

Judgment and What We Can Learn from the State of Mind of Two Great Players 108

The Negative Effect of Judging 110

8 Mind, Body, and Performance 115

The Only Way Out of Worry 116

The Connection-Explained 118

Why Pain Will Never Lead to Gain 121

The Overlooked Secret to Avoiding Injury 123

9 Every Athlete's Birthright 129

The Only Way to Decide 130

Switch-Hitting 132

The Ridiculously Simple Way to Help Athletes Uncover Insight 134

The Issue with Visualization and Game Film 137

10 The Freedom to Win 143

The Discovery 145

The Rock Game 148

The Principles 151

Your Journey, Your Way-So Long for Now 153

Epilogue: The Only Answer 157

Acknowledgments 161

Appendix: Your Game Plan for the Future 165

Notes 171

Index 175

Contact Information 189

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    Are you looking for true success, but every time you try you end

    Are you looking for true success, but every time you try you end of failing or falling short of your goals? Stillpower, written by author and leadership trainer, Garret Kramer, is a thought-provoking read that will change what you have traditionally thought were the key ingredients to achieving optimal performance and success. Stillpower has a message that shows us what our lives could be if we operated from the quiet and clarity of our inner conscience.

    Kramer has offered readers a new perspective for coaches, athletes, or anyone in a place of leadership in Stillpower, which truly transcends the mainstream philosophy utilized by pop psychology and meditational thinkers. His message is simple, yet so effective: Willpower does not create success. Stillpower, the simple and creative inner thoughts, does.

    The book describes that inside a person's state of mind lies his or her outlook on life. Stillpower does not have to do with external factors such as fame, winning, losing, money, etc. Instead, it is our thoughts and inner conscious that influence our outcomes. Kramer emphasizes the instinct of the human mind, which knows how to self correct itself to clarity and consciousness. This is something that cannot be forced, which can negatively impact our creativity and performance and violates our free will.

    Children are the perfect example of Stillpower – they operate from a place of freedom and passion where they can express themselves fully. With Stillpower, adults can experience this same contentment and operate in a place that is free from the fear of failure. The more we try to control our thoughts and actions the more we can get in our own way. Kramer's advice is to stop trying so hard and allow yourself to enter into what he refers to as the zone.

    The zone is not a tangible place, and does not have to do with intellect. It is about what you are doing in the present without over analyzing the situation. Kramer points out that in this process of freedom you don't think, you know. You don't focus. You feel. You don't try too hard. You allow. This he says, removes the external limitations.

    Stillpower offers a fresh idea for leaders, coaches, and parents to evaluated their own state of mind. That is to say a more grounded person will be able to be more successful in connecting with their team. Your mood, Kramer says, directly affects your outcome. True leadership encourages people and allows motivation to be born out of them individually, which then positively affects the entire team.

    In an age where perfection and drive seem to be the prevailing thought of our society, Stillpower offers us a new alternative where we can return to uninhibited thinking, which provides a freedom and passion for what we chose to do in the first place. This allows us to take the limitations off of ourselves and to stop forcing our will on others. When we do this, we can experience new levels of achievement.

    Reading Stillpower will encourage you to return to creativity and self expression, which is lacking in today's competitive environment. This is a must read book for any coach, athlete, leader or parent who would like to learn how to be more successful without striving and help others do the same.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    Create Outstanding Leader Development from understanding Stillpo

    Create Outstanding Leader Development from understanding Stillpower

    To create the most successful and outstanding leader development programs, organisations and leaders needs to source the best understanding out there. Source Stillpower.

    I give Stillpower top rating. This is due to the insights this book led me to regarding leveraging top performance, and regarding keys to creating outstanding leader development

    Coming to understand what Garret Kramer means with "Stillpower" has changed the way I think about how athletes, business leaders and Human Resources Departments can make way for top performance, and about how this understanding has the potential to change how we will work in the future, with team and leader development.

    Stillpower has put Garret Kramer's fingerprint in the circle of top coaches in sports. I suspect it might even be a thumb in the eye for some.
    Because in this book Garret Kramer is:
    - stating that there's a paradigm of understanding that we have totally missed
    - saying we've all got it backwards - that the best coaches in the world are doing it wrong
    - claiming that we have all misunderstood what is the best way to go about, becoming the best leader, the best coach, the best you.

    Could rub the best one the wrong way.

    Reading Stillpower made me curious and led me to further research this "new" paradigm. I found that the understanding which Garret Kramer is pointing us to, already has been taught for a number of years as a part of US Army Senior Leadership Professional Development. If nothing else, that caught my attention.

    The recurring training as a part of the leader development in the US Army makes way for some suggestions:
    - That the understanding of the paradigm behind Stillpower is relevant for senior leader development
    - That it's just a buzz away from being caught on by the leading organisation in improving executive leadership and top performance

    Reading the book has given me insight on the following:
    - To understand "Stillpower", is to understand what creates your State of Mind, moment to moment.
    - To truly understand State of Mind and how important this understanding is in your moment to moment performance - is to give leeway to your innate ability to perform at your absolute best potential, more of the time, with less effort.

    You will need to turn your believes around to truly align with this understanding.
    If you ever do, it could be helpful to know that it will never be through hard work.

    When you come to the conclusion that this glove does fit, the realization will come to you via insight. Frankly,
    it will come to you via Stillpower.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    I'm a golf professional. I make my living by playing tournament

    I'm a golf professional. I make my living by playing tournaments and helping other people learn the game and hopefully enjoy it more. Garret's book has presented me with something of a dilemma. As a tournament player, I want to keep this book a secret. The concepts and ideas it contains are so useful and so powerful, the last thing I want is for my competitors to get their grubby little hands on a copy.

    As a coach howver, I'm getting to the stage where I am recommending Stillpower to every student that I work with. Golf is a tough sport mentally, and Garret cuts through the psychobabble and mumbo jumbo that has built up around the game and offers simple, applicable concepts to help you improve both the learning experience, and in performing when it matters most to you.

    So, if you are a tournament professional, please ignore this review and go have a look at a Bob Rotella book, they're very good. If you are learning the game and want to get better faster and enjoy your golf more than ever, order a copy now. (You might not want to tell your regular 4 ball partners for a while ;0)

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    This book points us to something we are already born with but ha

    This book points us to something we are already born with but have covered up by our intellectual thinking. By just allowing the human experience to flow naturally and leaving the ego behind, you will perform to your best more often than not. This understanding changes peoples lives, it has certainly changed mine!!

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Stillpower for Success

    An insightful must read for both athletes and coaches. Guaranteed to make you more aware of your current state of mind. Stillpower will enable consistent performance and increased effectiveness both on and off the field. The book is filled with real-life examples that provide for clarity and an enjoyable read.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    Thought provoking, yet so simple in concept....A great read...

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. We have all heard and read about ways to optimize performance in sports, and in life, but I have never come across a philosophy that makes so much sense yet fundamentally is so simple. Via real life examples and anecdotes, Mr. Kramer shows us why traditional approaches are not truly that productive and presents a mindset that all of us can apply in virtually every aspect of life. I find myself thinking about the ideas presented in the book often and have shared my impressions with both of my boys who play competitive sports and who are growing into adulthood.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    For parents, coaches...for everyone, Stillpower hits home

    As a coach of young athletes and closer to home as the father of three teenage boys who are all very into sports and competition, I found "Stillpower" invaluable. Kramer is true to his word. The concepts he presents are "simple," "basic," and "instinctive." They are also oh so powerful and true. In chapter after chapter you will learn that there are different ways to approach the issues and challenges that we are all so familiar with as parents and coaches of young athletes. In short, the author really thinks differently, consistently offering thoughtful alternatives to what "conventional wisdom" would lead us to believe is best for our teams, our children and our families. Kramer writes, "We perform better when we get caught up in the experience, rather than we make the experience about us." This is true for our kids and the athletes we coach. It is also true in our personal lives and at work. Kramer's lessons extend beyond the world of athletics - they help us become better people. I wish he'd written this book ten years ago when my kids were younger. In fact, I wish I had read this book thirty-five years ago when I was first getting into competition myself.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Be still

    If you are a fixer, like me, you MUST read this book. Because there is nothing to fix. That's right, Garret Kramer shows you where decisions and actions are born and that to truly meet the challenges in your life (on the playing field or in the workplace), you don't need a self-help tool. You just need a place of calm and clarity. State of mind is all important, he explains. A high state of mind always produces good and successful decisions and actions, while a low state of mind results in confusion, poor performance, and just making the problem worse. So the next time you face a challenge, take a moment to assess your emotions before stepping on the accelerator. Stillpower is packed with real-life examples and Kramer's own experiences working with amateur and professional athletes in a variety of sports. For years he has brought his revolutionary approach to performance to the playing field, now you can learn it in your own home. Don't be surprised if every time you watch your favorite team go down in flames, you want to leap up and yell, "Get Stillpower!"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    Not just for athletes:

    Stillpower is this brilliant, simple book that left me feeling certain I can conquer my own inner battles. I'm an artist (not an athlete) but I still walked away with so much self-knowledge. you can really approach Garret's words from any place in life, any profession. After reading a few pages it becomes clear this is NOT another quick-fix/self-help/menu plan/exercise routine/"ten steps to a new you" tool. Instead, the author clearly examines how we all perform in challenging situations. Once you understand how to perform from a place of calm and clarity (or wait for any negative thinking to settle), you'll know how rise above those challenges in your own way, every time. It's so fundamental! Hard to believe this isn't taught in schools.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    As a participant in my youth, coach of my kids' teams and current arm-chair spectator, I have spent a lot more time thinking about sports over the course of the last four decades than I would like to admit. Yet, I have never thought that I would find an analysis of sport psychology any more interesting than a book on the thought process involved in paying chess or Scrabble. This book, however, was a very pleasant surprise. It presents an analysis that is not only different from any other I have seen, but one for which analogy to everyday, non-athletic life is clear. If reading Stillpower makes you or your child perform better on the athletic field, all the better; but the ambition and application is of this book is much broader. I happily recommended it.

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