Winning the Game of Belief: Cultivating the Cultural Grit that Defines America's Greatest Coaches

Winning the Game of Belief: Cultivating the Cultural Grit that Defines America's Greatest Coaches


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Charles Sullivan, one of the winningest coaches in the history of the sport of volleyball, is a physical education teacher and sports psychology professor at Springfield College by trade. His story provides the reader with a unique approach to winning in sports and success in life, employing a knowledge of psychology to define his program and craft an unparalleled record of success that reveals the power of culture. Rather than lecture his players about research and theory, Coach Sullivan most often teaches through metaphor and stories. These stories share his experience on the court while providing a unique lens that enables the reader to capture the core values that unite all iconic coaches. Kevin Sheehan shares the research on cultural grit, not only, bringing Sullivan’s success to life, but also providing a formula for successful leadership in any field or endeavor. There are lessons in this book that can change your life and cultivate a culture of grit in your organization that will lead to success that you could never have imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475849011
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/26/2019
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 663,364
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Dr. Kevin Sheehan is a tenured associate professor at Molloy College where he has served on the faculty for over a decade as well as being an internationally recognized coach in the world of lacrosse. In the lacrosse world, Kevin’s accomplishments are numerous including helping to coaching Adelphi University to three Division II National Championships, the Australian National Lacrosse Team to two Bronze Medals, and Massapequa High School to its first New York State Championship on the scholastic level. A member of the Long Island Metropolitan Branch of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Kevin, believes that all of these coaching efforts have been shaped and influenced by positive psychology research that defines this book.

Charlie Sullivanwill enter his 21st season as head coach of the men's volleyball team during the 2018-19 academic year, and will once again be an assistant professor of physical education at his alma mater. In 20 previous years at the helm, Springfield has established a pedigree of championship success and has an overall record of 396-181 for a .686 winning percentage. In addition to his role as the men's volleyball coach at Springfield, Sullivan has also had several stints with the U.S. National Team.Recently, Sullivan was chosen to receive USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coach award in the Donald S. Shondell Contemporary Division for 2015.

Table of Contents

Brian Magoffin
Introduction: The Magic of Stories
Research without Going to the Dentist’s Office
Brain Research: The Fragile Nature of Memory
Brain Function and the Magic of Stories
Who is Charlie Sullivan?
Five Take Aways from The Power of Stories
The Big Idea from The Power of Stories
Part I: Beyond Winning
Chapter 1- The Culture of Winning
Springfield Volleyball: A Culture of Winning
Winning Coaches under the Microscope
Why It Is Some Coaches Win All the Time?
Winning the Game of Belief
Five Take Aways from The Culture of Winning
The Big Idea from The Culture of Winning
Chapter 2- Welcome to the Game of Belief
Meet Charlie Sullivan: Welcome to the Game of Belief
The Power of Culture: You Were Made for This!
More than Pep Talks: Beyond Winning
Five Take Aways from Welcome to the Game of Belief
The Big Idea from Welcome to the Game of Belief
Chapter 3- Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
What Stands in the Way, Becomes the Way
Eighteen Pencils and a Lost Coin Toss
Lessons from a Lost Coin Toss
Less than Successful Playing Career: Obstacle or Gift?
Five Take Aways from Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
The Big Idea from Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
Chapter 4- The Power of Personality
NFL Draft Day: You Are on the Clock
Selection Results: Did You Make the Same Decision as the NFL?
The Birth of Grit: Angela Duckworth Finds Her Passion
What Makes Gritty Individuals Gritty?
Driven From Within: The Power of Effort and Will
The Tom Brady and the Power of Belief and Effort
Resume versus Eulogy Virtues
Five Take Aways from The Power of Personality
The Big Idea from The Power of Personality
Part II: Building Cultural Grit
Chapter 5- Core Values: Failing Well
Trial by Fire: Core Values Born of Struggle, Frustration and Failure
Winning Coaches and Core Values
Five Take Aways from Core Values: Failing Well
The Big Idea from Core Values: Failing Well
Chapter 6- Cultural Grit
The Unexpected Phone Call: Science Meets Sport
Making the Case for Cultural Grit
The Cultural Grit Pyramid
Level One: Shared Effort and Belief
Level Two: Striving for Perfection in Process
Level Three: Identity and Meaning
Five Take Aways from Cultural Grit
The Big Idea from Cultural Grit
Chapter 7- Belief
More than Pep Talks: Belief Borne of Consistent Effort
Belief and Effort: A Two Way Street
Data Driven Cultures Built on Feedback
Transformational Leadership
Five Take Aways from Belief
The Big Idea from Belief
Chapter 8- Process
Maintaining Focus on Process Over Product
The Power of Being in the Moment
Winning by Not Focusing on Winning
Focus on Product Begins Early: A Baseball Story
Five Take Aways from Process
The Big Idea from Process
Chapter 9- Identity
Which Ring?
The Power of Identity
Debunking the Great Player Myth
Team Identity Built on Great Communication
Collective Efficacy: The Research behind Team Cohesion
Fostering Collective Efficacy at Springfield
Five Take Aways from Identity
The Big Idea from Identity
Part III Maintaining Belief in the Face of Challenge
Chapter 10- Cultures Under Fire
The Haircut: Holding Fast to Core Values
Team First: Even When It Hurts
Maintaining Belief: Getting on the Bus with Elmo
The Initial Challenge: Maintaining Belief in Building Your Culture
Five Take Aways from Cultures Under Fire
The Big Idea from Cultures Under Fire
Postscript from Coach Sullivan- Raise Your Hand: Applications to Business
Five Take Aways from Raise Your Hand: Applications to Business
The Big Idea from Raise Your Hand: Applications to Business
A Baker’s Dozen of Big Ideas to Move Your Organization Beyond Inspiration
Appendix A: The NFL Draft: How Did You Do?
Appendix B: April Emails
Appendix C: Springfield Core Values
About the Authors

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