I didn’t read much growing up. I would read the occasional sports book from time to time and I read what was required in school, sometimes. But reading wasn’t something I valued early in life.
As I got into coaching, I started reading books that would help me understand the game of football and become a better coach. I started this at about 18 years old but I still didn’t read a lot. As my coaching career grew, I started to read a little more. I can remember reading one or two books a year that would change my views in coaching.
Then, after winning a state championship in 2016, I started to really question things beyond the game. For the first time in my life I started to really thirst for knowledge. From December 2016 to December 2017 I read over 75 books. I’ve read approximately the same amount the last two years. I suppose that brings my book total to over 200 books in three years and probably 300 plus books since graduating college.
I can honestly say that my life has not been the same since December 2016. The more I have read, the more my thirst for knowledge has grown. I’ve changed so many habits in my life that have been for the better. The biggest change has been waking up earlier and earlier to make sure I get my reading and reflecting in every day. With two kids, and a third one on the way, finding time to read can be a challenge. So I started getting up 30 minutes early, then 45 and so on. I now get up at 3:55 every day and spend a little over two hours reading and thinking. I still get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. I go to bed early enough or I make up for it with a nap at some point during the day.
Reading books has helped me in all areas of life and I still have an incredible way to go. The Gap is big and that’s what excites me every morning. I know I have work to do and that makes me thirst to get better.
The more I read about successful people, the more I find voracious reading habits. It certainly isn’t the only path to a fulfilled life, but it is a proven one. And notice I’m talking about reading books. Most other sources of information are not created with the same amount of focus and energy. A short blog post, such as this, is not the same as reading a book that took someones years to write.
I understand most people do not value reading in this way. I wish this wasn’t the case. I try to relay the possibilities that come with reading to my players and children. I read every night to my two boys and we started teaching our oldest son to read when he turned three. I know what reading has done for so many people throughout history and I just want as many people as possible to experience the benefits.