on 29 September 2010
A really great book...whether you have Christian beliefs or not this book is still worth reading as it helps to understand how men need to be aware of their responsibilities in the world and how for high profile sportsmen that is even more important. Told against the narrative of Dungy's life you can understand not only why he has been so successful, but why he is so highly respected and regarded by many, many people.
If ever there was a role model for young men in athletics, Tony Dungy is that role model. I have always admired his patience and coolness under adverse and stressful circumstances. Through this book, I was able to learn more about how he uses his faith in Jesus to be an effective leader and good member of his family and community. I was particularly surprised to learn that he has a temper and needs God's help to avoid venting when it will only do harm: obviously, he has learned a great deal about how to avoid giving in to that temptation.
Coach Tony Dungy keeps life and football in perspective. Putting God and Jesus first in his life is job one. After losing his job as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he assumed that God wanted him full time in the ministry. He also organizes his coaching schedule so that his fellow coaches and he can be with their families as much as possible.
One of the most moving parts of the book for me was where Mr. Dungy described his reactions to his son, Jamie, taking his own life. People who have undergone similar losses would do well to read those sections of this book.
I was especially impressed to see what fine families Mr. Dungy and his wife come from and how those early experiences framed the two of them into being very special people for God.
While we often read hyped-up accounts of overnight success, success is always going to come when God wants it to. Our job is to remain patient and faithful in the meantime as Abraham, Moses, and Paul were. Coach Dungy provides a fine modern example.
For those who want to read about success in football, there's plenty of that in the book . . . but the stories serve examples of Christian principles rather than to be the center of what you gain from this book.
I also found it rewarding to see how racial prejudice continues to fade away slowly in our society, helped in part by the many outstanding successes accomplished by African Americans taking on prominent leadership roles. I hope that future generations will one day wonder what all of those discussions are all about, since they haven't experienced them.
At the same time, this book isn't preachy: It's delightfully honest about a man of faith and what that faith does for him.
May God bless you, your family, and all you do, Coach Dungy!