The much-anticipated July 25 release of Jamy Bechler’s The Leadership Playbook: Become Your Team’s Most Valuable Leader proved to be a giant success as it was named the #1 New Release for basketball coaching books on Amazon.com.
Overall, it reached a high of #2 on Amazon’s list of basketball coaching books. Other books on this list include Jay Bilas’ Toughness, Pat Summitt’s Sum it Up, Mike Krzyzewski’s Leading with the Heart, Lew Alcindor’s Coach Wooden and Me, and Phil Jackson’s Eleven Rings.
Bechler is a John Maxwell certified leadership coach and former college basketball coach. He works with various teams and businesses to maximize their success by developing leadership skills and creating a championship culture. His clients have included teams from the NBA and the Big Ten, as well as multi-million dollar corporations.
The Leadership Playbook is packed full of practical insights and stories. It is designed with the student-athlete in mind but is just as applicable to coaches and athletic administrators.
“These are some of the same stories that I used as a coach,” said Bechler. “The philosophies and strategies in the book are the very same that I successfully taught to my student-athletes and teams. I would love to see student-athletes read the book but it is just as important for a coach to read it, as well. They will be able to teach and emphasize the insights contained in the book.”
There are other leadership books on the market but Bechler says that this is different and can have a profound impact on a team.
“Most books on leadership talk about either being a captain or developing specific character traits. These are important but don’t go far enough. The majority of players on your team are not going to be a captain. I believe that every player on the team is a leader. They might not be the leader but they can be a leader.”
“Leadership is really just influencing. Everyone has influence over someone, starting with themselves. This book gives examples and strategies for how to be a leader no matter what role a person has on the team. It talks about how everyone can be a verbal leader because everyone talks to their friends. It provides ideas on how to influence teammates in a positive way.”
Bechler and The Leadership Playbook has drawn praise from leadership experts and veteran authors, including Micheal Burt. Burt was a former championship basketball coach who has written 12 books and is the developer of the “Monster Producer Coaching Program”.
“There’s no stronger relationship than the one between coach to player, player to player, player to coach,” said Burt. “The Leadership Playbook shows you how to find your voice within the team, drive up your unique value, and become indispensable to those around you. Jamy combines the best of the best into a practical book that is a must-have for every potential leader.”
Bechler is passionate about leadership and helping develop players as people. His 2014 team won the NAIA’s national “Champions of Character” award. He also believes that there is a direct correlation between leadership and success.
“As a young coach, I focused primarily on X’s and O’s but I eventually learned that athletic success is just as much about developing people as it is about developing athletic skills”, said Bechler. “I saw it as a coach and now see it with most of the teams that I consult with. If the offense isn’t working, then the coach tweaks it or spends more time on it the next day in practice. But, many times the offense doesn’t work because the players may not trust each other. They might not trust the coach. They might have focus issues. They might have confidence issues. As coaches, we are constantly trying to solve people problems with athletic solutions.”
Bechler believes that coaches have to be intentional about teaching and developing leadership skills so that players can have a better team but also so that they can be more successful in life.
“The coach might set the vision for the team but the players carry it out,” said Bechler. “The coach may define culture but the players make it happen. The true culture of a team is the standards and habits that the players buy into. Whether you are a captain, upperclassman, star or freshman reserve, you can be a leader and influence your team to create a championship culture. This is a perspective that most players don’t have, which is why it is important for a coach to teach leadership and character skills just like they would ball-handling or shooting skills.”
Bechler had previously written five eBooks but this was his first book published in paperback. His book is on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. Barnes & Noble distributes the book in its digital Nook version.
With the book’s release, Bechler will be traveling to various college campuses and high schools across the country speaking to student-athletes on how they can be better leaders and teammates.