Iowa Football Book Club

I came across the article below on the recommendation of my co-worker Ben Wilkins and I thought it would be a great one to share because what the Iowa football program has done with their book club is something that could be replicated at all levels. The article goes into detail as to how the book program started and exactly how it’s executed (it’s more than “everyone read the book and be prepared to talk about it”). The books the Iowa program has read that are discussed in the article are below (note: This list is culled over three seasons and each player did not read every book. Instead, a book was selected for each position group).

“Legacy” by James Kerr (LINK)
“Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson (LINK)
“The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon (LINK)
“You Win in the Locker Room First” by Jon Gordon (LINK)
“Training Camp” by Jon Gordon (LINK)
“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday (LINK)
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni (LINK)
“The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews (LINK)
“The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma (LINK)
“Extreme Ownership” by Jocko Willink (LINK)

“We spend and incredible amount of time planning. From eating, recruiting, game plans, and strength and conditioning,” Doyle said. “Are you going to ignore culture? If we are spending countless hours planning and organizing, shouldn’t we take an hour a week and talk about the culture of our program and how we are developing our thought process and our mindset?” For Iowa and Doyle, it’s about creating a culture where the players are thinking the right way. If he can do that, then the culture will be there for success on the field. “If our guys are thinking right, it doesn’t matter what we are running. If we are thinking right, we are going to move the football. Defensively, if we are thinking right, it will get executed right if our guys are hungry, defeat blocks, and run to the football.”


For more on reading within your team:
-“What’s the Best Book to Give to my Players?” (LINK)
-Phil Jackson’s Summer Book Club (LINK)

For more on Iowa:
-How Iowa finds players that fit the Hawkeyes’ unique culture (LINK)
-Hawkeyes count on culture to avoid a letdown (LINK)

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