What I should say… No, it wasn’t a good book. Pathologically repetitive. In each chapter I had the same impression – to be the best in something you have to be persistent, committed, focused and be ready for making sacrifices. Anyway Relentless is about psychology in sport and starts with a short biography of the author – Tim Grover, how he got to know Michael Jordan and became his personal trainer. It is worth to say that during his career he trained a plethora of other successful sportspeople. Tim presents his fundamental values, and somewhat he argues that he demands the same commitments from his trainees.
Next, the book introduces 3 major personalities – Cooler, Closer, Cleaner. Most people are Coolers, a smaller percentage are Closers, and just a few are Cleaners.
A Cooler is careful, he waits to be told what to do, watches to see what everyone else is doing, and then follows the leader. He can handle a certain amount of pressure when things are going well, but when things get too intense, hi kicks the problem over to someone else.
A Closer can handle a lot of pressure. He will get the job done if you put him in the right situation and tell exactly what you need him to do. He loves the rewards and perks associated with his fame and would choose financial security over winning or success.
Cleaners are superheroes. They know everything, will handle anything, they don’t care whom they’re facing, trust their guts and never miss their judgments. Even if they are wrong (virtually impossible) they are right, the world is wrong and it can go and f*** itself because Cleaner doesn’t care. That’s my brutal impression and I’m not jealous. It is a life bubble.
The book is divided into different tips on how to become a Cleaner or how to maximise your gains if you have other personality. Some remarks are accurate, nevertheless, a bit obvious such as you will never have a more powerful training tool than your strong mind, your body will follow. Another analysis about procrastination and overthinking was also accurate. “Most people are the lion in the cage. Safe, tame, predictable, waiting for something to happen. But for humans, the cage isn’t made of glass and steel bars; it’s made of bad advice and low self-esteem and bullshit rules and tortured thinking about what you can’t do or what you’re supposed to do. It’s molded around you by a lifetime of overthinking and overanalysing and worrying about what could go wrong.”
However other hints about stress, in my opinion, are totally wrong. The author says “I tell my guys, Pressure, pressure, pressure. Most people run from stress. I run to it. Stress keeps you sharp.” – Yes, during a few weeks, then your physical and mental performance deteriorates significantly. Ok, I should add that it doesn’t concern Cleaners.
The only elements which save the book a bit are interesting memories of Tim’s life where he describes how he used to work with his clients usind sport psychology. These cases give interesting insights into their own minds and life situations. I perfectly understand that your goals need self-sacrifice, focus etc, but really the book is too aggressive and wrecked.
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable
by Tim S. Grover
Size: 272 pages
Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17354208-relentless
Other useful links:
Tim S. Grover’s website: https://timgrover.com/
Michael Jordan on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jordan
Kobe Bryant on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant
Other book about motivation and psychology in sport: Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger