It is fitting, then, that Pansini splits this compact volume between paeans to the act of coaching and thoughts on how to coach effectively. He shares general insights from his days as a Little League baseball coach and also draws on farther-reaching examples as a teacher, friend, executive, parent, grandparent, and volunteer. Pansini challenges readers to heed the coach’s calling in their day-to-day lives. He urges empathy and compassion, creating an ethos of being there for those in need. He provides real-world examples of those who have pursued this noble calling, such as off-duty health care workers who helped evacuate a hospital engulfed in a California wildfire.
This is more of a series of reflections on the process of coaching than an advice book; there are scant examples of coaching in action. Pansini presses readers to be aware of the importance of trust, especially the ways that people earn or bestow it upon one another. An advocate for better healthcare, Pansini argues that end-of-life care can be seen as a vital form of coaching. While the book is tied together with anecdotes about coaching through life, the most compelling passages go further into the realm of philosophy and memoir. Pansini’s work will appeal to readers who are already passionate about coaching and will be pleased to find a writer whose approach to life they can readily agree with.
Takeaway: Pansini’s philosophical reflections on coaching as a metaphor for social interdependence and mutual care will appeal to anyone who’s found a calling in some form of service to others.
Great for fans of Tony Porter’s Breaking Out of the “Man Box,” Houston Kraft’s Deep Kindness.
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