As many of you know, I find myself with lots of free-time due to circumstances WAY beyond my control. As a result, I find myself trying to utilize this time the best way that I possibly can. Whether it is reading articles or books, watching training DVDs, writing blog posts (such as this) and an e-book, or visiting other Strength and Conditioning Coaches/Trainers, I am trying to use this time to get better. Of course, I would rather be doing my day job and trying to find the extra time to squeeze this stuff in.
On a recent shopping trip to Costco, I picked up the book No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden (not the authors real name). It may be one of the biggest books (311 pages) that I have finished in a 2-day time frame. I couldn’t put it down.
The book is a Navy SEAL’s autobiography that also contains what happened during the planning and accomplished mission of taking down Osama Bin Laden.
I have so much respect for Navy SEALS. Why? They are the last people on earth that I would want to piss off. Which makes me feel safer knowing that these guys are the ones carrying out missions like the one talked about in the book. Also, I think SEALS are the ultimate athletes. When you look at what they are tested in both physically and mentally, no one in the whole world is as tough as these guys. From the time that they decide to become a SEAL through all of their boot camps which includes the “Hell week” in which they sleep for 4 hours total during an entire week, these guys are the cream of the crop. It is no wonder why the drop out rate is so high. From a training perspective, what is really impressive about these men is that they must be able to always complete their physical assessments even after they officially become SEALS. They are also pretty much on call 24-7. They must be ready to go at any time. There is no set schedule as to when they are on missions.
What was also impressive in the book was the attention to detail that these men have in the planning process for any mission that they set out to accomplish. It is all scripted right down to packing their gear properly and rehearsing the missions over and over again. This really sounds familiar when you think of the deliberate practice concept and why successful coaches teach their athletes about the importance of the smallest of details. Coach Wooden teaching his players how to put their socks on properly comes to mind.
Like the great book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, another SEAL autobiography, there is so much from this book and the whole Navy SEAL culture that can apply to coaching and being a member of a team.
Here is a quote that I really like from the book:
“We are not superheroes, but we all share a common bond in serving something greater than ourselves. It is a brotherhood that ties us together, and that bond is what allows us to willingly walk into harm’s way together.”
Obviously, I really liked the book and was really surprised that I crushed it 2 days. Check it out here