Joe Ehrmann, the former NFL standout who played eight successful seasons on the Baltimore Colts’ defensive line and two more with the Detroit Lions, has released his latest book:
INSIDEOUT COACHING: How Sports Can Transform Lives (Simon & Schuster).
Ehrmann, best known these days to many lacrosse fans as a popular speaker at the annual US Lacrosse National Convention, shares his personal history in his own words, and explains why and how he developed his groundbreaking coaching philosophy—and what other coaches and leaders can do to incorporate it into their programs.
Part autobiography, part motivational manifesto and part instruction, InSideOut Coaching chronicles Ehrmann's belief that athletes and their mentors face a much tougher challenge than just scoring points: They have to look inside themselves and forge a meaningful moral purpose, and then apply that greater understanding to helping others thrive.
Ehrmann contends that instead of helping their young charges enjoy the games they are playing or teaching them to become upstanding citizens, many coaches are primarily interested in what coaching can do for them. Such "transactional" coaches are all too common in American athletics, Ehrmann writes. Their egos hinge on their team’s performance, so they train their players to believe that winning is the sole important thing and that self-worth should be measured by physical accomplishments. And often, the children who learn from these coaches go on to become coaches themselves and perpetuate the same harmful ideas.
Ehrmann has a straighforward mission: To help boys and girls become men and women of empathy and integrity who will lead, be responsible, and change the world for good.
Ehrmann draws on stories from his own life and from history to provide vivid examples of what makes a good coach, what makes a bad one, and what kind of difference each type can make in a person’s life. He tackles concerns ranging from the importance of play in the lives of both children and adults to the dangerous effect American culture can have on our understanding of what it is to be a man or a woman.
Working off of the idea of sports as not extra-curricular but co-curricular—a teaching environment just as significant as any classroom—Ehrmann shows how a good coach can instill virtues of community, justice, reason, respect, and responsibility in his or her players, as well as help them find victory on the field.
"Joe is a special person who has dedicated his life to helping young people. His message is powerful and makes a true impact," said Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. "It is a message that we can all learn from."
About the Author
Joe Ehrmann is a former NFL player, named to the All-Century and All-American football teams at Syracuse University (where he also lettered in lacrosse), former Colts "Man of the Year" award winner, named as one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America, and co-founder (with his wife, Paula) of Building Men and Women for Others, Inc. and Coach for America. He lives in Baltimore, MD.