Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review of "Call An Audible" by Daron K. Roberts - A MUST READ That Inspires and Challenges

Daron K. Roberts has written a compelling book that should inspire every reader to dream big. There is a good reason that Sports Illustrated named "Call An Audible" one of the best sports books of 2017. It transcends sports, and adresses issues of vision, discipline, work ethic, humility, work-life balance, and overcoming obstacles.

I was particularly moved in reading this book because I was behind the scenes for some of the chapters of the author's life, and I can attest to the veracity of the stories that he tells of making the unusual decision to pursue a career as an NFL coach in lieu of accepting offers to practice law upon graduating from Harvard Law School. Robert Frost would have definiely called Daron's choices "the road less traveled." I do not know of any other Ivy League law graduates who would be willing to humble themselves and start at the bottom of the barrel as an unpaid volunteer to break into coaching at the NFL level. Beside his love for football, the author was also motivated to establish a career in coaching to give himself a platform from which he could influence the next generation of young African American males, teaching life skills along with coaching football skills. His journey is one that had many peaks and valleys, and his account of the journey provides plenty of food for thought and lessons in values and principals.

While working himself up the ladder within the NFL coaching fraternity, there were stops along the way with the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns. Mr. Roberts also coached at West Virginia University. At every stop along the way, he had to prove his worth by being willing to do the toughest jobs that no one else wanted to do, beginning with the humble task of running - and keeping running - the Chief's antiquated copier.

One of the most moving sections of this book is the author's account of his decision to leave the fast track of NFL coaching. Between seasons, he was home in Texas, and his son brought him to his knees in remarking that he had never seen his father eating breakfast before. It hit him like a sledgehammer that he has been so busy proving himself as a coach, that he was failing as a father. So he made the painful choice to leave coaching. He accepted an invitation from the President of the University of Texas, his alma mater, to create a Center For Sports Leadership & Innovation on the Austin campus. It is from this platform that he now carries out his vision for influencing the next generation of student athletes.

Center for Sports Leadership Website

In addition, he oversees a non-profit called "4th and 1," They run a summer camp for high school athletes from underrepresented groups, and uniquely combine sports training with ACT preparation and diagnostics, professional development, and life skills classes.

4th and 1 Website

This book is a MUST READ for anyone looking to influence young people, as well as for motivated young athletes and scholars who could use a boost in hearing from a role model whose hard work has placed him in a position to multiply his talents, and to use them to influence others on a global scale.



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