Cover image for Think like a champion
Think like a champion
Shanahan, Mike, 1952-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperBusiness, [1999]

Physical Description:
viii, 214 pages ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV939.S419 A3 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Mike Shanahan believes that the game of life is won--or lost--before you take the field. You can't win any important game without a plan for how to win it, nor live a successful life or pursue a rewarding career without a clear outcome in mind and a detailed plan for how to achieve your goals.

Coach Shanahan knows about achieving big goals. Armed with his plan, he and his world champion Denver Broncos have elevated themselves to spectacular levels of performance. In three amazing years, they transformed a "mediocre," aging" franchise--and their legendary quarterback who just "couldn't win the big game--into the most feared powerhouse in the league; with back-to-back Super Bowl rings to prove it.

Now, in Think Like a Champion, Shanahan opens his playbook to show the X's and O's of winning, a detailed game plan to help you storm the field with foolproof strategies, confidence, and the indomitable will to win. Shanahan's principles of success are as deceptively simple as they are challenging:

"Preparation is key." Having prepared for every possible contingency, Shanahan expects to win every game he plays. He's usually right. "Whatever the sacrifice, it is worth the price of pursuing your passion." Give every game everything you've got, or don't bother to suit up. "Break down the competition's weakness and learn from their strengths." There's a system to studying game films, to observing your competitors on their home field before the big game. Apply it every time you enter a new market, pitch to a new customer, or face a critical decision. "Pick great leaders and give them the power to inspire." There's a John Elway on your team. Give him the ball, and let him lead. "Set huge goals." Hey, this isn't going to be easy. "It's about work ethic and balance." In short, it's about believing that achieving the impossible is all in a day's work.

Everything in Mike Shanahan's life has prepared him to write this powerful book. He has worked with some of the best and some of the most difficult owners and coaches in the game, and he has coached a roster of players ranging from underachievers to All-Pros. In the ultra-competitive world of the NFL, he is a champion among champions. With his innovative mind, tenacity, and determined leadership, Shanahan has risen to the elite coaching ranks in the NFL. Armed with his vision, and these proven success principles, you can improve your chances on Game Day--or any day of the week.

Author Notes

Sportswriter Adam Schefter writes for the Denver Post and ESPN's Pro Football Weekly. He is the co-author of a biography of Denver Bronco running back Terrell Davis.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Shanahan, head coach of the two-time Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, outlines the strategies he's used to reach the pinnacle of his profession and instructs readers on how to apply his methods to their own personal and business lives. The problem with this approach is that the venue in which coaches achieve success is so different from the everyday world. Like Pat Riley and other coaches turned inspirational motivators, Shanahan resorts to reciting familiar homilies on hard work, focus, and structure. Finally, though, it isn't the homilies that will connect with Shanahan's readers; instead, it's the engaging look at life in the NFL and especially the behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the world-champion Broncos. Forget the platitudes but remember the story about how Shanahan picked up star running back Terrell Davis in the sixth round of the college draft. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

The format is familiar: star sports coach offers wisdom gleaned from the field for armchair quarterbacks (and armchair CEOs). Shanahan, head coach of the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, doesn't depart much from the expected, peppering aphoristic advice with anecdotes from practice and from big games. Each chapter (e.g., Preparing, Sacrificing, Believing, Taking Risks) ends with a brief testimonial to Shanahan written by a player or coach with whom he's worked (Joe Montana, Steve Young, John Elway and others contribute). Shanahan clearly prides himself on his direct personality and, writing with Denver Post sportswriter Schefter (TD: Dreams in Motion), he's winningly forthcoming about his experiences with players and the front offices (including being fired repeatedly), venting some simmering bile toward such figures as Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and Dan Reeves, under whom Shanahan once worked as an assistant. (His rough treatment of Reeves is arguably a case of piling on, since Reeves is now head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, the team Shanahan's Broncos defeated in the most recent Super Bowl). In fact, Shanahan's pep talk is less interesting for its motivational truisms than for its dishy NFL gossip. 25-city radio tour; 15-city TV satellite tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Pregame Talkp. 1
1 Preparing: The Foundationp. 11
2 Sacrificing: To Get Where You Need to Gop. 23
3 Learning: To Follow the Leadersp. 35
4 Detailing: Sweating the Small Stuffp. 49
5 Understanding: Your Strengths and Weaknessesp. 63
6 Setting Goals: The Milestones to Your Dreamsp. 75
7 Believing: Success Comes in Cans, not in Cannotsp. 87
8 Competing: Know Your Enemiesp. 101
9 Communicating: The Power of Being Connectedp. 113
10 Leading: Out in Frontp. 125
11 Teaming Up: Winning is Not for the Selfishp. 137
12 Making Breaks: The Lucky Formulap. 151
13 Risk Taking: Shooting the Roll of Your Lifep. 161
14 Persevering: Falling Hard, Bouncing Highp. 173
15 Succeeding: When Good Isn't Good Enoughp. 183
16 Balancing: Jugging the Professional and the Personalp. 191
Postgame Talkp. 203
Acknowledgmentsp. 213