Tag: Rod Huff

The Experts’ Reading List

The Experts’ Reading List 
One of the great things about interviewing talented coaches from all over the world is getting to pick their brain on where their mind is being fed. So we’ll take a break from our coaching series this week and I’ll share a great reading list that I’ve compiled from my podcast guests. Then next week we’ll start up a new series on Building a Winning Culture.
I’ve read 12 of these, how many have you read? My challenge to you is to pick 2 or 3 to read in the next 6 months, that is what I’m going to do. I’ve just ordered Pete Carroll’s Win Forever, Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus, and Patrick Lencioni’s The 5 Dsyfunctions of a Team.
I’ve included hyperlinks to all of the books on Amazon, so just click on the name of the book and order it today! Don’t wait or you won’t do it. No excuses.
Also – my friend James Leath published a post with his reading list – check it out for some more great recommendations – Link
  1. Pyramid of Success by Coach John Wooden
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – the story ‘Father Forgets’ is timeless
  3. The Gold Standard’ by Coach K. – story of bringing together the Dream Team
  4. Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis – story of bringing a boy into manhood
  5. Lead for God’s Sake by Todd Gongwer
  6. Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann – ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach’
  7. Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx – about Joe Ehrmann
  8. Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski
  9. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  10. The Best-Laid Plans of a High School Basketball CEO by Randy Montgomery and Matt Kramer
  11. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard – about Teddy Roosevelt dealing with defeat by challenging himself to a huge audacious goal
  12. Teaching to Change Lives by Dr. Howard Hendricks
  13. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
  14. The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey
  15. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone ‘Never cut anything, never dilute greatness, never pull back on your horsepower, and never put a limit on your ambition, drive, and passion. Demand obsession of yourself and all those around you.’
  16. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  17. What a Coach can teach a teacher by Tharp&Gallimore – Followed John Wooden and analyzes the % of his communication
  18. The Sports Gene by David Epstein
  19. Mindset by Carol Dweck
  20. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon – Get the energy vampires off the bus and surround yourselves with energy-givers and life-givers
  21. Double goal coach by Jim Thompson of PCA
  22. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel
  23. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  24. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  25. Coaching Made Easier: How to Successfully Manage Your Youth Baseball Team—A Step-by-Step Guide to a Rewarding Season by Rod Huff
  26. Coaching Basketball Successfully by Morgan Wootten
  27. Win Forever by Pete Carroll
  28. The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
  29. Positivity by Barbara Frederickson – Great book for self-talk
  30. The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine
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WYC 070 – Youth Baseball – Rod Huff talks building championship teams


Rod Huff is a successful business executive with 30 years experience in the operations and administration area. He began his baseball coaching experience as an assistant coach when his son, Austin, was five years old. His first head coaching experience began in 1995 when his company, Sparrow Records, sponsored his 7- and 8-year-old coach-pitch team. That year, as a first-year coach, his team, nicknamed the Birds, went 15-2. That season ushered in somewhat of a dynasty in his Brentwood, Tennessee, community, where he is known as one of the winningest coaches ever in the local league. His nine-year record as a head coach includes five league championships and four runner-up titles. Huff took his operational and administrative executive abilities to the ball field and came up with a winning formula of organization, feedback, and motivation, which had parents and players alike asking to be drafted by him every year. He shared this system in his book, titled Coaching Made Easier: How to Successfully Manage Your Youth Baseball Team—A Step-by-Step Guide to a Rewarding Season.

Book Website: Coaches Choice


Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


‘The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital’ – Joe Paterno

Coaching your own kids

  • Rod gave a game-ball at the end of each game to a player, and he always would wait until every other kid had earned one before he would give one to his son. One year when the time came to give his son his game ball, his son had a terrible game, so Rod and the assistant coach had to ‘manufacture’ a creative way to reward him for something he did in the game. Lesson learned: should you save your son for last – or try harder to just treat him as every kid and give it to him when he deserves it?

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Communication about playing time – If a player is not playing/starting because of their attitude in practice – be sure to communicate the reason to them.

Teaching Skills

  • If you are struggling with something in games – make a fun game out of it to practice. And repeat it, maybe for the entire practice, until the kids are comfortable and know what they are supposed to do.
  • Use stats to set your lineups. This is a good way to motivate improvement, and also it takes subjectivity out of it.

Building confidence

  • Humor can often be used to ‘lighten the mood’ if kids are taking a game too seriously
  • Be observant – some kids get real uptight if their Dad is there

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • You have to lead by example
  • Draft kids:
    • With older brothers (seriously)
    • Age is huge, this is important if you can draft an older player vs. a younger one
    • The talented troublemaker is never worth it

Memorable Game

  • Coach Huff had a game against their rival where his players were struggling hitting, and when they came into the dugouts, he told his players to keep quiet – because their bats were asleep and he didn’t want to wake them up. This relaxed his team and they turned it around after that.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Tim Corbin – Vanderbilt coach: Empty your bench in inning changes – Anyone on the bench, between innings, go out and throw/stretch to stay involved. Also does a huddle with his team at they come off the field from defense, including everyone on the bench.

Parting Advice

  • Take it seriously, but have fun

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