I got the chance to get an early copy of the book Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life by Garret Kramer, and I have to say that I enjoyed it. It was not my favorite book, but I think it is worth reading for athletes and coaches on the chance that they are able to glean one or two insights from the book that will really help them out.
The book talks all about recognizing that motivation is internal, whether it is in sports or in life, and we cannot seek external motivations. If we do that, it will be fleeting, and we will soon find ourselves performing worse. If we look to things happening to us as getting us down or up, we are not relying enough on the internal factors of performance. One story that I enjoyed from the book which talks about being motivated and satisfied by the right things was a story about former Argentinian golfer Robert De Vicenzo. The story from the book goes:
Robert De Vicenzo, the renowned Argentinian professional golfer, once won a tournament with a substantial cash prize. After receiving his check and smiling through interviews and photos, he went to the clubhouse and was prepared to leave. Sometime later, as he walked to his car in the parking lot, he was approached by a young woman. She offered well wishes on the victory and then told him that her baby was seriously ill and near death, but she had no money to pay the doctors' bills and hospital expenses De Vicenzo was so moved by her story that right on the spot, he took out a pen and endorsed the winning check over to the woman. "Make some good days for the child," he said as he pressed the check into her hand.
The following week, De Vicenzo was having lunch at the next tour stop when a PGA official approached him. "Several members of the parking lot crew told me you met a young woman after the tournament last week."
De Vicenzo nodded. "Well," said the official, "I hate to tell you, she's a phony. She has no sick kid. I'm sorry, my friend, but that girl fleeced you."
De Vixenzo responded, "You mean there's no dying baby?"
"That's the best news I've heard all week," De Vicenzo responded.