Tony DeMeo

The Present by Spencer Johnson

Spencer Johnson is one of my favorite writers of allegories, he wrote the best seller Who Moved My Cheese which is also certainly worth reading. But The Present is a great summer read, the type of book you can take to the beach and breeze through it and really get positive vibes.

The Present is a story about a young man who discovers a way to live. The man didn’t understand life and became bitter and was letting his life unravel. Then a mentor gets him going in the right direction. This is a common tale of a mentor steering a young guy on the path to success. Johnson spins his version in an entertaining and meaningful style that makes the book so enjoyable.

There are certain points in the book that are really relevant to football. The Present is NOW not the future or past but NOW. This is something every coach tells his team – play in the now, play this play, play this game, don’t worry about the score play this play. Worry destroys focus, worry is negative goal setting. Worry is about the future but it is the Present that forms the future.

Being in the Present is being free of distractions. Enjoy the moment. Pay attention to what’s important now. This is one of Lou Holtz’s themes.

Another relevant point is to learn from the past then let go of it. How many coaches beat themselves up after a loss? I personally made a vow that I would never second guess myself nor let anyone else. No one is perfect so learn from your mistakes then move forward. Also teams and coaches have a tendency to celebrate big wins a little too long and get beat the following week. How you respond depends on your Purpose. Your Purpose is what’s important to you.

The Three Key Points:

  1. Be in the present and focus on the NOW. Use your purpose to direct you to what is important.
  2. Learn from the PAST but don’t dwell in it. Use the past to make the NOW better than the past.
  3. Plan for the FUTURE to make it better than the PRESENT. The take action to make it happen.

This book is an easy read and has very good lessons that are very pertinent to a football team. I would recommend The Present to all coaches to read on their summer vacation. Take time to re-charge those batteries and enjoy the moment.