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Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life Hardcover – June 5, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Garret Kramer has overturned much of the conventional wisdom about coaching and performance . . . Stillpower is an insightful and profound book.”
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“A clear and quiet state of mind isn’t just a key element in sports; it’s also important in finance, relationships, and life. The principles introduced in this book apply to so much more than athletics.”
—Jean Chatzky, author of the New York Times bestseller Money 911

“In covering sports for more than twenty years, I am always looking for what separates the good athletes from the great ones. Garret Kramer looks outside the box when it comes to athletics . . . Stillpower is a must-read for someone serious about performance, or for the casual fan who wants to learn what really makes athletes tick—on and off the field.”
—Ian Eagle, CBS Sports/YES Network/Westwood One Radio

''I believe the principles introduced in Stillpower are the future of athletic mental performance; actually, performance of any kind. This book helped me to recognize that in grinding so hard, I was reducing my chances to perform up to my capabilities. I now see why the game wasn't always as enjoyable as I wanted it to be, and my 'effort' rarely feels like work. In Stillpower, Garret Kramer offers hope for discovering our potential to perform freely, regardless of the circumstances of our lives. I hope, like me, you find this perspective to be extremely valuable.''
—Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils Captain and member of the US Olympic Hockey Team

Stillpower is not just one of the best books on improving sports performance ever written—it is a must-read for coaches and performers in any field of human endeavor. While you work on your game or career, the ideas in this book will go to work on you.”
—Michael Neill, author of Supercoach

“The brilliance of Garret Kramer’s perspective is that he takes the often complicated process of achieving one’s best performance and turns it into a direct, natural, and positive understanding . . . Stillpower provides the simple, yet powerful message the sports world has been looking for.”
—Sean Hutchison, US Olympic swimming coach

“As I reflect back on my personal quest to develop character through the sport of football, I greatly identify with the wisdom and principles of this book. Stillpower is a profound playbook for the athletic and life journey. Garret Kramer shows us that people become what they think in their heart, not in their head.”
—Tyrone Keys, founder of All Sports Community Services, Super Bowl–winning defensive end—Chicago Bears

“Garret Kramer understands the importance of having ‘your head right.’ Stillpower reveals the optimum mental functioning of an athlete and the real source of that functioning. Under this paradigm, individuals involved in sports will enjoy the character-building benefits often promised by participation. Even children will find athletics more enjoyable and, at the same time, achieve high levels of success. I know this may all sound like a tall order, but this book honestly offers that potential.”
—George Pransky, PhD

“I was first introduced to sports psychology in the 1970s when I was playing professional baseball. Like all athletes, I was constantly in search of that magical place called ‘the zone,’ where the game slows down and pitches are suddenly easy to track. Contrary to what most people think, however, finding your way to ‘the zone’ doesn’t come from grinding or strength of will— it comes from another source. Stillpower reveals this surprising source. If you’re a serious athlete, coach, sports parent—in fact, anyone—I strongly suggest you read what Garret Kramer has to say about getting to the top of your game, on and off the field.”
—Rick Wolf, sports psychology expert and host of THE SPORTS EDGE, WFAN Radio, New York

“I first heard Garret Kramer speak in 2009, and I was instantly intrigued by his message and approach to athletic mental performance. Stillpower takes a unique perspective that will challenge your traditional beliefs. If you keep an open mind and really listen to what this book has to say, you will realize how much easier and more positive life can be, and why the notion of ‘no pain, no gain’ will never help in your pursuit of success.”
—Rob Naddelman, president of Baseball Factory

“The message introduced in this book is the reverse of any mental strategy or technique that I have ever tried. Stillpower has shown me that my thoughts and moods create my perceptions. So, instead of being victimized by my circumstances, I determine my own performance level—no matter what is happening outside of me. As a result of understanding the principles of thought and consciousness, I now find myself in ‘the zone’ way more often. Thanks to Garret Kramer I just had the best year of my professional career.”
—Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators forward

“I have often invited Garret Kramer to speak to our elite prep athletes throughout the country. He has opened their minds to a new way of looking at performance. He has taught them that free will is the number one ingredient for success on and off the football field. Take your time reading Stillpower. These thoughtful lessons will change the way you look at the athletic journey. This book is invaluable to anyone who wants to perform better in the heat of competition.”
—Richard McGuinness, president of Football University, creator and producer of the US Army All-American Bowl on NBC

“Garret Kramer has refused to accept preexisting concepts about understanding the cerebral part of athletic competition. Through perceptive analysis and examples, Stillpower unlocks a thought-provoking and groundbreaking approach. Over the past three decades, I have been fortunate to observe, from close range, thousands of athletes and coaches in their pursuit of excellence. All of them could benefit from reading this book, not only to reach new heights on the playing field but in their lives away from the game as well.”
—Rob Cowen, nine-time Emmy Award–winning sports television producer

“Having represented professional athletes for more than twenty-five years, it isn’t often you come across a book so crucial for an athlete. From high school and college prospects to the pros, Stillpower provides athletes a unique edge. In a counterintuitive sense, Garret Kramer takes the player back to a childlike and free state of mind, where external circumstances are irrelevant. The inner peace and mind-set that an athlete can achieve through the understanding revealed in this book can transform the athlete and create a happier day-to-day existence, eventually allowing the player to become extremely effective in the game.”
—Jay Grossman, president of PuckAgency, LLC

“In his thought-provoking book Stillpower (the opposite of willpower), Garrett Kramer challenges the world of sports psychology as sports teams, athletes, writers and fans view it. In so doing, he has also presented a formula which could be applied to one’s everyday life.”
—Christopher Ralph, The Hockey Writers

“Kramer leaves you with a game plan for the future - essentially 10 points to deal with life when you’re struggling -and who among us doesn’t struggle at some point. These are succinct reminders and useful words that can help change your mindset and hence your reality.”
—Leigh McAdam, Hike Bike Travel

From the Inside Flap

Fuel your performance, and life, with the clarity of Stillpower

For years, athletes, coaches, parents, and organizations have search for the secrets to optimum mental performance. Today, however, in spite of a myriad of tools, techniques, and theoretical models, consistent success and contentment are as elusive as ever. We see young athletes pushed so hard that 70 percent quit organized sports by the age of thirteen. Every day a high school, collegiate, or pro athlete makes headlines for his or her errant behavior--not to mention, talented and industrious players repeatedly failing to deliver in ''clutch'' moments.

While many insist that athletics is a great way to learn life lessons and expand life skills, this development is not taking place. Now, in Stillpower, Garret Kramer provides a revolutionary simple explanation and understanding. In a fluent and readable manner, Kramer reveals the innate principles behind consistent performance and success. And he highlights the misalignment between the experiences of athletes and the strategies of the coaches, psychologists, and performance experts who are trying to help them. Stillpower uses real-life examples to explore such questions as: What is ''the zone'' and what must we do (or not do) to get there? Why does an athlete need to understand the difference between insight and intellect? Is goal setting really useful? Why doesn't willpower work? Why do the best mentors focus on a person's state of mind and not behavior? What is the connection between the qualities of compassion, competitiveness, and resiliency, and one's thoughts and level of well-being?

Virtually all of us--athletes and nonathletes alike--are looking outside of ourselves, hoping to un-lock the keys to happiness and success. In Stillpower, Kramer encourages us to look within to finally find the answers.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582703884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582703886
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Landry TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While this is a book written to help coaches do their job better, I found that Garret Karmer's book Stillpower is the perfect parenting book. Kramer's premise is that only a still mind can find the zone, the place where everything we do is effortless, where are bodies flow executing that perfect field goal, baseball pitch, or maybe the perfect golf swing.

Here are the chapters headings from this short book to give you an idea how what Kramer's premise is and how he gets his point across.
1. The Misconception: athletics teaches life lessons. (Very intriguing title, because as a parent, I've heard that point stated a hundred times as our kids were growing and up and participating in school sports.)
2. Unbound Effort, Willpower, and Insight. (Here Kramer explains what the zone is and how it differs from grinding it out through willpower.)
3. Coaching, Wisdom and Success (Kramer gives us the secret of how to engage our team. Here I would substitute child for athlete.)
4. Clear Thinking, Resiliency, and Life Beyond the Scoreboard. (What sports can teach our children is how to think clearly under circumstances where stress might cause them to shut down.)
5. The Ultimate Coaching Dilemma: An Athlete's state of mind versus his/her behavior. (Kramer includes a section called the ultimate explanation for any type of behavior and uses Tiger Woods in one of his examples. Irresistible.)
6. The Neutrality of the Outside World (Like gravity, the outside world had worlds that don't care how you react to them, therefor you can change yourself which leaves you ultimately in control of the situation. In other words, it all about perspective. A valuable lesson to teach kids, empowering them for the rest of their lives.)
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Format: Hardcover
I do not play sports, but I found the information in this book to be very insightful. I agree with everything that Garret Kramer writes about in this book. Stillpower is a book that will help me produce better results at work. It will also help me to enjoy my job more. I help peopale with developmental disabilities find jobs. Stillpower is the concept that clarity of mind and acting freely will lead to improved performance at any endeavor. One of the things I learned from reading this book is the difference between willpower and stillpower. Willpower involves forced strained effort. Stillpower involves a more freer effort and greater results. Another important concept I learned in this book is external forces will not make increase my level of happiness. I truly believe in developing my inner wisdom to solve problems. I will try to teach my clients to trust their inner wisdom in making decisions. Kramer provides examples of athletes and sports teams who use stillpower to be succesful at what they do. Kramer shares advice that is logical and easy to understand. The best advice in this book is how to make decsions. Decisions are a result of a high state of consciousness and well being. Poor decisions are made because low sense of well being and a state of mind. Kramer also encourages me to enjoy the journey of whatever I am doing and not be overly concerned about the destination. I loved reading about the life of Michigan football player Donnie Warner and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. They are athletes who succeeded. They had successful athletic careers despite physical and societal conditions like racial prejudice. I loved reading about the success of the University of Connecticut women's basketball team in this book too. These individual stories are very inspirational. This adds to the pleasure of the book for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I am not much into self-help books, and I would probably not have picked this up except for several positive comments about it that I read on-line. I am, however, deeply interested in the study of the history of sports and the manner in which it permeates society. Accordingly, philosophy in sport is a topic of great importance to me. This book, while not intended specifically as a study of sports philosophy, serves that role very well. Garret Kramer is a writer, speaker, athlete, and coach with a unique perspective on the power of the inner self to overcome obstacles.

He asserts that athletes are taught "willpower" from the time they begin competing and it becomes second nature to them. They play through pain, impossible situations, etc. They are taught to "grind it out" and to "force it" regardless of what takes place around them or what they need or want. The mantra of the athlete is "no pain, no gain" and it means much more than physical conditioning. Kramer believes that this "willpower" should be replaced with "stillpower," hence the name of this book. I am reminded of the biblical injunction in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." It emphasizes an inner peace regardless of the circumstances of one's life. That is a conception that I believe Kramer would accept as one way of gaining peace and assurance.

Kramer's philosophy is simple to state, even if it is difficult to implement. He believes that success in athletics may be most readily attained through clarity and creativity, judgment and quality of life, insight and mindfulness, and peace and perspective. Fundamentally, this book is about creating a clear and quiet peace of mind.
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