Book Review: Relentless by Tim S. Grover

I’ve never been big on self-help books.  I’ve never felt the need to drop fifty or a hundred bucks to have Tony Robbins or Deepak Chopra tell me how to be properly motivated.  Fortunately, I’ve always found it within myself to be the best writer, bartender, person, partner, son and lover I can be.

Tim Grover Relentless book coverTim S. Grover’s Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable, however, promised something different than the rest.   The fact that he has Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Riley, Dwayne Wade and Charles Barkley praising his work should tell you Grover has some pretty impressive street cred.  So I gave Relentless a shot just to see what it could do for me.

The core of Grover’s work differentiates between three types of personalities: coolers, closers and cleaners.  You can probably figure out the difference between the three but in case you can’t, “Coolers let others decide whether they’re successful, they do the job and wait to see if you approve. Closers feel successful when they get the job done.  Cleaners never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there’s always more to do.”

To be a true cleaner and anyone can if they are determined enough, one must master, according to Grover, mental dominance.  One must be comfortable being uncomfortable, know exactly who they are, not be afraid to fail, embrace their inner dark side and trust in their instincts and ability to handle any situation.  No matter how successful you are in your field, Grover opens your mind to the possibilities of being even greater.  That’s what I enjoyed most about Relentless.

As a sports fan, hearing Grover tell of the time Michael Jordan flipped over Scott Burrell’s training table for being late to practice or the afternoon Kobe hung up on Dwight Howard after hearing his back was only 85% were among the most enjoyable parts of the book but Relentless is not entirely basketball-centric.  Grover translates his philosophy to any line of work.  I couldn’t help but think about how to apply everything he preaches to me and my own life.

Tim Grover Kobe Bryant

“You don’t become unstoppable by following the crowd, you get there by doing something better than anyone else can do it, and proving every day why you’re the best at what you do.”  Preach on, Tim!

Being a Cleaner is all about focus, leadership and determination.  Grover challenges you to find that within yourself just as he does the athletes he trains.  “Do the work.  There is no privilege greater than the pressure to excel, and no greater reward than earning the respect and fear of others who can only stand in awe of your results.”

Grover’s analysis of the cleaner is cutthroat and demanding but that’s what it takes one to become the best one can be.

To be honest, there are some moments within Relentless when Grover goes a little John Kreese.  “Fear… does not exist… in this dojo!  NO SENSEI!!!”  But that’s exactly his point.  To become a cleaner, one must sacrifice.  “If you aim at excellence, you have to be willing to sacrifice.  That is the price of success.  You take what everyone else sees as a negative and turn it to your advantage.  And you tell anyone who doubts you, ‘I got this.’“

If you’re a sports fan and you’re struggling personally, professionally or in any way, shape or form to find that edge, I recommend giving Relentless a try, but be fully committed to the cause otherwise, as Grover would say, you’re just wasting time.

 “The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself, and you must always be your toughest opponent.”

Words to live by.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Relentless by Tim S. Grover

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Relentless by Tim S. Grover - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Kobe hung up on Dwight. Classic.
    Now wonder Dwight bolted to the Astrodome, a place where he could “be himself” and “be happy”.

    Low expectations suit him.

    I hear Kobe’s parents are selling the replica championship rings Kobe gave them…Flight Coward might want to bid on those because actually winning one isn’t in his future.

  3. Ouch, Bleed.

    That’s classic.

    I wonder if Dwight has Kobe’s mom’s eBay profile zoomed in on his watch list, with Mike D’Antoni driving up the price of those goods just to fuck with him.

  4. PEP,
    Nice review, but from it the book really doesn’t sound much different than most others…(coming from someone who does the occassional read as a professional development exercise and is writing one of similar vain). Every self help book, by definition, has a bottom line that it starts and ends with the person. How much is someone willing to invest in themselves tobe the best they can be at whatever? In order to be the best, you must first believe you can be the best. From that moment, you must do whatever it takes, [within the law :)], to achieve your end. It does require sacrifice, if you choose to look at it like that. I tend to think of it not as sacrifice, it’s just not part of the plan at this time.
    It is an investment in yourself, and if you aren’t willing to make it…do you really think anyone esle should or will?

  5. Mony…

    A man much wiser than me told me many years ago that the toughest things you’ll ever have to do in life is get to know yourself and get to like yourself.

    Oh wait… that was you.

  6. And what have those noted accreditors all got in common ? In recent years within their respective sports, they have each ran afoul of their respective governing bodies . One more reason I simply motivate myself to do what I believe to be right as far as my own life is concerned ! It wouldn`t help the likes of Rae Carruth , Leonard Little or Donte Stallworth or Aaron Hernandez , obviously .

    Good first round for Tiger at The British Open .

    tophatal …………

  7. I would argue that there is a fourth type and that is the clunker. That’s a person that struggles through life doing the absolute best they can for their family and doesn’t give a damn about how others label them. As you might have guessed that’s the group I am proud to belong to.

  8. Nice to know my words were not wasted 🙂
    By the way..how’s that working for you? 🙂

  9. Actually, Mony, pretty damn good.

    I’m happy, healthy and don’t have a complaint in the world.

    Except that I still can’t shoot in the 80s, he he.

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