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Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable

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For more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats—Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and dozens more—and made them greater. Now, for the first time in paperback, he reveals what it takes to get those results, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire.

Fore more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats—Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and dozens more—and made them greater. Now, for the first time ever, he reveals what it takes to get those results, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire.

Direct, blunt, and brutally honest, Grover breaks down what it takes to be unstoppable: you keep going when everyone else is giving up, you thrive under pressure, you never let your emotions make you weak. In “The Relentless 13,” he details the essential traits shared by the most intense competitors and achievers in sports, business, and all walks of life. Relentless shows you how to trust your instincts and get in the Zone; how to control and adapt to any situation; how to find your opponent’s weakness and attack. Grover gives you the same advice he gives his world-class clients—“don’t think”—and shows you that anything is possible. Packed with previously untold stories and unparalleled insight into the psyches of the most successful and accomplished athletes of our time, Relentless shows you how even the best get better . . . and how you can too.

233 pages, Paperback

First published April 16, 2013

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Tim S. Grover

16 books201 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,175 reviews
27 reviews7 followers
May 13, 2014
My favorite quotes from Tim Grover:

• Never stop until you get what you want. Then keep going until you get what's next. Then you go for more. Relentless.

• If you don't make a choice, the choice will be made for you.

• Success is not the same as talent.

• When you fear losing, you can't focus on what you need to do to win.

• Everything is impossible, until someone does it.

• Whatever's in your glass now, empty it. We're starting fresh.

• In order to have what you really want, you must first be who you really are.

• If you want to be great, deliver the unexpected. If you want to be the best, deliver a miracle.

• Don't just perform the job. Reinvent it.

• Don't tell me what you're doing or what you're planning. Tell me after the job is complete.

• The janitor works quietly alone, late at night. No Attention. No one sees him work. No one knows what he does, but the job always gets done. It has to, so everyone else can do their jobs efficiently. He's got the key to every room in the building.

• Don't see problems, only situations to resolve.

• You must be willing to die trying.

• Know what you're worth and remind people when they make the mistake of forgetting.

• If you want to be the best, it's the details that make all the difference.

• Make the competition study you. Don't care who you're facing, you can handle anyone.

• Cleaners don't need a kick in the ass. Everyone else does.

• Show up. Work Hard. Listen.

• We have to this my way. You already have the talent. It's my job to show you what to do with it.

• You already have plenty of friends. What you and I do is professional. If we become friends, that's great. But I care more about your career and future.

• Total collaboration. But you agree to let me do what I do.

• With options, people usually choose the easier route. So I'm not giving you options. Let me do the thinking for the both of us.Show up. Work hard. Listen. Your job is to do the work.

• Everyday challenge yourself to do something you don't want to do. Otherwise the next day you'll end up with two or three things you don't want to do, then three, four and five. Pretty soon you won't even get back to the first thing. Then you'll beat yourself over the mess you've created and not you've built a mental barrier.

• Always think about your destination.

• Crave the result so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant.

• The challenge for me is taking someone great and making them even better.

• If you do what you always do, over and over, you'll get the same results.

• The goal: make the practice so hard that everything outside seems easy.

• 1) Where are you now.
2) Where do you want to be.
3) Make a plan to get there.
4) Act on it.

• Your mental focus and concentration, your ability to control your environment and the heartbeat of others, determines whether you succeed or fail.

• I help find the fuel to light the fire. I don't want to be the one who pushes the buttons. I want you to push the button yourself. As soon as you allow others to push your buttons, they've won.

• If you want to go somewhere new, you have to throw out the tired, old map and stop traveling the same road to the same dead end.

• When nothing is handed to you, you have to prove yourself everyday over and over.

• Stress keeps you sharp. It challenges you in ways you never imagined and forces you to solve issues and manage situations that send weaker people running for cover.

• In an individual sport if you quit, you quit on yourself. With a team sport, you have a lot of other people relying on you.

• Never feel external pressure. Believe what's inside of you. Know what you are doing right and doing wrong. Don't care what others think.

• I'm 100% certain that if you bring me into any situation, I'm going to have a positive impact on you.

• If you're willing to listen to what I'm asking, tell me what I need to know, and follow what I say, you're going to have some improvement.

• No fear of failure. It's about the hard work and preparation that go into knowing everything there is to know. Letting go of your fears and insecurities and trusting your ability to handle any situation.

• You have to be willing to fail in order to take risks.

• When you screw up, admit you're wrong and shoulder the blame.
"I fucked up." Now fix it.

• Confidence is not caring what others thing because even if you make a mistake, you know you'll get it right.

• If you did it, own it. If you said it, stand by it. That's your reputation. Make it count. If you want your opinions to have value, you have to be willing to put them out there and mean what you say.

• Maturity, experience, practice. The more educated you become the more you heighten your ability to adapt to situations because experience gives you a better understanding of nuance, those tiny details no one els would think of or recognize. Don't accept a single set of rules. Take what one person thinks and make it your own. Put together your own composite of learning; take what you know and believe, adding what others have taught you, and create your own set of beliefs.

• You don't have to like it. But you're going to like the results.

• Pressure. Accountability. Demand excellence.

• A great leader knows the best way to get people to raise their performance is to put them where the can truly excel.

• Don't focus on what you can't do. Find out what you can do and put yourself in a system where you can succeed.

• Follow your passion? How about work at it. Excel at it. Demand to be the best at it.

• Situation. Response. Outcome.

• Good things come to those who work.

• Figure out what you can do. Then do it. And do it better than anyone else.

• Making it to the top is not the same as making it at the top.

• Our relationship has to be based on trust or we can't get anywhere. You come to me with complete trust. You follow the rules, or you're wasting your time and mine.

• Success is not about how much money you make. Success is about doing things no one else can do.

• You get a small window to become a legend, you have the rest of your life to act like a kid. Push it as far as you can. You will have decades ahead to enjoy what you built for yourself.

• Nothing is impossible. Everyday I crave the challenge of proving that.

• You give me a situation, I'll make it work. That's what drives me.

• Every dream you imagine, everything you see and hear and feel in your sleep, that's not a fantasy, that's your deep instinct telling you it can be real. Follow those visions and dreams and desires, and believe what you know. Only you can turn those dreams into reality. Never stop until you do.

• The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself. You must always be your toughest opponent. Always demand more of yourself than others demand of you. Be honest with yourself and you'll be able to meet every challenge with confidence and the belief that you are prepared for anything.

• Life is complicated. The truth is not.

• The truth is simple. It requires no explanation, analysis, rationale, or excuse; it's just a simple statement that leaves no double You can look at it from every angle, flip it over, slice it up, smash it with an ax...it's still the truth.
Profile Image for James Cogbill.
45 reviews11 followers
March 23, 2017
Tim Grover offers some good lessons about how to be the best at what you do, but his completely values-agnostic approach--be feared rather than liked, go to your dark side to stay "in the zone," and an apparent disregard for teammates or subordinates--makes it hard to get completely on board with his philosophy. While I like his emphasis on "never quit" and being relentless in general, I think it's possible to do that while being values driven, caring for, and developing those around you.
3 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2017
I honestly couldn't get through this one. The author just repeated himself over and over using different examples and metaphors, in between talking about how great his athletes are/were. I'm sure he is a great coach but as far as books go... nope.
Profile Image for Amina.
1,254 reviews265 followers
June 21, 2016
This is not a book, this is a way of life, it may seem difficult or not really tempting when you go through it but how much are you willing to sacrifice for the life you want?
Some may say that the author is arrogant, possible, but as the pages turn, you'll be convinced otherwise, he takes his craft very seriously and he expects you to do the same for yourself..
There's a lot of talk about Jordan, Briant and other NBA stars but you know it is appliable to any area of life..
If you're looking for a step by step guide to how to change, this book is not for you..
If you're willing to accept the truths it holds and explore what you have within, then you may proceed
Profile Image for Lisa  Carlson.
598 reviews13 followers
April 8, 2014
The best thing I can say about this book; it looks nice on the shelf. Are you a cooler, closer or cleaner? Really? For those of you who admire Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Charles Barkley and any other sports person you'll love it because thats all he really uses as examples. My favorite is how he informs us how he wished Tiger Woods hadn't apologized for leading everyone on because you have to foster your dark side? None of the greats in sports and integrity would ever buy into any of this nonsense.
Profile Image for Ashley Hamm.
66 reviews3 followers
June 15, 2022
I struggled to get through this book. The author often comes off sounding narcissistic and lacking in any moral compass or sense of being guided by values. He writes about men, for men, and doesn’t make an effort to include perspectives other than the male basketball players he’s worked with. This book is completely lacking in evidence to support his methods or examples from other fields, yet he argues how his principles can be applied to other careers and disciplines. I rarely got a sense of how to cultivate being relentless, because many of the anecdotes were about athletes who were already relentless. How do we know how they got that way? All we know is the qualities the author has observed in them. Skip this book and read something that has some evidence to back it up and includes some actual practical advice.
Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews309 followers
December 20, 2016
Have you ever wondered what separates the best of the best? Is it just more talent, more hard work or is there something else? This book offers great insight into what might be the defining factor of extreme performance. The author, Tim Grover, had one job. To take athletes who were already among the greatest of all time and make them better. His clientele includes Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Charles Barkley and many more legends. And in this book he dives into the mindset, and the factors which made these athletes relentless and unstoppable. The biggest lesson I got from the book is the emphasis on self-trust. Another huge one is the ability of these athletes to be unaffected by the environment and how they use high-pressure situations as fuel to bring out the best performance. Overall, this is a fantastic book, easy to read and very direct. It was a perfect companion for a 10-hour transatlantic flight.
Profile Image for Joe Rush.
11 reviews1 follower
August 18, 2017
What a waste! Don't bother reading.
This guy is so full of himself it's comical. I made Mike Jordan and Kobe Bryant better. Please!! You're Relentless and Unstoppable because you conned me into buying your book of narcissistic BS!!!
Profile Image for Emma Sea.
2,184 reviews1,065 followers
September 3, 2017
Grover is an interesting guy.

"My family came to the United States when I was four, and my father went to work in the basement of a hospital in Chicago, dismembering cadavers. When there was no school and both my parents were working, he'd take me with him; I was five years old the first time I saw my father dismantle a corpse. When I was six, he handed me a bone saw and told me to help."

Grover's basic thesis is that there are three kinds of people: Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.

"In a Cooler, an idea will travel from his brain to his mouth — he has to talk about it, discuss it, share it with others for feedback and approval. In a Closer, it travels farther down toward his gut, but instead is diverted toward his heart, where it becomes slowed down by emotion and more thought. In a Cleaner, though, a thought moves straight to the gut, where instinct takes over and puts it into immediate action . . . a Closer thinks about what he wants; a Cleaner feels it."

"A Cleaner never tells you what they're doing or what they are planning. You find out after the job is complete."

One of the problems is that Grover's language is really gendered. He expects the reader to be male, and mentions having the support of wives and girlfriends. He talks about a lion stalking his prey, attacking and killing at will, and going in search of his next conquest. Of course, within in pride, in general, it's a lioness who does the stalking, attacking, and killing.

One of Grover's analogies is:

"Two bulls stand on top of the hill, a father and a son, looking down on a field of cows below. The son can't wait: "Come on, let's go, we gotta run down and get some of those cows!" And the father looks at him slowly, wisely, and says, "No, let's walk down and get all the cows." Instinct, not impulse."

This is distasteful.

But what was limiting about this book is there's far more name dropping than calls to action. Grover basically says if you are a Cleaner you will know you are a Cleaner. Like Michael Jordan. Or Charles Barkley. Or LeBron James.

In short, the book is kind of a wankfest. I don't recommend it.
Profile Image for Nick.
6 reviews3 followers
October 21, 2016
Arrogant. A mantra people can use to justify their lack of balance.
Profile Image for Swrp.
662 reviews
February 8, 2020
This is one good book. A tough one, with quite a few "dark sides", but truly worth it. This maybe described as the new age motivation.

Ultimately it all boils down to the fire in one's belly. This book will help in keeping the flame alive.

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover does seem like for those high energy performers and sportspersons, but in the end the core principles and philosophies are the same.
Profile Image for Brad Mills.
76 reviews6 followers
April 10, 2017
This book was a mission to try to finish. I only made it half way through before throwing in the towel.

It reads like a sales letter for a high end coaching program. I though the sales pitch would end eventually, like maybe it was a creative technique employed to setup the main content of the book.

25% through it still felt like a high pressure sales tactic.

I usually like books like this - inside stories about high achievers, sports stars and celebrities...but this just felt ingenious and monotonous.

Constantly nagging me about why I need to be a "closer".

I guess this book is written only for closers - but if you are a closer, why would you need to read this book?

Skip it.
Profile Image for Travis Mewhirter.
Author 7 books10 followers
September 5, 2017
This is one of the worst books I've read this year. It's more 232 pages of Grover patting himself on the back than it is a decent, useful read. There isn't much to learn here, other than Grover would like you to follow all of the rote cliches: dig deeper, try harder, don't bend to the norms.
I'd leave this one on the shelf.
Profile Image for Marco G.
111 reviews6 followers
July 12, 2018
One of the worst books I have ever read. This book was written for dumb people. An alpha males take on how to achieve your goals but reads more like an infomercial for his training Style. The book is interesting when he delves into a little bit of his clients like Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant and Charles Barkley among others but there is so little offered in the way of concrete strategies it was a real disappointment. I read this book in the hope of gleaming some kind of edge in self-improving. What I walked away from is just feeling like I wasted time reading this thing. It is honestly useless and you would be better suited reading Tony Robbins or some such stuff.
2 reviews
May 16, 2018
Tim Grover needs to be more RELENTLESS and be the “Cleaner” that he talks so frequently about in this book and clean up his writing. Reading this book was like reading a late night text message conversation with one of your buddies. The book is also filled with corny lines such as, “If you see me in the forest wrestling a bear, help the bear.” And Grover constantly attempts to nibble some credit away from his star trainees (Jordan, Kobe, Dwayne) to put himself on the limelight. Overall, a disappointing book. If you’re looking for something to get you motivated or focused, there are many more books out there that would do a better job.
Profile Image for Kari Guenther.
14 reviews60 followers
July 30, 2017
Basically, how to be a narcissist. Or "Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan, and that one time: Michael Jordan." Two stars because he's real about what he believes it takes to be "the best," including ignoring family, never celebrating accomplishments because a real Cleaner/the best is always left wanting more, and making people fear and respect you...minus three stars because this book isn't applicable to anyone but that .01% who wants to throw life away to be numero uno. Wouldn't recommend.
Profile Image for Scott.
2 reviews1 follower
November 6, 2017
I couldn't get through it. The first chapter was great. But he says the exact same thing using same words and sentence structure for each chapter for the rest of the book. It's painful.

This book would have been much more interesting if he gave actual examples of working with Jordan, Kobe, and Wade.

Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews309 followers
February 8, 2019
One of my favorite mindset books explaining what it really takes to achieve extreme high-performance. Tim Grover classifies athletes as "Cooler, Closer, Cleaner" which translates to good, great, and unstoppable. An athlete such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are cleaners. They are addicted to success and driven to do whatever it takes to win. I'd highly recommend everyone to read this book.
3 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2017
Bad book. How I suppose to become a cleaner is there is now HOW. It just says things that cleaners do, legends as Dwade, Kobe or MJ. But there is no HOW to become a cleaner. How I can get in the zone? Dark side? THE RESULT IS ALL THAT MATTERS? Seriously? What about the process? If you read "How champions think" of Rob Rotella you will realize that this book is pure bullshit. I was completely disappointed
Profile Image for Laura Noggle.
676 reviews387 followers
January 28, 2020
Maybe I'm just a little emotional right now, but this book moved me to tears at the very end.

I'm not a sports fan by any means, but this was one of the best books on mindset and greatness that I've read—maybe ever.

Short, sweet, and to the point: This book is Fantastic.

"Decide. Commit. Act. Succeed. Repeat."
197 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2017
One star as two stars comes up as "it was okay" which this most certainly was not.

It was repetitive drivel. A sequence of buzz words and meaningless phrases strung together and then repeated.

Did I mention this was repetitive?

If redundancy was removed from the book it would probably be a quarter of the size. If it was reduced to actionable advice a couple of paragraphs would suffice.

By the way, this book is repetitive. It repeats stuff frequently saying the same thing over and over.
Profile Image for Derek.
986 reviews73 followers
February 12, 2018
Relentless is a no-nonsense self-improvement book that takes no hostages and does nothing to coddle your little insufficiencies. Never will you encounter a book that is this honest and straighforward. Where most books tell you about inner drive and passion and purpose, Relentless urges you to get off your fat arse and do your work.

Cooler. Closer. Cleaner. The distinctions of performance are pretty well defined. That's a great reality check. I'm sure everyone on first encountering the three definitions thinks of themselves as a cleaner, but christ! it takes a whole lot to be a cleaner. I have no delusions about who i am as far as those three are concerned. The greater part of valour in this case is clarity. I know where I am and what I have to do to get on the cleaner level.
Profile Image for Hamza Nasir.
14 reviews
December 1, 2018
One of the most important books I have ever read, and definitely a fixture in my personal top 10 books for self-transcendence and actualization. Look, Grover's tough and what he is trying to get across to you in this book is an ATTITUDE of absolute excellence. A lot of what he says is counter to popular self-help and to be honest may not seem completely healthy. What's the thesis of this book? To become an icon you must be willing to go where no one else is, and be able to sacrifice what no one else will, and then keep going. But here's the thing, the state of being relentless is so amazing- you feel so autonomous, so driven, and so confident- you realize that the healthiest thing for your spirit is to be RELENTLESS. Now of course this is one side of the spectrum-yin and yang. Another favorite of mine is THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle, which basically preaches the opposite of this book in many ways, of course there is overlap. To me, these works DO NOT contradict each other, rather they are too PRICELESS peaces of the whole which must be held parallel to each other in the master's mind. Okay so what are the KEY NUGGETS...

1) Work. Working hard is not a skill, it is not a talent, it is something which you either do or don't. Anything is possible given the time and effort, but most people are not able to put in that time. WORK. Work everyday, Kobe Bryant would work as hard on the off season as he would during the regular season. He would train multiple times a day in any way he could even if he had an injury. There are a lot of talented people in the world and a lot of hard working people as well. The only way to set yourself apart is to go the extra mile every single day.

2) Killer-instinct. Know what result you want and lock on until you get such result. Don't lose your focus, just go for that thing. Focus on it and when you sense that there is an opportunity for an opening just go fucking in.

3) Icon's skim the positive stats and focus on how to improve the negative one's. Micheal Jordan after a game would look over the point totals, whether he got a triple double or not, but he would FIXATE on what he could improve. Always strive for improvement over celebration in life, because having the ability to improve is the most glorious celebration of being alive.

4) Don't talk. I am guilty of this one. I like to talk about my success, about how hard a worker I am, whatever things I have accomplished etc... If your talking that means that your results don't speak for themselves.

5) Stop thinking. This was the biggest take away. I'm a cognitive person, I love thinking, over analyzing, fixating, ruminating.... Fuck that. Stop thinking, you already know what your goals are, just lock on. Think, evaluate after- but your number one job is to perform.

6) Use internal pressure to motivate yourself- but do not waste your mental load on the pressures of the external world. Pressure helps you perform- if you ever went to University and slacked off in a class you know this. It's amazing that when the pressure of an exam which you havnt studied for can unlock greatness. You get more work done in a few hours than you did in the last 5 months. But we also know how pressure can destroy us. The pressure to be the perfect person, to be liked, to be fit in. Here's the key: stress and pressure are healthy when they manifest in a deep desire to achieve what you have previously committed yourself to locking on to. Pressure is bad when it distracts you from what you've commited to locking into. Pressure is good when you proactively allow it to be in your life such that you step up to the plate. It's bad when you are reacting off pressures society and other people put on you.

Honestly, this book is AMAZING- you must read it- I could easily add another 10 takeaways. I'm going to leave you with a quotation from the author- print this out, repeat it to yourself 100x a day, memorize it.

"Every dream you imagine, everything you see and hear and feel in your sleep, that's not a fantasy, that's your deep instinct telling you it can be real. Follow those visions and dreams and desires and believe what you know. Only you can turn those dreams into reality. Never stop until you do."
20 reviews6 followers
September 14, 2017
Tim tells in his first book how he managed to get to mentally train NBA superstars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade - these names are top of the top.

Here are my highlights of the book. Unfortunately I did some more listings here but the copy limit reached it pretty quickly so there was no way I'd get to finish it here.
Anyways tons of value for 15 minutes read here. Check it out, yo!

Every dream you imagine , everything you see and hear and feel in your sleep , that’s not a fantasy , that’s your deep instinct telling you it can all be real . Follow those visions and dreams and desires , and believe what you know . Only you can turn those dreams into reality . Never stop until you do . The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself , and you must always be your toughest opponent . Always demand more of yourself than others demand of you . Be honest with yourself , and you’ll be able to meet every challenge with confidence and the deep belief that you are prepared for anything . Life can be complicated ; the truth is not . I truly believe I have zero limitations . You should believe the same about yourself . Listen to your instincts . They’re telling you the truth . I want the satisfaction of knowing that every move I make , every thought , every idea , every action takes me further than anyone else has ever gone and makes me better at what I do than anyone else in the world . That’s what drives me . Whatever drives you , let it take you where you want to be . Everything you want can be yours . Be a Cleaner and go get it . Be relentless . Done .

Cleaner Law: when you reduce your competition to whining that you “got lucky,” you know you’re doing something right. There are no shortcuts, and there is no luck. People always say “good luck” in a pressure situation. No. It’s not about luck, I don’t believe in luck. There are facts and opportunities and realities, and how you respond to them determines whether you succeed or fail.

Everyone is given some ability at birth. Not everyone finds out what that ability is. Sometimes you find it on your own, sometimes it has to be shown to you. Either way, it’s there. At the same time, there are abilities you are not given. Our challenge in life is to use the abilities we have, and to compensate for the abilities we don’t have. It’s completely instinctive; we compensate in order to survive. Individuals with limited vision frequently have heightened hearing; people with certain disabilities discover they have extraordinary talents in other areas. Something is given and something is taken away. I know countless athletes who are blessed with incredible physical gifts: height, skill, strength, speed . . . but no work ethic, or no support system, no way to use or develop or take advantage of those skills. Successful people compensate for what they don’t have; unsuccessful people make excuses, blame everyone else, and never get past the deficiencies. A true leader can see past those deficiencies, identify the abilities, and get the most out of that individual.

If you don’t make a choice , the choice will be made for you .
It’s time to stop listening to what everyone else says about you , telling you what to do , how to act , how you should feel . Let them judge you by your results , and nothing else ; it’s none of their business how you get where you’re going . If you’re relentless , there is no

Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you , knowing that every time you stop , you can still do more . You must do more .

We never saw obstacles or problems, we only saw situations in need of solutions.

Being relentless means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you’re good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great, it means you fight until you’re unstoppable. It means becoming a Cleaner.

Remember, it’s not about talent or brains or wealth. It’s about the relentless instinctive drive to do whatever it takes—anything—to get to the top of where you want to be, and to stay there.

A Cleaner’s attitude can be summed up in three words: I own this. He walks in with confidence and leaves with results.

Being a Cleaner has almost nothing to do with talent . Everyone has some degree of talent ; it doesn’t always lead to success . Those who reach this level of excellence don’t coast on their talent . They’re completely focused on taking responsibility and taking charge , whether they’re competing in sports or managing a family or running a business or driving a bus ; they decide how to get the job done , and then they do whatever is necessary to make it happen .

A true Cleaner never tells you what he’s doing or what he’s planning. You find out after the job is complete. And by the time you realize what he’s accomplished, he’s already moved on to the next challenge. Why do I call them Cleaners? Because they take responsibility for everything. When something goes wrong, they don’t blame others because they never really count on anyone else to get the job done in the first place.

Cleaners are rule-breakers when they have to be; they only care about the end result.

He’s addicted to the exquisite rush of success. His lust for it is so powerful, the craving is so intense, that he’ll alter his entire life to get it. And it’s still never enough. As soon as he feels it, tastes it, holds it . . . the moment is over and he craves more.

Cleaners don’t care about “having it all.” You ever see some of these billionaires? They’re the worst-dressed guys in the room. Warren Buffett still lives in the house he bought in 1958 for $31,500. True Cleaners don’t care about the bling and the showy lifestyle; they look at the bottom line. All that matters is the end result, not the instant gratification along the way.

Physical dominance can make you great. Mental dominance is what ultimately makes you unstoppable.

Every day, you have to do something you don’t want to do. Every day. Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, push past the apathy and laziness and fear.
Bottom line if you want success of any kind: you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

There are no secrets . There are no tricks . If anything , it’s the opposite : Whether you’re a pro athlete or a guy running a business or driving a truck or going to school , it’s simple . Ask yourself where you are now , and where you want to be instead . Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to get there . Then make a plan to get there . Act on it .

Truth : when you’re finally able to let go and be who you really are , that’s what puts you in the Zone , and only then can you control your fear and inhibition . Without that deep instinctive component , it’s like trying to light a lighter that has no fuel inside . You get a lot of sputtering little sparks but no fire.

If he ever felt anything negative , he never showed it . That’s a Cleaner . If you’re in the military and you see your commander backing up or if you’re in an office and you see the boss becoming unhinged , what does that say to everyone else ? Cleaners show emotion if it’s the only way to get everyone else where they need to be . But never because the Cleaner has lost control of his feelings . That means being in the Zone.

Again: emotions make you weak. The fastest way to tumble out of the Zone is to allow emotions to drive your actions.

A Cleaner thinks, If I’m feeling nervous, how the fuck are they feeling? They have to deal with me.

Think about that intense moment when you’re on the top of a roller coaster, right before it sends you into that wild free fall. You know what’s coming, you know it’s supposed to be scary. Do you scream? Do you panic? Or do you stay calm and fearless because you know you can handle whatever happens next? The difference is what sets you apart from those who give in to the fear and can’t control how they feel.
You cannot be great without it . • • • Picture a lion running wild . He stalks his prey , attacking and killing at will , and then goes in search of his next conquest . That’s what his lion instincts tell him to do , he doesn’t know anything else . He’s not misbehaving , he’s not bad , he’s being a lion . Now lock him up in the zoo . He lies there all day , quiet and lethargic and well fed . What happened to those powerful instincts ? They’re still there , deep inside , waiting to be uncaged . Let him out of the zoo and he goes lion again , preying and attacking . Put him back in the cage , he lies down . Most people are the lion in the cage . Safe , tame , predictable , waiting for something to happen . But for humans , the cage isn’t made of glass and steel bars ; it’s made of bad advice and low self - esteem and bullshit rules and tortured thinking about what you can’t do or what you’re supposed to do . It’s molded around you by a lifetime of overthinking and overanalyzing and worrying about what could go wrong . Stay in the cage long enough , you forget those basic instincts .
But they’re there, right now, waiting for you to find the key to the cage so you can finally stop thinking about what you’ll do if you ever get out. All that killer instinct is just waiting to attack. What’s stopping you? Can you be reasonably successful by just following directions and staying within the lines? Sure. That’s what most people do. But if we’re talking about being elite, if you want to be unstoppable, you have to learn to put aside everything you’ve been taught, all the restrictions and limitations, the negativity and doubt. If that sounds complicated and confusing, let me make it simple: You have to stop thinking. It’s so basic. Are you good at what you do? Maybe even great at what you do? Can you be the best? Yes? If you said no, I’ll give you a moment to change your answer. Again: Can you be the best? Of course you can. Then why are you still questioning your ability to do it?
Quick answer: because at some point, you made something simple into something complicated, and you stopped trusting yourself.

Everything you need is already inside you. You are completely wired with instincts and reflexes specifically designed so you can survive and succeed. You don’t have to think about using them, they’re always working. Reflexes are easy: If I whip a ball at your face, are you going to stop and think about what to do? No, you catch the ball or duck out of the way, or you get a busted face. At the very least you’re going to flinch. If I flick something toward your eyes, you blink. If you touch something hot, you pull your hand away. We’re all born with those basic survival skills. You can’t teach or unteach
them, they’re just part of you. You don’t have to think about whether those reflexes will come through, they just always do. That’s how I want you to envision instinct. No thinking. Just the gut reaction that comes from being so ready, so prepared, so confident, that there’s nothing to think about. If you’re driving, and suddenly the car ahead of you slams on its brakes, do you pause to consider all your options or stop to ask for advice? No, you slam on the brakes. No thought, no hesitation. Instant response, based on experience and preparation. If you think, you die. When you just know, you can act. Whether you’re playing a sport or running a business, it’s the same concept. You don’t need to schedule a meeting to discuss a decision; you just make the decision. Your instincts become so finely tuned that you have a reflexive response that allows you to attack without thinking. In other words, you’re in the Zone.

Like all Cleaners, he didn’t study the competition, he made the competition study him. Other guys sat there analyzing and contemplating what might happen; he didn’t have to. He knew his skills and knowledge were so finely tuned that he could dominate any situation; he worked so long and hard that his body and mind reflexively knew what to do at all times.

The greats never stop learning. Instinct and talent without technique just makes you reckless, like a teenager driving a powerful, high-performance vehicle. Instinct is raw clay that can be shaped into a masterpiece, if you develop skills that match your talent. That can only come from learning everything there is to know about what you do. But real learning doesn’t mean clinging to the lessons. It means absorbing everything you can and then trusting yourself to use what you know instantaneously, without thinking. Instinctive, not impulsive . . . quick, not hurried. Knowing without a doubt that all the hours of work have created an unstoppable internal resource you can draw on in any situation. Having the maturity and experience to know who you are and how you got to the top, and the mental toughness to stay there.

Stop waiting to be taught something you already know . How many millions of diet and exercise books are sold every year ? I promise you , every single person who picks up one of those books already knows the answer : eat healthier and move your body . You can eat these calories or those calories , you can move this way or that way , but the result is the same , and you already know that . You bought that book already knowing what you had to do , you were just waiting for someone to tell you . Again . And instead of just making the decision to eat healthier and move more — for a lifetime , not just for twenty - one days or five hours a month or whatever the trend prescribes — you sat down with a book to analyze the situation . Trust me : no one ever lost weight sitting on the couch with a book. I’m not telling you to stop searching for answers. But learn about yourself, and then trust what you know so you can build on what you already have. It’s not a science. Instinct is the opposite of science: research tells you what others have learned, instinct tells you what you have learned. Science studies other people. Instinct is all about you.
Are you willing to base your decisions and actions on research done by and about people you don’t know, whose best advice is to tell you to change? Who knows you better than you know yourself? Oprah once said, “Every right decision I’ve ever made has come from my gut, and every wrong decision I’ve ever made was a result of me not listening.” Exactly. Of course, she also spent twenty-five years doing a show for people who preferred listening to her instead of listening to their own gut, as she told them whom they should believe and what they should do and how they should change. Every day, millions of people showed up to hear someone tell them what they were doing wrong, so they could receive instructions on how to live according to someone else’s standards. I wonder if any of those people came away understanding this:
People don’t change. You can make millions of dollars or lose millions of dollars, you can get a promotion or lose your job, gain forty pounds or lose forty pounds . . . but you’re still the same person. Exactly the same. You can change environments and spouses and careers . . . you’re still the same person. No matter what you try, it’s a temporary deal; sooner or later, you’re going back to your natural self. Remember my undelivered note to Dwyane? “In order to have what you really want, you must first be who you really are.” That’s a Cleaner. When you look inside, you see what’s real. When you look on the outside, you can only see images and what people want you to see, a manipulated picture of the truth. Ask yourself, what would it let go of all the external pressure and expectations and just be yourself? I know you’re thinking, “It’s not that easy.” Well, it doesn’t have to be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Lots of people start things; few are able to finish. Why? They don’t trust themselves to get to the end. They start thinking about everything that could go wrong, second-guessing their choices, listening to others instead of listening to themselves. Anyone can have a great idea . . . it’s what you do with the thought that defines you. In a Cooler, an idea will travel from his brain to his mouth—he has to talk about it, discuss it, share it with others for feedback and approval. In a Closer, it travels farther down toward his gut, but instead is diverted toward his heart, where it becomes slowed down by emotion and more thought. In a Cleaner, though, a thought moves straight to the gut, where instinct takes over and puts it into immediate action. That’s the ultimate difference between a Closer and a Cleaner, by the way. A Closer thinks about what he wants; a Cleaner feels it. A Closer tells his heart what he wants the outcome to be; a Cleaner’s heart decides on its own, he never has to think about it. Total confidence in his gut. The difference is that millisecond of pause between thinking, “I can do this,” and not having to think anything at all. When you’re great, you trust your instincts. When you’re unstoppable, your instincts trust you. Instinct is what tells you how to finish the fight. When you’re listening to a mess of external directions, you’re going to end up trying a million little things, without complete confidence that any of them will work. But when you’re trusting yourself, you have the focus and efficiency to pinpoint the one big move that will do the job. Think about a boxer, who can go around and around in the ring, ready for anything, until suddenly he seizes the moment he’s been waiting for. No wasted motion, no panic, no room for error. He’s played the moment in his mind so many times, he’s so prepared, he doesn’t have to think about it. He knows exactly what to do. That’s instinct. Believe what you know about yourself. When I decided to get a degree in kinesiology, everyone said, “Oh, you’re going to be a gym teacher?” No, I’m going to train pro athletes. “You can manage a health club!” No, I’m going to train pro athletes. There is zero chance you’ll get anywhere if you allow yourself to become paralyzed by soft excuses and countless reasons why you’ll never get to where you want to be. Trust your gut to navigate the hard road to get there. The satisfaction and sense of achievement will blow your mind when you finally arrive, knowing you arrived on your own with only your instincts to guide you. Stop thinking. Stop waiting. You already know what to do. But instinct is only half the formula; you can’t be a relentless competitor without a trip to the dark side, and that’s where we’re going next.

Remember where we started the discussion on instinct? Born bad, taught to be good? Welcome to your dark side. Deep inside you, there’s an undeniable force driving your actions, the part of you that refuses to be ordinary, the piece that stays raw and untamed. Not just instinct, but killer instinct. The kind you keep in the dark, where you crave things you don’t talk about. And you don’t care how it comes across to others because you know this is who you are, and you wouldn’t change if you could. Which you can’t, because no one really changes. <—

Fact : I’ve known a lot of very successful , highly driven individuals , and without exception every single one has a dark side . Their dominance and ability to go off the charts are all driven by something deep and intense ; it fuels and sustains them . The fire to prove greatness , sexual energy , insecurity . . . it’s something different in every person , but it’s all about going to that side of yourself that no one else can see . Getting rid of the safety net and judgmental opinions that hold most people back . Letting go .

That relentless drive to control the uncontrollable , to conquer everything in your path . . . that’s the dark side driving you to be who you really are . No challenge too great , too intimidating , too dangerous , because you have zero fear of failing . Zero . The satisfaction doesn’t come from the risk , it comes from mastering it . I own this .
253 reviews15 followers
May 10, 2016
I started summarizing the chapters in chapter 5 [see what is in italics].
Here's why I gave this two stars:

This book is written by Tim Grover, the one who trained Michael Jordan (and Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, etc.), who shows how to be the best in the WORLD in various things (whether it be sports, business, etc.). However, doing something like this is VERY costly (as you can imagine). There seems to be a lot of truth in it (as far as achieving that goal), but I struggle to agree that it would be worth it. Grover clearly knows what he's doing, but I disagree with his ultimate goal. His goal is to get people to do things for their own glory and he glosses over what it would cost people to get there. In other words, we clearly disagree on values. However, there are some principles about leadership that people can adopt (i.e. hard work, perseverance, responsibility, etc.).

Chapter 1: Don't Think

Chapter 2: The Cleaner You Are, the Dirtier You Get

Chapter 3: When You're a Cleaner...You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.

Chapter 4: When You're a Cleaner...You Get into the Zone, shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable.

Chapter 5: When You're a Cleaner...You know exactly who you are.
Page 69 says, "But right now, right this minute, you know they're still there [desires], in the part of you that you don't show anyone else, the part that refuses to be taught, refuses to conform and behave. That's the dark side of your instinct. You cannot be great without it."
I disagree.
Another quote [that he wanted to give to Dwyane Wade]: 'In order to have what you really want, you must first be who you really are' (78).

Chapter 6: When You're a Cleaner...You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.
This chapter was really disturbing to me.

Chapter 7: When You're a Cleaner...You're not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.
In other words, you put more pressure on yourself than anyone could possibly attempt. Others CANNOT get to you!

Chapter 8: When You're a Cleaner...When everyone is hitting the 'In Case of Emergency' button, they're all looking for you.
But there's a difference between confidence and cockiness: confidence means recognizing something isn't working and having the flexibility and knowledge to make adjustments; cockiness is the inability to admit when something isn't working, and repeating the same mistakes over and over because you stubbornly can't admit you're wrong (111).

Being relentless means having the courage to say, 'I'm going for this, and if I'm wrong, I'll make a change and I'll still be fine' (116-7).

As hockey great (and Cleaner) Wayne Gretzsky said, 'You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take' (118).

[In other words, be more prepared than everybody and be flexible so when things go wrong, you can be flexible and confident and trust your instincts at that point to bring about the best possible solution].

Chapter 9: When You're a Cleaner...You don't compete with anyone, you find your opponent's weakness and you attack.
[This basically establishes the alpha male. You create a standard, along with expectations and then are required to meet it every day. Others don’t want that kind of pressure.]

Chapter 10: When You're a Cleaner...You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.
[Instincts are what matter. Don’t spend forever trying to decide what to do. You ultimately KNOW what you need to do. Don’t talk about it. Do it! Show me! Show yourself! Period.]

Chapter 11: When You're a Cleaner...You don't have to love the work, but you're addicted to the results.
Page 162 says, It doesn’t matter what you get handed, it’s what you do after you receive it that affords you the privilege of saying, ‘I did this on my own.’ If you get that gift and decide you’re all set, you stand no chance—zero—of ever understanding greatness or excellence. Now you’re the opposite of unstoppable. You stopped all on your own.

Page 165 says, “Ask yourself honestly, what would you have to sacrifice to have what you really want? Your social life? Relationships? Credit cards? Free time? Sleep? Now answer this question: What are you willing to sacrifice? If those two lists don’t match up, you don’t want it badly enough.”

[There are countless people who feel entitled to this or that. You’ve got to outwork everyone. No excuses. You want certain things to happen and that’s all that matters.]

Chapter 12: When You're a Cleaner...You'd rather be feared than liked.
[People can get emotional and call you all sorts of names and not like you, but it’s not about that. It’s about people respecting you because you are the BEST at what you do. That’s why you sacrifice like you do. Others just talk about it.]

Chapter 13: When You're a Cleaner...You trust very few people...and those you trust better never let you down.
[This is because people have failed them over and over and the Cleaner has learned that the only one he can trust is himself. Or, they have observed someone for a sufficient amount of time and now the Cleaner lets them into their circle. They want honesty. So many people within those people’s circles are used to the ‘Yes’ men. If you are trusted and they say ‘Trust me,’ you have been opened to their world and you need to make the most of it right away or you will NEVER be trusted again.]

Chapter 14: When You're a Cleaner...You don't recognize failure; you know there's more than one way to get what you want.
Success and failure are 100 percent mental. One person’s idea of success might seem like a complete failure to someone else. You must establish your own vision of what it means to be unstoppable; you can’t let anyone else define that for you. What does your gut tell you? What do your instincts know about what you should be doing, how you’re going to succeed, and what you’re going to succeed at? How can anyone tell you what that should be?
When someone else says you’ve failed, what they really mean is ‘If that were me, I would feel like a failure.’ Well, that guy’s not you, and he’s obviously not a Cleaner, because Cleaners don’t recognize failure (209).

[You always are ready to adapt and figure out to how to end things on your terms.]

Chapter 15: When You're a Cleaner...You don't celebrate your achievements because you always want more.[There’s always another goal. It never ends. It can get tiring and that’s when some choose to walk away. But that is when another sort of task emerges and the war continues.]

If you never had a chance to be a kid; you want that for yourself, because it’s completely instinctive to want to have fun, ignore the rules, and just forget about responsibility and goals and performance. I get that. But I’m convinced childhood is overrated; you can have a much better childhood as an adult, when you have the freedom and the affluence to enjoy it. You get this small window to be a legend, and you have the rest of your life to act like a kid, at any age. Push it as far as you can, and even if you make it until you’re thirty or thirty-five, you still have decades ahead to enjoy what you built for yourself (229).
This makes me think of what Jesus said about gaining the whole world, but losing your soul (Matthew 16:26).

[He gives some advice to his daughter at the end of the book:]
Every dream you imagine, everything you see and hear and feel in your sleep, that’s not a fantasy, that’s your deep instinct telling you it can all be real. Follow those visions and dreams and desires, and believe what you know. Only you can turn those dreams into reality. Never stop until you do.
The greatest battles you will ever fight are with yourself, and you must always be your toughest opponent (231).
Profile Image for Danielle.
178 reviews30 followers
July 5, 2022
UPDATE 2022: So, it turns out I have ADHD. And I've realized reading books like this in the past really damaged my self esteem. The entire concept of "just work harder, no matter what, and if you haven't achieved your goals you just weren't willing to do the work" that I lived by for a couple of years is really toxic advice. I wouldn't recommend this philosophy for anyone, but especially not nuerodivergent folks who have a hard time with executive function. This book is ableist and sexist. Leaving my original review up basically to show the evolution of my thought process and how my views have changed on this topic.

My 2019 review:


-Some really great nuggets of truth in here- basically a great reminder that the only person responsible for your success is you, and if you want something bad enough you’ll do anything to get it. Quit making excuses, work hard, etc.

- I enjoyed learning more about Kobe And Michael Jordan. I’m not a big sports person or anything but it was still interesting.



-Dare I say, not meant for women at all? When he refers to “cleaners” Grover always says he/him. Never even mentions the idea of women cleaners, probably because he only works with male athletes (at least that’s what it seems like?).

-His idea that this is a great way to live is, at least to me, not right. There’s a whole chapter on how a cleaner is never satisfied with any success because he is always looking at the next thing ahead. Basically, the opposite of the zen mindset I’ve tried to cultivate for myself- you know, live in the moment and be grateful? Like, I’m all for kicking my own ass to achieve my goals, but I’m not going to be an asshole to other people, sacrifice all my relationships, and look down on everyone else just so I can “win”.
Profile Image for Alkan Öztürk.
7 reviews4 followers
April 25, 2016
Great information! While I was reading the book, it motivated me really strong. Besides reading, I also watched a few Micheal Jordan videos and that made me realize how powerful he really was.

A bad critique would be the way he repeated a lot of stuff. Honestly, it is enough to read the titles of the chapters and get what Tim Grover wants to communicate. You can understand how a Cleaner really thinks and behaves. Besides that, there are stories of basketball games.
Profile Image for Vaishali.
1,032 reviews262 followers
July 15, 2020
On my iPhone permanently.
Thrilled whenever Grover mentions Larry Bird, given that he trained Jordan, Kobe, and Dwyane Wade instead.


“Relentless means craving the end result so intensely that the work becomes irrelevant…”

“…Don’t just do the job, define the job.”

“You’re supposed to play well; that’s your responsibility. It’s that ability to repeat that result over and over… that is what separates the good and the great from the unstoppable.”

“If you can’t see the end result, how can anyone else see it for you?”

“It's a mindset for mental toughness. Tell yourself what to do and stop waiting for others to lay it all out.”

“Don’t think. You already know what you have to do. And you know how to do it. What’s stopping you?”

“You quickly and forcefully do whatever it takes to get what you want.”

“Believe this. Everything you need to be great is already inside you.”

“It’s time to stop listening to what everyone says about you… Let them judge you by your results. It’s none of their business how you get to where you’re going.”

“… uncompromising goals…”

“… Trust who you already are and get to that zone where you can shut out all the noise, all the negativity and fear and distractions and lies and achieve whatever you want and whatever you do.”

“If you need a pat on the back and a ‘Good job!’ … this is not the book for you. Because if you want to be unstoppable, you have to face who you really are and make it work for you, not against you.”

“From this point, your strategy is to get everyone else on your level. You’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They're going to have to compete with you.”

“… Get to that calm, cool place where you’re in total control… Get back into the zone, that deeply personal space where you can quiet your mind until you have no thoughts. It’s just you and your instincts, focused and unemotional - where you feel no external pressure, just the internal pressure to prove yourself…”

“You don’t let your enemies… set up shop in your head.”

“You’re calm on the inside because you’re ready, prepared, and the best at what you do.”

“You don’t tell anyone how you’re going to handle the situation, you just handle it.”

“In order to have what you really want, you must first be who you really are.”

“That’s your name on the jersey. Remind them who you are. Go get what's yours.”

“…Creating new goals whenever you reach your personal best. If you're good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great it means you fight until you’re unstoppable. It means becoming a cleaner.”

“A cleaner’s attitude can be summed up in 3 words: I own this."

“He walks in with confidence and leaves with results.”

“A cleaner has the guts and vision to steer everything to his advantage. You never know what he’s going to do, but you know something’s coming, and all you can do is wait and watch with fear and respect for his ability to handle anything without discussion or analysis.”

“Being a cleaner has almost nothing to do with talent.... but those who reach this level of excellence don’t coast on their talent. They’re completely focused on taking responsibility and taking charge. They just don’t perform a job, they reinvent it. ‘I OWN THIS.’

“Navy Seals are cleaners.”

“Why do I call them cleaners? Because they take responsibility for everything… no whining… They just clean up the mess and move on.”

“Think of the custodian… He calls no attention to himself. No one sees him work. No one knows what he does, but the job always gets done. It has to, so that everyone can do their jobs efficiently. In his own way, he's the most powerful guy in the building. He has unlimited access, knows where everything is and how it all works. He has the keys to every single door. He can go anywhere, unseen. He knows what everyone else is doing, all the dirty little secrets… If you have an emergency, he’s the guy you call.”

“The cleaner is never the first person you bring in. He's the last - when it's finally obvious that no one else can handle the situation. No conversation, no panic, no discussion… They only care about the end result. Calm, unflappable, cool, and steady…. Never too happy or too depressed; he never sees problems, only situations to resolve.”

“Cleaners ... have a zone you can't enter. They get what they want, but they pay for it in solitude.”

“They don't worry about the ceiling or the floor. There is no ceiling. There’s no floor either.”

“Cleaners never need a kick in the ass. Everyone else does.”

“…There is no such thing as luck. There are circumstances and outcomes, and you can control both, if you desire.”

“You don’t have to like the work, but you have to be addicted to the results.”

“You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.”

“Everyday you have to do something you don’t want to do. Everyday.... otherwise the next day you’re going to have 2 things you don’t want to do, then 3, then 4, then 5…”

“Cleaners do the hardest things first, just to show there's no task too big... You usually don’t have to tell them twice.”

“… Crave the results so intensely that the work is irrelevant.”

“Do the work before you need it, so that you know what you’re capable of doing when everyone else hits that panic button and looks at you.”

“Complete focus, for complete results.”

“Leave the drama and chaos to others; that's not you. You're saving it all for what's ahead. Because once you step into the zone, that's it. You own time.”

“…Just finding his way back into the zone.”

“… If he ever felt anything negative, he never showed it. That's a cleaner…. Cleaners show emotion if it’s the only way to get everyone else where they need to be, never because the cleaner has lost control of his feelings.”

“Your thinking turns your thoughts off to everything, and the zone is about the opposite : turning your thoughts off to everything except the task at hand. Thinking takes you away. The zone keeps you where you need to be. That's your safe haven. You go inside that space, and nothing can touch you. Nothing can hurt you. You have to go to that place where you control time and space, and nothing controls you.”

“[Michael Jordan] was able to shut out everything except his mission to attack and conquer. I've never seen another player form such a perfect boundary around himself, where nothing goes in except what he brings with him.... There was no difference in between what he did in practice, and what he did in the game. His mechanics were consistent in any environment.”

“When you’re in the zone, you shouldn't even notice the lights, or need them.”

“Controlled anger is a deadly weapon in the right hands.”

“... Anger you can restrain and turn into energy... All cleaners have that slow burning blue-hot internal anger.. but it never becomes blind rage, and it’s never allowed to become destructive.... quiet anger into results.”

“Even Michael used to say he had butterflies before a big game. ‘Get ‘em all going in the same direction.’ I’d tell him. ‘They're not going away, but now you’re controlling how you feel about them, instead of allowing them to make you feel nervous.’ Energy instead of emotion. Big difference.”

A cleaner thinks, “If I'm feeling nervous, how the fuck are they feeling? They have to deal with me.’

“I want you in a routine, and I don't want that routine to vary, whether it's a meaningless pre-season exhibition, or the championship game of the finals. Do what you do everyday, so you never have to account for the environment or the situation.”

“While others are getting heated up, I want you to start cool and stay cool, because anything that starts too hot can only get cold. When you want to preserve food and keep it fresh, what do you do? Refrigerate it, keep it cool, make it last longer... As the lights get brighter, and the place gets hotter, you should be feeling darker and cooler, going deeper inside yourself. This is your zone. All instinct. You can feel your way in the dark. While others have to see and hear and watch whatever everyone else is doing, you go with what you feel. The people who can get into that space, those are your killers. Finding your way into the zone begins with trusting those instincts.”

"When you become too focused on what's going on around you, you lose touch with what’s going on deep inside you. Those are the guys who are perfect in practice, but blow it when it counts. They can’t find the zone. They're distracted by their own thought process, and they don't trust themselves… Thinking, instead of knowing without a doubt : ‘I got this.’

Profile Image for dakejones.
64 reviews
March 13, 2022
All in all, I’d say there is some useful advice presented, but most of it seems very hard to apply to settings that aren’t being a professional basketball player 🤷‍♂️. But there are definitely a few ideas I’ll be thinking about for awhile.
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