Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers

Above the Line by Urban Meyer – Notes




Not only do I love the job Urban Meyer has done as Ohio State’s coach the past few seasons (NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!), but I feel there’s so much to learn from him as a coach. While he’s a football coach and I coach basketball, I think the way he instills culture, manages players and fosters a winning environment crosses boundaries. Not only do his leadership tactics extend past the football field onto the basketball court, but also into business offices, classrooms and every day life.

When Coach Meyer’s book Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season came out, I jumped on the opportunity to try and get inside this masterful coach’s mind. Throughout, I have shared ideas with Coach Reilly and other friends/colleagues and tried to adapt to the way I coach and lead myself.


Just above is a link to my notes that I took while reading the book, available for you to read or download. I typed out 7 full pages worth of notes and I still feel like I failed to mention a ton of important lessons and ideas that Meyer discusses.

A few of my favorite ideas are about how every decision you make in life can either be above the line or below the line. The idea is that above the line decision making is intentional, on purpose and skillful, while below the line decisions are impulsive, resistant and on autopilot. Above the line  behavior is in alignment with your goals, while below the line behavior is your default response – an easy, lazy answer with no thought required.

Another big theme is E+R=O, which stands for Event + Response = Outcome. The point of this message being that you cannot control the event and you cannot directly control the outcome, but you can always control your response to the situation. Meyer teaches 6 R Factor disciplines that are vital for coaches, players and people in general to use when reacting to every day situations.

Meyer puts a lot of responsibility on his assistant coaches and I enjoyed reading how he equips them with the tools necessary to lead their position groups. There are specific ways to build trust and a necessary formula that cannot involve short cuts.

Lastly, while discussing the division of a team (top 10 percent are elite, middle 80 percent are good, solid workers and bottom 10 percent are coach killers), Meyer gives specific ways to work on pulling your middle 80 percent into the top 10 percent. I think these ideas and examples are very useful for every form of work, but also has specific athletics usages that I plan on suggesting to Coach Reilly and using when I become a head coach.

The book is a quick read, especially if you have followed Ohio State football a little bit and can relate to some stories about games and tough times. I highly recommend reading the entire book to understand the essence of greatness that Meyer brings to Ohio State, but at the very least, I hope my notes can help in some way!


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This entry was posted on December 26, 2015 by in Coaching.