clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Book Review: Tom Coughlin's 'Earn The Right To Win' not just a football book

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin takes the lessons he has learned about preparing a football team and building an organization and tries to translate them to help anyone learn how to 'Earn The Right To Win' in his upcoming book.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin

Tom Coughlin is a serious man with an unshakable belief in hard work and in the way he has prepared his teams for decades as a football coach. No one who has followed the New York Giants for the past nine years, or knows the history of Coughlin's college and professional coaching career, should be surprised by that.

Thus it should come as no surprise that the new book Coughlin has authored, titled 'Earn The Right To Win,' is a serious endeavor. This is no fluffy, self-serving autobiographical memoir written, with David Fisher, simply to glorify the 66-year-old coach and line his pockets with a few extra bucks.

This is a serious book with a serious purpose, which is hinted at in the book's subtitle -- 'How Success In Any Field Starts With Superior Preparation.'

You do not have to be a fans of the Giants, or even of football, to gain something from this book. Sure, there are lots of Giants stories and some inside details told through Coughlin's eyes that will appeal to Giants' fans. This book, though, is not about football or about entertaining Giants' fans. It uses Coughlin's football experience to teach other lessons.

'Earn The Right To Win' is about how to put yourself, or your organization, is the best position to succeed. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, known throughout his career for his many rules, his obsessive attention to detail, his sometimes rigid structure and his occasionally prickly personality lays out his methodology and why he believes so strongly that if you follow it you "Earn The Right To Win" in any walk of life.


On the back cover of the book Coughlin has penned the following:

The process starts with honest self-analysis. What do we do well? What do we do poorly? And how do we go about the business of improving in all areas?

The work that is required for improvement is done when nobody is watching. It is done in meeting rooms, it is done through film study, it is done in isolation in the weight room and on the practice field. No bright lights. No cheers.

Coughlin is a stickler for punctuality, with 'Coughlin Time' being well known to anyone who has ever dealt with him. He details how effective time management, preparation and paying attention to even the smallest details can put you in a position to succeed no matter what you do.

The foreword in the book is written by former Giant great Michael Strahan, who details how his one-rocky relationship with the coach changed and how he has applied lessons learned from the coach to the rest of his life. Here is one passage from Strahan regarding Coughlin and his rules:

We learned that there was a purpose behind his system. He didn't enforce the rules because he wanted to catch people and punish them but rather to make sure that everyone was committed to the same purpose.

The book will, if you read it seriously, make you think about the way you run your own business or approach your own career. Are you doing everything possible to give yourself, or your company, a chance to succeed?

Published by Portfolio/Penguin, the book will be on sale March 5. If you want to know more about why Coughlin does what he does, or examine ways you could improve your own chance at success in your chosen field, 'Earn The Right To Win' is worth your time.