From time to time, I am offered books for the purposes of being reviewed and I will admit to having been a little nervous about this one. A book called Winning Plays by a former professional athlete I didn’t really know a lot about concerned me, but it was free so I thought I would give it a shot. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good sports story, but I had visions of this being one of those “rah-rah-sis-boom-bah” books I couldn’t relate to. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a pretty good book.
It’s part biography and part motivation and it deals not so much with success (though that is the end result) as with overcoming failure. Matt Mayberry was a 16 year old drug addict, who overcame his demons to get a division one football scholarship and got to play for his childhood favorite team the Chicago Bears. Within the story, Matt gives helpful hints and things to tackle as we go through out own struggles and hardships. He is relatable and hopeful. This book really spoke to me. There were only two things I found troublesome. The first is it includes a little bit of language that might be off-putting to some readers. It is far from gratuitous but some readers may be offended. The other is my own sensitivity, in that he refers to a season ending (and as it were) career ending injury as a personal failure. While it was certainly something to be overcome and something he has risen above very nicely, I didn’t see that as a failure. Nonetheless, those two things were very minor compared to the inspirational benefits that could come as a result of reading this book.
I highly recommend it both as the biography of an overcomer and as a motivational book that could help the reader to become an overcomer as well.