REVIEW: Lynn Geurin & Jason Lavin, Coach ‘Em Way Up (BOOK)

In Coach ‘Em Way Up: Five Lessons for Leading the John Wooden Way, Lynn Guerin and Jason Lavin tell much buried truths of how to love your life and be successful. While I am usually doubtful of any book that promises to teach the key to ultimate success, Coach ‘Em Way Up is not a cheat sheet nor a way to cut corners in life. It’s about rolling up your sleeves and doing the right thing, day after day. The book is based on UCLA basketball head coach John Wooden’s ‘Pyramid of Success,’ which was built upon the generational philosophy of his family. Growing up, John’s father gave him a set of rules—and that very set of rules was modified and pitched to John’s team, giving them an unforgettable winning streak.


In the very strange, controversial, and trying times of today, John’s rules of life are refreshing, humbling, and even life-changing. While technology keeps us closer than ever, it also distances us from ourselves and our own personal philosophies. In today’s world, it is very common to point our fingers at others. Included in Coach ‘Em Way Up is an easy, quick workbook that turns the arrow toward yourself. In the isolation of quarantine, there has never been a better time to do the hard and necessary work on yourself that needs to be done. After all, you will not only improve the life of yourself, but also those around you.

My personal favorite part of the book is when we get a humbling look inside Guerin and Lavin’s life stories. Lynn Geurin, CEO of the John Wooden Course and president of Guerin Marketing Services started as a young athlete in 1960s northern Ohio. Lynn goes from almost losing his leg in high school to winning a scholarship to Western Michigan University. What continues is the exploration of Corporate America, eventually leading Lynn right to the ‘John Wooden Way.’

In Jason Lavin’s Chapter titled ‘Employment Means Nothing,’ Jason goes from being a waiter to working at a water company to starting his own Employee Development Program. In a short time, John began making websites for clients, as well as beginning his own company, GoldenComm. He very soon realized his employers had to feel valued to stay with the company. That’s when he asked Lynn to teach his employees the Pyramid of Success and the John Wooden Way. He now helps all kinds of organizations redefine their morals, duties, and overall vision.


The only thing I admire more than a great success story is when the people who have made those successes dedicate their lives to helping countless others get to where they stand. Jason, Lynn, and John’s stories aren’t just stories; they are powerful, life-altering instruments. When you pick up this book, you are picking up a fundamental, timeless tool that can be used repeatedly in all aspects of life. You will learn to never underestimate the power of John Wooden. Or what happens when you take strong-minded people just crazy enough to think they can change the world and see them actually do it. By the end of this lesson, you will hold on to this book like it is your bible. You will never stop learning.

Written by Megan Hanson, posted by Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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