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The Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World-Class Excellence in Your Life and Work

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  415 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Bob Bowman, best known as the coach for the record-breaking run of Michael Phelps, is one of the most successful coaches in sports history. He is lauded for his intense personality, incredible dedication to his athletes, and his ability to nurture talent in athletes who have the heart and drive to win. This is his motivational book about winning in all walks of life and wh ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good book but what stops it from being great, in my opinion, is that what I feel keeps getting hammered into my head from it is Michael Phelps, swimming, and Olympics, not the principles themselves. I understand that this is a book written by a trainer of world-class swimmers, that he speaks honestly, that he speaks from his perspective, and that he uses the material of his life for this work. Perhaps it just wasn't the right deployment of these ideas for me.

The method that is the cor
Tim Genry
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, so much so that I reread it and took notes. I love reading about the mindset and practices of successful people! Bob Bowman did not disappoint!
Aug 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
Boring. You never get what the Golden Rules are since almost everything is about Michael Phelps' success. Bowman says at the end of the book that all the lights and cameras go into the athletes and not at all on their coaches. Well, on writting this book he made the same. The centre of this is about his swimmers and their accomplishments. ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the book for all frustrated procrastinators with big ideas. Read it. Read it at least once a year!

I read the audiobook. It's a little quiet in parts so was difficult sometimes to hear on the subway. The speaker has a nice clear voice though and I could listen to it comfortably at x2 speed.

Favourite quotes:

"Get gold out of every day."

"How you do things is as important as what happens when they're done."

"The more you can sprinkle motivational practices into the regular vision quest, the e
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
Good and helpful things here. Obviously not everything works for everyone but you can gather ideas on what works for you and follow the good advice given here as close as possible.
Oct 08, 2017 marked it as physical_to-read_stack  ·  review of another edition
I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Afshan Khan
May 17, 2021 rated it it was ok
I couldn’t finish this book. Too much name-dropping (Phelps, Phelps, Phelps...). Also, Bowman keeps talk about how great he himself is, which is tiring to read.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book - borrowed from the library - that I actually read twice. I picked this up cos I had an interest in swimming and Michael Phelps (no shame here hey). In the book, not only was Michael Phelps mentioned heaps of times understandably, I was also thrilled to read about other noteworthy swimmers like Alison Schmidtt - she was a legend to watch during the Olympic Games. The good mix of swimmers mentioned here as well as the gruelling routine put forward by author Bob Bowman puts ...more
Jeff Kowalk
Apr 11, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As you can imagine, this book is great for motivation. Michael Phelps's swim coach, Bob Bowman, shares his Method to help put you in the right place for success, whether it be at school, in the sports world, or in business. The ideas presented are as timeless as they are perhaps obvious. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying I disliked the method or his writing style, but, I didn't find anything extraordinarily profound.

I found myself nodding in agreement with him at many points, and certainly ch
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breezy read. Got a glimpse of the challenges that a coach to world class athletes face - how him as a coach deals with different characters of athletes, kept the athletes' excitement alive to perform consistently and align the athletes' focus on target. He coached world class athlete namely Michael Phelps and others. This narratives remind us that athletes are human, faces emotional breakdown, ups and downs motivation. Coach not only motivate, but crafting game plan towards the goal of the athle ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
*I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway*

While the book will be good for people who want to see more of the background of Michael Phelps, the "rules" Bowman has come up with (and based the book around) are very generic "give everyday your all" type statements, and don't really offer anything new or original.

It would have been much more interesting if it had been written just as an autobiography, rather than trying to be a self-help book.
Marija S.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The selling point of this book is name dropping; i.e. anecdotes with Michael Phelps (85-90%) and other world class swimmers. In any case, it was more fun and vivid to read than M. Phelps' biography book.

Otherwise it is just like hundreds of other self-help books out there on the market. I didn't find it particularly inspiring or groundbreaking.
Eric Mayle
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author comes across as a real jackass, but the guidance and principles seem very solid, and hearing them through the lens of his work with Michael Phelps was entertaining. Could have benefitted from both a better editor and a better proofreader, but all-in-all a good pick if you like performance psychology stuff.
Jul 27, 2022 rated it did not like it
I have a new appreciation for Michael Phelps now, but not for Bowman or this book. Bowman puts other peoples lives personal lives on display for his own gain. The majority of the book isn’t your story to tell Bob.

Also, I’m not sure who they had edit this but there were SO MANY grammatical errors it made it a pain in the ass to read. Very sloppy.
I just couldn't get past the Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps, Michael Phelps content. I think the book would serve a much broader audience if it eased off that element and frankly, the helpful steps are also pretty trite. Just wasn't for me. ...more
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read. I was kind of stuck between 4 and 5 stars. I don't have a reason to dock any stars, but it's not in my BEST BOOKS EVER list either. So 5 stars it is! Got plenty of highlights out of it, too. ...more
Dec 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is common sense. I would borrow it from the library and not purchase this. Bottom line: practise with intention , have discipline, be hard working and again when you practise check for mistakes to rectify and practise till you make it perfect. Common sense, right?
Laurence Freeman
Oct 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not all of us may be graced with such a high performing coach in our daily lives, but at least this book allows us to understand and read about the principals for us to coach ourselves. Fantastic book and fascinating to understand how the greatest Olympian of all times operated.
Samuel  Melo
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Solid book on how to do great things. The method of the greats is summarized as effort. Constant effort and this book is yet again, a proof of that.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
It is love letter to Michael Phelps
Yash Kumar
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: h
i wana read
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Respect to Bowman, Phelps, and the other swimmers and coaches involved in this piece. Go Devils! (ASU)
Scott Noftall
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and honest book from a world class coach with a track record (not horses) that may never be matched again in sport!
Virginia Milletti
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is what I needed right now: that kind of push and guidelines that I was looking for to keep going.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A pretty good dive into the principles of doing better business.
Aug 07, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
YES. Just yes. This book is probably my favourite thing I’ve ever read in my life. If you’ve ever been called a nerd, a try hard, a goody two shoes, a teachers pet- this is the one for you. It does what it says, it teaches you how to strive for excellence. If you cba to strive for excellence, which is totally fine btw, this probably isn’t the book for you. But if you have big dreams and you want a way to achieve them- get this book! Buy it, borrow it, download it, whatever it takes. It will chan ...more
Chithamparanathan Rajathagireesan
The Golden Rules by Bob Bowman who’s the swimming coach for Olympic champion Michale starts talking about the swimming, butterfly techniques and strength & weaknesses of Michael during his training with Bob.

I didn’t like this book match in the beginning, as it talks a lot about swimming and use swim techniques and determinations to achieve success in real life. The reason I didn’t like this book initially is not because this book is bad. I cannot connect the concepts with me since I don’t have a
The Library of Congress considers this book to be applied psychology. It is, but only in the vaguest sense. This is a self-help book written by a coach. If @coach_bowman had written a swimming manual, or simply his memoirs, the book might have been less vague. The ten steps, which are divided into numerous sub-steps, are ones that can be utilized by anyone planning for pretty much anything. That's kind of their problem. As self-help, this book is a one-size-fits-all tee shirt. It is more appropr ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Bob Bowman lays out his philosophy for achieving success that he has used in his life as a highly successful Olympic swim coach. Bowman, whose most famous swimmer is Michael Phelps, has a track record of success with his programs and this book is filled with stories to support the points he is trying to make about achieving success. The ten steps are broken down into several sub steps tied back into the main theme. An enjoyable read filled with real life examples (if highly competitive swimming ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING book! I strongly think everyone should read this - from teenagers to adults, anyone who wants to succeed in life or what they do.
Bob Bowman offers 10 stepts that can make a difference in achieving your goal. They do require some work, physical and psychological, but could be essential in your journey towards your purpose.
The stories that accompany each of these steps are interesting, fun and inspiring. Often Bowman, best known as the coach of Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian o
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