Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood by John Groyle

I love sports for many reasons, from wanting to be active in life to the thrill of competition. But there is one reason I love them more than any other. Sports tend to show character. The true person often comes out when I am participating or watching sports. Sports tend to reveal the real "me." Because of that, I have been able to use sports to learn many lessons about my own heart and I have been able to use them to teach many life lessons to my children. Lessons being taught to others is what we find in a new book by John Croyle called, The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood.

As you can probably tell from the title, he is a football player. Croyle played football for the University of Alabama (I won't let that national championship game against my Irish affect my review). His son played football at the University of Alabama. They are a sports family. The premise of this book is that in order to have an effective two-minute drill at the end of a half of football, there must be much preparation. He takes that concept and applies it to parenting, particularly parenting boys.

His experience with parenting boys stems not just from his own son. In 1974, Croyle started Big Oak Boys Ranch for troubled or abandoned boys. Over the years he has seen thousands of boys come through this camp as "adopted" sons and taught them the meaning of becoming a man. This is where he gets much of the content of this book, which is divided into chapters corresponding to the acronym "Manhood."

M = Master
A = Ask & Listen
N = Never Compromise
H = Handle Your Business
O = One Purpose
O = One Body
D = Don't Ever, Ever, Ever Give Up

I really did enjoy most of the book. While the writing style was not polished, it came across very genuine. I could tell as I read this book that Croyle really loves helping boys become men. One example of this is how he encourages a strong work ethic to the boys at the camp. He says,
"In today's society work ethic is crucial. We're almost emasculating our boys because we're raising them not to know what a hard day's work is. They don't know what it's like to lie down at night, exhausted from hard, physical or mental work" (91).
The strengths of the book are his illustrations or personal examples along with very practical advice for parents. If you are looking for advice on what percentage of money a kid should save when he finally gets a job, its in this book. If you are curious as to questions to ask your kids to help identify their master in life, its in this book. If you need encouragement on how to parent when you feel like giving up, its in this book. The closing pages of each chapter give several practical steps to take in application of the contents of the main thought of that chapter. That is helpful.

This is a book about raising sons. But it is more than that. Much of what is written is applicable to raising daughters as well, especially when we raise them with a view of finding a man. I know the acronym is geared towards men, but I wish the publisher would not have isolated half of the audiences by saying it is "a proven game plan for raising sons." I think many with young girls could benefit from this book.

One more thing. Croyle does claim to be a Christian. There are several parts of this book where he asks parents about their relationship with God. There are a few sections on developing a relationship with Jesus Christ. I just wish the gospel would have been a little more visible through the pages of this book. It's not anti-gospel. I wouldn't even describe it as absent of the gospel. It is just not written through the grid of the gospel, which would make this book even stronger. In the end, it is a decent book and will be worth the few hours it will take for you to read.

I received a copy of The Two-Minute Drill to Manhood from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

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