Book Summaries

Book Summary – Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover.

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In Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, world-renowned trainer of elite champions and Hall of Famers, like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of other NFL, MLB, NBA, and Olympic athletes, Tim S. Grover shares stories and insights gained from training the most accomplished athletes of our time.

Relentless is about never being satisfied, always driving to be the best, and then getting even better. It’s about finding the gear that gets you to the next level . . . even when the next level doesn’t yet exist. It’s about facing your fears, getting rid of the poisons that guarantee you will fail.

Being feared and respected for your mental strength and toughness, not just your physical abilities.

Being relentless means never being satisfied. It means creating new goals every time you reach your personal best. If you’re good, it means you don’t stop until you’re great. If you’re great, it means you fight until you’re unstoppable. It means becoming a Cleaner.

Success vs Talent

Success isn’t the same as talent. The world is full of incredibly talented people who never succeed at anything. They show up, do what they do, and if it doesn’t work out, they blame everyone else because they believe talent should be enough. It’s not. If you want to be truly successful, you can’t be content with “pretty good.” You need to find an extra gear. 

Success is about dealing with reality, facing your demons and addictions, and not putting a smiley face on everything you do.


The Three Types of Competition

Coolers, Closers, and Cleaners.: Good, Great, and Unstoppable.

The Closer can win the game if given the opportunity, but the Cleaner creates the opportunity. The Closer can be the star, but the Cleaner maneuvered him into the job. Cleaners never need a kick in the ass. Everyone else does.


A Cooler is careful; he waits to be told what to do, watches to see what everyone else is doing, and then follows the leader. He’s a mediator, not a decision-maker; he’s not taking sides unless he’s forced to. He can handle a certain amount of pressure when things are going well, but when things get too intense, he kicks the problem over to someone else. He can make a huge play, but he’s not ultimately responsible for the outcome. He’s the setup guy, keeping things cool until the Closer or Cleaner can take over.


A Closer can handle a lot of pressure; he’ll get the job done if you put him in the right situation and tell him exactly what you need him to do. He’ll study all sorts of scenarios so he can anticipate what might happen, but he’s uncomfortable when faced with something unexpected. He seeks attention and credit, and he’s very aware of what everyone else is doing and what others think of him. He loves the rewards and perks associated with his fame and would choose financial security over winning or success.

The Cleaner

A Cleaner’s attitude can be summed up in three words: I own this. He walks in with confidence and leaves with results. A Cleaner has the guts and the vision to steer everything to his advantage. You never know what he’s going to do, but you know something’s coming and all you can do is wait and watch, with fear and respect for his ability to handle anything without discussion or analysis. He just knows.

Being a Cleaner has almost nothing to do with talent. Everyone has some degree of talent; it doesn’t always lead to success. Those who reach this level of excellence don’t coast on their talent. They’re completely focused on taking responsibility and taking charge, whether they’re competing in sports or managing a family or running a business or driving a bus; they decide how to get the job done, and then they do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

A Closer thinks about what he wants; a Cleaner feels it. A Closer tells his heart what he wants the outcome to be; a Cleaner’s heart decides on its own, he never has to think about it.

The Relentless 13

Each is labeled #1, because if yougive people a numbered list, they think #1 is the most important and the rest just follow behind.

When You’re a Cleaner . . .

#1. You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.

#1. You get into the Zone, you shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable.

#1. You know exactly who you are.

#1. You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.

#1. You’re not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.

#1. When everyone is hitting the “In Case of Emergency” button, they’re all looking for you.

#1. You don’t compete with anyone, you find your opponent’s weakness and you attack.

#1. You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.

#1. You don’t have to love the work, but you’re addicted to the results. #1. You’d rather be feared than liked.

#1. You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down. #1. You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.

#1. You don’t celebrate your achievements because you always want more.

The Zone

A Cleaner steps into the Zone, he’s detached from everything on the outside. Whatever else is going on—personal, business, anything—it can’t affect him until he’s ready to return. That, by definition, is the Zone. No fear, no intrusion. Total concentration. You’re not thinking, because thinking turns your thoughts on to everything, and the Zone is about the opposite, turning your thoughts of to everything except the task at hand.

Instinct is the opposite of science: research tells you what others have learned, instinct tells you what you have learned. Science studies other people. Instinct is all about you.

Continuous Improvement

The greats never stop learning. Instinct and talent without technique just makes you reckless, like a teenager driving a powerful, high performance vehicle. Instinct is raw clay that can be shaped into a masterpiece, if you develop skills that match your talent. That can only come from learning everything there is to know about what you do.

When you’re great, you trust your instincts. When you’re unstoppable, your instincts trust you.

Trusting your instincts

Instinct is what tells you how to finish the fight. When you’re listening to a mess of external directions, you’re going to end up trying a millionlittle things, without complete confidence that any of them will work. But when you’re trustingyourself, you have the focus and efficiency to pinpoint the one big move that will do the job.

All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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