Books for your library

Conversation for Coaches: Applying Principle to Practice

You are a coach. To whom do you turn to talk over both the joys and the challenges of coaching? Your deep-down desire is to lead a team well. But how do you do that? Wouldn’t it be helpful to surround yourself with others who can—and will—challenge your thinking and spur you on to become the best coach possible?

Conversations for Coaches: Applying Principle to Practice, will serve as the catalyst to do just that. Designed to provide practical and relevant round-table discussions among coaches, it divides the ancient book of Proverbs into a manageable 15-week study. With tips to aid the facilitator, each section guides the group chapter by chapter, stopping to pay particular attention at those verses bearing implications for the way we coach. Seamlessly integrated into the text are thoughts on character development, motivation, the pursuit of excellence, discipline, purpose, and attitude for the sake of spirited discussion.

So, gather up your cadre of coaches. See what a difference 15 weeks can make in your coaching and on your team.

Available in paperback and Kindle for your devices.  ORDER NOW

The EveryDay: 366 Real Stories for Real People

Life is one big Lifemessy journey. Highest highs. Lowest lows. Mental anguish. Unfathomable joy. But lots and lots of just plain ordinary. One woman decided to chronicle the entirety of 2020. Little did this wife, mother, grandmother, athlete, and adventurer know what the year would bring. But on January 1, she committed to writing a story of each day's events. Personal and sometimes painfully transparent, Rebekah wrote about real life. Not made-up stories, but the real stuff that real people face every day.

The EveryDay provides just that. 366 stories written in 366 consecutive days. Each story reflects real life, not made-up, how-we-wish-it-to-be life. The stories chronicle everyday people doing everyday things in their everyday lives. Granted, not all the stories are pretty, some revealing deep-down pain and shortfall. But on the other hand, there are plenty of daily narratives that uplift and encourage, written from the depths of a happy and contented heart.

Join author Rebekah Trittipoe on her year-long journey to highlight God’s truth evidenced in normal, ordinary, run-of-the-mill living. With every page turn, you will discover how the stories reveal a purposeful intention to evaluate the day’s happenings in the light of Truth. Each entry is devotional without being artificially lofty and pretentious, the everyday stories always circling back to foundational Scriptural principles.

Come. Share this journey. Discover truth in The EveryDay.

Order now on Amazon. Available in paperback or e-book.


 “A coach will impact more people in one year than the average person will in an entire lifetime.” Billy Graham

Is it true? Does a coach really have the power to influence on such a grand scale? The simple answer is yes. However, the secondary question is whether that influence will be positive or negative.

Research data tells the story of young athletes dropping out of organized sport in droves. Why is that? It could be that many coaches have not yet learned how to be effective in instilling both the love for the game and the process of becoming a mature, complete human being. But a coach who sees beyond the mechanics of the sport, beyond the jersey the players wear, has a tremendous opportunity to foster the holistic development of athletes on and off the field of play.

In Creative Coaching in 3 Dimensions, you will learn how to masterfully coach Skillset (1st Dimension), Mindset (2nd Dimension), and Heartset (3rd Dimension). This book contains 57 practical team tools and activities that can be used to develop your players on all three levels. Each of the activities put the play back in the game, and joy back in the soul.

Pursue excellence. Be creative. Work hard. Have fun. Watch your team grow into a healthy, productive unit…all because you intentionally coach in 3Dimensions.

"Best Season Yet: 12 Weeks to Train"   

Coach's Edition and Athlete's Editions.

Click here for order info

Click here to view the movie trailer 

Best Season Yet: 12 Weeks to Train is designed to be used by coaches and athletes throughout a twelve-week training period, typical for many high school, college, and community-based athletic seasons. The sport? It doesn’t really matter. There is application to the runner, the football player, hoopster, gymnast, swimmer—or any other kind of sport. It is equally helpful for the individual athlete or team player.

A theme is assigned to each week-long period. Because this book is well-suited for a Monday-through-Friday school week, each weekly division features five stories to buttress the theme. Though the order of each week relates to the natural progression of an athlete through a season, there is nothing sacred about the ordering. Each group of five, theme-related stories can be pulled out and used to best fit a particular need.

The twelve weekly themes:
  1. Can-do commitments
True commitment is the cornerstone of every successful venture. The first week lays the foundation for being committed and the responsibilities, ramifications, and rewards of that decision. Both ancient and current real-world examples demonstrate that commitment is not for the timid or weak. Rather, commitment requires attention to the task, regardless of what it is. Divided loyalties undermine commitments, but a sharp, conscious commitment can make the difference between reward and regret.

  1. Surrendering to submission
“Submission? You mean subject myself to another, obey, and do what I’m told? I’m not a Marine or in the army. Is this really necessary?” The simple answer is “yes.” We tend not to relate submission to athletics but submission is the next step (after commitment) to the Best Season Yet. It’s vital to understand chain of command and accept our position. Only when we learn to submit to God, coaches, parents, and teammates are we freed to excel.
  1. Motivation meets aspiration
Many an athlete, fueled by excitement at season’s start, finds himself sputtering in complacency just a few weeks in. Running out of fuel is often the result of lack of focus and clear objectives more than lack of talent. Together, we learn to prioritize, set realistic yet challenging goals, and chart a course to accomplish them.

  1. When fear and dreams collide
“I have a dream…” Sure, we all have dreams. But, how many times has that dream turned into a bloody nightmare? Sometimes we fail to achieve our goals because we become paralyzed by fear: fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of the commitment it takes to achieve the dream. This fourth week of life lessons asks the reader to define those fears and put them into proper perspective. She will read real-life stories and see the beauty in that moment when fear and dreams collide, exploding into glorious victory.

  1. Yowza. This hurts bad!
There are few things so sure as the inevitable pain and suffering in the life of an athlete. Injuries and exhaustion cloud an athlete’s judgment and often extinguish even the possibility of achieving the goals set early in the season. Discouragement abounds when the season seems headed to an early demise. And yet, pain and suffering—both physical and mental—can be the catalyst for breakthrough performances and renewed focus.

  1. Persevering Persistence
By mid-season, nearly every athlete feels like he stepped into quicksand and is sinking fast. The pressures of maintaining academic standards, putting in the miles, surviving relentless drills, and keeping frayed nerves from unraveling make the topic of perseverance crucial. Extreme athletes are some of the best at offering a unique yet realistic perspective on taking just one more step. Their stories, along with those of persevering biblical warriors of old, help the athlete be encouraged and renewed.

  1. Falters and failures
Don’t you just hate it when carefully-laid plans fall apart with one wobble on the balance beam or a stumble late in a race? Worse yet, you start spending more time sidelined than out in the fray. Failure, when not properly understood, will undermine an entire season—and possibly a career. But failure can groom the athlete for a brighter, better future. This section inspires with the example of others who refused to flounder in failure.
  1. Service with a smile
We’ve all seen professional athletes flaunting their fancy cars and mansions. Many appear to be selfish and ego-centric. What an opportunity they miss to refocus on the needs of others. A team is the perfect venue for service. To recognize and address needs does not come naturally. Just like perfecting a jump shot or a slap shot, it takes practice to hone this skill of serving another. A team that learns to serve well will score points in the game that really counts: the game of a godly life.

  1. Go team!
“All for one and one for all.” Really? It’s a phrase we like to throw around but do we truly understand what that means in practical ways? How can we realistically support the team and help it flourish? How do we build a sense of community, leadership, and camaraderie among team members, coaches, and interested parties? Learning how to embrace strengths and accommodate and improve on weaknesses is a necessary component of a successful team. Readers learn by example with this look at the characteristics of successful teams.
  1. In pursuit of excellence
Transitioning from mediocrity to excellence is no easy task. But after nine weeks of learning to commit and submit, establish goals, serve and persevere, the foundation is set to seek excellence, not only in our chosen sport, but in life—becoming a complete man or woman of God. 

  1. Tiptoeing the tightwire: Priorities and balance
The line between commitment and obsession is thin—microscopic, even. Unfortunately, we unwittingly step over that line by losing focus on what is really important. We get confused when we allow “single-minded focus” to nudge out the rest of life. The result? Exhaustion, frustration, and failure. Learn to establish priorities and maintain an appropriate balance to make your life pleasing to God in every way.

  1. Finishing fitness: Physical, emotional, spiritual
There is nothing so dreaded—and at the same time, embraced—as the end of an athletic season. We are tired of the routine, the practice, the competition. We are fed up with the time restraints of holding together a jam-packed schedule. And yet, we look back and are amazed at our progress and accomplishments. The season’s end, however, is really just a springboard that launches us into yet another Best Season Yet of growth, development, and physical, emotional, and spiritual maturity.

This book is ideal for the Christian coach to use in leading a team throughout a season. Creating a “story time” at the beginning of each practice allows the coach to direct the team’s attention and unify their thoughts. The relatively short stories followed by a discussion opportunity require approximately ten minutes to complete, a doable time commitment in most team settings. No preaching is needed. Just a single thought for pondering and application.

Getting a full staff of coaches on the same page can be a difficult task. Each one seems to have his own idea on “growing” athletes. Best Season Yet offers an athletic director a resource to train his coaches and develop a consistent message throughout the entire athletic program.

But what about the individual athlete training alone or a parent helping his daughter achieve athletic greatness? Not a problem. This book speaks to the individual athlete as well as to the seventy-five-member team. The twelve-week approach will serve to motivate and inspire, helping the athlete to stay the course and find the finish.

Rebekah Trittipoe is one who knows what it means to “go the distance”. This committed Christian runs—and survives—ultra marathons, which find her on jaunts of up to 100 miles at a time. Amidst sometimes unthinkable conditions Rebekah—determined to meet her goal—grinds on.

As with her extreme running, Rebekah's dedication to God’s Word is steadfast and focused. Just as she encourages fellow runners to keep their eyes open to the beauty around them during a trek through challenging terrain, Rebekah inspires other believers to look for God's revelation not so much in theological treatise, but in the mundane things of life—watching a simple sunrise, pulling weeds, taking in orphaned kittens, or hauling rocks for a backyard path.

Her daily devotions (366 of them, to encompass leap year) include an inspirational story, a Scripture, and a daily challenge. She offers these with the mere purpose of helping each of us make our way through the daily grind—whether that be navigating the nettle-fraught mountainside or sitting at a desk slogging our way through a work day.

Preface (excerpted from "Pace Yourself")
Pulled from the recesses of a tiny closet tucked under the stairs, the simple cardboard boxes showed their age. Each, encrusted with a deep layer of dust, held valuable treasures unfitting such a humble hiding place. Choosing one, I gently blew the surface clean and pulled open the box flaps. Not yet wanting to disturb the contents, I sat up straighter in my cross-legged position and took it in before reaching to open the remaining boxes. There before me were hundreds of letters still in their faded envelopes, most written in the mid-1940s.  Each had been meticulously opened, none carelessly torn. Gingerly, I pulled one from a box and began to read.

Hours passed. My legs cramped and my hands and lap grew dirty from handling the old mail. But still, a life unfolded before me; a life I didn’t know. You see, these were the letters my Father had written in his college years. Long before the day of email and cell phones, he kept a steady flow of letters to his parents and chums back home. Like a ping-pong game, mail bounced in both directions. And somehow, each letter was saved and sealed into a box for safekeeping.

My Dad’s letters, written in that distinctive yet tiny penmanship, revealed a lot about his day to day life. He was a descriptive writer, sharing detail some might consider mundane. I learned about his classroom habits, I read about his play on the baseball field, I saw letters of acceptance into dental school and I viewed pictures of his pals. But more importantly, through his writing I came to understand his character. I could feel his joy and his disappointments. And, I sensed his strong and steady faith. Those boxes of letters became his life’s journal. I am forever grateful.

Now sixty-some years later, I take a similar path. Though without postage, I create my own journal; a collection of stories and experiences throughout a single year. Each entry is my letter sharing real life. Not life the way I wish it to be. Just plain life. Some entries may seem ordinary. Some extraordinary. But all are written with a singular purpose: To discipline myself to see God working everyday in every way.

I invite you to journey with me as I begin to train my mind to understand that this God of the vast universe is also the God of the smallest detail. Slowly and methodically, we’ll work ourselves through the good and bad, the joys and sadness, the thrills and the mundane. Too often we want a dramatic theological breakthrough but fail to see the lessons in pulling weeds or watching a simple sunrise. So come. Take a run with me through 366-days of normal, ordinary life.

366 pages/2010
 In most of our lives there exists a defining moment--a moment so significant that your life is forever changed. For me, that moment was September 13, 2003. I was anxiously watching my sons play in a Saturday morning soccer game.  Never before had I felt such crushing pressure from an upcoming event. As my muddy boys left the field I felt overwhelmingly compelled to have a family photo taken. If something happened to me, I wanted them to have a picture of our family in happier times.
The photo was snapped, I choked back the tears as I bid my husband and boys farewell. For fear of letting my inward sobs become obviously public, I looked neither to the left nor to the right as I walked with two of my closest friends to the car. We climbed in and started the long drive to Dulles International airport. My journey to the Amazon jungle of Brazil had begun.
Having a nine year history of running ultramarathons, running 30, 50 or even 100 miles in a day, though difficult and challenging, was not particularly daunting. But, to run 160 miles over six stages in unknown territory was quite a different story. Relentless heat and humidity, snakes, poisonous spiders, jungle cats of prey and swamps were not a part of my past experience. The dangers of this undertaking were real and the difficulty of the terrain was to prove unforgiving. Furthermore, the logistical difficulties of a self-sufficient race were mind-boggling.

From the moment I Ianded in Brazil, a floodgate of new experiences hit me from every side. The language, the people, the sights and sounds were all novel. From the pre-race shopping trip to the market to the day-long boat ride into the jungle, I stood amazed that I was at last embarking on my own personal adventure. Who would have ever thought that I, a mid-40’s soccer Mom, would fly into a different hemisphere to pursue some ill-defined quest? I had written books and articles about the high adventure of others but finally, this trip, this race, was my very own.

The six days of racing in the Brazilian Amazon jungle provided numerous opportunities for improvement: improvement in strategy, improvement in attitude, improvement physically, and improvement spiritually. The highs and lows experienced on a daily level were ever-changing and unpredictable. Unbreakable bonds were formed with fellow runners and race staff. And daily, the complexity of the ecosystem, the brilliant array of the starry equatorial sky and the cacophony of jungle sounds served as testaments to a marvelous creation.
The time in the jungle proved to be more than a race; it was an examination of life and priorities. It was a test of resolve and character. It was an experience of a lifetime not to be missed – and I would do it all over again!

178 pages/2006 


The day was like so many other East Coast summer days. Even with the dawn of the new day, the oppressive heat could be felt and would continue to build with every passing moment. The cock-a-doodle-doo of the roosters would sound muffled in the heaviness of the early morning air. The combined effect of heat and humidity would make it feel as if there was a monster on your chest, fighting you for every breath and stealing away your energy. The newscasts warned people of the heat, encouraging inside activity and discouraging long exposures to the elements. Seeking to protect them, even dogs and cats would be given refuge inside air-conditioned walls by their owners. Those traveling the highways would do so in climate-controlled vehicles. Local ice cream and soda shops would do a booming business on this day. Tempers would easily be ignited by even the smallest of irritations. Children would beg their mamas to turn on the hose or go to the local pool. Mothers, too hot and tired to argue, would agree. Productivity in the work-a-day world would have to be guarded since motivation is inversely proportional to the rising temperatures. Farmers would consider postponing their chores until evening, choosing rather to pass the time at a local diner discussing the price of corn. But off in the distance, a small band of runners would be seen, stretched out along Route 30 in rural Pennsylvania and making their way ever closer to New York City. 

To most of those ten runners, today would be just like so many days before and many days that would follow. They would start running before dawn, unreasonably hopeful that the sun's rising would be somehow postponed if only for the day. They would forge on ahead, barely pausing every two miles when food and refreshment would be offered to them. They would don hats and sunglasses to provide a buffer from the sun. They would douse themselves with water and place ice cubes under their hats to externally cool themselves. Day's end would find them 47.1 miles further from Huntington Beach, California and 47.1 miles closer to finishing their transcontinental crossing in New York City. Their steps, though weary from the millions taken before, would move unfalteringly forward toward the goal. They would not move to the right or to the left. No deviation from the prescribed course would be taken, for this would mean wasted energy. They would reach today's finish line, shower, eat, rest, and prepare themselves for more of the same before the rising of the next sun. But to one runner, today would be forever set apart from the other 63 days of the race. Today he would find himself at the intersection of his dreams, forcing him to pause from the relentless pursuit down the highway to ponder his life's choices. As the tractor-trailers roared by, this lone runner would seek the refuge of another trail, another journey, if only for a moment.

The date was August 14, 1995. The race was the Trans-America Footrace, the modern equivalent to the trans-continental Bunion Derbies of 1928 and 1929. The runner was David Horton, experienced and celebrated in his sport of ultra-running. The day had begun at 3:55 a.m., just as 58 previous days had begun. Horton turned off his alarm clock, hurriedly donned his shorts and singlet, pulled on his socks that had been washed out the night before, slipped on his running shoes and sought to break the fast with cereal, coffee, and a donut. By the stroke of 5:00 a.m., Horton and the other runners were on the start line, listening for and perhaps even dreading the word "go". In fact, many of the runners likened the start to a funeral; an event they had to attend but didn't have a clue how they could again survive. But the soon vacated start area in the parking lot of an old, fly infested, and unairconditioned gymnasium in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, was a clear sign that each of the runners, including Horton, had accepted yet another challenge that the race offered. The trials and triumphs of previous days found Dusan Mravlje, a Slovenian "soldier" whose job it was to train and race, to be in first place overall. In second place was Florida's Raymond Bell, who had won the race in 1993. David Horton found himself solidly in third place overall, closing in on a weakening Bell but being chased by Australian Patrick Farmer (also a Trans-Am veteran and second place finisher in '93) and the small but mighty Japanese runner from New York City, Nobuaki Koyago. 
The day's stage required that the runners traverse and conquer 47.1 miles within the required time of 15.7 hours. Failure to do so would negate the previously run 2627 miles and would force retirement from the race. There would be no exceptions to the rule. The course, marked by flour arrows at turns, would follow along Route 30 in Pennsylvania. So, the runners ran 100 yards down a gradual slope before turning right at the arrow to begin a three-mile, 14% grade climb. The heaviness of the air due to a torrential downpour during the night made the climb even more formidable. Horton, uncharacteristically running halfway up the incline, was caught by Koyago, Mravlje and Farmer when he finally decided to begin power walking. The Slovenian threw verbal barbs at Koyago, the winner of the previous three stages; "Hey, don't you think the pace is a little slow? This hill is child's play!" Whether the sarcasm had any impact on the Japanese runner is unknown, but the crest of the mountain saw Nobuaki Koyago in the lead, running like a man possessed. He proceeded to build a one-mile lead on the next runner, Patrick Farmer, by mile 14. At day's end, Koyago would cross the finish line with a full three-mile lead. 

Meanwhile, Horton would struggle. Cautiously running down the backside of that first mountain, the professor from Liberty University would be passed for the first time ever by the runner in eighth place overall. The effect of being passed served as a mental cattle prod. Horton gained ground, regained his position and was running steadily. With the humidity remaining high and the temperatures climbing with the rising sun, all ten runners pressed on. Horton did enjoy posing momentarily at mile 30 for a photo with some running friends from his hometown of Lynchburg. But after another half mile of running, Horton took his first five-minute break of the entire race. It was at the 30.5 mile point of this day's stage that intersected the 2144-mile Appalachian Trail.

"Here I stand at the crossroads of life", stated Horton into the video camera. After a brief 30-yard run into the coolness of the forest, this runner returned to the shoulder of Route 30 to record his thoughts on videotape. Although drowned out at times by the roar of the semi-tractor trailers, David began to recall the moment 4 years prior when he passed this exact spot. It was in the spring of 1991 that he found himself standing atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, at the beginning of his AT adventure. In pursuit of the speed record on this south/north continuous trail, he ran day after day in the quietness and solitude that the trail affords. Over mountains, through valleys, across grassy meadows he went. Few were the encounters with the mainstream of humanity. And, little did he realize that when he followed the trail out of the woods, across Rt. 30 and reentered the woods on the other side, that he would have a déjà-vu experience when his west to east Trans-Am race would intersect his route.

Two races. Two challenges. Both grueling but both very different. The first was a race against time in terms of days, the elements, and the roughness of the terrain. The second was a race against time in terms of hours and minutes, against other competitors and the redundancy of thousands of miles of pavement. However, there was a common foundation to the two events. Both were incredibly difficult. Both required conquering the severe bouts of depression that invaded the mind of this endurance athlete. Both required conquering the mentally debilitating and physically crippling injuries associated with running mile after mile, day after day. Both required the mental toughness and fortitude that so few in our society possess. And both require an unquenchable quest for adventure.

Horton did conquer the Appalachian Trail in 1991 and set a speed record yet to be broken. On this particular day in 1995, Horton would continue his Trans-Am run within five minutes of his encounter with the A.T. He would finish in the heat, humidity and peak of the tourist season in Gettysburg, only to prepare himself for the next day of racing. And on the fifth day hence, he would cross the finish line of all finish lines in New York City with the third fastest time ever recorded in the world. 

This is the story of those quests.

223 pages/1997

A walk in the park and a pink finish line

By the time I finish most races, I've figured out at least the first paragraph of my post-race story. This was one of the few where the ...