Phil Parker has been a Head Coach in the PAC Ten and Big Ten Conferences, and in the California Community College System, coaching wrestling, a sport he excelled in atIowaStateUniversity. After being widely recruited out of high school, Parker went on to become a three-time All-American, and member of three national championship teams as a Cyclone. In addition, he has planned, developed and run numerous camps, clinics and seminars for athletes and taught nearly every known athletic-physical education course over the years.
Phil has a Master of Science (MS) advanced degree in Counseling Psychology. He has worked with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, from elite collegiate athletes to youths at risk and foster care system.
This week Phil was gracious enough to take time from his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions. You’ll find Phil’s depth and wisdom between the lines along with his intensity and heart in every word.
Michelle: Why did you want to write “The Athlete’s Bible?”
Phil: I wrote “The Athlete’s Bible” because we live in a time when self- esteem, confidence and an unfailing belief in oneself and one’s ability to strive and achieve are more important in life and sports than ever before. This book is a simple but effective guide to supreme confidence.
Michelle: In your opinion, what is missing most in today’s athlete?
Phil: Athletes today, besides lacking a rock solid foundation for self-belief and confidence, are lacking a qualified mentor to guide them. They need to know who they are as individuals, thereby enhancing self esteem. A mentor provides guidance, encouragement, and is a sounding board to exchange ideas and develop lifelong beliefs and rules for the developing champion.
Michelle: Do you feel like today’s coaches have a tougher job mentoring, training and inspiring their team to excel than you did?
Phil: Yes, absolutely, because there are so many choices with technology, instant information exchange, peer pressure, over-stimulation and exposure, etc. You must provide a simple but effective philosophy and system of discipline. My book talks about the ‘Five R’s of Discipline’ and discusses the meaning behind self-discipline and striving to be one’s best.
Michelle: Please explain the basic philosophy of the Athlete’s Bible: Superman All the Time Version, which is the title of your book?
Phil: In life and in athletics you never take off your cape. When Superman did this, he became a mere mortal- the unassuming, weak Clark Kent. That cape is divine driven and not steroid or chemical driven. Never lose your faith in God and His plan for you.
Michelle: During your coaching career, how did you motivate and inspire your young athletes?
Phil: When I saw or perceived that there was anxiety due to fear of one’s opponent, I would simply ask, “Can he fly? Can he disappear at will? Can he walk on water? Can he change water into wine?” OK, then, what’s the problem? Here you have another mere mortal, just like you, with the same basic equipment and desire. I would simply tell them “You can go out there and out-think him and out-tough him, so do it.”
Michelle: What has been your greatest life challenge and how have you been able to overcome that challenge?
Phil: I have been struck down but not destroyed along the way in my life’s journey. My greatest challenge, overall, has been understanding man, and God’s purpose for man! As I stated in my book, “There are three basic levels that human beings achieve in this world. In the ascent to Level Three, which is about Wisdom, I have come to know God and to thank Him. He is the real Superman all the time.”
Michelle: What venues do you envision The Athlete’s Bible making the biggest impact in?
Phil: Across all levels of society, across gender, religious beliefs, spirituality, etc. My message has relevance for everyone. I can envision venues such as athletic events, schools, universities, prisons, gymnasiums, training facilities, bookstores for the general public, corporations looking to enhance striving, achieving, winning and success in the competitive arena, and even in the political arena, from the White House staff to the leaders of our great country.
We need to refocus on individual striving, doing one’s very best, giving our all and looking out for one another in the process. I especially hope to target youth with my message. Once fully exposed, this book will impact every athlete and every member of society. To reach one’s ultimate self- belief and confidence, we must first begin with self-knowledge, knowing who we are fundamentally and why we are here. Self-esteem precedes confidence and flows from seeking knowledge and wisdom.
Phil lives inSouthern Californiawith his wife Peggy, a psychologist and enjoys spending time with his two grown children and two grandchildren. For more information and to order copies of Phil’s book, Email: [email protected] or [email protected]