What if you could “elevate your game” under pressure? Would you like to learn how to better tap into your God-given skills and abilities, regardless of your profession? How do we integrate virtue, joy and faith into our daily lives? Dr. Bill Thierfelder, President of Belmont Abbey College, has written a wonderful new book to answer these important questions. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of Less Than A Minute To Go: The Secret to World-Class Performance in Sport, Business and Everyday Life (Foreword by Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University) from the publisher, Saint Benedict Press and would strongly encourage you to read this groundbreaking book.
I have known Dr. Thierfelder for five years and have long admired his principles, commitment to excellence, strong Catholic faith and courage in leading Belmont Abbey College to be an authentic voice in defense of Church teaching. He is a former sports psychologist, Olympian, NCAA Division 1 Coach and two-time All American from the University of Maryland. His proudest accomplishment, however, is his marriage to Mary and their ten beautiful children.
When I congratulated him on the book and asked him for an interview, he was grateful and humbled by the request. His humility, obvious love for Christ and belief in doing all he can to authentically live out his Catholic faith makes this book and the lessons he shares even more profound and necessary in today’s world.
Dr. Thierfelder, what led you to write Less Than A Minute To Go?
The simple answer is the Holy Spirit. I had no desire or time to write a book but it would seem that God had a different plan for me. I began slowly by writing one word, then one sentence and then one page at a time until one day I had a book. I wrote it to support Belmont Abbey College and to share the powerful insights and lessons that I had learned about attaining world-class performance in sport, business and everyday life.
Who is this written for?
The book is for athletes, coaches, parents, families, and business leaders who want to better understand themselves and others, dramatically improve their performances, and discover their true purpose in life.
People may not know about your previous career as a sports psychologist. Did many of the stories in the book come from that period in your life?
Yes, there are many wonderful short stories and parables about incredible athletes who learned to double their talents in body, mind, and spirit and perform at a level they did not think was possible. They learned that world-class performance was only one virtue and that their true happiness and success was to be found in striving after all of them.
Yes, the stories about Andre Collins’ (NFL Super Bowl Champion) seemingly impossible peak performance against the Baltimore Ravens toward the end of his career, or the one about dying on the sand dunes in Situate, Massachusetts with Olympic Gold Medalist and former world record holder, Dave Hemery. And there are so many other stories about individuals who became exceptional performers despite the extraordinary challenges and limitations they faced.
I enjoyed how you wove into the book’s inspirational chapters the themes of virtue, joy, self-awareness and a strong faith in God. In our secular society, how difficult is it to get people to recognize the importance of these things?
Actually, not difficult once people become aware of them. The truth is the truth and everyone is wired for it. I help people to recognize it by helping them to experience the perfection of the present moment. Doing so, results in peak performance and perfect union with God.
How can your book bridge this gap?
I find that when people hear the truth and then experience it for themselves during their performances, it does not require any further discussion. It is not a matter of believing me, they now have the proof based on their own experience. Suddenly they gain a deep insight, become faster, or more precise, or incredibly focused, and the universal response is, “Wow, that works! What else do you have?” From that point on it is self-motivating and they just keep getting better at whatever they are doing.
What do you hope readers, especially Catholic readers, get from Less Than A Minute To Go?
I believe they will be better able to make the most of all the skills, talents and abilities with which they have been blessed (Mt 25:14-30). They will learn how to prepare their minds to win, make peak performance a common occurrence, and play with a passion that never ends. I am counting on them to change the culture of sport, business and everyday life by living lives of excellence and virtue, and helping others to do the same.
You are donating all honorariums and royalties related to the book to Belmont Abbey College. Can you tell us about the college and share your vision for its future?
It is a story about Divine Providence. It is the only way to explain how a Benedictine college and monastery founded in North Carolina, the least Catholic state in the union at the time, with no means of support, could still be standing 138 years later.
The monks dug up the red clay, formed it into bricks, dried them in the sun, and designed and built the beautiful gothic buildings that still stand there today. St. Katherine Drexel helped complete the Basilica, Mary Help of Christians and Bishop Fulton Sheen was instrumental in filling the office of the president.
Today, Belmont Abbey College is recognized as one of the best small Catholic Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States and it has become the leader in the fight to preserve Religious Liberty.
I have written this book to bring attention to the importance of Belmont Abbey College in our culture and to encourage you to become part of it. I don’t believe in accidents. I believe in Divine Providence. If you’re reading my words right now, it’s no accident. God is calling you to look and discern and pray and to say, “Maybe I’m supposed to be there. Maybe I’m supposed to be contributing in some way to what God is calling that place to be!” And I’m hoping and praying that you’re going to join us!
Less Than A Minute To Go: The Secret to World-Class Performance in Sport, Business and Everyday Life is available for pre-order through Amazon and will be released on September 20th, 2013.
Looking for a Catholic Speaker? Check out Randy’s speaker’s page and the rest of the ICL Speaker’s Bureau.
Randy Hain, Senior Editor and co-founder of The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work which was released by Liguori Publications. The Catholic Briefcase was voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards.
Randy Hain’s exciting new book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith was released by Liguori Publications in November, 2012. Along the Way was recently named Runner-Up in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Catholic Book of 2012. Learn more here. His third book, Something More: A Professional’s Pursuit of a Meaningful Life, was released in February, 2013. All of Randy Hain’s books can also be purchased at your local Catholic bookstore, Amazon or www.liguori.org.
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Thank you! – The Editors