Becoming Relentless | Relentless by Tim Grover Summary

Tim Grover is one of my personal heroes, the author of one of my favourite books, and a rather large reason why I decided to become a Strength Coach. Some might recognize that name from Michael Jordan’s Docuseries, The Last Dance, on Netflix, and others who are unfamiliar with Tim Grover might recognize a couple of his more prominent clients. Ever heard of Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade or Kobe Bryant?. If Tim Grover and all of his awesome ideas are new to you, I would love to have the honour of putting you on!

After losing to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight time in 1990, Jordan swore to quit getting "outmuscled" and teamed up with Tim Grover. The rest is history.

In this particular review, I am going to be going through Tim Grover’s book, Relentless. Being a best-selling author, however, is only a fraction of what Grover has found tremendous success doing in his lifetime. After his own basketball career got derailed due to a nasty knee injury, Tim Grover took it upon himself to be the best trainer of pro athletes in the world. Facing ridicule for going to school to get a degree in Kinesiology (relatable), he shut down all the comments about becoming a gym teacher or health club employee and trusted his goals.

A couple of years later and Tim Grover was now training some of the greatest basketball players of all time. Three of his rather successful athletes in Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade have a combined 14 NBA Championships, 6 League MVPs, 9 Finals MVPs, and 13 NBA Scoring Titles. This guy gets results. He revolutionized the world of being a professional trainer, bringing so much more than a workout plan to his athletes. He was available 24/7, delivering lessons on mindset, tending to injury or even getting the pizza that gave Michael Jordan food poisoning before his infamous ‘Flu game’.

Two of Tim Grover’s most notable clients, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, celebrating an Olympic Gold Medal after defeating Spain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Grover has since transitioned into a keynote speaker, delivering straight to the point, sometimes uncomfortably honest speeches to individuals around the world looking to become relentless.

Now that you have an idea for the type of high-level results Tim Grover delivers to driven individuals, let’s dive into Relentless and transition you from Good to Great to Unstoppable!

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Tim Grover holds individuals accountable and gives guidance on their journey to becoming their best selves, but knows that the only way that’s truly going to happen is from inside.

Relentless Mindset

Tim Grover describes being relentless as “demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.” The job always has to get done, and the end results are all that matters. Each time you reach a personal best, you create new goals. The relentless mindset that Grover describes is very similar to the Sled Dog Mentality that we try to instill into our athletes. Individuals who possess these qualities whether they are aware of it or not are what Grover calls Cleaners.

Cleaners, Closers, and Coolers

Tim Grover classifies people into 3 categories: Cleaners, Closers, and Coolers. Good, great, unstoppable.

Coolers

You give a job to a Cooler and you will get the desired result. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing exceptional is going to come from a Cooler, but for the most part, they are good at what they do.

Closers

A Closer is an individual who can get you great results time after time, granted there aren’t too many variables. Most of the time, a Closer will deliver amazing results.

Cleaners

A Cleaner is at the top of the totem pole. Cleaners define what it means to be relentless. No matter what challenges get thrown at them they will continue to deliver exceptional results every single time.

Coolers... Closers... Cleaners...
  • Have an amazing game
  • Worry about the competition and how they measure up
  • Avoid taking the winning shot
  • Won’t offer to take on a role they’re not comfortable with
  • Let others decide whether they’re successful;they do the job and wait to see if you approve
  • Don’t want to carry the team, but they’re the first to slap you on the back when you do a good job
  • Think they want the spotlight, but when they get it, they usually handle it badly
  • Will eat whatever you feed them
  • Have an amazing season
  • Study the competition and plan their attack based on the opponent
  • Take the shot if they know they have a good chance of making it
  • Will take the role if you ask them and they’ll do it well, if they have enough time to prepare for and study the situation
  • Feel successful when they get the job done
  • Want the credit for getting the job done and love being congratulated for what they did
  • Stand in front because they need to show who’s in charge
  • Will order what they want and be satisfied with a great meal
  • Have amazing careers
  • Make the competition study them; they don't care whom they’re facing, they know they can handle anyone
  • Trust their gut and shoot; they don’t have to think about it
  • Don’t wait to be asked, they just do it
  • Never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there’s always more to do
  • Rarely congratulate you for doing your job, they just expect you to do it
  • Don’t have to show everyone who’s in charge - they already know
  • It doesn’t matter what a cleaner eats, he’ll be hungry again in an hour
Coolers...
  • Have an amazing game
  • Worry about the competition and how they measure up
  • Avoid taking the winning shot
  • Won’t offer to take on a role they’re not comfortable with
  • Let others decide whether they’re successful;they do the job and wait to see if you approve
  • Don’t want to carry the team, but they’re the first to slap you on the back when you do a good job
  • Think they want the spotlight, but when they get it, they usually handle it badly
  • Will eat whatever you feed them
Closers...
  • Have an amazing season
  • Study the competition and plan their attack based on the opponent
  • Take the shot if they know they have a good chance of making it
  • Will take the role if you ask them and they’ll do it well, if they have enough time to prepare for and study the situation
  • Feel successful when they get the job done
  • Want the credit for getting the job done and love being congratulated for what they did
  • Stand in front because they need to show who’s in charge
  • Will order what they want and be satisfied with a great meal
Cleaners...
  • Have amazing careers
  • Make the competition study them; they don't care whom they’re facing, they know they can handle anyone
  • Trust their gut and shoot; they don’t have to think about it
  • Don’t wait to be asked, they just do it
  • Never feel as if they’ve achieved success because there’s always more to do
  • Rarely congratulate you for doing your job, they just expect you to do it
  • Don’t have to show everyone who’s in charge-they already know
  • It doesn’t matter what a cleaner eats, he’ll be hungry again in an hour

Source - Relentless by Tim Grover

It’s easy enough to say you’re a Cleaner, but hard to turn your words into action and be one. Cleaners are the top 1%, the individuals who can’t bear the idea of finishing anywhere other than first no matter what the scenario. Grover says that Cleaners live every day through the values present in the Relentless 13.

The Relentless 13

To truly understand and begin to implement the Relentless 13 into your life, I suggest that you actually read the book and absorb the examples that Tim Grover gives for each point. Nonetheless, here’s a quick list of the 13 values that Cleaners share in common. Remember that to be a Cleaner you don’t have to demonstrate all of these traits at all times, but all Cleaners have experienced them at some point.

When you’re a Cleaner…

  • You keep pushing yourself harder when everyone else has had enough.
  • You get into the Zone, you shut out everything else, and control the uncontrollable.
  • You know exactly who you are.
  • You have a dark side that refuses to be taught to be good.
  • You’re not intimidated by pressure, you thrive on it.
  • When everyone is hitting the “In Case of Emergency” button, they’re all looking for you.
  • You don’t compete with anyone, you find your opponent’s weakness and you attack.
  • You make decisions, not suggestions; you know the answer while everyone else is still asking questions.
  • You don’t have to love the work, but you’re addicted to the results.
  • You’d rather be feared than liked.
  • You trust very few people, and those you trust better never let you down.
  • You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.
  • You don’t celebrate your achievements because you always want more.

Take a minute and think about each bullet point and where it applies/where you can apply it to your life.

Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan were two of the fiercest competitors to walk the face of the Earth and lived the identity of a Cleaner every single day.

Should I Read Relentless by Tim Grover?

If you’ve read the whole article, you should know my answer. Of course you should read this book. Even if you don’t completely agree with all 13 of Tim Grover’s traits (I know I don’t agree with controlling uncontrollables and not celebrating achievements), the mentality presented in this book will fuel you to succeed in whatever walk of life you wish, not only in sports.

Grover is direct, unapologetic, honest, and not afraid to say what he believes throughout the length of the book. Some might be put off from him because of this style, but Cleaners understand exactly where he’s coming from and why he’s saying the things that he’s saying.

The relentless mindset isn’t easy and it sure isn’t for everyone, but I know that the majority of the following that I have built on this website are high achieving individuals wanting to find an edge on the competition, so I believe that this book can bring tremendous value to a lot of your lives. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Relentless by Tim Grover today.

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