robdylan

Quest for Glory: Reviewed


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 17 Dec 2010 at 11:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Michael Marnewick is known to many of us as the brains (and passion) behind the best official rugby franchise website in the world, www.sharksrugby.co.za. One of the numerous perks associated with being a reasonably well-known sideline commentator is that I am occasionally asked to give my opinion about things, so when Michael’s début novel – entitled “Quest for Glory: Successes in South African Sport” – found its way to my little house, courtesy of the kind folks at Zebra Press, I considered it a real honour and privilege to provide my review of the work.

Quest for glory: Successes in South African sportLet me start by saying this one thing: the amount of legwork (and donkey work) that has gone into compiling this treasure-trove of distilled wisdom is frankly immense. Having been privileged to share some of the author’s thoughts and swap the occasional email during the writing of his opus, I know some of the extent to which Michael has thrown his entire heart, soul and life into preparing this work – although I’m sure his wife and daughters will have noticed it far more! Michael has left no stone unturned in his quest to extract and consolidate the combined experiences of success from virtually every major sporting hero that South Africa has produced over the last 20 years or more. He has managed to find them all – from the old legends like Gary Player, Bruce Fordyce and Naas Botha, through to relatively recent heroes in Bismarck du Plessis and Herschelle Gibbs, without, of course, missing out on the stratospheric icons in between, including John Smit, Penny Heyns, Francois Pienaar and Baby Jake Matlala. I have some small amount of experience in the amount of effort (and dare I say hassle?) involved in getting to speak to the really famous and Michael has worked his network, painstakingly established over the last ten years, in order to get in front of the people whose voices really matter.

What is the gist of this work, then? Is it simply a bunch of interviews with the same bunch of men and women that, regardless of how legendary their status may be, have been interviewed many, many times before? The answer is that it is quite different to that, because its goal is different and far deeper than simple collecting and recalling anecdotes. Marnewick’s goal here is to attempt to define and crystallise exactly what it is, deep down, that has allowed those he has interviewed to attain success in their various fields. He begins by attempting to define a formula for success, a check-list of magical ingredients that must all be present, in the correct order and ratio, in order to propel a player, coach or team to the very highest peak of performance. He then systematically works through these ingredients or factors, and skilfully weaves the interview content around these threads. The result is a concise, coherent work that focuses on a single topic at a time and can thus be easily used as a reference when needed, despite being absolutely crammed with interesting anecdotes and personal accounts that reinforce each point he makes.

Those of you who know me will have come to realise that I am a rugby man through-and-through and that anything that has a flavour of Sharks rugby to it is likely to be right up my alley (to put it mildly). While this book is not a rugby book, per se, Marnewick’s clear love of the oval-ball game is evident and he is a passionate Sharks rugby man, with access to an enviable number personalities, both past and present, that have helped to make the Sharks great. Fellow Sharks fans will be pleased to know that Quest for Glory gives ample page-time to many of those who have served the black and white with distinction over the years, including Johann Muller, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit, Mark Andrews, Bob Skinstad, Gary Teichmann, Brent Russell and current coach John Plumtree. Another familiar face who has added his wisdom is occasional Sharksworld contributor and mental coach Tim Goodenough, whose work behind-the-scenes with many pre-eminent South African sports stars (including the Sharks 2008 Super 14 side) is helping to overcome the psychological hurdles that so often impede athletes who have mastered the physical aspects of their chosen sport.

Quest for Glory is a must-read for anyone who loves sport – particularly South African sport – and has an interest in gaining a deeper insight into what has enabled so many of our heroes to attain success over their careers. Young sportsmen and women – those still at school or in the early stages of a professional career – would probably have the most to gain from the advice in the book, while parents, teachers and coaches – as well as social players of all levels – would do well peruse its pages too, because much emphasis is placed on the support systems that any successful athlete must have in place in order to attain greatness. Did I mention that it’s fascinating insight into the minds of so many South African sporting greats that, in addition to being a “workshop manual” for those in the game, it makes a great read for armchair enthusiasts like you and me?

All-round, a superb first book from a superb writer who will, I’m sure, go on to publish many more titles in the future.

Quest for Glory: Successes in South African Sport (ISBN: 978-1-77022-136-9) is published by Zebra Press and available from all good book shops for R182.95. You can buy it through Kalahari.net for the special discounted price of R145 by clicking this link.



33 Comments

  • I am half way through it now.

    Well worth the read! Good insight! I’m really enjoying it!

  • Comment 1, posted at 17.12.10 11:12:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • Guess i’ll be popping in at exclusive books tomorrow

  • Comment 2, posted at 17.12.10 11:12:38 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 2) : rather buy it through the Kalahari link and give a brother the referral :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 17.12.10 11:14:28 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) :

    Haha..

  • Comment 4, posted at 17.12.10 11:15:10 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Or maybe i could do that :cool:

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.12.10 11:17:19 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • Slightly different thread… Rob, have you seen this?
    http://sport.iafrica.com/rugby/news/694405.html
    Any comments or is this the usual media bollocks with real dealing happening behind the scenes?

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.12.10 11:23:45 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo DineroCurrie Cup player
     
  • Well I presume I’ll get my Copy when the TRUE SHARKS SUPPORTER competition is revealed…. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.12.10 11:27:52 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
     
  • @Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 (Comment 7) :

    And that one will be signed as well!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.12.10 11:31:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 8) :

    2 vliee met een klap!

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.12.10 11:36:02 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    IceAssistant coach
     
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 6) : it is complete bollocks. Kevin de Klerk is a proven liar and is lying again here. This is about as true as the story that they never made an offer to John Smit.

  • Comment 10, posted at 17.12.10 11:48:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Thanks Rob. I thought that may be the case. What a puto madre (is it ok to swear in other languages?)!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 17.12.10 11:51:41 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo DineroCurrie Cup player
     
  • @Pablo Dinero (Comment 11) : no es problema por mi!

  • Comment 12, posted at 17.12.10 12:11:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • i’ll be picking mine up in a few days time.

    Arrive in Dbn on 20 Dec.

    Will need to make sure I see the author somewhere for a signed Copy. ;-)

  • Comment 13, posted at 17.12.10 12:46:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     
  • Will be added to my shopping list.

    Dealt with Michael a couple of times in the past, a gentleman, and an enthusiast, can only be good.

  • Comment 14, posted at 17.12.10 14:12:22 by Morné Reply
    Administrator
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  • Rob surely you can twist Michael’s arm to post a quote or two?

  • Comment 15, posted at 17.12.10 14:13:25 by Morné Reply
    Administrator
    MornéTeam captain
     
  • @Morné (Comment 15) : It doesn’t take much persuading!

    Thanks everyone for the support and indeed Rob for such a positive review. Infinitely better than People Magazine who gave it 3 stars and posted one line from the back of the book.

    I have no problem if someone only deems it worth 3 stars, I do when they haven’t bothered to read the book…

  • Comment 16, posted at 17.12.10 14:37:43 by MichaelMarnewick Reply

    MichaelMarnewickAcademy recruit
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 16) : Maybe Klempie was the People Mag’s book critic. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 17, posted at 17.12.10 14:45:42 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of RugbyTeam captain
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 16) : hmmm as I recall you`re the guy who banned me from the sharksrugby msg boards for being honest? :evil:

  • Comment 18, posted at 17.12.10 14:59:33 by Original Champion Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Original Champion (Comment 18) : Sorry that I had to do it, but some rules aren’t worth breaking and then spoiling the system for everyone else. Even this website, not allied to a company, has rules that can result in banning.
    Don’t mistake freedom of speech with other certain legal terms that disallow certain categories of speech.

  • Comment 19, posted at 17.12.10 15:17:45 by MichaelMarnewick Reply

    MichaelMarnewickAcademy recruit
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 19) : Don`t worry about it, was years ago!

    I accept the rules on this site just ask Rob! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 17.12.10 15:27:30 by Original Champion Reply
    Author
    Original PierreSuper Rugby player
     
  • Eish i thought Morne was bad but going to start to read it just don’t know when i’ll get finished ok lets just go ahead and start :mrgreen: ;-)

  • Comment 21, posted at 17.12.10 15:32:43 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • Well i thought it was so longgggggggg but got to read it and my true words i think i will get one,
    thanks Rob :smile:

  • Comment 22, posted at 17.12.10 15:42:47 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 16) : ok now i’m new here don’t look at the stars please :lol: that is just talking mmm :oops: :oops: but i don’t know all the secrets of Sw and all the big names so please will u tell me who are u with all due respect :mrgreen: thank u

  • Comment 23, posted at 17.12.10 21:27:20 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @chaz: lol are you sw own “dowwe dolla” ? :-)

  • Comment 24, posted at 17.12.10 21:44:07 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • I’m gonna watch sum keineken rugby on supersport 1..fransie steyn is playing ..racing vs saracens..brad barritt vs frans steyn in the midfield..

  • Comment 25, posted at 17.12.10 21:46:41 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • G’nite chaz

  • Comment 26, posted at 17.12.10 21:50:05 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 16) :

    Awesome read Mike, now that free time has made an appearance, I am hoping to finish it off soon!

  • Comment 27, posted at 18.12.10 07:46:48 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard FergusonCoach
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : Thanks Richard, always nice to hear some positive feedback!

  • Comment 28, posted at 18.12.10 08:21:48 by MichaelMarnewick Reply

    MichaelMarnewickAcademy recruit
     
  • @MichaelMarnewick (Comment 16) :

    On the other hand, Simnikiwe Xabinisa (sp) gave it a good review in the Sunday Times. That carries way more weight than what People magazine can ever hope for.

    I will be getting one too.

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.12.10 12:13:11 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 29) : Ja, Simi knows rugby and sport, People magazine … not so much

  • Comment 30, posted at 20.12.10 12:32:26 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 30) :
    They specialise on the state of sportsmens underpants – torn or not torn. And thats about it.

  • Comment 31, posted at 20.12.10 13:58:53 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • oh my gee can’t we hv a genie on sw we will be watch the 1st game in rugby S15 :razz:

    so quite so quite really is the anything else to do than rest :cry: ;-)

  • Comment 32, posted at 20.12.10 19:31:15 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • I still need to flippen start reading my copy of this. :(

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.01.11 18:34:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     

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