They Did You Can – Revised Edition

How to achieve whatever you want in life with the help of your sporting heroes

By: Michael Finnigan


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 182mm x 222mm
Pages : 182
ISBN : 9781781350041
Format: Paperback
Published: January 2012

Mike Finnigan has been working in performance psychology since 1991 and he has also worked in the elite sports arena in golf, cricket, rugby and football. His latest success is with Darren Clarke, who recently won golf’s Open Championship.

Mike believes that, with the help of their sporting heroes, young people can achieve anything they want in the sporting world. By interviewing many sporting celebrities he has discovered just what it was that helped them to make it. Mike says “We can all make up excuses but you have to want to win more than you want the alibi for losing. Once you do that, you give yourself a proper chance of winning.”

Find out the secrets of success of:

Sir Clive Woodward, Martin Johnson CBE, David Moyes, Sir Tom Finney, Philip Neville, Gordon Banks, Gary Kirsten, Karen Barber, Dame Mary Peters, Jeremy Snape, Eric Simons, Beth Tweddle and Jonathan Davies MBE.

Revised edition of ISBN 978-1-84590-064-9 with new and updated material.

Picture for author Michael Finnigan

Michael Finnigan

Michael Finnigan is CEO of i2i. Inspired by W Clement Stone, Michael is committed to changing millions of lives for the better, better than anybody else. Michael will help you to understand how to unleash the power lying dormant and untapped within yourself, your people and your teams.

Follow i2i on Twitter.


  1. I have in fact read the book three times! For me it has been a business and life changer, I had always been what most people would say a success in business winning numerous business awards including British Franchise Association Franchisee of the year 2002 and McDonald's Golden Arch award 2001 presented to their top Franchisees in the world but I always knew I could do more. Your book was a total inspiration and drives me on every day.

    Without reading They Did You Can together with a few real tough years that helped build my character to another level, I would probably not be as focused and driven as I am now helping me take my new business to levels I could only have dreamt about prior to reading the book. If ever times are tough I reach for the book for inspiration. It is not often that you can say that one thing has such a major change on your outlook but certainly meeting Michael Finnigan and reading his book has totally changed my focus.

    Michael, I can't thank you enough for your inspirational book.
  2. In 2011, with Mike's help, I proved all my critics wrong and in this book you will find out exactly how we did it, so then you can too!
  3. Mike and his team have helped me so much since we first met in 1999. He's always brilliant.
  4. The first edition of this book was published back in 2007, and the fact that it has been updated and re-issued is testament to the success and positive reaction it received the first time round. Mike Finnigan has been working in performance psychology since 1998 and has worked in the elite sports arena in golf, rugby, football and cricket. But don't let this put you off: the book is not aimed at elite sports people, as the foreword points out ('this book is as much about sport as Baywatch was about lifeguard techniques'). Instead, it is about what it takes to achieve something in any walk of life. A collection of inspiring stories from such sporting 'gods' as Sir Tom Finney, Martin Johnson and Sir Clive Woodward provide a fascinating insight into their careers and explores the factors that helped make them successful in their chosen fields. The book takes a no-nonsense approach and does not use long and complicated or scientific words, making it appealing and appropriate for both young and older people. It includes techniques and tools which not only make it a good, easy read, but allows the reader to pause and reflect along the way too. Not just suitable for the sporty, these techniques can be applied to every challenge or goal set by the individual or someone else such as a teacher, parent or coach. A truly inspirational book that everyone should be encouraged to read!

  5. There are many books which exhort us to believe in ourselves, try harder, then success will come. There are not many that tell us HOW in a way that makes us really believe it. This book is different because it explains how attitude and belief lead to performance - and gives practical steps to take us to success one step at a time. I have used Mike's ideas in assemblies and small group work with secondary school pupils - and it really does work in creating positive attitudes.
  6. In my work with UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust I know the vital importance for everyone, whether elite performer or young person at school, is to have self-belief in order to achieve their goals. Sport has the power to change lives and can be a great motivator. Using these strategies from leading sports stars can really make a difference -” whoever we are!
  7. A positive and engaging book which enables the reader to be interactive and involved with the ideas and activities presented.
    It is fantastic to get the views of the sports men and women, and the coaches that they have worked with, to get a clear view of what can (and usually does) lead to success.

    These exercises and ideas draw from ancient and current thinking, and include effective coaching strategies from NLP and a number of other areas.
    Most of all they help the reader to raise their awareness of their current strengths, recognises areas for development and give clear and simple tasks to do, which if followed will support the development of the focus required to achieve your goals.

    Attitude comes up time and again with the professionals points of view and supports the research that it is not the talented that necessarily succeed, but those with the drive, attitude and confidence to pursue the dreams and goals, “you don't have to be the best to get where you want to go but you do have to be mentally strong and remind yourself why you have committed yourself to great goals and dreams” Pg 91.

    Attitude is everything -” and My Reminder questions will help students and adults alike to gain clarity and focus on what they want and most importantly why they want it.

    Emotional intelligence is key -” whatever field you choose to go into -” this book will enable those who read it and apply it to achieve in every area of their life -” not just sport.

    I really enjoyed this text.
  8. Being a young sport loving person I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to anyone who like me lives a life of sport and dreams of getting to the top one day. It gives an insight into what the pro's and the legends did to get where they are and what hurdles you will come up against in the journey to the top.

    They Did You Can, is an inspiration for young people who dream about being like their heroes. Anyone who wants to be world champion or to stand alongside their heroes should really read this book to find out what it takes to get there. It's a brilliant way to find out how the stars got to where they are and what attitude you need to be the best. For young people who love their sport whether it be Football, Rugby, Athletics or anything else this book is the perfect word in the ear you need to succeed! If you want to stand on the podium at the Olympics one day or run out in the world cup final for your country then They Did You Can is the perfect read for you and may even help you get there and lift that trophy or wear that winner's medal!
  9. What a good idea! This is an inspiring resource for young people -” and a few oldies too! The real life quotations make it realistic and the exercises are proven cognitive behaviour changers. A must read!
  10. I am a teacher at comprehensive school in Staffordshire. I am in the process of setting up a coaching scheme for year 10 students to raise their self-esteem, aspirations and hopefully improve behaviour and ultimately their results! This book is superb! I have already put into practice some of the strategies even on myself! A wonderful book.

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