"Run For Your Life" by Devon Hind
Coach Devon Hind has amassed more than 200 letters that form the contents of his 2014 book, Run For Your Life: Twenty-One Years of Inspirational Letters from a Coach to His Athletes.
Devon Hind never set out to write a book. Still, quite by accident, that’s exactly what he’s been working toward for the last 20 years.
Ever since taking the helm at Hoover High School in 1993 as the head coach of track and cross country, Hind, has found common ground with his runners through the simple act of sharing meet results – and a few words of motivation.
“I just took our fall meet results and put them on paper so the kids could have them,” said Hind. “These notes were really just cover letters for the results. I didn’t have any intention of making the cover letters a regular practice, but the next week, the kids were asking, ‘Hey, when are we getting our letter?’”
Seeing he’d struck a chord with his runners, Hind kept it up. Now, nearly 21 years later, he’s amassed more than 200 letters, the contents of his 2014 book, Run For Your Life: Twenty-One Years of Inspirational Letters from a Coach to His Athletes.
Published by fellow Hoover resident and former managing editor of The Birmingham News Tom Bailey, Hind’s book has found appeal with a growing word of mouth audience that includes athletes and non-athletes alike.
“As you read these letters, they really cover all spectrums,” said Hind. “It’s not about running or for runners only. It can be for anybody.”
The book even includes a few poems penned by Hind. Not the kind of fodder you’d expect from a guy who majored in biology, but then again, Devon Hind is not your average person.
“I just wrote as the Spirit led me,” he said.
That sincerity has resonated with a growing cadre of readers, many of whom return to Hind to purchase multiple copies after their first read-through.
“The mother of one of my current athletes bought three the other day to give away as gifts, and today, she bought two more,” said Hind. Track coaches from various universities around the state, including UAB, Samford and The University of Alabama, all have purchased the book; it’s even reached beyond state borders to an audience in Atlanta.
The Hoover Public Library will host a reception for Hind later this fall. He also plans to host a few book signings, but such will have to wait while Hind chases his first passion – helping Hoover’s track team be the best it can be.
“I’m in the middle of track season right now, and we’re still trying to win a couple of state championships,” he said.
Indeed, some of the rising seniors who run for Hoover High have already been all over Hind about what their big training event challenge will be (last year, students ran from Tuscaloosa to Hoover).
“Sometimes I get crazy ideas like that Tuscaloosa run and I throw it by my runners and if they are excited, we go for it,” said Hind. “They already want to know what we are doing this year. I keep hearing, ‘It’s our senior year! We have to do something!’ It’s like life, right? Life is ever changing and so is the coaching. You try not to make it too dull.”
To learn more about Hind’s book, visit devonhindpublications.com. To order the book, email email@example.com.