The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Pat Williams

Sr. Vice President, Orlando Magic basketball team, since 1989

Author of numerous books

43 years in professional baseball/basketball as a player and executive

Served as general manager, Philadelphia 76ers

Manager of Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks

Motivational speaker, averages 150 appearances each year

Has appeared in publications like Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest, The Wall Street Journal, etc.

Father of 19 children: 4 birth kids, 14 by international adoption and 1 by remarriage

Featured Book

Read for Your Life (HCI, 2007)


Pat Williams: The Ultimate Mental Workout

The 700 Club“I’m a reader today because I had parents who read. They set the example,” says author and Vice President of the Orlando Magic basketball team, Pat Williams.

“We had books everywhere, and reading was a required part of our day,” remembers Pat. His advice to parents who are trying to get their kids interested in reading is to expose them to a variety of topics (pet care, sports, etc.) then your kids will tell you what they are interested in. Pat says his love for baseball and sports fueled his interest in reading.

“When I was just seven-years-old, I was dynamically influenced by one of the first books I ever read. My dad gave me a copy of Pop Warner’s Book for Boys, and the course of my life was decided. Today as one of the most successful and influential executives in NBA history, Pat credits his love for reading and his professional career in part to that book.


“The average man, upon finishing high school, will not read another book the rest of his life. That's sad because reading is the brain's best exercise. It's apparent that if you want to continue to grow personally and professionally, and if you want your brain to get stronger as you grow, you must read,” says Pat.

Books are one of the few proven sources of mental exercise. By reading everyday you work your mind. An unexercised arm or leg muscle will atrophy, and the same goes for your brain. To counteract this trend, Pat challenges people everywhere to read one hour a day.

“I don't care if it's one 60-minute session, two 30-minute sessions, six 10-minute sessions or sixty 1-minute sessions. If you read one hour a day at an average pace, you will have read one book in a week--that's 52 books in one year. And if you read five books on any one subject, you can be considered a world-leading authority on that subject. So if you read one book a week for one year, you would be a world-leading authority on 10 subjects,” comments Pat.


Finding time to read in a high-tech society can seem very difficult, but Pat says the benefits are worth it. Pat suggests taking a book with you everywhere you go.

“You’ll be surprised at how many extra minutes in the day you can find to read,” says Pat. For example, you can read at the stoplight, in the doctor’s office, in line at the post office, or on an airplane flight. You can also set your alarm clock a half hour earlier or stay up a half hour later. The important thing is that you make time to read everyday.

He shares some practical pointers for your reading journey taught to him by a reading teacher named Margaret Cotton.

  1. Use your finger or a pen to keep your eyes focused on the page – The number one problem with reading is lack of focus. By running your finger/ pen across the page as you read you can keep your eyes focused on the page.
  2. Read fast – Practice reading as fast as you can. Don’t worry about retention at this point. It will come.
  3. Use your full field of vision – Instead of reading across the line one word at a time use your peripheral vision to grab chunks of words at the same time, phrases, short sentences, small paragraphs. Using this method will help keep your brain fully engaged.
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