Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out Info

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Title: Players First( Coaching from the Inside Out) Binding:
Hardcover Author: JohnCalipari Publisher: PenguinPress

Average Ratings and Reviews
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657 Ratings

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Reviews for Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out:

5

Feb 14, 2019

Knowing but not knowing, until I started this read, that John Calipari hails from Moon Township, leading to Clarion University and then moving to Pittsburgh and hearing the descriptions of the Pennsylvania area was rewarding, nostalgic. It is exciting to discover magic in reading that is geographical and you can attach to. Through the course his book, the controversies, struggles and accomplishments, it is rewarding to see, feel, and hear the details that make a program great. It doesn't matter Knowing but not knowing, until I started this read, that John Calipari hails from Moon Township, leading to Clarion University and then moving to Pittsburgh and hearing the descriptions of the Pennsylvania area was rewarding, nostalgic. It is exciting to discover magic in reading that is geographical and you can attach to. Through the course his book, the controversies, struggles and accomplishments, it is rewarding to see, feel, and hear the details that make a program great. It doesn't matter the information you might or might not know about college basketball, the positons, and the routines involved. If you are or ever have been surrounded by students and by chance athletes, you get it. The grit and grind that Coach Calipari refers to separates one from having dreams to fulfilling them. Much about life, even with the disagreements openly made with the NCAAS program, this is truly a case of being the best you can be by giving. A great and inspirational treasure of advice. ...more
3

Oct 01, 2017

3.5. Interesting perspective on coaching from the UK basketball coach. A quick and good read. I think basketball players could really benefit from reading this coach's perspective. Not for everyone, but I'd recommend this for athletes.
3

Mar 07, 2018

This book was okay. I was hoping for a more developed player development philosophy. Don't get me wrong, Calipari seems to know what he's doing - I was hoping that he would articulate his philosophy less through examples, though they were at times helpful. The book read more like an autobiography from a few years of his life. I enjoyed hearing his comments on Boogie and WCS as students.
3

Oct 09, 2017

I picked up this book because I love basketball. Before reading this book, I knew I didn't like to read, so I chose this book because I knew it was something that would keep me interested. I had also chosen to read "Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out" because it was recommended by a friend and it was written by one of the most successful collage basketball coaches from this time.

This book starts off with Coach Calipari explaining the University of Kentucky's winning culture and what its I picked up this book because I love basketball. Before reading this book, I knew I didn't like to read, so I chose this book because I knew it was something that would keep me interested. I had also chosen to read "Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out" because it was recommended by a friend and it was written by one of the most successful collage basketball coaches from this time.

This book starts off with Coach Calipari explaining the University of Kentucky's winning culture and what its like to coach such a high ranked program. Coach Cal tells us about all the championships won at Kentucky, especially the one that was won in 2012 under Calipari. The story goes on to John Calipari's younger years, coaching at Memphis University for several years and even before that he coached at Umass Amherst. Coach Calipari talks about the success his players have after playing for him. Most of his players get drafted from year to year. After John Calapari talks about the job, he moves on and begins to talk about his early life, how he was raised, family, and what he believes in as a person. He explains that his parents and what they taught over the years, influenced him into the person he is today. He uses many life lessons to not only get his players drafted, but to turn them into responsible, good quality men.

John Calipari did a overall job writing this book. For a guy who has been basketball coach all his life, I thought the book was written very well. This book flowed very well and did not ever slow down. I felt I was pretty intruded throughout the whole book. This book was enjoyable for me, there was no point during the book that I was not interested in what I was reading.

Every good thing in this world has its flaws. I think that if you do not like basketball or do not have a lot of prior knowledge on Coach Cal, Kentucky basketball, or players that have played for him over the years, the book might be a little hard to follow or hard to get into. One thing I was not a fan of from this book was how certain subjects were very repetitive. I found that many of the same subjects in this book were talked about over and over again or multiple times throughout the book. ...more
5

Mar 02, 2017

Great book for coaches and future coaches. The concepts and ideas talked about inside this book doesn't just apply to basketball coaches, but can also apply to coaches who coach other sports as well. Coach Calipari gives the reader an inside look on his coaching philosophy, and gives examples of real life situations of these concepts that he believes in.
4

Jun 02, 2014

I came away with a different view of Coach Calipari. I never cared for the guy until I read this book. One thing is for sure, the guy cares about his players. His mantra, Players First, is what he's built his entire program around.

He can recruit.

His understanding of the uber-star teen baller is unreal.

I found myself comparing this book to a recent ESPN article on Dean Smit Coach Smith had a hierarchy of:
School
Program
Team
Player

Although on the surface Coach Cal's mantra of Players First may have I came away with a different view of Coach Calipari. I never cared for the guy until I read this book. One thing is for sure, the guy cares about his players. His mantra, Players First, is what he's built his entire program around.

He can recruit.

His understanding of the uber-star teen baller is unreal.

I found myself comparing this book to a recent ESPN article on Dean Smit Coach Smith had a hierarchy of:
School
Program
Team
Player

Although on the surface Coach Cal's mantra of Players First may have a very different feel than Coach Smith's philosophy; as I read the book I was stunned by how Coach Cal puts the school then the program then the team then the player into the same order.

This struck me:
"Apart from their basketball ability-and the academic qualifications required to be admitted to Kentucky and be NCAA eligible-the quality I'm looking for in a kid is respect. When his coach talks to him, is he listening and looking him in the eye, or is he staring into space and looking like he can't wait for the guy to shut up? Is he sitting straight up, or is he slouched? Does he notice his teammates, or is he on his own island?"

This was a good read, and filled with tons of wisdom. Things I will harvest:
-You gotta love the grind
-Body language is everything ...more
4

Dec 25, 2016

So this is a weird 4-star, because this book took me over a year to complete. But it's not that it was bad; it's just the type of reading I had to be in the right mindset to truly get the most out of it.

Calipari provided great insights into his world of coaching basketball in the most elite of atmospheres available at the college level. I enjoyed very much diving into his coaching philosophy and found his suggestions for tweaking the NCAA very interesting.

The one critique I have is it is very So this is a weird 4-star, because this book took me over a year to complete. But it's not that it was bad; it's just the type of reading I had to be in the right mindset to truly get the most out of it.

Calipari provided great insights into his world of coaching basketball in the most elite of atmospheres available at the college level. I enjoyed very much diving into his coaching philosophy and found his suggestions for tweaking the NCAA very interesting.

The one critique I have is it is very very heavy on discussing certain players. While this makes sense as his whole philosophy is "Players First" after all, it could make reading certain portions very dry for someone who doesn't follow Kentucky Basketball super closely.

I would recommend this to any one who is already or aspires to coach at any program in any sport at any level as there are many nuggets of inspiration to draw from to enhance one's own coaching philosophy. ...more
4

Mar 09, 2014

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.


I truly enjoyed reading this book. As a parent of a student athlete it was insightful and inspiring to see the lengths at which a great coach will go to. I have now passed this book on to my son and even though he has just started reading it, he is already enjoying it as well.
5

Jul 07, 2016

This book was hard to put down for me. For one, Ive never read anything by this coach who is arguably one of the top two college coaches in the world. John Calipari is at the University of Kentucky and is usually either loved or hated. He is a polarizing figure because traditionalists see his unorthodox coaching and recruiting style and disagree with it [especially in regards to his routine ability to bring in half a dozen players each year who are McDonalds All-Americans, play a year, and then This book was hard to put down for me. For one, I’ve never read anything by this coach who is arguably one of the top two college coaches in the world. John Calipari is at the University of Kentucky and is usually either loved or hated. He is a polarizing figure because traditionalists see his unorthodox coaching and recruiting style and disagree with it [especially in regards to his routine ability to bring in half a dozen players each year who are McDonald’s All-Americans, play a year, and then he repeats the process]. That being said, where is the blame or accountability from the NCAA who set the rules in place as they are? Currently, the NCAA and universities are making billions—yes, I said it—every single year. Granted, the players are getting full-ride scholarships to these universities, but couldn’t it be argued that some of these players are not getting their due, in comparison? That’s up for debate, which I would LOVE to discuss with people. But let me explain what he chose to include in the book [mostly one can tell by the titles of the chapters, and I am going to include some important quotes and notes that I want to return to in the future]:

Introduction:
At Christmastime we walk into families’ apartments and homes with winter coats and presents. On days off we’ll visit sick kids in hospitals. Last year I found out that Nerlens Noel, our best player, was making hospital visits on his own. He wasn’t telling anybody about it but just showing up and trying to make someone’s day better. (8)

Playing for me is going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. If you’re not up for that, go somewhere else. Please go somewhere else. (12)

Ch. 1: Making Lists, Keeping Score (Lessons From Moon Township, Pennsylvania)
My mother was the first to tell me, if it matters to you, put it in writing. Other people said, if you really want to go after something and you’re serious about it, write it down and give yourself a deadline. (13)

[Bill Parcells told Calipari:]
‘I’ll tell you when it’s time to step away, Cal,’ he said. ‘I don’t care what you’re coaching, or where you’re coaching. If winning becomes just a relief, it’s time to step off the gas.’ (17)

‘You’ve got to love the grind.’
And keep track of it all, because it keeps you honest. You’ve got to chart a workout and chart your shots. If there’s not something measurable, it’s not real. You say to yourself, I’m taking five hundred shots before I leave this gym, and I’m doing it every day. Count them up and write down how many you made. (19)
And if you miss a day, write that down too, so you can look back on that and feel bad about it. You didn’t hit a big foul shot at the end of the game? You clanked a jumper off the back rim that would’ve tied the game? Look in your workout book. Maybe that’s because of the days you slacked off. (20)

[Coach Cal encourages coaches to have their players over to their house at LEAST once.]

…remind myself of what my job really is—its meaning and higher purpose. This is what I wrote:
NURTURER: That’s what I am. Be patient and create a successful environment.
PROTECTOR: Help guard them against themselves and others.
CHALLENGER: Help them push through comfort levels. Make them uncomfortable.
TEACHER: Help them create within themselves a love of learning and growth.
PROMOTER: Put them on a stage. If we lose, it’s on me. If we win, they get all the glory. Players First.
LASTLY, A FATHER: Give them unconditional love at all times. (29)

Ch. 2: Just Two Words
Players First:
‘…use me. Use me for everything I know, every ounce of knowledge that I have about this game or anything else.’ (40)

…there is another phrase they hear from me: ‘servant leadership.’ The phrase was coined by a man named Robert Greenleaf, an executive for AT&T who in 1970 wrote an essay titled ‘The Servant as Leader’—then spent the last two decades of his life lecturing around the world on his management philosophy and at the Center for Servant Leadership, which he founded in his native state of Indiana. (It was originally called the Center for Applied Ethics.)
The underpinning of his philosophy could not be simpler: Institutions serve people, not the other way around. So as a servant-leader, I measure my success by the success of those whom I’m serving. And I model my own behavior in order to create servant-leaders among my players.
Greenleaf wrote: ‘The servant leader is a servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions.
‘The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?’ (41)
[Case Study: Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were drafted #1 & 2 in the NBA draft. That year in college, they took the fourth and fifth most shots on their team that year.] (42)

The guys have to love to play together, and they have to live being together. [and need to tell each other exactly that!] (43)

[guys have to ‘surrender’ to our coaching. Until they do, it will never go well.] (43)

My dribble drive…is like the Princeton offense on steroids. (50)
My players have to get through fifteen conditioning drills and meet certain benchmarks before we start practice in the middle of October.
[ME: I wonder what those are!?!?!] (56)

Ch. 3: The Kentucky Effect
There’s only one thing in my program that does not get publicized. If I suspend a player, if there’s something he did that sets him out, it is never described as a suspension. To me it’s no one else’s business but ours. (64)

[On a placard on Coach Cal’s desk it says:]
‘I commit to my team…
I will come every day ready to hold every player accountable for their play.
I will care about every player’s growth.
I will NOT give up on this team or individual player.
I will pray for each of you in morning Mass. (64-5)

Ch. 4: Knocking on the Door

Ch. 5: Champions at Last
[ME: Look up sports psychologist Bob Rotella] (92)

On defense our priorities are the converse of what they are when we have the ball. Guard the basket. Guard the three-point line. Force turnovers. Rebound every missed shot. (99)

Thinking about how you would try to beat your own team goes with the job of being a coach. (103)

The best players I’ve coached have a demeanor about them that never moves. They have a calmness. You can’t read it on their faces. [i.e. D Rose & Anthony Davis] They’ll get emotional, they’ll play with fire, but their demeanor will never be one of rage or anger. Physiology-wise, rage and anger are related to fear. Hook a guy up to wires and look at his brain, and that’s what you’ll find. (114)

I write on an index card that I have with me during the games that has on it what we’re going to do on offense, how we’re going to guard certain things. It’s basic. Here’s what we do if they go zone. Here’s how we break their press. Here are our baseline out-of-bounds plays. I have it with me to refer to, because in the heat of the moment sometimes you want it. (121)

[During down time before the game starts, he prays.]

Ch. 6: Decision Time

Ch. 7: The Trouble with One and Done
Let’s start with something simple: Pay their disability insurance.
To qualify for the insurance, the player’s name is put before a committee that tells him whether he can be insured or not. He must be a first-round prospect in order to qualify for anywhere from $500,000 to $20 million of insurance.
Here’s the kicker: If a player is eligible for the insurance, he must take a loan and pay it back after he enters the NBA—or even if he never makes it. It’s not cheap, by the way. Per $1 million of coverage, the premium is approximately $5,000. So do the math. Five million dollars’ worth of insurance that guards against a career-threatening injury—a fraction of what a player would make over a career—costs $25,000. For every year he stays in college.
[The NBA could even take a year off his rookie contract.] (150-51)

[Cal’s goal is to make it mandatory for players to go to college for at least two years.]

Ch. 8: Humbled

Ch. 9: Recruiting at a Nontraditional Program

Ch. 10: I Don’t Do This Alone
[Bob Rotella’s book is called Golf is Not a Game of Perfect] (229)

Ch. 11: At War? Common Sense Versus the NCAA
[One suggestion: When a university or player is under investigation, the names of the player AND university are not disclosed. This can help the committee to stay more objective.] (247)

[13 Things to improve the lives of athletes:
1. The NCAA should drop this oversight of feeding their players entirely. Trust them, they want to feed their players to get the most out of them.
2. Each player should get 1 round-trip plane ticket each year.
3. A stipend should be given: between $3,000=$5,000.
4. Immediate families should get hotels and flights as their children during March Madness and universities should pay for it.
5. If eligible for disability insurance, the NCAA or the school should pay for it. Forgive the loan if they graduate.
6. Compliance and enforcement should be moved to conference offices or separate ones.
7. Players and families should have access to legal representation to protect them from unscrupulous people.
8. If a coach is fired or leaves, players should be given the freedom to transfer.
9. Allow coaches to give Christmas gifts under $50. (Where else can you not show love to family members?)
10. Restore the eligibility center to an independent body.
11. Allow players to buy a personal suit since most can’t just buy them off of racks. $500.
12. Let families purchase championship rings. Now they cost $300. Shouldn’t they be mementos?
13. All investigations should remain anonymous.] (251-53)

Ch. 12: Fail Fast
[He sends them texts like these:
• This summer you begin to push your body beyond where it’s ever been. You must love the thought of pushing through your comfort level.
• How much do you love the game? How much do you love the process of improving and learning? Be emotionally attached!
• Start your day with an unusual passion. Most people tend to perform at a higher level when they operate from a position of passion!
• My mind-set is how can our staff help each of you become the best version of yourself. I must get you to totally enjoy the process and trust where I’m taking you.
• Question is will you be a good steward? Will you use your wealth and fame for others or just for you? We will teach you.
• Keep doing it together. As the tide rises all boats rise. As we become a great team all will benefit.
• Do you want to read about history or make history? We must grow individually AND become one heartbeat.
• Your program has a 100 percent success rate! You will be drafted (probably lottery) OR you will get a meaningful degree OR do both. (264-65)

[I want coaches and observers to say:]
Boy do they play hard. They are unselfish. They play for one another and they have fun playing. (266)

Ch. 13: The Long Road to the Final Four—and the Road Ahead
...more
4

Jul 06, 2019

Extremely insightful look into the world of college basketball, coaching, and teamwork. The lessons you can learn from this book apply beyond the context of a court. Calipari talks a lot about the love he has for his players and the game in general which is very endearing to read about. At the same time, hes not afraid to call it like it is and keeps it real (as a coach should) the rawness of this book is refreshing. The only gripe I have with Players First is that its not particularly well Extremely insightful look into the world of college basketball, coaching, and teamwork. The lessons you can learn from this book apply beyond the context of a court. Calipari talks a lot about the love he has for his players and the game in general which is very endearing to read about. At the same time, he’s not afraid to call it like it is and keeps it real (as a coach should)— the rawness of this book is refreshing. The only gripe I have with “Player’s First” is that it’s not particularly well written, but given the type of information Calipari is trying to convey, it didn’t really end up mattering too much. ...more
5

Feb 10, 2019

Enjoyable and educational

I know nothing about college basketball. I enjoy sports and enjoy hearing from people who love people and love to serve. Thats what you read about in Players First.

There are more than two sides to every story and Im sure that others have different opinions about Coach Cal, UK and college basketball in general. None of those will detract from the knowledge, enthusiasm and insight that I received from this book. Enjoyable and educational

I know nothing about college basketball. I enjoy sports and enjoy hearing from people who love people and love to serve. That’s what you read about in Player’s First.

There are more than two sides to every story and I’m sure that others have different opinions about Coach Cal, UK and college basketball in general. None of those will detract from the knowledge, enthusiasm and insight that I received from this book. ...more
4

Sep 22, 2017

While it could have benefitted from Calipari revealing more about his upbringing and his journey into coaching, the inside looks he provides at some of his most high-profile teams and players make Players First well worth the read. Calipari is one of the best characters in all of sports, and his writing style is just like his coaching style: brash, unapologetic, and ultimately impossible to dislike.
3

Jun 13, 2017

The book balanced leadership philosophy and basketball. I wanted more leadership philosophy because John Calipari's "Players First" systems resonates with me.

His style of leadership fits well with the Army - how to get people to realize their individuals goals through making the team succeed.
2

Oct 18, 2017

I thought this was going to be a broader coaching book, however, it was full of basketball and Kentucky specific things that I just couldn't relate to. I took some nuggets from it so it wasn't a total waste but definitely wouldn't recommend to other coaches, probably not even basketball ones.
3

Jul 21, 2019

The first half of the book is great. The second half is about the NCAA being mean and the whole One and Done isn't good for college basketball.
4

Jan 15, 2019

Okay read. Wanted more detail about player development, its obvious he knows what he is doing with all that talent. Good basketball book though Okay read. Wanted more detail about player development, it’s obvious he knows what he is doing with all that talent. Good basketball book though ...more
2

Jul 13, 2018

I kept waiting for this book to be about something greater than Calipari and Kentucky ball but it never took that turn. As a coach looking to learn, I was disappointed.
4

Feb 24, 2020

New insights for me into basketball and coaching. Love those wildcats
5

Mar 08, 2016

Well, before I even get into the review of this memoir I have to say that I am a huge University of Kentucky Basketball fan so I am immediately biased. I remember when I first really got into watching College Basketball, being at a UK football game against University of Alabama and out walked Coach John Calipari and the 2009-2010 squad, which included John Wall, Demarcus Cousin, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller. I am one of those crazy fans that yell at the tv, jump up and down, pace the room and Well, before I even get into the review of this memoir I have to say that I am a huge University of Kentucky Basketball fan so I am immediately biased. I remember when I first really got into watching College Basketball, being at a UK football game against University of Alabama and out walked Coach John Calipari and the 2009-2010 squad, which included John Wall, Demarcus Cousin, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller. I am one of those crazy fans that yell at the tv, jump up and down, pace the room and I have even shed tears. I always, always, always look at the bench and watch Coach Cal and judged if my crazy matches his attitude. If I’m mad and he is mad then I know I’m in the right. I have even been known to say “Just let me coach one day!” screaming at the top of my lungs. I am that fan and I make no apologies. Coach Cal is a great coach and I wanted to take this opportunity to really dig into his thoughts as a coach at the University of Kentucky. I was not disappointed.

Self-reflection takes a lot of courage. To look at yourself and recognize your flaws and be able to admit to them says a lot about your character. I feel like this memoir is an exercise in self-reflection. Calipari reveals a lot about himself in this book. I was surprised by how much he was willing to share, about his coaching style, how he recruits, his relationships with the players. It is all so candid that at moments my mouth drop. This is a man who talks about how his players come back to the house and take naps because they are exhausted. He talked about his faith and trips to Dunkin Donuts and being around the fans. Every aspect of his life as it relates to basketball and coaching was explored. He talked about his family but that wasn’t the focus of this book. The focus was his players, their careers and the game.

One thing I must commend Calipari on is his fearlessness. Kentucky is known for the “one and done” and I am sure some people thought Cal might try to skirt around that issue. If you have ever heard Calipari talk to anyone about the “one and done” you would know that he would take that issue on head first. And he does. He talks about all the different aspects of it and why it’s a problem. But it’s the current situation. He is embracing for his players and helping them make the best decision. I’m heartbroken every time players leave the school but I love watching them play in the NBA. I get it. I understand. He also though decided to take on the NCAA as a whole and the problems associated with college athletics. He has MANY genuine concerns that need to be addressed and I am glad that he addressed them.

Coach Cal accomplished a lot of things with this memoir, most importantly he shared with his fans a very intimate look into his life. I appreciate that. The writing in this memoir is very simple, relatable and enjoyable. IF you are a College Basketball fan and you don’t hate John Calipari or the University of Kentucky then you will enjoy it for what it is: a look at a very successful school and coach. I get it 5 out of 5 stars. Well worth the read. ...more
5

Feb 25, 2017

I loved this book! If you are a basketball fan and also manage people in any capacity, there are a lot of good nuggets of wisdom. This book is also full of great stories of Kentucky basketball that are fun to remember. Calipari is a brilliant coach and this book shows us that he not only leads his players, but he invests in them as human beings.
5

May 05, 2016

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In the book, Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out, by John Calipari the reader hears, in detail, what his life is like, his values, and his coaching style through his years of basketball. From his recruiting strategies, to Xs and Os, Calipari gives the readers an idea of what it is like to play for him. He uses lessons from his high school and college basketball days, along with lessons from his time at Massachusetts, Memphis, and with the New Jersey Nets. As well as his lessons, Calipari In the book, Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out, by John Calipari the reader hears, in detail, what his life is like, his values, and his coaching style through his years of basketball. From his recruiting strategies, to X’s and O’s, Calipari gives the readers an idea of what it is like to play for him. He uses lessons from his high school and college basketball days, along with lessons from his time at Massachusetts, Memphis, and with the New Jersey Nets. As well as his lessons, Calipari explains his values and strategies as the current head coach at the University of Kentucky. These stories and experiences Calipari shares and talks about draw the reader in and appeal to their emotions or in other words he uses a pathos appeal. This helps keep the reader involved and engaged as well has helping them understand what they are reading. Even those people who are not basketball fans I feel will enjoy this book. It is very engaging because the reader gets a behind the scenes look at what goes into arguably the most successful coach and program in college basketball today. It is very interesting for any college sports fan because you learn how Calipari takes an 18 year old kid, and after one year, teaches him about being a better man and basketball player. Most of Calipari's players stay with him one year and will enter the NBA draft. This means he has one year to teach a 19 or 20 year old kid as much as he can both on and off the court before they are making millions. I would highly recommend this book to not only all basketball fans, but all sports fans. Calipari reveals information that will catch any sports fan's interest. I find this book interesting because I personally am a UK fan and I love to watch Calipari and after reading this I feel more connected with him and the team . All of the different players he's coached, scenarios he's been in, from his adversities to his successes, he does not disappoint to fascinate the reader. ...more
2

Dec 26, 2019

I read these books to learn about leadership, team building, talent management...
This book does not offer much in that regard. The general philosophy is good to know and well phrased, but it takes about a chapter to learn about it. The rest of the book... I am into basketball, so there are interesting stories for me. But then, these are all the same stories you can read about almost everywhere.
Briefly, I learned more from Phil Jackson's books than from this one.
3

Feb 13, 2017

I am clearly not enough of a fan of basketball for this.

Okay, so. Why did i read this?! I only understood about a quarter of the content, but the stuff about coaching and relationship was valuable.
4

Apr 21, 2014

Okay. I have to admit that I initially wasn't interested in this book since despite my love for Coach Cal I was afraid that it was another one of those "coach finds an excuse to write a book about leadership for businessmen to whom he will get paid lots of money to go talk to" books that fill so many bookstore shelves. Then, I decided to buy it as a sort of thank you for the enjoyable ride Coach Cal took all of us Kentucky fans on this past postseason. I'm glad I did. This is more than the Okay. I have to admit that I initially wasn't interested in this book since despite my love for Coach Cal I was afraid that it was another one of those "coach finds an excuse to write a book about leadership for businessmen to whom he will get paid lots of money to go talk to" books that fill so many bookstore shelves. Then, I decided to buy it as a sort of thank you for the enjoyable ride Coach Cal took all of us Kentucky fans on this past postseason. I'm glad I did. This is more than the typical coach speak. It's a solid read for basketball fans as well as anyone who wants to examine how great leaders work. Coach Cal really takes you into the philosophy that he has developed which has been so successful at placing Kentucky back at the pinnacle of college basketball. It's a nice read to remind Kentucky fans of all the fun the last five years have included. I also enjoyed it because occassionally I try to look to important leaders and examine how they guide themselves and those around them both professionally and personally. This is a great book for that! ...more
4

Jul 29, 2015

Players First by John Calipari is about his life(John Calipari) of being a division I head basketball coach. In this book he tells the reader all about his big jump from playing at a small time college to coaching a division I mens basketball team. This book is about how to be a players first kind of coach-- caring for each and every player the same amount as the next, checking in on them and their families every now and then etc. He talks about how being a Kentucky player requires you to tread Players First by John Calipari is about his life(John Calipari) of being a division I head basketball coach. In this book he tells the reader all about his big jump from playing at a small time college to coaching a division I men’s basketball team. This book is about how to be a “players first” kind of coach-- caring for each and every player the same amount as the next, checking in on them and their families every now and then etc. He talks about how being a Kentucky player requires you to tread lightly on what you post on social media and how to act in public. Most of the players are want to play basketball professionally, and sometimes get caught up with “boosters” (a person who gives a player money to buy whatever it is he needs) and how the NCAA penalizes players that receive “boosts” while in college. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the sport of basketball because the reader can learn about what it takes to be a collegiate athlete and the hard decisions you have to make as a coach.
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