Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out

Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out

by John Calipari, Michael Sokolove
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Overview

Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari, Michael Sokolove

Now with a new chapter on the Wildcats' legendary comeback in the 2014 Final Four

John Calipari, one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history, presents the world of college basketball from the coach's chair, unvarnished and straight from the heart. Players First is Calipari's account of his first six years coaching the University of Kentucky men's team, leading it to a national championship in 2012 and the championship game in 2014, all while dealing with the realities of the "one-and-done" mentality and an NCAA that sometimes seems to put players last. Filled with revelatory stories about what it takes to succeed at the highest level of the college game, Players First is a candid look at the great players and rivalries that have filled Calipari's life with joy and a sense of purpose.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143127086
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 225,400
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Calipari is the current head coach of the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team and a veteran of nearly twenty college seasons at the University of Memphis and the University of Massachusetts. Widely regarded as one of the greatest program builders in all of college basketball, Calipari and his teams have earned eleven conference titles, twelve NCAA Tournament berths, and two Final Fours. Calipari’s eight 30-win seasons are third most for a head coach in NCAA Division I history. 

Michael Sokolove is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the author of four books: Drama High, Warrior Girls, Hustle, and The Ticket Out.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Names on the Backs of the Jerseys 1

Chapter 1 Making Lists, Keeping Score (Lessons from Moon Township, Pennsylvania) 13

Chapter 2 Just Two Words 39

Chapter 3 The Kentucky Effect 61

Chapter 4 Knocking on the Door 69

Chapter 5 Champions at Last 81

Chapter 6 Decision Time 133

Chapter 7 The Trouble With One and Done 141

Chapter 8 Humbled 163

Chapter 9 Recruiting at a Nontraditional Program 195

Chapter 10 I Don't Do This Alone (And I Didn't Get Here By Myself) 219

Chapter 11 At War? Common Sense Versus the NCAA 235

Chapter 12 Fail Fast 255

Acknowledgments 267

Index 271

What People are Saying About This

Sam Cassell

I loved playing for Cal. He tried to put players in a position to play to their strengths, but he held guys responsible for their performance. We all benefited from his approach. As I read Players First, it brought back memories of how he coached us and why we enjoyed playing for him so much. --Sam Cassell, three-time NBA champion and current Washington Wizards assistant coach

Harvey Mackay

John Calipari tells his players: Embrace the work. Embrace the sweat. Embrace the pain. I say: Embrace this book. It's basketball at its finest. --Harvey Mackay, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

John C. Maxwell

Players First captures why so many kids want to play for John Calipari and why so many mothers and fathers ask him to take their boys and mold them into young men. Through stories and examples, Coach Cal brings out his most important teaching tool, which is servant leadership. Teaching these young people to care more about others than themselves is what sets his program apart and what sets this book apart from other coaches' books. It's a must-read. --John C. Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author and speaker

Bob Rotella

I've been working with Coach Cal and his teams for about 20 years now and have loved every minute of it. Two things have drawn me to Coach Cal over the years: one, he chases excellence and greatness, and two, I love the way he cares about his players and treats the people around him. Players First gives a very honest picture of what's important to Coach Cal and why he's so great at taking young athletes, developing them into mature players and helping them reach their potential. -- Bob Rotella, sports psychologist and author of Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

From the Publisher

President William J. Clinton:
"If you are a college basketball fan like I am, you’ll understand why I’ve long admired John Calipari’s leadership style. While no coach treasures a win more than John, this terrific book reveals his greater purpose—to lead his young players to better lives, and then challenge them to give back to others."

Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last:
Players First is filled with so many nuggets of wisdom, I found myself highlighting and taking notes as I read. Writing like a loving but honest parent, Calipari shares stories of how he learned to inspire greatness from his players and how they pushed themselves to achieve more than they thought possible. A truly human account of what it takes to win, Players First proves that winning has nothing to do with the score, it has to do with the people.” 

John C. Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author and speaker:
Players First captures why so many kids want to play for John Calipari and why so many mothers and fathers ask him to take their boys and mold them into young men. Through stories and examples, Coach Cal brings out his most important teaching tool, which is servant leadership. Teaching these young people to care more about others than themselves is what sets his program apart and what sets this book apart from other coaches’ books. It's a must-read.”

Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager®, Leading at a Higher Level, and TrustWorks!:
“I’ve been an admirer and friend of John Calipari for over thirty years—ever since his coaching days at the University of Massachusetts, where I was a professor. I’ve watched Cal and his wife, Ellen, treat his players as family and help bring out their best, not only on the court but also in their future lives as spouses, parents, friends, business leaders, and contributors to their communities. Players First is not just for sports fans—it’s for anyone who is open to learn that viewing your people as your number one customer is the key to long-term success. Wins and profits are the byproducts of putting your players/people first. I love this book—and so will you and the people you care about and count on at home, at work, and in the community where you live. Thanks, Cal.”

Simon Sinek

Players First is filled with so many nuggets of wisdom, I found myself highlighting and taking notes as I read. Writing like a loving but honest parent, Calipari shares stories of how he learned to inspire greatness from his players and how they pushed themselves to achieve more than they thought possible. A truly human account of what it takes to win, Players First proves that winning has nothing to do with the score, it has to do with the people. --Simon Sinek, optimist and author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last

President William J. Clinton

If you are a college basketball fan like I am, you'll understand why I've long admired John Calipari's leadership style. While no coach treasures a win more than John, this terrific book reveals his greater purpose—to lead his young players to better lives, and then challenge them to give back to others. --President William J. Clinton

Ken Blanchard

I've been an admirer and friend of John Calipari for over thirty years—ever since his coaching days at the University of Massachusetts, where I was a professor. I've watched Cal and his wife, Ellen, treat his players as family and help bring out their best, not only on the court but also in their future lives as spouses, parents, friends, business leaders, and contributors to their communities. Players First is not just for sports fans—it's for anyone who is open to learn that viewing your people as your number one customer is the key to long-term success. Wins and profits are the byproducts of putting your players/people first. I love this book—and so will you and the people you care about and count on at home, at work, and in the community where you live. Thanks, Cal. --Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager®, Leading at a Higher Level, and TrustWorks!

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Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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Excellent book..... Great thoughts and lessons about coaching and even growing as a player.... must read for anyone who wants to coach sports at any level