His time at Kentucky has been filled with overwhelming success, and now head coach John Calipari has written a book to explain how he’s able to transform high school superstars into a cohesive, team-first unit.
“Success is the Only Option: The Art of Coaching Extreme Talent,” Calipari’s latest book, will be released in bookstores everywhere on Nov. 15 and is available for preorder now. For the first time, Coach Cal goes in depth in explaining his team-building methods in ways that apply to CEOs, business owners, coaches, teachers and leaders of all kinds.
“I’m asked all the time, ‘How in the world are you pulling this off? How in the world do you get such talented kids – not just one or two, but an entire team of elite talent – to come together and play for one another?’ Well, this is that story,” Calipari said. “I wanted to tell our story of how we get the most out of elite talent, how we create a culture of brotherhood and form a team with such talented individuals. It’s not an exact science and there are all kinds of ways of doing this, but this is our story. My hope is it might resonate with other leaders in similar positions.”
Calipari, a New York Times bestselling author, expands on his 2014 bestseller, “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out,” by teaching lessons that apply to any leader who is seeking to inspire talented individuals to strive to be the best version of themselves. Just as he did in “Players First,” Calipari again worked with author Michael Sokolove in writing “Success is the Only Option.”
“Mike did such a great job of working with me on “Players First” that it was a no-brainer to use him again,” Calipari said. “What I wanted was someone who would capture my voice, and Mike does a wonderful job of doing that. He’s a New York Times Bestseller who knows our program and knows my vision.”
That vision includes changing lives, achieving goals and sacrificing for others for the betterment of the team. With that vision at the forefront, Coach Cal has led 41 players to the NBA, including a record four No. 1 overall draft picks. He won a national championship in 2012 and has advanced to six Final Fours, including four in a five-year span from 2011-15. He’s won more games in his first seven years at Kentucky than any other coach in the storied program’s history and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
With all that success, Calipari routinely defers the credit to his players and assistant coaches. As the first coach to truly embrace the “one and done” style in today’s world of college basketball, Calipari coaches and leads each new team he has based on its personality and characteristics. With that in mind, he’s able to unfurl the true genius that each of his players have.
“Success is the Only Option,” Calipari’s fifth book, is an enlightening look at leadership, management, and team building, and offers the keys to winning both on and off the court.
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