Book Club: Coach Cal Asks Cats to Go the “Extra Degree”

Coach Calipari, as you probably know, is an avid reader. His preferences range from biographies to motivational titles and pretty much everything in between. He’s currently got a few books going on his nightstand, including “Tell to Win,” by Peter Gruber and good friend Pat Williams’s book on John Wooden, “Coach Wooden: The 7 Principles That Shaped His Life and Will Change Yours.”

He just finished “Surrounded By Geniuses: Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Colleagues and Your Organization,” by Alan Gregerman.

But it is a small 80-page book that Coach Cal has chosen to share with his team this week. Titled, “212°: The Extra Degree: How to Achieve results Beyond Your Wildest Expectations,” the book was written by S.L. Parker and since its first edition in 2005 has been used widely for sales forces, teams and general motivational needs.

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“I always stress the importance and enjoyment of reading to all my teams,” said Coach Cal. “Once in a while I will give them something that I think will be especially helpful at a certain time in the season. With this little book – it’s only 5 inches by 5 inches and less than 80 pages of reading – I really felt the guys could get something out of it.”

Coach Cal's book club's latest assignment

The book starts off by explaining, “At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train.”

From there, it delves into the concept that doing just a little bit extra can be the difference between success and failure; winning and losing.

“We gave the book to the team on Wednesday, our off day, and asked them to answer these four questions,” Coach Cal says.

1. In the section “Thoughts & Facts” that begins on Page 17, which of the famous sayings did you like best and why?

2. In the section, “Actions” that begins on Page 45, which action do you think you could take to help yourself and the team?

3. In the section, “Reflections” that begins on Page 53, which reflection can you add to your daily life and how will it help you and the team?

4. What is the overall message of this book? Why do you think I am having you read it?

The players’ turned in their “book reports” on Thursday and after practice, Coach Cal read each team member’s response.

“I was really blown away,” Coach Cal says. “The guys probably were like, ‘What, now we have book reports to do for you too?’ But you know what? They took it seriously and from their replies you could see that it really got them thinking.”

A few of the common replies to question #1 were:

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – George S. Patton

“Never stop. One always stops as soon as something is about to happen.” – Peter Brock, British theatre and film director.

“Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

-RTL-