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Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, a classic bestseller, has inspired an optimistic perspective for millions of Americans. Now, in an inspirational and entertaining rebuttal, the legendary basketball coach Bob Knight explains why “negative thinking” will actually produce more positive results, in sports and in daily life. Coach Knight, the second-winningest coach in NCAA history with 902 victories, explains that victory is often attained by the team that makes the fewest mistakes. His coaching philosophy was to instill discipline by “preparing to win” rather than hoping to win. That meant understanding the downside and drilling his teams to prevent the things that could go wrong. And when his teams did win, he made sure they didn’t dwell on their success, but rather looked immediately to the challenges of the next game. He applies this lesson to business strategy as well.
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Bob Knight compiled one of the greatest records ever in college basketball: 5 National Coach of the Year awards, 3 NCAA championships, 11 Big Ten championships, an Olympics championship, and 902 victories overall, along with achieving a near-perfect graduation rate for his players. Knight is also a featured commentator for ESPN’s college basketball coverage, on camera at least once a week. His first book, Knight: My Story, spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Bob Hammel is the coauthor of both books.From Booklist:
Knight’s success as a college basketball coach is unquestioned. He was college basketball’s Coach of the Year five times and won three NCAA championships. He’s currently a basketball analyst for ESPN. Knight’s success was built on preparation. Recognizing that offensive success could be fleeting, he always emphasized defense, which he describes as making the appropriate response to the negativity one can encounter on offense. So negative thinking about offense leads one to focus, as coaches and players, on defense. See? It’s a conceit that lends itself more to a catchy title than an application in sports, life, or business. What we’re really left with here is solid, commonsensical advice on preparation—how to move quickly from one success to the next challenge rather than basking in the afterglow, as well as how to use losses (failures) as inspiration while moving through life. Knight sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout to illustrate his points and concludes each chapter with a couple aphorisms he calls “Knight’s Nuggets.” (For example: “One more beer can’t hurt . . . unless you’re driving.”) This is an easily digestible self-help book by a very successful man. The advice is generally useful, except for the Nuggets. Hold the Nuggets, next time, Mr. Knight. There’s a negative you can build on. --Wes Lukowsky
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