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Success Is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life [Paperback]

Rick Pitino
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 2 1998

For Rick Pitino, the first coach to bring teams from three different schools to the Final Four, success isn’t about shortcuts.  Pitino’s secret–and the reason he has become both a great coach and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the nation–is his strategy of overachievement.  Now, in Success Is a Choice, he takes the same proven methods that have earned him and his teams legendary status and gives you a ten-step plan of attack that will help you become a winner at anything you set your mind to:

·Build your self-esteem
·Set demanding goals
·Always be positive
·Establish good habits
·Master the art of communication
·Learn from good role models
·Thrive on pressure
·Be ferociously persistent
·Learn from adversity
·Survive your own success

An inspiring program that is as fun to read as it is practical, Success Is a Choice can make the difference between achievement and failure in your own life.

“So much more than another Armani suit, Pitino has done a job of psychology and salesmanship that should serve as a how-to manual for his profession.” –Chicago Sun-Times

“Pitino’s track record is extraordinary . . . his personal style is also winning.” –Time

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Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Wildly successful hoops coach Rick Pitino takes a time-out from the rigors of the NBA to outline his approach and techniques for motivating individuals. The paperback edition contains an all-new foreword written since Pitino's departure from the Kentucky Wildcats and the 1997 national championship season. His plan for excellence in all aspects of life, including sports and business, is more than goal achievement; this is the guidebook for goal overachievement! Pitino presents 10 crucial steps for success, drawing examples from his 20-plus years in the basketball trenches to inspire readers.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

When I became the coach of Providence College in the spring of 1985, I was inheriting a program that had been languishing near the bottom of the very competitive Big East Conference ever since the conference began in 1979.  I had been an assistant coach with the New York Knicks at the time, and there were people who warned me that the Providence job was a graveyard for coaches.

In one of my first meetings with the team, I listed four categories on the blackboard: basketball, school, work ethic, family.  The four supposedly most important parts of my new players' lives.

"How many of you want to be professional basketball players someday?" I asked.

Virtually every hand in the room went up.

"Well, since you've had a losing season last year and there is no one here in this room who averaged at least ten points a game last year, it's obvious you are not a success in the basketball part of your lives," I said, erasing one quarter of the blackboard.  "And since I've seen your grade point averages, it's also obvious you aren't successful in school either."

The room was silent as I erased another quarter of the blackboard.  Then I turned to the trainer and asked him how many players had been in the gym every day since the season ended.  I wanted to know how many had been working on their games.

"No one, Coach," the trainer said.

"So it's obvious you don't work hard either," I said, erasing another quarter of the blackboard.

Then I started raising my voice.

"Let's see," I said.  "You aren't successful in basketball, you aren't successful in school, and you don't work hard.  What's left?"

I paused for emphasis.

"Well, hopefully, you're a close team," I finally said.  "Hopefully, you care about each other."

"Oh, we do, Coach," said a player named Harold Starks.  "We're a close team."

I pretended to think for a minute.

"Okay, Harold, how many brothers does Steve Wright have?"

Starks slowly shook his head.

"What does Billy Donovan's father do for a living?"

Harold now looked like a deer stuck in the headlights.

"So you really don't know anything about each other, do you?" I asked.

No one spoke.

I made each player stand up and talk about himself and his family.  Then something wonderful happened.  What had been twelve individuals suddenly had become a cohesive unit.  The makings of a team.

Twenty-two months later that collection of individuals--now a team--would be in the Final Four, the greatest stage in all of college basketball.  The message I tried to communicate had started the players on the road to becoming a cohesive, hardworking group of people whose change in attitude about themselves as individuals had made all the difference.

Fiery speeches and locker-room dramatics can be effective and certainly have their place, but you have to remember that their message is essentially short-lived.  True motivation must go way beyond that; it must make people understand the process required to achieve success.  In this case, that message was the bonding of individuals sharing the same dreams and goals.

But the must important thing I learned was that the keys to performing well--on or off the court--were the same for all of us.  Whether it's a college athlete playing at a level he never thought he could, or a salesperson striving to break records, or anyone taking more control of his or her life, the formula is the same.

Hard work and togetherness help us to soar to the next level.

Success means different things to different people.  For some, it's money.  For some, it's power.  For others, it's the respect of their peers, or it's self-satisfaction.  For many, it's the desire to have better relationships with the people in their lives.

Everyone wants to succeed, no question about that.  Even people who are the most cynical and pessimistic.  We all want to be more productive.  We all want to feel as though we are reaching our full potential.  We all want to feel as though we're controlling our destiny, that we're not being controlled by it.

I have often been approached to do a motivational book.  Although I was convinced that I could tell people the correct way to go about achieving goals, I had always refused.  Over the past several years, I have witnessed many rags-to-riches stories and have been around so many athletes who have gone on to accomplish things that even they once thought were impossible.  Yet I have also seen promising people get swept up by victory and fall back into laziness and complacency.  I have seen people face tough times and give up, shielding themselves with excuses you will never hear from people who are true lifelong winners.  It is the knowledge I've gained from watching both these groups that makes me feel that I'm now ready to share what I've learned.  You see, from these experiences and various efforts, it has been proven to me over and over that success is truly a choice for people, and there is a formula for a lifetime of successful behavior.

That can't be stressed enough.

We want to reach our dreams but often lack the proper direction necessary to see those dreams come true.  We seem to be forever floundering without knowing why, our good intentions wasted, all but programmed for failure.

We all want to be recognized for what we do.

We all want to feel we have value.

The problem is that many of us don't know how to get there.

Most of us, of course, don't have a coach following us around in our lives to make sure we're on track.  I hope that this book will be your own personal "coach" or tool for success.

It will show you how to create discipline in your life, establish a work ethic, create a sense of self-esteem in both yourself and others, learn how to fight through the inevitable adversity we all encounter in life, and be able to accomplish things you never dreamed possible.

All these goals are attainable, but each requires action and commitment.

It's up to you.

From the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Winston Churchill's rallying cry for the British people during WW II was simple and succinct: hoping and praying for victory was fine, but deserving it was what really mattered. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It is a Choice Jan. 22 2004
By "s-nap"
Format:Audio CD
Whether you are a basketball fan or not, this is a great book for those who are searching for the leader in themself. Rick Pitino has some very interesting stories of his past that makes this book. It is a well organized outline of how to develop yourself to be a better person. If you are searching, read it... if you are not, look elsewhere.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Now everyone can have Pitino as coach! Nov. 19 2003
At first glance, the book "Success is a Choice" seems to be just another informative guide to success. To a degree, this is true, but reading the book in this way does not reveal its true potential: The real power of the book is not as a passive informative piece of literature, but as an active companion which guides and motivates you through your projects.
Putting it simply: "Success is a Choice" is a coach. It is full of motivation talk as well as constructive criticism that Coach Pitino gave to his players in real situations. It also lists and analyzes quite a few Pitino's own mistakes and fumbles, and this gives you the feeling of candid nonpatronizing approach. In short - this book is the next best thing to having Coach Pitino himself by your side, coaching you to success... and the guy sure is a great coach!
The only bad thing I can say about this book, is that it doesn't look like a coaching book at first glance. As stated in the beginning of this review, the book seems to be just another "success guide", and I suspect this prevents many readers to realize its full potential.
Overall, a highly recommended book for anyone who wants to get gain more control over their lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Order 10 of these for your friends! Sept. 2 2002
It's an understatement to say I loved this book. I've seen Rick Pitino speak live on the subject 'embracing success' and never realized what a small part of him that touches on.
You'll want multiple copies of this book to give to co-workers and friends. It's an easy read, but the kind of book you'll want to read many times to refresh your resolve! It's a must-read for any manager/leader and for high-achievers.
I've already passed it on to several employees and will ensure every fellow manager at my work gets the chance to share in it.
It's the kind of book, and Pitino's the kind of man you will find yourself quoting alot!
Now if only he was a hockey coach....
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4.0 out of 5 stars Achieving goal is not so difficult if you..... March 21 2002
I highly appreciate this book. It is well organized. It explains the ideas step by step with lots of examples, so that you can understand easily. The summary at the end of each chapter also help you to have deep impression on each point. The most touching me and persuade me to believe in the points made by the author is that, there are some third-parties who experienced the methods/concept, shared their feeling with us. They told us how they using the method or concept to achieve their goal. I really believed that if we follow the concept and steps mentioned by the book, it is not so difficult for us to achieve our goal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Need a change in your life? March 1 2002
If you have ever struggled, Pitino will guide you through overcoming adversity and growing from the experience. If you haven't struggled, you probably haven't tasted success, and he will help you seek out challenges relevant to your dreams.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I don't like basketball, but Feb. 25 2002
This is a wonderful book. Fast paced - well written. I'm giving it to my kids. Get with the program. Get off your behind. Todays a new day. Yesterday is behind you. Tomarrow, achieve you dreams.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Straight talk from the coach. Feb. 17 2002
Everything he says in the book makes sense.
The most enjoyable part was the real life examples that make you feel that anything he says is possible.
Like all books you should use the "shopping cart" method knowing you won't agree with everything and that is ok. The stuff you don't like don't put in your "shopping" cart but leave it. The stuff you do like, take it with you and apply it.
Book is well organized and easy to read. I'm glad my boss recommended it to me and I'm the farthest thing from a sports fan and still enjoyed it very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Success For Sales Reps Feb. 9 2001
By A Customer
This book provides a no nonsense simple approach to success. The basic premise is that you need to make a choice every day, that choice is to be successful or not successful. By choosing to be successful, you need to undertake a number of behaviors to make sure that you are successful. If you are not successful, you have made the choice to not do the things needed to succeed. It is so simple, I am buying it for the 12 sales representatives that work for me so that they can better understand choosing success.
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