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on September 30, 2008
Have you ever watched a person go through life and just said to yourself, "That man surely leads a charmed life." If anyone should fit that description, it would be Rick Pitino.

I had came into REBOUND RULES with a few prejudices of my own--I'm an enormous Kentucky Wildcat fan and I consider him "the best coach, if not, the ONLY coach" we ever had. So yes, you could say, I might have had a slight bit of a bias when picking up my copy of REBOUND RULES.

But what a refreshing surprise! Yes, there is basketball aplenty for all us Wildcat, Cardinal and Celtic fans. And Pitino goes far beyond that, taking the players and coaches, breaking down their good and bad points far beyond anything I'd ever expected.

I was also humbled by the way that Pitino shared the tragedies of his life. At times, I felt like a curtain was being pulled back, allowing me to witness firsthand his families pain. This left me with a greater admiration for Rick Pitino, the coach and the man.

There are so many good points I could make about this book, but I will make myself stop and leave you with only one.
In college, I attended a class for leadership and the textbook was nowhere near the caliber of REBOUND RULES. I think this should be mandantory reading for college freshman to help them develop PHD. And if you don't know what that means, read the book:)
Just a thought to leave you with.
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on December 25, 2008
Several years ago I had the pleasure of watching in person as Rick Pitino coached several games at UK and other schools. I was impressed with the way he was constantly teaching the players as they sat on the bench. I bought Rebound Rules for my grandson and read it first to ensure that it was a book I wanted to give him.

Rick shares many lessons of life that come from experiencing tradegy, disappointment, and success. His forumla for success is simple in one respect as he talks about setting goals, managing your time, and having the discipline to work hard. He also stressed that God and family are just as important as business success.

I personally enjoyed the parts where life is more than making money or winning recognition. We all go through ups and downs, and it is not how many times one gets knocked down but how many times one gets up. The fact that Rick has gotten back up after experiencing several personal tradegies and dissappointments speaks volumes about his character. The only areas that bothered me was some use of profanity and his allusion to the possibility of many ways to heaven. Rick shared his faith which was interesting to read and I believe he is very sincere in his faith. I am sure I will be blasted for the following but it is important for people to understand an important truth:
Acts 4:11 - 12 (ESV) 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

John 14:6 (ESV) 6Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I am a fan of Rick Pitino and his influence is evident on many people. I enjoy watching him and the many assistants he has tutored. I appreciate the wisdom he shares in this book and, if put into practice his suggestions can help any person improve and possibly set new priorities on what is really important in life.

Dan Tankersley, Co-Author of The Rain.
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VINE VOICEon December 8, 2008
Rick Pitino has been a successful basketball coach but has also tasted his share of adversity. Professionally, he was unable to translate his college basketball wins into NBA success. He was an acknowledged flop as the coach of the Boston Celtics. In his personal life, he had a son die in his infancy. He also lost a brother-in-law in the 9/11 attacks.

Rick Pitino believes in second chances and in rebounding from losses. That is the essential message of his newest book, REBOUND RULES. This is a quick read that will provide motivational tips for anyone looking to elevate their games. Pitino describes his detail orientation in running a successful college basketball program at the University of Louisville. At the end of each chapter, he provides a brief checklist of distilled tips on how to cope with adversity and achieve success.

Pitino does not come across as an arrogant individual who feels that he has found the way were the key. The scar tissue he has from various setbacks that he has experienced gives him some perspective in offering advice for those seeking to cope with setbacks.

Many may scoff at yet another book by a sports coach that purports to offer success tips. Fine. REBOUND RULES provides a highly readable book that may give you a dose of motivation to improve your game in business, athletics, and life.
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on January 18, 2009
A wonderful portrait of a man with passion about Life and how to adapt and overcome Life's obstacles. Mr. Pitino's words captivate the readers mind; it makes one literally 'stop' and think of how altering one's thoughts in a difficult time can help one make it through the experience. He says, "accept the detour, learn from the unexpected new path you're on, and arrive at your destination with a greater wisdom and enhanced perspective."
In a competitive world where we all try to get ahead; some to be as successful as can be or for those who are trying to make ends meet in their day to day existence, Mr. Pitino puts it perfectly about his recurring dream that he has: At the end of his life he sees himself presenting his life's resume to his Maker and recognizing that He will not care much about how much your bank account is worth, National Championships won, the number of Final Four appearances or the number of wins a team has but rather how he helped and cared for others in his life.
Mr. Pitino is my honorary PHD, Thank you (read the book).
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VINE VOICEon December 16, 2010
This is a book about how to rebound back from life's struggles. Coach Pitino talks about how he lost his son after the Big East Tournament and how he and his wife dealt with that. He gives very simple easy to understand ideas and thoughts to bounce back. He goes into detail about how his life changed when he lost his brother-in-law/best friend, Billy Minardi in the 9/11 tragedy. Coach Pitino writes about how it totally changed his mindset about how he looks at life and approaches obstacles. There is some basketball in this book but most of it is about life. There are ideas and thoughts about business and how to use this in your own life. Only downfall of the book is that he tries to be motivational and inspirational and I'm not sure that he really achieves that. The stories he uses to highlight his concepts are powerful but not sure that he takes it to the next level for them to be truly motivational. I would recommend this to Rick Pitino fans and for people looking to hear about his life since UK. Not sure about people looking for a business inspirational book.
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on December 15, 2014
Pitino's book Success Is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life had an impact on me in the 1990s, and I still refer back to some of its lessons on communication. I was eager to read this later book by a more mature and, if possible, more humble Pitino. I read an article on Pitino by Forde years ago that talked about how he'd mellowed after the loss of his best friend and brother-in-law Billy Minardi in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The article suggested that winning didn't mean as much to the man, and that every success was something to stop and celebrate, and I was curious whether this was true. I also have the perspective of the Pitino who got caught in adultery and secretly paying for his fling's abortion, something that was against everything the man supposedly stood for. It is hard to read this book which lays out Pitino's firm principles (similar to his first book) and square it with that Pitino.

Each chapter has a theme with some examples from the coach's experience, some anecdotal illustrations from business or similar, and a bullet-point summary at the end. The coach's examples are interesting but the canned illustrations from business, drawn from the Wall Street Journal and other sources, are rather dull. Pitino's comments on those illustrations become somewhat annoying. He may express humility at points in the book ("I'm working, on a daily basis, to put others before me" p. 38), but it's clear he still has the confident in his own expertise in everything from other sports to manufacturing to politics. The worst example comes in a foray into theology toward the end of the book.
"Some of our biggest problems in the world today are rooted in religious fanaticism and intolerance of other views. I don't know that there is such thing as a 'chosen' faith, so much as there is a chosen way to live. I don't believe God would exclude a Catholic, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Hindu simply because they chose the wrong doctrine to follow—not if they've lived a good life" (p. 189).

There are some glimpses into the personal tragedies of Pitino's life that connect the reader to the coach on a deeper level. The first is the death of his infant son, Daniel, in 1987. This came at the height of one of the most joyous seasons, the Providence '87 Final Four team that propelled him to fame and fortune. Pitino reveals much of his and Joanne's grieving process, and how they've worked to make it a positive but it still haunts him. The second is the loss of two of his best friends and brothers-in-law in 2001, just months apart. Minardi is still on their minds as his pictures are in every room of their house. Pitino uses stories from Minardi's life for encouragement and motivation. These events helped humble the coach and help him put family and career into proper perspective.

"Basketball is my passion, but not my life. Helping my players, family members, and friends achieve happiness counts more than the final score of any game. I'm still enjoying what I do immensely and my energy to work remains extremely high—but there is a greater balance at the end of the day" (p. 13).

Kentucky fans will enjoy his stories about players from those teams although there are more in Success is a Choice. He reveals how and why he and Antoine Walker didn't get along initially, the issues his assistant coaches had in the early days, and more. Louisville fans will particularly enjoy the story of his first meeting/confrontation with the group of misfit players he inherited. He talks a lot about his project players, but admits his failures, like with Terrance Williams.

Pitino admits he left Kentucky in '97 "for the money." He has often expressed regret for this decision as his "failure" in Boston took a lot of time for him to get over. He does explain the reasons for his failures there: he got too caught up in making emotional, short-run decisions with the team to win immediately rather than stick to a long-run strategy. His plan was to retire rich and famous at 55 and he now realizes that was foolish.

I appreciated his retrospective here and anyone who has lost a job or experienced any level of failure can appreciate Pitino's wisdom (p. 29):
Darkness of doubt happens.
Get in touch with your fundamentals to combat doubt.

Denial doesn't work.
Use past mistakes as learning tools
Running away doesn't work. Don't isolate yourself.
Avoid rebound marriages, like I considered entering into with UNLV.

Besides dealing with the darkness of doubt, my main takeaway from the book is Pitino's resolve to stay "relentlessly positive." Kentucky's 31-point comeback at LSU was the result of staying positive in the huddles. He rejects cynicism and won't tolerate "bitchfests" in meetings. Pitino keeps a written record of whether he remained positive or not in a given day. He's honest about the difficulty:
"The best I've done for a season is to average 70 percent positive days, so there is work to do" (p. 123). He also writes that he gives a copy of Spencer Johnson's The Precious Present to almost everyone and reads it to his players (and even summarizes it in the book). I will have to check it out.

He writes that he has personal accountability on a daily basis for achieving his career goals, and recommends accountability to others. I suppose that his succumbing to a floozie at a bar in front of his friends means he does not maintain that same accountability for his personal life.

My favorite quote from the book comes from the legendary Bill Russell, who spoke to Pitino's locker room before a game (p. 169). Russell rips into the selfish players and demands better:
“I know you guys think I'm making fun of you and calling you out for your egos. But I'm the most egotistical son of a bitch who ever played. The only thing is, my ego didn't come from any individual statistics. Your ego is about points, rebounds, and assists. My ego came from the final score. My ego is team ego. But then again, what do I know? I've only won 11 world championships, back-to- back college championships, 56 college games in a row, and an Olympic gold medal. And that's why I'm Bill Russell and you're not.”

Pitino emphasizes team ego and says he recruits players and coaches who have a "PHD," who are "passionate, hungry, and driven." This is why he now avoids one-and-done players who live in a "microwave" culture of instant gratification. He wants people who he can make better.

"Your goal is to achieve maximum performance on a daily basis, and to help those around you do the same. Set that goal and then try like hell to attain it" (p. 137).

Pitino says retiring on top is not necessarily important to him, he just doesn't want to coach past the point where he no longer has his own PHD. I would say that day is coming pretty soon.

In all, I give this book 3 stars out of 5. Not great, but good enough.
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on April 19, 2013
I bought this book when it was first published a few years ago but did not read it until just after the national championship game of 2013. As a life-long football coach, I really wish I had read this book when I first bought it. This book is coaching gold - Pitino offers anyone who coaches, teaches or leads a direct, honest and powerful blueprint to building a team and overcoming adversity. This is an honest book about the mistakes he has made in life and how he has learned from them. Pitino offers a glance into his own personal life like few motivational books by coaches do. As you read you can almost feel the words are being spoken in a 1 on 1 meeting between Pitino and yourself. I will read this book again and begin to apply the lessons Pitino offers to my life, my career and my coaching style.
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on November 28, 2009
Rick Pitino looks for PHDs when recruiting players, those who are passionate, hungry and driven. In reading REBOUND RULES, that rang true and was utterly convincing. But, the book lacked a soul, as if Pitino has been so affected by tragedy in his life that he no longer feels. I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know how the book reads. Pitino is the Type A micro-manager who loves reading motivational books and using business booms and busts as examples of success. He has each second of his day scripted, and undoubtedly has incredible self-discipline. Still, the thrill appears to be gone and the goal seems to be avoiding turnovers in life.
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on March 6, 2013
Rick Pitino reveals his burning passion for the game of basketball. If you are looking for inspiration read this book!
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on June 2, 2015
Great book not only about basketball but about life
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