Capsule review

  • Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:01 a.m.

THE POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results. By Bob Knight with Bob Hammel. New Harvest (Amazon Publishing). 240 pages. $25.

This is an easy-to-read and intriguing book by basketball coach Bob Knight, whose fiery personality is well-known.

He uses the language of basketball terms to convey his argument, and it is easy to see its practical applications.

Knight’s premise is that we tend to overestimate the good and are ill-prepared for the bad. He defines “negative thinking” as being prepared, and argues that it produces positive results.

Platitudes do not win championships or a business contract. One must pay attention to what can go wrong and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

He should know. He compiled one of the greatest college basketball records ever: five National Coach of the Year awards, three NCAA championships, 11 Big Ten championships, an Olympic championship and 902 victories overall, along with achieving a near-perfect graduation rate for his players.

He makes reference to Norman Vincent Peale, the Bible, George Washington, Shakespeare, Napoleon, Hitler and others.

He catches the reader’s attention with provocative headings such as “Keep Pollyanna on the Bench,” “Less Hope More Sweat” and “The Odds are Against You.”

The book offers the 10 commandments for obtaining optimum results, including always question, always worry and be skeptical.

This is a book about looking at the downside of any situation and doing the homework, which is the preparation for winning.

Reviewer Doretha Walker is an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston and assistant professor at South University.

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