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John Pfitsch (1919-2012,) coach at Grinnell College for 50 years, and Barbara Waite, former chair of the Sport Psychology Program at The University of Iowa, square off to scrutinize theories and philosophies behind 100% performance, Coach Pfitsch’s term for the best his student-athletes had to offer. Using Coach Pfitsch’s typewritten manuscript from the 1980s, hours of recorded interviews, and a little imagination, a conversation between Barbara Waite and Coach Pfitsch’s ghost reveals more than just how to win athletic contests. Coach Pfitsch’s ideas, developed throughout his coaching career at University of Kansas, Midland College and Grinnell College, come alive through his extraordinary stories and lively conversation in From Underdog to Winner: In Pursuit of 100% Performance.
“John Pfitsch’s ‘out-of-the-box,’ progressive approach to training athletes makes me wish I’d been one of his players,” says Bob Rotella, Ph. D., performance consultant and author of How Champions Think. “Coaches and athletes are in the best position to observe and study the phenomena occurring on the field and court.”
“Not so fast,” says Barbara Waite, sport psychologist, and self-appointed interrupter of John Pfitsch stories. Before drawing any conclusions, she wants to see what research has to say about Coach Pfitsch’s ideas.
In From Underdog to Winner this unlikely duo explores what it takes for teams, individuals, even underdogs facing formidable odds, to produce their best performance possible.