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Friday, December 10, 2010

Coach K- Leading With the Heart

            When most people think of success, they think of the season ahead and they set a final destination goal. Many coaches select winning the national championship as their end goal. But I think it  is a pretty shallow view of success- because only one team can win it all.
            I’m also certain that many people out there set that goal because the fans and the media tell us that winning a national championship is the only way we’ll be successful.  Well, if you’re always striving to achieve a success that is defined by someone else, I think you’ll always be frustrated.  The only way to get around such an unhappy ending is to continually define your own success.
         When we play a basketball game, we win it or we lose it. And the outside world defines us based on that win or loss. We’re either good or we’re bad on that day. Basically that is how most people look at it.
            But that is not how I look at it. When we win a game, everything isn’t right. And when we lose a game, everything isn’t wrong. If we’re constantly looking at win-loss record to determine whether we are doing well, we’re not looking at the right barometer.
            I measure our success in the following ways:
1) Our Growth- I want our team to get better every day. If we can do that, the other stuff will take care of itself. It’s important to remember that   the members of the team don’t have to be perfect, they just have to keep trying to be the best they can be. That is my definition of a winning attitude.
2) Our Bond- A goal must be of building strong bonds with teammates.
3) Our Intensity- I have told our teams that one of our goals is to play hard all of the time, in practices and in games.

            My hunger is not for success, it is for excellence. Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows.

The Fist
            You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. My goal is to create a dominant team where all five fingers fit together into a powerful fist. The five fundamental qualities are:
            1. Communication
            2. Trust
            3. Collective responsibility
            4. Caring
            5. Pride
            People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.
            Sharing with one another and caring for one another- that is what love is. That’s what family is all about. Family is a fist- complete with communication, caring, trust, pride, and collective responsibility. Family makes individuals part of something bigger. Basketball is a vehicle for the development of relationships.
Taken from Coach K's book.

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