Learnings for Adults
Basketball: covey 5 great messages in life.
December 28, 2020
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Rick Pitino has been the head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Louisville for the past 12 years, but his success preceded this postion- he is the only coach in the history of the game to lead teams from two different schools to an NCAA championship and has won over 700 games. In the 2014-2015 season Pitino led the Cardinals to their sixth NCAA Elite Eight in the past nine years and to seven final fours over his tenure. They won the NCAA championship in 2013; the Cardinals’ are regarded one of the most consistent and excellent teams in the country, and one of the toughest to beat in the NCAA tournament. Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel caught up with Pitino on his book tour back in 2013, and said this, “Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success. Humility allows that true meaning of sharing credit toward others, preserving the inner dignity that we all need.”


Mike Krzyzewski, known by basketball fans simply as Coach K, is the head coach of the men’s Duke basketball team, and has held that post for the past 37 years. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time- potentially the greatest. He’s men’s college basketball’s winningest coach with five national championships and is the coach of the USA Men’s Olympic basketball team, whom he has led to three consecutive gold medals. When asked what it takes to be a successful coach, he told Championship Coaches Network, “The most fundamental thing about being a good leader is the ability to communicate in a trustworthy manner. You only establish that when you look each other in the eye and tell the truth. If you do that on a consistent basis, the element of trust is developed – which is the cornerstone on which every relationship or coach-athlete relationship should be built. And, that becomes part of your culture.”


Geno Auriemma is the head coach of the University of Connecticut’s legendary women’s basketball team. Over the past 31 years he has led the Huskies to 11 national titles, 17 Final Fours, six perfect seasons and 43 Conference titles. His success is unmatched. One of the leadership lessons he explained to UConn’s School of Business was, “There’s fear of doing what you think is right. I think too many times people are afraid to make that call because of the criticism they’re going to get.”


Tom Izzo, the head coach of the Michigan State men’s basketball team for the past 22 years, has led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA National Championship, seven regular-season Big Ten Championships, five Big Ten Tournament titles, seven Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten record 19 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He told USA Today, “The relationship with your players and convincing them that you have their best interest in mind, not your program’s even. When you do that, and that’s what I had with great leaders (of the past), then you’re talking with them instead of down to them. I always use this line — a player-coached team is always better than a coach-coached team. If the players buy in, they’ll send a message. It’s hard to get that.”


Bill Self, the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Kansas University, has led the Jayhawks to 12 consecutive league championships and a national title. Over the course of his coaching career he has won over 500 games. During Kansas’ 2013-2014 season, the Jayhawks got off to rough start. After losing to San Diego State at their home stadium, the Allen Fieldhouse (one of only nine losses Self has suffered at home in his 13 years at Kansas). He warned Jayhawks fans during the preseason that this new team would have ups and downs, but he was not taking their losses well. KUsports.com reported Self’s wife reminded him to heed his own words, “I actually got a text today from my spouse (Cindy) reminding me I said, ‘Enjoy the process,’” Self said on his “Hawk Talk” radio show.

About author

Dr Shailesh Thaker

Dr. Shailesh Thaker is a world-renowned management thinker and trainer on organizational behavior and development. He is the CLO of Knowledge Plus Inc., a highly reputed training firm based in Ahmedabad, India, helping organizations to achieve international benchmarks in management practices.

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