Wisdom of the Winningest Coach: Phil Jackson

by buildingpharmabrands

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Widely considered as one of the greatest coaches in the history of NBA (National Basketball Association) in America, Philip Douglas Jackson won a record-breaking eleven NBA titles. He won six of these as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls (1989 to 1998) and five more as the head coach of his next team, the Los Angeles Lakers (2000 to 2010). What is more, he won two championships as a player.

His holistic approach to coaching earned him the nickname ‘the Zen Master.’  Jackson won a number of awards during his illustrious career. Here are some of his more important awards and accolades:

1996: NBA Coach of the Year Award.

1996: Named as one of the 10 greatest NBA Coaches of all time

2007: Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

Here are some of his most famous quotes, which are illuminating and inspiring.

1. Basketball, unlike football with its prescribed routes, is an improvisational game, similar to jazz. If someone drops a note, someone else must step into the vacuum and drive the beat that sustains the team.

2. Approach the game with no preset agendas and you’ll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts.

3. The ideal way to win a championship is step by step.

4. Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line. That means not only being brave, but being compassionate towards yourself, your teammates and your opponents.

5. I think the most important thing about coaching is that you have to have a sense of confidence about what you’re doing. You have to be a salesman and you have to get your players, particularly your leaders, to believe in what you are trying to accomplish on the basketball floor.

6. In basketball, as in life true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way. Of course, it’s no accident that things are more likely go your own way when you stop worrying about whether you’re going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what’s happening right this moment.

7. Yes, victory is sweet, but it doesn’t necessarily make life any easier the next season or even the next day.

8. Like life, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game and life will take care of itself.

9. Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ‘Me’ for the ‘We.’

10. I gave it my body and mind, but I have kept my soul.

11. Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.

12. There are no Zen masters, there’s only Zen. ‘Zen Master’ is a contradiction in terms. You don’t master Zen.

Image Credit: Wikipedia