Week 32 Monday Motivation
Piute County School District,
Down to just four teams. The NCAA Tournament has been around for over 80 years. Today it features the 68 best teams of 350 Division I university teams. The current bracket requires a team to win at least six consecutive games to win the title. Winning six straight is a tall order even for the very best teams. We’ve already seen how one bad game can end the season for some great teams. How does a coach motivate and inspire a team to play their very best basketball through six straight games against the toughest opponents possible? One coach in this year’s final four has been doing it for over 40 years, through more than half of all NCAA tournaments.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) started coaching at Duke University in 1980. He has more wins than any other college basketball coach with more than 1,200 wins. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame over 20 years ago. If there is a coach that knows how to win six games in the NCAA tournament, it’s coach K.
Coach K grew up in Chicago as the son of Polish immigrants. He received a scholarship to go to West Point Military Academy, also called Army. He played basketball there under another legendary coach named Bob Knight. After a few years working in the military he went into coaching as an assistant to Bob Knight at Indiana. His one season with the Hoosiers was memorable, as they went undefeated right up until their Elite 8 game against Kentucky. He then coached at Army for 5 years before receiving the head coach job at Duke. With Duke he has won 5 national titles and played in the tournament 36 times. He has also coached on five Olympic Gold Medal teams for the United States. He has been named the national coach of the year three times. This is his 13th trip to the Final Four.
So, how does Coach K do it? He does it by developing an emotional bond of trust with his players on and off the court. They trust him and he trusts them. He ensures that his team has a common goal. You might be tempted to assume that their common goal is just winning, but it’s not. Coach K and his teams set a common goal to play their best possible game every game. Winning is the natural byproduct of accomplishing that goal. In his book “Leading With The Heart,” Coach K describes five fundamental qualities to have a great team: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride.
Thanks for building trust with your classroom teams and for building healthy relationships in and out of the classroom. We try to give students conditions to have their best possible educational experience and educational success is a natural consequence. Enjoy the Final Four.
Have a great week 32,