Duke’s Coach K on Teamwork and Leadership

By Kyle Gilreath

(This post was originally published on May 6, 2013 for FastModel Sports)

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced today that he will once again coach the USA Basketball Men’s National Team for the Olympics in Rio. This reminded me that I had a video of Coach K speaking to our armed forces that I bookmarked over the past weekend. While the video is over an hour and a half long, it is full of off the charts material and I am going to share one very cool concept he uses to emphasize teamwork.

Most of us are blessed to have five fingers on our hands. Coincidently there are five players on the court at a time for a basketball team. Coach K used this example,

If you hold your hand out with all five fingers flexed (spread) out and try to punch someone, you will cause yourself an extraordinary amount of pain and possibly break some fingers. However, if you make a fist with all five fingers (together), you can really make a powerful punch.

Furthermore, each finger represents a special component in order for teams to truly work together.

1. Communication: Look each other in the eye when speaking with one another.

2. Trust: Tell the truth ALL of the time.

3. Collective Responsibility: We win together and we lose together.

4. Care: Have each others’ back.

5. Pride: Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Do yourself a favor and watch the entire video for yourself. I guarantee you will come away more educated and help you become a better basketball coach and more importantly a better person. Click the link below to watch the full video:

Coach K On Leadership and Teamwork

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Kyle Gilreath
VP of Coaching Development @PureSweat| Astronaut High School Varsity Coach - Always learning!
Kyle Gilreath

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