Coach K: Importance of Leadership and Teamwork

Duke and USA National Team Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski spoke to a group of Army officers and soldiers several years ago at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. While the video is over an hour and a half long, it is full of off the chart material and I am going to share one very cool concept he used to emphasize teamwork with United States National Team.

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.

Coach K On Leadership and Teamwork

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