Whilst this site is primarily focused on Australian Football (AFL) I am always interested in anything coaching-related from other team sports.
As such, on the eve of game 7 of the NBA playoffs I thought it was appropriate to insert this video of Phil Jackson and others discussing his coaching philosophy and methods. Jackson, looking to claim his 11th championship as a coach, has compiled a record and reputation that now competes with the greats of coaching in any team sport across the globe.
I think achieving ultimate success in team sports comes down to 3 core pillars – culture, talent, and the system of play/game plan/game style. Great culture is the must-have ingredient at the elite level, regardless of how good the other 2 factors are. Without this there is nothing. As a coach it took me a little bit of time and some experiences to figure this out in my own philosophy but it is crystal clear to me now.
Jackson’s greatest strength is his ability to create strong culture, leadership and group harmony/chemistry. Because of this the talent he has had at his disposal (Jordan, Pippen, Shaq, Bryant), and the famous “Triangle Offense” system have combined to produce 10 championships.
Two quotes that sum things up nicely:
“He’s absolutely brilliant in bringing a group together to accomplish one common goal” – Kobe Bryant
“Jackson was the student, with Winter teaching him over the years during film sessions, organizing his practices, explaining all the details. Jackson soaked it all up, and then provided that special touch of genius that Winter lacked — a masterful ability at team dynamics and group building. Winter often said the triangle would never have gone far in the NBA without Jackson’s ability to elevate it to relevance and sell it to the players, especially superstars such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.” – Roland Lazenby
Take home message from Phil Jackson’s coaching - number one priority in coaching is to create a strong culture by developing such things as leadership, empowerment, communication, care for others, relationships, trust, and motivation.