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Mike Krzyzewski Quotes

Michael William Krzyzewski

Mike Krzyzewski quotes: a beautiful brain dump from Coach K.

“Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name written on it.”

“When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles.  Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit.  You believe that nothing can stop you!”

“Only the mediocre are always at their best.  If your standards are low, it is easy to meet those standards every single day, every single year.  But if your standard is to be the best, there will be days when you fall short of that goal.  It is okay to not win every game.  The only problem would be if you allow a loss or a failure to change your standards.  Keep your standards intact, keep the bar set high, and continue to try your very best every day to meet those standards.  If you do that, you can always be proud of the work that you do.”

“Standards are not rules issued by the boss; they are a collective identity.  Remember, standards are the things that you do all the time and the things for which you hold one another accountable.”

“At the heart of character is honesty and integrity.  Are you going to show integrity only when someone is watching you, or are you going to show it all the time?”

“Sometimes it’s not bad to hurt.  Sometimes you don’t want things until you get hurt.”

“When you cleanse yourself of a big victory, you may open yourself up to the opportunity for an even bigger victory.”

“In order to be a winner, you have to look for ways of getting things done and not for reasons why things can’t be done.  People who live with excuses have things that can’t be done hovering around them all the time.”

“If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today.”

“You should do things because of what your expectations are of yourself.”

“Always get back to your core principles.”

“With accomplishments comes confidence and with confidence comes belief.  It has to be in that order.”

“Good sound habits are more important than rules.  Use concepts.”

“The only way you’re going to grow is to be in difficult situations.”

“There are always those times when you’re going to be down.  It’s how you step through it that makes you the person you are.”

“Don’t worry about losing.  Think about winning.”

“Champions play as they practice.  Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits.”

“My hunger is not for success, it is for excellence.  Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows.”

“Effort is fully replenishable.  There is no need to save any of it.  Leave every bit you have on the playing field.”

Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.”

“One of the worst things anybody can do is assume.  I think fools assume.  If people have really got it together, they never assume anything.  They believe, they work hard, and they prepare.  But they don’t assume.”

“Growth creates complexity, which requires simplicity.”

“I believe work is good.  There is dignity in work.  I also believe that a hard work ethic forges strong leaders.”

“A leader is someone who puts their people in position to be successful all the time.  Leadership is simple: add value to people everyday.”

“Never delegate.  Always empower.  The team that trusts their leader (and each other) is more likely to be successful.”

“You cannot merely expect culture to be a natural occurrence; it has to be taught and made a part of your everyday routine.”

“In leadership, there are no words more important than trust.  In any organization, trust must be developed among every member of the team if success is going to be achieved.”

“Every leader needs to remember that a healthy respect for authority takes time to develop.  It’s like building trust.  You don’t instantly have trust, it has to be earned.”

“Leaders should be reliable without being predictable.  They should be consistent without being anticipated.  Leadership is an ever-evolving position.”

“During critical periods, a leader is not allowed to feel sorry for himself, to be down, to be angry, or to be weak.  Leaders must beat back these emotions.”

“You can’t defer if you’re the person who’s in the leadership position.”

“Whatever a leader does now sets up what he does later.  And there’s always a later.”

“In all forms of leadership, whether you are a coach, a CEO, or a parent, there are four words that, when said, can bring out the best in your team, your employees and your family.  ‘I believe in you.’  Those four words can mean the difference between a fear of failure and the courage to try.”

“Confrontation simply means meeting the truth head-on.”

“It takes courage not only to make decisions, but to live with those decisions afterward.”

“Courage and confidence are what decision-making is all about.  Courage gives a leader the ability to stand straight and not sway, no matter which way the wind blows.”

“Confidence shared is better than confidence only in yourself.”

“The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions.”

“You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone.  All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.”

“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”

“Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals.  Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.”

“I’m looking for players who make their teammates better.  You do that with enthusiasm and passion.”

Goals should be realistic, attainable, and shared among all members of the team.”

“Mutual commitment helps overcome the fear of failure, especially when people are part of a team sharing and achieving goals.  It also sets the stage for open dialogue and honest conversation.”

“I think you’re not a human being unless you have doubts and fears.”

“Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.”

“I always won in my imagination.  I always hit the game-winning shot, or I hit the free throw.  Or if I missed, there was a lane violation, and I was given another one.”

“There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride.  I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist.  Any one individually is important.  But all of them together are unbeatable.”

“You can see and you can listen, but you have to have moments in which you feel.”

“Even though we want huge individual egos, our collective ego is unbelievable.”

“Throughout my life, my mom has been the person that I’ve always looked up to and the person who has inspired me the most.  She taught me commitment.  She sacrificed.”

“My mom gave me unconditional support and unfailing love.  You can’t get any better than that.  That’s why I’ve never been afraid to lose.”

“I don’t think you play for other people’s expectations, you know.  You don’t go and become a lawyer because your mother or father want you to, you don’t become a coach because somebody wants you to.”

“I think some parents now look at a youngster failing as the final thing.  It’s a process, and failure is part of the process.”

“In high school, in sport, I had a coach who told me I was much better than I thought I was, and would make me do more in a positive sense.  He was the first person who taught me not to be afraid of failure.”

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I was not much of a book person.  I loved to learn, but I learn by doing.  I learn from my experiences.”

“The other thing I knew I had was a high level of competitiveness.”

“My ambition in high school was to be a high school coach and teacher, and that’s still what I do: teach.  That’s what I do now: I lead and I teach.  If we win basketball games from doing that, then that’s great, but I lead and teach.  Those are the two things I concentrate on.”

“The thing I loved the most—and still love the most about teaching—is that you can connect with an individual or a group, and see that individual or group exceed their limits.”

“I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments.”

“I’ve tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we’ll win again, but I’ve also tried to handle failure well.  If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I have made to sport.  Not just basketball, but to sport.”

“I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach.  I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.”

“It is always good to renew your vows to the loves of your life.”

“You have to work hard at staying in contact with your friends so that the relationships will continue and live on.  Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.”

“I’ve been so fortunate in my life that my family has never been jealous of my success.  They have shown true love and commitment to me by being supportive.  They shared in it.”

“Fun is to experience things you would not have been able to experience in any other setting.”

“Every season is a journey.  Every journey is a lifetime.”

Related: John Wooden quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.