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How to Win

Words from Phil Jackson

For an insight into the mind of a great coach, here’s an excerpt from Phil Jackson’s book, “Sacred Hoops.” The introduction begins this way:

“This is a book about a vision and a dream. When I was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1989, my dream was not just to win championships, but to do it in a way that wove together my two greatest passions: basketball and spiritual exploration.

“On the surface this may sound like a crazy idea, but intuitively I sensed there was a link between spirit and sport. Besides, winning at any cost didn’t interest me. From my years as a member of the championship New york Knicks, I’d already learned that winning is ephemeral. Yes, victory is sweet, but it doesn’t necessarily make life any easier the next season or even the next day. After the cheering crowds disperse and the last bottle of champagne is drained, you have to return to the battlefield and start all over again.

“In basketball — as in life — true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way.”

Those words make me want to read the whole book, and that is the plan. I’ll be telling you more as I read more, and as things catch my eye. In the meantime, Jackson has managed to do his share of winning: 10 titles as a coach, and one as a player.


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