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Selfless Basketball by Phil Jackson

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During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports (11).

Here are some of his thoughts on “selfless basketball” (aka playing as a team):

  • RIGHT VIEW:  involves looking at the game as a whole and working together as a team, like five fingers on a hand.
  • RIGHT THINKING:  means seeing yourself as part of a system rather than as your own one-man show.
  • RIGHT SPEECH:  means positively talking to yourself throughout the game and not getting lost in aimless back talk (“I hate that ref…What is my Mom/Dad thinking..Is that player better than me”) AND controlling what you say when you’re talking with others especially your teammates, and focusing on giving them positive feedback.
  • RIGHT ACTION:  means making moves that are appropriate to what’s happening on the floor instead of showboating or acting in ways that disrupt the team.
  • RIGHT EFFORT:  means being unselfish and exerting the right amount of energy to get the job done.
  • RIGHT MINDFULNESS:  involves coming to every game with a clear understanding of our plan of attack, and playing with precision, making the right moves at the right time, and maintaining constant awareness throughout the game, whether you’re on the floor or on the bench.
  • RIGHT CONCENTRATION:  is about staying focused on what you’re doing at any given moment and not obsessing about mistakes you’ve made in the past or bad things that might happen in the future.

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