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Friday, April 17, 2009

COACH K'S LITTLE BLUE BOOK

Coach K’s Little Blue Book is a short book but a great read with a lot of insightful passages of Coach Krzyzewski’s coaching philosophy. The Duke Dynasty is well documented but this book gives you a behind the scenes look at what is important to Coach Krsysewski in building his foundation. What is important to note about Duke’s success is that it has continued to thrive despite the changing climate in men’s collegiate basketball. The influx of college underclassmen as well as the raiding of high school players have made the job of maintaining excellence that much more difficult, yet Duke stands among only a handful that have evolved successfully with the changes.

Here are some of the passages that we found interesting and pertinent to our LSU Lady Tiger program:

“He’s coaching like he’s defending the most precious think in the world to him, and he does everything with the passion you would as if your were defending the most precious thing in the world to you,” said Steve Wojciechowski, a former Duke player (1995-98) and now a Krzyzewski assistant. “Everything. That’s what makes him the best, because people can’t do that.”

A sign prominent in the Duke locker room: NO ONE PENETRATES OUR DEFENSE.

“Why do you play a game? I play a game to see how good we can be.”
-Coach K

Duke thrives on getting to the foul line on offense, often attacking the basket with dribble penetration. The Blue Devils place equal stress on keeping opponents off the line. Krzyzewski considers that latter a “critical” aspect of playing intelligent basketball. His teams practice situations in which they have six fouls and must strive to play tough defense without incurring a seventh that would put the opposition on the line with a one-on-one opportunity.

“The worst thing we can do is put the (other) team in a one-and-one.”
-Coach K


“...you can’t play any defense if the other team is on the foul line.”
-Coach K

“Our offense is based on thinking. If you can really think on the court, then you have as much freedom as your abilities will allow you. What you try to do is create roles for your players. Not numbered roles or titled positions, but you try to say, ‘Look, here is where you’re successful, now in this frame of reference you can do whatever the defense allows you, so read the defense.”
-Coach K

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

“I don’t think we surprise people. We try to out-execute them.”
-Coach K

“Last year, I said I wonder where we’ll put the second banner. We’ve got to find out, don’t we? I’m probably stupid for saying this, but I wonder where a third one might go.”
-Coach K

“The best teams are teams in any sport that lose themselves in the team. The individuals lose their identity. And their identities come about as a result of being in the team first.”
-Coach K

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

“I think leadership is never singular. In a good organization, it’s plural.”
-Coach K

There are a handful of coaches, regardless of sport, that merit our attention when they speak (or write), and certainly Coach K ranks at the top of that list. This is a book that should be read by all coaches. You have my word you will come away from reading this book with something that will make you a better coach, and your program a better team.