Phil Jackson – Championship Winning Basketball Coach

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B.A. in philosophy from the University of North Dakota (1967)

13 time NBA Champion and Current President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks

In Phil Jackson’s book 11 Rings: The Soul of Success, he articulates how his interest in Eastern philosophy was influential in shaping his approach to coaching. While many coaches focused on the physical aspects of the game, Jackson gave great attention to mental practice. Embracing his philosophical roots, he placed a emphasis on what he calls “mindfulness.”

In an interview with Oprah he expanded on this:

We talked about mindfulness… As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we need to build our mental strength up so we can focus. We’ll get one point at attention so that we can be in concert with one another in times of need.

You can listen to a portion of the interview here:


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