Chadwick-The 12 Leadership Principles of Dean Smith-full text (2)

How can i best help the team i asked him if you want

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“How can I best help the team?” I asked him. “If you want to help the team,” he said, “become a better individual player.” He then reemphasized my weaknesses and strengths. He told me to work on both, become a better player, and the team would be better. At first glance, you might think Coach Smith’s statement contradicts his vision of the team being above the individual. On the contrary, it only enhances it. A team is made up of individual parts. It is the leader’s 99
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job to take the unique giftedness of different individuals and mold them together as a team with a common vision and goal. The stronger, the more gifted those individual parts are, the stronger the team’s potential. I worked hard that summer to become a better player. Often in the hot sun of Orlando, Florida, as I ran sprints and lifted weights, I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” I would always pant the answer, “Because this is making the team better.” Dave Hanners posed an interesting question when I interviewed him for this book. “Can you name the North Carolina player who didn’t get better between his freshman and senior seasons?” he asked. He couldn’t think of one, and either could I. Coach Smith had to deal with all our egos, trying not to bruise them, yet getting the best out of us for the sake of the team. “Most coaches can’t do that,” Hanners said. “They usually fail somewhere.” Coach Smith also mused with me about how much better some players became during their careers, even to his amazement. “Darrell Elston came here because John Lotz knew his high school coach,” he told me. “Darrell had a basketball scholarship from Ball State and a football scholarship from Purdue. He was the fourteenth man on the squad in 1972. In the Final Four, he couldn’t even dress for the game because the rules stated that only twelve players could dress. I told Darrell that perhaps he should go some place else where he could play. But he worked hard over the years and became an all-ACC performer. He worked very hard, and the team became better.” A great leader can motivate others toward self-discipline and personal responsibility. No matter how gifted the player may be, or how much playing time he may receive, Coach Smith believed that the individual – whether the manager, a bench player, a regular, or a superstar – can have tremendous impact on the team when he personally improves. Teach Personal Responsibility and Self-Discipline A jar rests on the corner of Coach Guthridge’s desk. It’s an “excuse” jar. When you come in to see him, the first thing you’re expected to do is file your excuses in the jar. He simply won’t listen to them. Every player on the team is constantly challenged to assume personal responsibility 100
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for becoming a better player. He knows it will make the team better. I’m certain that he learned this from Coach Smith.
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  • Fall '14
  • kolish
  • Psychology, Coach, Dean Smith, Coach Smith, coach Dean Smith

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