Basketball Coaching Quotes

Basketball Inspirational and Motivational Quotes
By Brad Winters

Below are some great basketball coaching quotes (some football) that I have collected over the years from some of the greatest coaches of all-time... Enjoy!

[Related: Basketball Coaching Playbook]


"We try to stress the little things because little things lead to big things." -- Steve Alford

Coach Red Auerbach Quotes

"Be and look prepared. Be a man on integrity. Never break your word. Don't have two sets of standards. Stand up for your players. Show them you care on and off the court." -- Red Auerbach

"The coach should be the absolute boss, but he still should maintain an open mind." -- Red Auerbach (Boston Celtics coach who won eight straight NBA championships from 1959 to 1966)

"They said you have to use your five best players but I found you win with the five who fit together the best." -- Red Auerbach

"It's not what you tell your players that counts. It's what they here." -- Red Auerbach

"I can't stand a ballplayer who plays in fear. Any fellow who has a good shot has got to take it and keep taking it. So he misses - so what?" -- Red Auerbach

Coach Dick Bennett Quotes

"Most of my learning and philosophy regarding coaching basketball was developed after great frustration." -- Dick Bennett

"What does this program/team need this week?" -- Dick Bennett

"What you specifically teach is what your players will do best." -- Dick Bennett

"Practice to beat the best." -- Dick Bennett

"We teach offense 5-0/5-5 (whole method) and defense by part (1-1/3-3)." -- Dick Bennett

"For us to be successful on defense, we must get back and stop the basketball, eliminate easy baskets, keep the ball out of the lane, and bother the shooters." -- Dick Bennett

"Players who are committed to the team first will find a way to help when things are going bad, they will do whatever it takes. Kids that are more into themselves will not do that. They will take care of themselves and get more individual when things are tough." -- Dick Bennett

"I concluded some time ago that a major part of success of a team, or of an individual, has a great deal to do with the intangible qualities possessed. The real key is in how a person see himself (humility), how he feels about what he does (passion), how he works with others (unity), how he makes others better (servanthood), and how he deals with frustration and success, truly learning from each situations (thankfulness). I believe those concepts are the essence of a good player, team, coach, or individual in any capacity in life." -- Dick Bennett

"Coaches can talk and talk and talk about something, but if you get it on tape and show it to them, it is so much more effective." -- Larry Bird

"What we do at LSU is to develop players and make them better." -- John Brady

"You get what you tolerate!" -- John Brady

"If you don't hold your team accountable then you will lose credibility and your team will be spoiled." -- John Brady

"If you want team play, you must stress defense. Defense makes players unselfish." -- John Brady

"Criticize on defense and encourage on offense." -- John Brady

Coach Dale Brown Quotes

"If you want to go fast - go alone; If you want to go far, you have to go with others." -- Dale Brown

"It's not the push from behind or the pull from in front - it's the drive from inside." -- Dale Brown

"It’s not too late to become what you thought you should be or could be, you can do it." -- Dale Brown

"Leadership is difficult. It is a lonely responsibility. The best leaders are servants. It is always about others." -- Dale Brown

"The masters all have the ability to discipline themselves to eliminate everything except what they are trying to accomplish." -- Dale Brown

Coach Hubbie Brown Quotes

"Don't try to imitate other coaches. Be your own person with your own style and do your own thing." -- Hubie Brown

"In planning any type of offense, when a player leaves a spot always replace him with another offensive player." -- Hubie Brown

"No one is bigger than the team. You're going to be on time, you're going play hard, you're going to know your job and you're going to know when to pass and shoot. If you can't do those four things you're not getting time here and we don't care who you are." -- Hubie Brown

"Use different basketball offensive alignments to cause confusion for the other team." -- Hubie Brown

"I feel all great teams have two things in common: defense and rebounding. So, we stress defense and rebounding every day as the most important aspects in the game to win." -- Larry Brown (1988 Kansas team won the NCAA championship)

"As a coach, I feel if you can get your players to play hard and together on the defensive end, they will automatically be unselfish at the offensive end." -- Larry Brown

"When it comes to celebrating, act like you've been there before." -- Terry Bowden

Coach Jim Calhoun Quotes

"We stop practice every time we see one of our players not blocking out." -- Jim Calhoun (1999 UConn team won the NCAA championship)

"We feel that the 2-2-1 press is a very effective means of controlling tempo and providing us with opportunities to capitalize on the mistakes of our opponents. At the same time we feel it is a very safe press because we work very hard at the necessary rotations." -- Jim Calhoun

"The only thing I pay attention to with free throws is what a guy does in the final four minutes of a game. If you can improve players' self-esteem and confidence, get them to relax, teach visualization and routine, they will shoot as well, or better, with the pressure on." -- John Calipari

"Always acknowledge hustle plays in practice." -- Lou Campanelli

"We put a premium on knowing what the other team does. Then we try to take them out of it." -- PJ Carlesimo

Coach Pete Carril Quotes

"Bad shooters are always open" -- Pete Carril

"Coaching is preparation." -- Pete Carril

"The strength of my Princeton teams has always been attitude, intelligence and discipline." -- Pete Carril

"A guy who gives you less than what he has to give is, one, telling you what he thinks of you, and two, telling you what he thinks of himself." -- Pete Carril

"I don't recruit players who are nasty to their parents. I look for players who realize the world doesn't revolve around them." -- Pete Carril

"Once practice starts, we work hard, and that's the best conditioning there is. Everything counts. Every little thing counts. Run hard, play hard, go after the ball hard, guard hard. If you play soft (what I call signing a 'non-aggression pact' with your teammates), you won't ever get into shape." -- Pete Carril

"A player's ability to rebound is inversely proportional to the distance between where he was born and the nearest railroad tracks. The greater distance you live from the poor side of the railroad tracks, the less likely that you will be a good rebounder." -- Pete Carril

"I always say to my guys, 'The most important day of your life is today. This very minute is the most important of you life. You must win this minute. You must win this day. And tomorrow will take care of itself." -- Coach John Chaney

"I don't try to get players emotionally up for a game; it creates too many peaks and valleys... I strive for even keel; they will get up for the big games." -- Denny Crum

Coach Chuck Daly Quotes

"A lot of guys go through their whole careers and don't win a championship, but are still great coaches." -- Chuck Daly (1989 and 1990 Detroit Pistons teams won the NBA championship)

"Offense is spacing and spacing is offense." -- Chuck Daly

"Defense can't guard two things in a row." -- Chuck Daly

"Defense doesn't break down on the help, it breaks down on the recovery." -- Chuck Daly

"The first shot does not beat you." -- Chuck Daly

"If one of our players gets his second foul in the first half, then he must come out of the game and not re-enter until the second half. To play defense and not foul is an art that must be mastered if you are going to be successful." -- Chuck Daly

"False Hustle = cheap fouls, lunging, reaching, etc." -- Billy Donovan

"Systems win! Believe in your system, and then sell it to your players." -- Billy Donovan

"Look for players with character and ability. But remember, character comes first." -- Joe Gibbs

"Have a vision. Sell your program. Your team is going to reflect you." -- Mark Gottfried

"Hearing improves with PRAISE!" -- Mark Gottfried

"Empower the people around you, from the janitor to the athletic director. You do that by being sincere, caring about others, and then putting it into practice." -- Sue Gunter

"What makes a good coach? Complete dedication." -- George Halas

"Your ability to communicate to your young people will determine your success." -- Jim Harrick (1995 UCLA team won the NCAA championship)

"Praise your kids. Inspire and motivate your players with praise. Ten years from now it won't matter what your record was. Will your kids love you or hate you?" -- Jim Harrick

"I want to teach the post basic moves: turn and bank; drop-step and shoot a power layup; turn to the middle, pump-fake, one-bounce layup; and I want to teach five power moves. They are power layup straight up; pump-fake one bounce to the other side power layup; pogo when you catch it up high, keep it up high, and shoot it; and then the two-hand follow shot." -- Jim Harrick

"Picking an assistant coach, the first thing I was interested in was the man's character." Woody Hayes

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." -- Lou Holtz

"You'll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him." -- Lou Holtz

"I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it." -- Lou Holtz

"Treat each player as your own son/daughter if you can...the parents have invested in you." -- Hank Iba (1945 and 1946 Oklahoma A & M teams won the NCAA championship)

"Unless you plan to out-rebound and out-shoot everyone you play, then you better learn to handle the ball." -- Hank Iba

Coach Phil Jackson Quotes

"Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one." -- Phil Jackson

"Basketball is sharing." -- Phil Jackson

"Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We." -- Phil Jackson

"I think the most important thing about coaching is that you have to have a sense of confidence about what you're doing. You have to be a salesman and you have to get your players, particularly your leaders, to believe in what you're trying to accomplish on the basketball floor." -- Phil Jackson

"Like life, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game - and life - will take care of itself." -- Phil Jackson

"The more things we can get kids to do correctly off the court, the more they will do correctly on the court." -- Mike Jarvis

Coach Bobby Knight Quotes

"Offense at Indiana is not equal opportunity. Those players who shoot best are going to shoot most. It is important that every player know his offensive limitations. It is also important that a player know who the best shooter is on the team. When a passer has the option of passing to two players, I expect him to get the ball to the best shooter. I continually stop practice and ask players who the best shooter is and I expect them to know. It is important that you get the ball to your best shooter." -- Bobby Knight (1976, 1981, and 1987 Indiana teams won the NCAA championship)

"Everyone wants to win, but not everyone is willing to prepare to win." -- Bobby Knight

"As coaches we talk about two things: offense and defense. There is a third phase we neglect, which is more important. It's conversion from offense to defense and defense to offense." -- Bobby Knight

"I think that to stop an offense, you must go to the heart of that offense. If it is a particular move, a screen, the break, an outstanding scorer, whatever it is that they like to do and rely on, you have to work in your plans on taking that completely or as much as possible away from them." -- Bobby Knight

"When we're playing a good scoring center, we tell our team that it is not our defensive man's job to stop the center. It's the responsibility of our perimeter people to stop the ball from going inside." -- Bobby Knight

"A great way to test the conditioning of your team is the two-mile run." -- Bobby Knight

"Practice structure determines success." -- Bobby Knight

"Coach now the way you want to coach 10 years from now." -- Jerry Krause

"Prepare for every game like you just lost your last game." -- Lon Kruger

Coach K Quotes

"If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you. You haven't done much today." -- Mike Krzyzewski (1991, 1992, and 2001 teams won the NCAA championship)

"Good sound habits are more important than rules - use concepts." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"Play and practice like you are trying to make the team." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"When you are speaking to your team after a game, never talk about the kid who was the star of the game. Talk about what your other players did to help the team win. Be sure to spread the wealth... Then have individual meetings with one to three players to praise and reinforce. Make sure you touch them." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"When you sub, tell player to give you three great minutes, and if you bust your butt, I'll give you an extra minute." -- Mike Krzyzewski

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

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

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

"I'm looking for players who make their teammates better. You do that with enthusiasm and passion." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"Don't do anything as an individual that will make you stand out from your teammates." -- Mike Krzyzewski

“The best teams are team 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.” -- Mike Krzyzewski

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

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

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

"We travel in Duke stuff... They can have a hat, but it must be a Duke hat." -- Mike Krzyzewski

"Courage gives a leader the ability to stand straight and not sway, no matter which way the wind blows." -- Mike Krzyzewski

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

Coach Tom Landry Quotes

"There's a misconception about teamwork. Teamwork is the ability to have different thoughts about things; it's the ability to argue and stand up and say loud and strong what you feel. But in the end, it's also the ability to adjust to what is the best for the team." -- Tom Landry

"Perhaps the toughest call for a coach is weighing what is best for an individual against what is best for the team. Keeping a player on the roster just because I liked him personally, or even because of his great contributions to the team in the past, when I felt some one else could do more for the team would be a disservice to the team's goals." -- Tom Landry

"The secret to winning is constant, consistent management." -- Tom Landry

"Coaching is making men do what they don't want, so they can become what they want to be" -- Tom Landry

"Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it; not hard enough and it flies away." -- Tommy Lasorda

"I never substitute just to substitute. I play my regulars. The only way a guy gets off the floor is if he dies." -- Abe Lemons

Coach Vince Lombardi Quotes

"Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The one's who win get inside their players and motivate." -- Vince Lombardi

"Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born. Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work." -- Vince Lombardi

"I hold it more important to hold the player's confidence than their affection." -- Vince Lombardi

"Individual commitment to a group effort - that's what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." -- Vince Lombardi

"Offensively, you do what you do best and you do it again and again. Defensively, you attack your opponent's strength." -- Vince Lombardi

"To me, the big thing in being a successful team is repetition of what you're doing, either by word of mouth, blackboard, or specifically by work on the field. You repeat, repeat, repeat as a unit." -- Vince Lombardi

"And the trouble with me is that my ego just can't accept a loss. I suppose that if I were more perfectly adjusted, I would toss off defeat, but my name is on this ball club. Thirty-six men publicly reflect me and reflect on me, and it's a matter of my pride." -- Vince Lombardi

"Regardless of what you do put in, every game boils down to doing the things you do best and doing them over and over again." -- Vince Lombardi

"Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged by only one thing - the result." -- Vince Lombardi

"You better have great practices." -- Al McGuire (1977 Marquette team won the NCAA championship)

"Keep it simple, when you get too complex you forget the obvious." -- Al McGuire

"Building relationships is the key for being happy as a coach. Players must want to play for you. If they are comfortable with you, they will work hard for you." -- Mike McConathy

Coach Rick Majerus Quotes

"You must have a passion to coach." -- Rick Majerus

"My players on defense must have a hand-up on every shot. If not, they run sprints." -- Rick Majerus

"Great shooters are one dribble guys." -- Rick Majerus

"Blocking out is everyday, every drill, all the time. We run sprints every time someone does not blockout." -- Rick Majerus

"The mismatch is not what gets you beat. What gets you beat is giving up the uncontested, open shot." -- Rick Majerus

"To win the big games you must get to the Free Throw line, and then you must make them." -- Rick Majerus

"You don't beat people with surprise, you beat them with execution." -- John McKay

Coach Don Meyer Quotes

"Administrators are like pigs; don't wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty and the pig likes it." -- Don Meyer (1986 David Lipscomb team won the NAIA championship)

"Your program must have an overriding purpose which is clearly visible and which teaches lessons beyond winning." -- Don Meyer

"When you watch the game, be a student of the game." -- Don Meyer

"The team is an extension of the coach." -- Don Meyer

"Players must do what you want them to do in pressure situations." -- Don Meyer

"When the legs go, the heart and the head follow quickly behind." -- Don Meyer

"The ability to rebound is in inverse proportion to the distance your house is from the nearest railroad tracks." -- Don Meyer

"Successful programs consist of people working hard, working together, while never worrying about who gets the credit." -- Don Meyer

"If it comes down to you or the program that decision was made long ago." -- Don Meyer

"Every day you teach attitude." -- Don Meyer

"To be a team, you must be a family." -- Don Meyer

"Shout praise and whisper criticism." -- Don Meyer

"Recognize and reward players who put the team first, not just the gifted ones." -- Don Meyer

"Discipline and demand without being demeaning." -- Don Meyer

"Simplify the game as much as possible. When you add, you must subtract." -- Don Meyer

"There is nothing more important than rebounding... don't just give it lip service." -- Don Meyer

"Shared suffering: one guy messes up and everyone runs. One guy does well and everyone benefits." -- Don Meyer

"Players who are late say that their time is more important than the team." -- Don Meyer

"It is not what you teach, but what you emphasize." -- Don Meyer

"Parents would rather have their son get all-state than his team win the state championship." -- Don Meyer

"Put your two best players away from the ball and bring it back to them." -- Don Meyer

"Good shooters take the shots; best shooters take most of the shots." -- Don Meyer

"Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people." -- Don Meyer

"Only run special plays for special players; find plays that fit your players." -- Don Meyer

"You build your program from the ideas of great coaches." -- Don Meyer

"Play off your great player... great teams have a go-to player and they play off of him." -- Don Meyer

"Quickness more than anything else should determine your amount of pressure on the ball." Don Meyer

"Prepare for every practice like you just loss your last game." -- Don Meyer

"Can your player make a curl cut and score in the lane? If so, he is the cutter." -- Don Meyer

"It doesn't matter where you coach, it matters why you coach." -- Don Meyer

Coach Ralph Miller Quotes

"In evaluating the way in which ball possessions are gained during the course of a game, we find that 60 to 80 percent of the possessions are gained by rebounding and after an opponent's score. Twenty percent come from opponents's error, and only 5 percent of the possessions come from steals and interceptions. A study of the way ball possessions are gained makes it seem highly impractical to base pressure defense on interceptions and steals." -- Ralph Miller (Oregon State coach who retired in 1989 as the sixth all-time winningest NCAA Division 1 coach with 674 victories)

"We have a simple rule for switching. Anytime there is movement over the top of a screen, there has to be an automatic switch. If a blind pick is set on one of our defensive players, there has to be a switch. To play good pressure defense, you have to use the switch." -- Ralph Miller

"When covering the man with the ball, the defense should be able to touch the ball with his hand. He should assume this touching position as the ball is being received. When the ball is received, the defense should discourage the pass into the post area. The hands should be kept up. Keeping the hands up reduces a tendency to foul and allows a player to move his hands quickly." -- Ralph Miller

"Your contribution as a coach is defending and rebounding." -- Dick Motta

"Regard your team as a family. Give the same attention to the bottom guy as you do the top guy. You have a responsibility to all of your players." -- Pete Newell

"Pressure is something you feel when you do not know what you are doing." -- Chuck Noll

"Work hard, stay focused and surround yourself with good people." -- Tom Osborne

"Have a spiritual basis which guides you in life. Have a philosophy of life to live by." -- Tom Osborne

"Know how to win and how to lose and be able to handle adversity." -- Tom Osborne

"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are." -- Ara Parasheghian

Coach Rick Pitino Quotes

"The key to coaching is not what you do, but the way you do it. The intangibles, the motivational parts of the game are the most important facets of it." -- Rick Pitino (1996 Kentucky team won the NCAA championship)

"Deserve Victory." -- Rick Pitino

"Don't coach mad." -- Rick Pitino

"At Boston University, I motivated negatively, and I found that although it can work at first, by the end of the year everyone is dying for the year to end and you have lost them. The last two years at BU, I motivated positively and got much better results." -- Rick Pitino

"The more you lose, the more positive you have to become. When you're winning, you can ride players harder because their self-esteem is high. If you are losing and you try to be tough, you're asking for dissension." -- Rick Pitino

"Failure is good. It's fertilizer. Everything I've learned about coaching I've learned from making mistakes." -- Rick Pitino

"The basic premise of my system is to fatigue your opponents with constant pressure defensively and constant movement offensively." -- Rick Pitino

"If you are not willing to work hard and establish discipline in your life, then all your dreams are merely pipe dreams." -- Rick Pitino

"It's better to have a good player with the basketball in late game situations than to have plays." Rick Pitino

"Learning what not to do is sometimes more important than learning what to do." -- Rick Pitino

"Self-esteem is directly linked to deserving success. You must deserve victory to feel good about yourself." -- Rick Pitino

Coach Pat Riley Quotes

"If you get tough mentally, you can get tough physically and overcome fatigue." -- Pat Riley

"It's what you get from games you lose that is extremely important." -- Pat Riley

"No rebounds - no rings." -- Pat Riley

"Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers." -- Pat Riley

"Great effort springs naturally from great attitude." -- Pat Riley

"In all the research you do as a coach, studying other coaches and championship-type situations, you find that all those teams combined talent with great defense. You've got to stop other teams to win." -- Pat Riley

"Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better." -- Pat Riley

"The secret of winning is working more as a team, less as individuals." -- Knute Rockne

"Coaching is a people business. If you take care of your people, the wins and losses will fall into place. Treat people well. You've got to figure out how to work with each one of them. They might not like you every day, but they must respect you." -- Carol Ross

Coach Adolph Rupp Quotes

"If a Coach is determined to stay in the coaching profession, he will develop from year to year. This much is true, no coach has a monopoly on the knowledge of basketball. There are no secrets in the game. The only secrets, if there are any, are good teaching of sound fundamentals, intelligent handling of men, a sound system of play, and the ability to instill in the boys a desire to win." -- Adolph Rupp (1948, 1949, 1951, and 1958 Kentucky teams won the NCAA championship)

"He who controlleth the backboard, controlleth the game." -- Adolph Rupp

"Your defense will save you on the nights that your offense isn't working." -- Adolph Rupp

"I believe that good defense embodies seven cardinal principle: reduce the number of your opponent's shots; force your opponent into low percentage shots; control everything within 18 feet; eliminate second shots; no easy baskets; point the ball on all long shots; and prevent the ball from going into the pivot man." -- Adolph Rupp

"Our offensive philosophy is to simply find a way to get the ball into the hands of our team's best player." -- Kelvin Sampson

"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when you team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing." -- Bo Schembechler

"Deep down, your players must know you care about them. This is the most important thing. I could never get away with what I do if the players feel I didn't care for them. They know, in the long run, I'm in their corner." -- Bo Schembechler

"Know what you want to emphasize, then do it daily." -- Larry Shyatt

Coach Norm Sloan Quotes

"To be successful you need to have good, happy Players." -- Norm Sloan (1974 NC State team won the NCAA championship)

"Help your players to control their emotions - do this through example." -- Norm Sloan

"I would rather have a player who has mastered two or three moves than to try to teach him six or seven." -- Norm Sloan

"Practices should be for the players and not the coach. Practices should be fun for the players, positive in nature, and last no more than two hours." -- Norm Sloan

"Our conditioning program begins the first day of class. The running portion is very demanding. It has physiological advantages, as well as psychological advantages." -- Norm Sloan

"In going for the last shot of the game most people wait too long to take the shot. Give yourself a chance to get the first shot and tap the ball in. Your players are normally inside the defense." -- Norm Sloan

Coach Dean Smith Quotes

"What to do with a mistake--recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it." -- Dean Smith (1982 and 1993 North Carolina teams won the NCAA championship)

"Good people are happy when something good happens to someone else." -- Dean Smith

"The most important thing is team morale." -- Dean Smith

"Only praise behavior that you want to be repeated. Never use false praise." -- Dean Smith

"Always have your players go and pick-up the guy who draws the charge." -- Dean Smith

"Everyone on the bench stands for the man coming out of the game." -- Dean Smith

"You should sub a player out when you see a player not going full-speed or playing selfish basketball." -- Dean Smith

"Over coaching is the worst thing you can do to a player." -- Dean Smith

"The best way to build team chemistry is the way Rupp used to substitute, when they fouled out." -- Dean Smith

"I've always believed in quickness over strength and size." -- Dean Smith

"I only use statistics to reinforce what I already think, or if it's something unusual." -- Dean Smith

"The key statistic is still to get to the foul line." -- Dean Smith

"I would never recruit a player who yells at his teammates, disrespected his high school coach, or scores 33 points a game and his team goes 10-10." -- Dean Smith

"If you're going to make every game a matter of life or death, you're going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." -- Dean Smith

Coach Pat Summitt Quotes

"Confidence is what happens when you've done the hard work that entitles you to succeed." -- Pat Summitt

"Discipline is about more than just punishment. Discipline is the internal structure that supports your organization. Used properly, it can help you maintain order without every having to actually do the unpleasant work or punishing people. It is the basis of leadership. Discipline is the only sure way I now to convince people to believe in themselves. Discipline is the internal mechanism that self-motivates you. It gets you out of bed in the morning. It gets you to work on time and it tells you when you need to work late. It drives you. It is essential to success, whether individually or in a group." -- Pat Summitt

"If it doesn't bother you, it won't bother them." -- Pat Summitt

"If you want to be in the game you better shoot 75% from the line." -- Pat Summitt

"Loyalty is not unilateral. You have to give it to receive it." -- Pat Summitt

"Put the Team Before Yourself." -- Pat Summitt

"Rebounding wins championships, you need to emphasize it and work with kids on it." -- Pat Summitt

"Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning. Losing forces you to reexamine." -- Pat Summitt

"Teamwork doesn't come naturally. It must be taught." -- Pat Summitt

"The more your players have to think on the basketball court, the slower their feet get." -- Jerry Tarkanian (1990 UNLV team won the NCAA championship)

"The secret is to have eight great players and four others who will cheer like crazy." -- Jerry Tarkanian

"Players will never do more than you demand." -- Jimmy Tillette

Coach Jimmy Valvano Quotes

"Other people go to the office. I get to coach. I know I've been blessed." -- Jim Valvano (1983 NC State team won the NCAA championship)

"All really successful coaches have a system." -- Jim Valvano

"How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it." -- Jim Valvano

"I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em." -- Jim Valvano

"A person really doesn't become whole, until he becomes a part of something that's bigger than himself." -- Jim Valvano

"Writing a manual forces you to place your thoughts and ideas down on paper." -- Tara Vanderveer

"Winning is about having the whole team on the same page." -- Bill Walton

"The big time is not a place; it's the state of your heart. It's not something you get; it's something you become." -- Frosty Westering

"Players don't care how much I know until they know how much I care." -- Frosty Westering

"The more honor and self-respect among players, the greater the team." -- Frosty Westering

"The key to the fast break is every one running hard for their teammates." -- Paul Westhead

"The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You've got to be accountable for who you are. It's too easy to blame things on someone else." -- Lenny Wilkins

"I learned early that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I'd have to do it myself. I learned that I had to be accountable." -- Lenny Wilkens

"Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success." -- Bud Wilkinson

"Play against the Game, not your opponent." -- Bud Wilkinson

"Good defensive play is as much a matter of hustle, desire and pride as it is anything else." -- Tex Winter

"Probably the most important aspect of individual defensive play is the 'close-out.' This approach to the ball should be made in a 'step-drag action' with advanced foot moving forward first and then the back foot in a boxer's type shuffling of the feet." -- Tex Winter

Coach John Wooden Quotes

"I continually stress to my players that all I expect from them at practice and in the games is their maximum effort." -- John Wooden (UCLA team set all-time records with four perfect 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories, and 10 NCAA championships)

"Be quick without hurrying." -- John Wooden

"I am not a strategic coach; I am a practice coach." -- John Wooden

"Good players can take coaching; great players can take coaching and learn." -- John Wooden

"The better conditioned team will probably win in the long run." -- John Wooden

"Conditioning is essential to success in basketball." -- John Wooden

"I do not want players who do not have a keen desire to win and do not play hard and aggressively to accomplish that objective." -- John Wooden

"We may not be the best conditioned team in the country, but our players think they are." -- John Wooden

"Losing is only temporary and not encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it." -- John Wooden

"Do passing drills that come from your offense." -- John Wooden

"The team is the star, never an individual player." -- John Wooden

"The greatest ally you have to get things working well and the players performing as a team is the bench. Don't be afraid to use it, either for the star player or anyone else." -- John Wooden

"It's not what you teach, it's what you emphasize." -- John Wooden

"Nothing will work unless you do." -- John Wooden

"Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you." -- John Wooden

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation." -- John Wooden

"As a leader, you will receive a large amount of praise and criticism and you should not unduly affected by either." -- John Wooden

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- John Wooden

"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change may be." -- John Wooden

"I never let our players get satisfied, I never let our Coaches get satisfied, I was never satisfied. We can always do it better." -- John Wooden

"If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier." -- John Wooden

"Leadership starts at the top." -- Morgan Wooten

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