Nov 27, 2015
Revisiting Mike Krzyzewski’s ‘Gold Standards’

This is a throwback from Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s book, The Gold Standard. But with high school basketball seasons tipping off again, I thought it would be appropriate to share.

Coach K had what he called a list of “Gold Standards” in developing his USA Basketball squad, and he shared them for other coaches. The points are simple, yet they epitomize what every basketball team should value most.

Here are some of Coach K’s “Gold Standards:”

• NO EXCUSES

We have what it takes to win.

• GREAT DEFENSE

This is the key to winning a gold medal.

We will do the dirty work.

COMMUNICATION

We look each other in the eye.

We tell each other the truth.

• TRUST

We believe in each other.

• COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY

We are committed to each other.

We win together.

• CARE

We have each other’s backs.

We give aid to a teammate.

• RESPECT

We respect each other and our opponents.

We are always on time.

We are always prepared.

• INTELLIGENCE

We take good shots.

We are aware of team fouls.

We know the scouting report.

• POISE

We show no weakness.

• FLEXIBILITY

We can handle any situation.

We don’t complain.

• UNSELFISHNESS

We are connected.

We make the extra pass.

Our value is not measured in playing time.

• AGGRESSIVENESS

We play hard every possession.

• ENTHUSIASM

This is fun.

This is a great list. My favorite is “No excuses: We have what it takes to win.” Players have the tendency of focus on what the team lacks or what it doesn’t have when times are difficult. Instead, tell players to believe that they have the tools — it’s just a matter of learning to use them correctly.

Revisiting Mike Krzyzewski’s ‘Gold Standards’

By Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director

Sharing Block: Winning Hoops Sharing Block

This is a throwback from Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s book, The Gold Standard. But with high school basketball seasons tipping off again, I thought it would be appropriate to share.

Coach K had what he called a list of “Gold Standards” in developing his USA Basketball squad, and he shared them for other coaches. The points are simple, yet they epitomize what every basketball team should value most.

Here are some of Coach K’s “Gold Standards:”

• NO EXCUSES

We have what it takes to win.

• GREAT DEFENSE

This is the key to winning a gold medal.

We will do the dirty work.

• COMMUNICATION

We look each other in the eye.

We tell each other the truth.

• TRUST

We believe in each other.

• COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY

We are committed to each other.

We win together.

• CARE

We have each other’s backs.

We give aid to a teammate.

• RESPECT

We respect each other and our opponents.

We are always on time.

We are always prepared.

• INTELLIGENCE

We take good shots.

We are aware of team fouls.

We know the scouting report.

• POISE

We show no weakness.

• FLEXIBILITY

We can handle any situation.

We don’t complain.

• UNSELFISHNESS

We are connected.

We make the extra pass.

Our value is not measured in playing time.

• AGGRESSIVENESS

We play hard every possession.

• ENTHUSIASM

This is fun.

This is a great list. My favorite is “No excuses: We have what it takes to win.” Players have the tendency of focus on what the team lacks or what it doesn’t have when times are difficult. Instead, tell players to believe that they have the tools — it’s just a matter of learning to use them correctly.






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