Lately I’ve been reflecting on why I love that team and Coach K so much. They possess traits I admire and aspire to. Here are a few…
Confidence – I don’t know many teams that are hated as much as the Duke basketball team. I respect that the players don’t let the animosity distract them from playing their best, no matter how hostile the environment.
Lesson: Don’t be so concerned about what other people think, and don’t let their criticism rob you of your own positive energy.
Cooperation – You won’t see any of the Duke players trying to outshine their team members. They work incredibly well together as a team and really look out for each other. They celebrate each other’s special moments and keep their egos in check.
Lesson: When working with others, look for ways to make the most of their strengths. Give recognition and praise freely. Make decisions that take into account what’s best for everyone.
Composure – There were a few times this season when Duke was down by several points in a game. Their response was to stay calm, not rush shots, and just do what they needed to do to even the score.
Lesson: When you’re feeling pressured or upset, the key to responding well to the situation is to maintain your composure. If you let your emotions run away, you won’t be able to think clearly and take the appropriate action.
Effort – The Duke team comes prepared for every game. Champions put in the extra time. As freshman Mason Plumlee said, “Other teams just weren’t willing to go at each other the way we did behind closed doors in practice.”
Lesson: Don’t underestimate the amount of energy that you’re capable of giving to any endeavor that matters to you. Even when you’re tired and discouraged, you can still do more if you keep your eye on what you want.
Life is full of challenges and difficult moments. This insight from Coach K reminds me that the process of working through the obstacles is what defines us.
"There are always those times when you're going to be down, it's how you step through it that makes you the person you are.'' - Mike Krzyzewski