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Mike Krzyzewski is considered one of the most accomplished basketball coaches of the 20th and 21st centuries. The teams under his leadership won in many seasons, and most of his players have got the best ratings. The declaration of his name in the public arena makes most people think of basketball courts. Mike is celebrated for many reasons. No wonder, I consider him my hero. He has a stunning record of excellent performance coupled with other philanthropic acts. Amazingly, Mike comes from a poor background, although he is currently among the highest paid coaches. The paper explores Mike’s background, his upbringing, sports participation, coaching roles, philosophy and accomplishments. It also explores the core reasons why I consider him as my all-time coaching hero.
Mike’s success story did not happen overnight. In essence, he took time to cultivate his life skills and professional expertise to reach his current position. Mike Krzyzewski was born on the northern side of Chicago on 13th February 1947 in the family of Bill and Emily Krzyzewski (Brigger, 2014). His parents were immigrants who lived in a multi storey building with their relatives. Bill was an elevator operator whereas the mother, Emily, worked as a cleaning lady. From childhood, Mike had a strong support from his family. For example, he has been commonly heard citing the work ethics and tenacity influence to his parents. Mike attended St Helen Elementary School and Archbishop Weber High school. It is important to note that Mike showed great interest in sporting activities. However, in high school, he has defined his course to basketball. At one point, he has made such a great impression that he was recruited by Coach Bob Knight for the United States Military Academy. His eemplary performance propelled him to be appointed as the captain of the team. Upon his graduation, he continued to serve in the US army from 1969 to 1949 (Moore, 2014). Mike also traces his religious background to the catholic community. His parents were staunch Catholics that taught him on the need to acknowledge God in all his endeavors.
Equally, Coach K, as famously nicknamed, is well known for his philosophy of ‘continual learning.’ He refutes stagnation once one has made any accomplishment. He believes there is always room for improvement. In fact, to him, sky is the limit. The coach is against self-satisfaction and absorption. He believes that one should be able to learn continually from others (Zegers, 2014). Krzyzewskiapplies this policy by inviting friends and experts to watch the team practicing and comment on the areas that need improvement. The comments act as an insight to the approaches that would be important for success in a particular match. Coach K also has a philosophy of practice. He is a strong believer in an important American adage, which emphasizes that practice leads to perfection. Most of the teams that Coach K has been leading are usually subjected to intense practices. The philosophy has propagated most of the players to sharpen their skills while at the same time enhancing their emotional maturity. Emotional stability is essential in the lifelong success of an individual. Coach K has a philosophy on considering and adapting to the distinctive personality of each player (Zegers, 2014). In fact, every week, he invites players to his home where they share homemade meals and converse on different matters. The habit has helped him learn about the distinct features of his players and integrate them together. In fact, Coach K is known to have one of the best relationships with his players. He grants them the needed freedom for growth, which eenables them blossom in their area and realize their potential to the fullest. The friendly environment allows most players to take full control of their behavior and display their best in every game; a philosophy widely been termed as a facility team culture.
Concerning coaching roles and accomplishments, Coach K has taken up several coaching roles upon his 1974’s retirement from his successful active duty. First and foremost, he started his coaching career as an assistant of Bob Knight in Indiana. One year later, he returned to West point as head coach. During this time, he made a massive accomplishment by leading the Cadets to a 73-59 record. In 1980-1981, Coach K took over at the Duke, and in the first season, the Blue Devils led 17-13 in the NIT quarterfinals (Zegers, 2014). In the fourth season, Krzyzewski earned the first NCAA tournament berths with the Devils. In 1992, he won the Olympic gold as an assistant coach. Despite health problems, Coach K added to his fame in 2010 when he gained a fourth title. From 2005, Krzyzewski has been the head coach of Team USA. In the team, he has also had victories. For instance, he won a bronze medal during the FIBA World championship in Turkey.
Thus, Mike Krzyzewski leaves behind a legacy rich in major accomplishments that the whole world admires. For example, he is one of the coaches who have obtained four NCAA championship titles (Moore, 2014). He also led the Team USA to victory during the FIBA championship. Coach K has a legacy of success, determination and zeal. Besides, he has also demonstrated some of the best life philosophies that can be emulated by other upcoming coaches. He also got himself involved in philanthropic activities that have won the hearts of many. Moreover, he has gone ahead to publish two books that have illustrated the recipe of success in sporting activities.
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