SPEECH TITLES AND/OR TOPICS
Sports | Teamwork
By the close of the 1997-98 season, Coach Phil Jackson had amassed 560 career victories as a coach in the NBA. The NBA record books are replete with accomplishments of the Chicago Bulls during Phil Jackson's tenure, including the 1995-96 championship season in which the Bulls established a new NBA record for regular season wins, finishing 72-10. He reached his 200th and 300th career victories faster than any other coach in NBA history. But as NBA fans know, it is the playoffs that count and Phil Jackson owns the highest playoff winning percentage of all NBA coaches.
As head coach of the world champion Chicago Bulls, Phil Jackson developed an innovative approach to the game. His philosophy flies in the face of the dogma of American sports since the 1950's: the "winning-is-everything" code of belief. Phil Jackson's system centers on the power of awareness and selfless teamwork to achieve success on the court and to cultivate mindfulness in everyday life. As he puts it, "Awareness is everything. Being aware is more important than being smart." Considered a maverick for his unorthodox coaching methods, Coach Jackson has created a unique coaching style, which has adapted the precepts of Zen Buddhism, the ways of the Lakota Sioux and other alternative styles including group meditation sessions. He has even spliced segments of the movie Wizard of Oz into game films to make a point.
Phil Jackson shares his motivational techniques not just with other coaches, but also with people in all walks of life. As a response to the demand from people who wanted more information about Phil Jackson's techniques, he wrote Sacred Hoops. Sacred Hoops presents Coach Jackson's philosophy of mindful basketball, and how its principles can be used to promote a deeper understanding of life. He is also the author of The Last Season: A Team In Search of Its Soul, More than a Game, and Maverick.
Phil Jackson re-joined the Los Angeles Lakers as their head coach in June 2005, less than one year after he left the team to take a year off from coaching. Coach Jackson, the NBA's career leader in playoff victories and playoff winning percentage, has won nine NBA titles, tying Red Auerbach for the most all-time. Phil Jackson guided the Lakers to three titles in his first stint as their head coach from 1999-2004.
Going into the 2005-06 season, Phil Jackson owns a career coaching record of 832-316, his .725 winning percentage being by far the best in NBA annals. He has a career playoff record of 175-69, his winning percentage of .717 also heading the list.
Deep inside, however, Coach Jackson has remained remarkably consistent, self-possessed, focused and confident. These defining qualities have been put to best use in his role as coach. Firm but not severe, Phil Jackson neither babies nor bullies his players. Instead he gives them the opportunity to learn for themselves how to succeed, and a structure in which they can win as a team.
During the off-season, Phil Jackson lives in Montana. When not fly-fishing in Montana or riding his motorcycle cross-country, he shares his motivational techniques as a speaker, touring the world explaining his innovative theories of effective team building.
BOOKS Search For A Book