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Mike Krzyzewski Quotes

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Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”

Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.

— Mike Krzyzewski



Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play.”

A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That’s how I want you to play.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Champions play as they practice. Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits.”

Champions play as they practice. Create a consistency of excellence in all your habits.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Two are better than one if two act as one.”

Two are better than one if two act as one.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Our goal is not to win. It’s to play together and play hard. Then, winning takes care of itself.”

Our goal is not to win. It’s to play together and play hard. Then, winning takes care of itself.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “My hunger is not for success, it is for excellence. Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows.”

My hunger is not for success, it is for excellence. Because when you attain excellence, success just naturally follows.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In leadership, there are no words more important than trust. In any organization, trust must be developed among every member of the team if success is going to be achieved.”

In leadership, there are no words more important than trust. In any organization, trust must be developed among every member of the team if success is going to be achieved.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Always get back to your core principles.”

Always get back to your core principles.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you. You haven’t done much today.”

If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you. You haven’t done much today.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “A team is a fist-not five fingers.”

A team is a fist-not five fingers.

— Mike Krzyzewski



Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader-and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.”

The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader-and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In order to be a winner, you have to look for ways of getting things done and not for reasons why things can’t be done. People who live with excuses have things that can’t be done hovering around them all the time.”

In order to be a winner, you have to look for ways of getting things done and not for reasons why things can’t be done. People who live with excuses have things that can’t be done hovering around them all the time.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “x’s and o’s” as compared to time spent learning about people.”

A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on “x’s and o’s” as compared to time spent learning about people.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “A leader may be the most knowledgeable person in the world, but if the players on his team cannot translate that knowledge into action, it means nothing.”

A leader may be the most knowledgeable person in the world, but if the players on his team cannot translate that knowledge into action, it means nothing.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.”

When a leader takes responsibility for his own actions and mistakes, he not only sets a good example, he shows a healthy respect for people on his team.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.”

People want to be on a team. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be in a situation where they feel that they are doing something for the greater good.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “I believe work is good. There is dignity in work. I also believe that a hard-work ethic forges strong leaders.”

I believe work is good. There is dignity in work. I also believe that a hard-work ethic forges strong leaders.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Courage gives a leader the ability to stand straight and not sway, no matter which way the wind blows.”

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

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable.”

There are five fundamental qualities that make every team great: communication, trust, collective responsibility, caring and pride. I like to think of each as a separate finger on the fist. Any one individually is important. But all of them together are unbeatable.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Courage and confidence are what decision making is all about.”

Courage and confidence are what decision making is all about.

— Mike Krzyzewski



Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “It takes courage not only to make decisions, but to live with those decisions afterward.”

It takes courage not only to make decisions, but to live with those decisions afterward.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.”

Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “When you first assemble a group, it’s not a team right off the bat. It’s only a collection of individuals.”

When you first assemble a group, it’s not a team right off the bat. It’s only a collection of individuals.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “I have a rule on my team: When we talk to one another, we look each other right in the eye, because I think it’s tough to lie to somebody. You give respect to somebody.”

I have a rule on my team: When we talk to one another, we look each other right in the eye, because I think it’s tough to lie to somebody. You give respect to somebody.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Leaders have to search for the heart on a team, because the person who has it can bring out the best in everybody else.”

Leaders have to search for the heart on a team, because the person who has it can bring out the best in everybody else.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “You don’t just be a team. You become a team. Through tough games you find that you need each other.”

You don’t just be a team. You become a team. Through tough games you find that you need each other.

— Mike Krzyzewski


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

You can’t defer if you’re the person who’s in the leadership position.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Effort is fully replenishable. There is no need to save any of it. Leave every bit you have on the playing field.”

Effort is fully replenishable. There is no need to save any of it. Leave every bit you have on the playing field.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Growth creates complexity, which requires simplicity.”

Growth creates complexity, which requires simplicity.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.”

To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.

— Mike Krzyzewski


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

I have a plan of action, but the game is a game of adjustments.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles. Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit. You believe that nothing can stop you!”

When you are passionate, you always have your destination in sight and you are not distracted by obstacles. Because you love what you are pursuing, things like rejection and setbacks will not hinder you in your pursuit. You believe that nothing can stop you!

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In leadership, there are no words more important than trust.”

In leadership, there are no words more important than trust.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Play and practice like you are trying to make the team.”

Play and practice like you are trying to make the team.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “People have to be given the freedom to show the heart they possess. I think it’s a leader’s responsibility to provide that type of freedom. And I believe it can be done through relationships and family. Because if a team is a real family, it’s members want to show you their hearts.”

People have to be given the freedom to show the heart they possess. I think it’s a leader’s responsibility to provide that type of freedom. And I believe it can be done through relationships and family. Because if a team is a real family, it’s members want to show you their hearts.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Leaders show respect for people by giving them time.”

Leaders show respect for people by giving them time.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.”

Imagination has a great deal to do with winning.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime.”

Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “The person who has inspired me my whole life is my Mom, because she taught me commitment. She sacrificed.”

The person who has inspired me my whole life is my Mom, because she taught me commitment. She sacrificed.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “For a college basketball player or coach, to reach the Final Four is la-la land. You’ve achieved, you’ve got your stamp of approval. My first team to do that was in 1986. Then we did it in ’88, ’89 and ’90.”

For a college basketball player or coach, to reach the Final Four is la-la land. You’ve achieved, you’ve got your stamp of approval. My first team to do that was in 1986. Then we did it in ’88, ’89 and ’90.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In developing teams, I don’t believe in rules. I believe in standards. Rules don’t promote teamwork, standards do.”

In developing teams, I don’t believe in rules. I believe in standards. Rules don’t promote teamwork, standards do.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.”

You develop a team to achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. All of us alone are weaker, by far, than if all of us are together.

— Mike Krzyzewski


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

I think leadership is never singular. In a good organization, it’s plural.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In our program, the truth is the basis of all we do. There is nothing more important than the truth because there’s nothing more powerful than the truth. Consequently, on our team, we always tell each other the truth. We must be honest with one another. There is no other way.”

In our program, the truth is the basis of all we do. There is nothing more important than the truth because there’s nothing more powerful than the truth. Consequently, on our team, we always tell each other the truth. We must be honest with one another. There is no other way.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships.”

Almost everything in leadership comes back to relationships.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.”

Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “I think coaching is confused at times as being an arrow that only goes to a player. Those players send arrows back to you, and that’s where a relationship is developed. I don’t make a player, and a player doesn’t make me a coach. We make each other.”

I think coaching is confused at times as being an arrow that only goes to a player. Those players send arrows back to you, and that’s where a relationship is developed. I don’t make a player, and a player doesn’t make me a coach. We make each other.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “Good sound habits are more important than rules – use concepts.”

Good sound habits are more important than rules – use concepts.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “I never want to lead a team that is not allowed the freedom to pursue what’s in their hearts. If you want your team to be fully committed, then you’d better be fully committed.”

I never want to lead a team that is not allowed the freedom to pursue what’s in their hearts. If you want your team to be fully committed, then you’d better be fully committed.

— Mike Krzyzewski


Mike Krzyzewski Quote: “In putting together your standards, remember that it is essential to involve your entire team. Standards are not rules issued by the boss; they are a collective identity. Remember, standards are the things that you do all the time and the things for which you hold one another accountable.”

In putting together your standards, remember that it is essential to involve your entire team. Standards are not rules issued by the boss; they are a collective identity. Remember, standards are the things that you do all the time and the things for which you hold one another accountable.

— Mike Krzyzewski

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