Best Coach K Quotes on Success and Leadership to Motivate you

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison04/06/22


Mike Krzyzewski is better known to the world as Coach K. Four more than four decades, he patrolled the sidelines at Duke, turning them into a consistent national power. While there, he won five National Championships, fifteen ACC Tournaments, and thirteen ACC regular season championships. As the head coach of the United States National Team, he won three gold medals. As an assistant, Coach K won another two gold medals, including being a part of the Dream Team. Now, he’s in both the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He retired following the end of the 2021-22 season as the winningest coach in college basketball history.

During his career, Coach K left his mark on Duke, the players he coached, and the sport as a whole. He’s been an incredibly quotable coach during his time too. So, let’s dive into his best quotes:

10 Best Quotes From Mike Krzyzewski

  1. “Don’t take your culture for granted. There needs to be a constant renewal of values that lead to camaraderie.”
  2. “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.”
  3. “I define passion as extreme emotion.”
  4. “Your heart has to be in whatever you lead. It became apparent that this decision was somewhat easier to make because you have to follow your heart and lead with it and Duke has always taken up my whole heart… The allure of coaching in college has no price. It’s one of those priceless things. I’ve never made a decision based on what will get me the most money. It was what was going to give me the most happiness and I’ve been really happy and fulfilled at Duke.”
  5. “Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals. Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.”
  6. “During critical periods, a leader is not allowed to feel sorry for himself, to be down, to be angry, or to be weak. Leaders must beat back these emotions.”
  7. “You have to work hard at staying in contact with your friends so that the relationships will continue and live on… Friendships, along with love, make life worth living.”
  8. “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!”
  9. “It takes courage not only to make decisions, but to live with those decisions afterward.”
  10. “In our program, the truth is the basis of all that 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 one another the truth. We must be honest with one another. There is no other way.”

Inspirational Quotes From Coach K

  • “I try to see each new season as a new challenge because I have a new team to work with, new opponents to encounter, and often new ideas and theories to try.”
  • “Discipline is doing what you are supposed to do in the best possible manner at the time you are supposed to do it.”
  • “Believe that the loose ball that you are chasing has your name on it.”
  • “I believe God gave us crises for some reason—and it certainly wasn’t for us to say that everything about them is bad. A crisis can be a momentous time for a team to grow—if a leader handles it properly.”
  • “Confrontation simply means meeting the truth head-on.”

Leadership Quotes From Krzyzewski

  • “I get a group of people who are talented to commit to excellence and to work together as one. That’s where it starts. Different talents, same commitment.”
  • “Leaders have to give time for relationships. But more demands will be placed on their time as they become more successful. So if a person’s success is based on developing relationships, then they have to continually find new ways of getting it done.”
  • “I don’t look at myself as a basketball coach. I look at myself as a leader who happens to coach basketball.”
  • “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.”
  • “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, its members want to show you their hearts.”

Funny Quotes From Coach K

  • “Turning down the Lakers was tough, but it is always good to renew your vows to the loves of your life.”
  • “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.”
  • “If what you did yesterday still looks big today, you haven’t done much today.”

Team Attitude Quotes From Krzyzewski

  • “We’ve created a jealous-free zone?… We look each other in the eye. We tell each other the truth. And we trust each other.”
  • “Everyone’s ideas should be heard. It doesn’t matter who gets credit. As long as you’re working towards the same mission and shared purpose.”
  • “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.”
  • “Goals should be realistic, attainable, and shared among all members of the team.”
  • “Mutual commitment helps overcome the fear of failure—especially when people are part of a team sharing and achieving goals. It also sets the stage for open dialogue and honest conversation.”

Success Quotes From Coach K

  • “We’re a part of this university in many respects. You can’t put a price tag on that. This has been the perfect place to coach and teach and learn… No matter how appealing another option was, to lead my Duke team with all my heart could only happen at this place.”
  • “He was the first person who taught me not to be afraid of failure.”
  • “When you cleanse yourself of a big victory, you may open yourself up to the opportunity for an even bigger victory.”
  • “My love for Duke and this building and the people in it – I can’t love it more. And so to have my name on the court is great… and I’ll try to continue to honor that court in the way we have.”
  • “I’ve tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we’ll win again, but I’ve also tried to handle failure well. If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I have made to sport. Not just basketball, but to sport.”