COACHING INFORMATION: Taken from The MAGIC OF TEAMWORK, Proven Principles for Building a Winning Team, by PAT WILLIAMS (Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Atlanta, London, 1997)

* "How you select people is more important than how you manage them once they're on the job," said Red Auerbach. " If you start with the right people, you won't have problems later on. If you hire the wrong people, for whatever reason, you're in serious trouble and all the management techniques in the world won't bail you out."
* Talent sticks out; chemistry is harder to see....You can build a wild, entertaining, rambunctious team with talent alone; but to build a winning team, a championship team, a team that works together and functions like a well-oiled machine to get the job done, you've got to have chemistry. That's the magic ingredient.
* Chemistry--while harder to spot than talent--is even more important than talent... Chemistry is not easy to assess until you actually put the team together under real-world conditions and see how the individual members react to one another, play off one another, cooperate together, and synergize.
* "Team chemistry is the most fragile of all chemical mixtures. You never know how you get it, and you never know why you lose it. But when you've got it, you know you've got it-- and when you don't, you know that, too."....Joe Axelson
* Red Auerbach knew. "Talent alone is not enough," he used to say. "They used to tell me you have to use your five best players, but I've found that you win with the five who fit together best." (Ed.Note: Great coaching point!!)
* Build a quality team out of quality people who are always reaching for the next level of excellence, both individually and as a team.
* The greatest players of any game don't feel that they have arrived once they get to the pros--they know that they have only stepped up to the next level of play and that even high levels await them. They listen to coaches and veteran players, and they continue to learn, grow, and sharpen their skills.
* One of the most important skills any team needs to work on is the skill of communicating.....To be effective communicators we must be able not only to talk, but to listen.
* Every winning team has a vision. Without it, a team will never succeed. In fact, without a vision, a team can't even know what success is and won't even know how to get there. Your vision is your definition of what success is to you as a team.
* One of the leading complaints about leaders is that they often don't listen well. They don't have the patience to listen. Fact is, the best leaders are good listeners. They know that listening is silent flattery.
* A lot of leaders claim to have an open-door policy, but they don't really listen to people who come in the door. They allow all kinds of distractions and interruptions (such as phone calls) to get in the way of really listening to people. These leaders give little or no eye contact, and often try to get other work done while supposedly "listening." They interrupt and finish sentences for other people. Instead of really hearing what the other person says, they think they already know what the person is going to say--and they have already stopped listening. Instead, they are formulating an answer or argument to what they think the other person is saying. (Ed.Note: Great coaches will develop the ability to really listen to their players. Are you good at this or do you need improvement?)
* "If I went back to college again, I'd concentrate on two areas: learning to write and learning to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively."....Gerald Ford
* Tommy Lasorda is a leader who is available, accessible, and visible among the people. Maybe that's the reason he is so universally loved and respected by both players and fans.
* Public praise inspires and boosts morale. Public criticism destoys team spirit and generates resentment.
* "Most of us can run pretty well all day long on one compliment." said Mark Twain. "I am convinced encouragement is as vital to the soul as oxygen is to the body."
* A leader's praise is often remembered more warmly and vividly than the achievement itself.
* So knowing how to praise your players is a crucial part of leadership. But praise is only half the story. Sometimes you have to confront a player and hold him accountable. Sometimes you have to be tough. That's a leader's job. That's understood. But a leader should never destroy a player's self-esteem in the process.
* There is nothing more disruptive to a team than murmuring and complaining. In every sports team, every family, every company, every church, murmuring can run rampart--and when it does, it can destroy you. Matty Goukas, our first coach with the Magic, referred to murmuring players as "chirpers." After his first year, he said, "We've got a problem in our locker room. We've got too many chirpers--and we're going o start weeding them out." So, little by little, we began to deal off the chirpers to other teams, and the Magic became a stronger team as a result.
* It cuts both ways--a leader can be a murmurer as well. If he complains to his staff or others in the organization, murmuring about players or the officiating or the ownership, he sets a horrible example to the team--and he creates dissension, unhappiness, and negativity.
* FedEx founder Fred Smith gives us the simple antidote: Say nice things. "One of my bosses," he recalls, "had a way of saying nice things about his workers that got back to them. They were true things but nice things. We appreciated it. And we couldn't keep from trying to do more things that he could tell others about. People will work hard to uphold a good reputation."

*"I've met a lot of leaders who were never loved. I have never met a great leader who was not respected."....Norman Schwarzkopf

*"I think as a coach, I can manage discipline and command respect because I have in my hands the one thing players must have, and that's playing time. You cut a player's playing time and other privileges, and he may not like you--but he'll soon learn to respect you and to follow your directions as leader of the team."....Dean Smith

*Former Princeton coach Pete Carril said, "Two words to avoid are always and never. There is nothing that happens a certain way 100 percent of the time. Another way of saying that is that a coach does not want to be right more than 85% of the time. Flexibility is the key. Coaches and players who recognize that will not make the mistake of doing something the same way all the time. If you always do something one way, it will kill you."

*Muhammad Ali used to say, "To be a great champion, you must believe you're the best. If you're not, pretend you are."

*"Confidence is contagious," said Vince Lombardi. "So is lack of confidence." So a leader must exude confidence. If the team is going to follow you, the players have to have complete confidence in your competence to lead them.

*One of the toughest lessons I've had to learn as a leader is delegating. I think most leaders struggle with it. We think the best way to ensure that a project goes well is by leaving our own fingerprints on everything. Friend, that's a prescription for disaster in any team situation. The leader who runs the team like a one-man (or one-woman) show is really practicing a selfish form of management.

*A leader has to work harder than anyone else. A competent leader continually pushes himself or herself to the next level of his or her potential.

*If you want to build an atmosphere in which everybody pulls togeher in order to win, then you, as a leader, have to recognize that it all starts with you. It starts with your attitude, your commitment, your caring, you passion for excellence, your dedication to winning. It starts with the example you set. It starts with the way you treat and relate to your players.

*I asked Marlin assistant general manager, Frank Wren, why Jim Leyland was considered the top manager in baseball today. His answer: "I think the quality that distinguishes Jim is that he takes the time every day to talk with each player on the roster. Before the game begins he walks around the field or locker area and has a brief dialogue with everyone. He will check on a player's family or kid with them in order to get a reading on where their mind is that day and how they are doing. Not many leaders care that much or will take the time to do this on a consistent basis."

*The power of Moses Malone was not in his physique or his skills. It was in his heart. The guy just would not quit. Take rebounding. He operated on the assumpion that every shot taken in a game will be a miss. As a result, every time someone took a shot, whether at our basket or theirs, he positioned himself to go for the rebound. A lot of players will make a grab for six or seven of every ten rebounds--but Moses went after ten of ten, and a hundred of a hundred.

*Accountability is absolutely essential to the health and success of any team. Accountability is the glue that holds a team together. It's the mechanism that produces team synergy and alignment so that all members of the team are working in sync toward a unified goal, with all their energies in harmony.

*To succeed as a player, as a leader, as a team, you've got to be committed.You've got to be intensely focused. You've got to be willing to pay the price of success. That's a great chunk of what teamwork is all about: commitment. Being committed to each other. Being committed to winning. Being committed to a dream. Commitment makes it happen.

*Simply stated, a team attitude is a "we" and "our" attitude instead of a "me" and "my" attitude. When you become part of a team, you're not giving up your individual goals, you're not sacrificing your personal success. You are setting your sights on an even higher goal so that you can magnify your success. Whatever an individual can achieve, a team can do bigger, faster, more effectively, and more gloriously.

*When Pete Carril was at Princeton, he had one question for his recruiters about high school prospects: "Can he see?" No, he wasn't asking about the kid's eyesight. He was asking whether the kid was selfish or not: Can he see others around him to pass the ball to--or does he selfishly demand every tough, every dribble, every shot? Can he give the ball up or does he hog all the glory? "I like players who pass the ball," Pete said. "They can see everything. A pass is not a pass when it is made after you've tried to do everything else."