As the winning coach with 11 NBA titles under his belt, Phil Jackson is considered one of the best basketball coaches the game has seen. As part of his legendary coaching, Jackson used some rather uncommon tactics to help create these championship teams -- tactics he shared with Oprah during an interview for "Super Soul Sunday."
The key concept behind Jackson's coaching methods, he says, was the idea of "one breath, one mind," a Zen principle he approached carefully with the Chicago Bulls. "I approached it with mindfulness," he tells Oprah in the above video. "As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we need to build our mental strength up... so we can focus... so we can be in concert with one another."
One way Jackson had his team practice mindfulness was through meditation. Oprah asks, "So, you would literally have the guys sit in stillness?"
"That's right," Jackson answers. "Taught them how to hold their hands, where their shoulders had to be, the whole process of being in an upright situation so you're not slouched... and they bought into it."
In addition to meditation, Oprah asks Jackson about another one of his mindful coaching tactics. "Did you not also have them play in the dark at one point?" she inquires.
"It wasn't totally dark, but I wanted them to get the idea of being able to do things that are just out of the ordinary, like silence day -- have a day of just silence," Jackson says. "There's a lot of chatter in basketball and, rightfully, you want players to be talking to each other... But sometimes in practice, it gets too verbose... so I tried to take things out of the ordinary and make them special so they'd understand the difference."
In the video, Jackson also explains two other mind-body practices that didn't quite work with his teams and reveals how both the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers responded to his relatively uncommon coaching tactics.
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