Winning a championship and earning the title of "the best" is at the forefront of athletes' minds often from the start of their seasons. Those who succeed are met with a frenzy of celebration, adoration and attention -- all of which legendary coach Phil Jackson has witnessed firsthand. Jackson has led his NBA teams to championship wins 11 times, but says that there is a very real downside to winning.
After his team, the Chicago Bulls, won their first championship in 1991, the "Zen master" initially thought it would get easier the second time around. During an interview with Oprah for "Super Soul Sunday," Jackson admitted that this isn't the case. In his book, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success, Jackson explains, "As soon as the cheering stops, the dance of the wounded egos begins."
"Success is as hard to accept as failure, sometimes," Jackson tells Oprah. "Everybody wants a piece of it."
Jackson says he felt responsible for helping to instill character and keep his players centered, whether they were experiencing an extreme low, like a hard-fought loss, or an extreme high, like a championship win. "As a coach, you can always bring them right back to the middle road," he says.
Staying centered is important because success, Jackson says, is never a guarantee, no matter how many times you win.
"You're only a success for the moment you do a successful act," he says. "So, these acts have to be repeated all the time. Your exuberance about one successful act or one successful game or one successful season is only a success at that time... You've got to do the same thing again and again and again."
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