Coach K vs. Coach Knight

Topics: Mike Krzyzewski, United States men's national basketball team, NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship Pages: 2 (588 words) Published: October 26, 2008
Coach K and Coach Knight both have very different coaching styles. One shows a softer side to coaching, while the other believes in tough love. They both have very successful careers, illustrated by many wins in college basketball. But these different coaching styles lead one to ask, which is the most effective?

Mike Kryzewski (aka Coach K) has been the head coach of the Duke University’s basketball team since 1980. During this time he has lead his team with trust, respect, and close ties. He takes the time to understand his players, where they are coming from, and helps them get where they need to be. He believes in close communication and using eye contact to judge people’s feelings and let them see how he is feeling as well. He fosters very close relationships with players, inviting them to family dinners and is not afraid to tell the team he loves them. But he is not always so soft; there is another side to Coach K. He can be tough on his players if the situation drives him to be (players not showing respect for the program, team, or university). But he doesn’t use fear as his motivator, he knows when the situation calls for him to be tough and when not to be. His coaching style is vastly different from his former coach, Bobby Knight.

Coach Knight was the head coach at Indiana University from 1971-2000. During this time the team enjoyed many wins, including three NCAA championships. However, his coaching style was very controversial and eventually led to his termination from the university. Coach Knight believed in hard work and preparation for games. He demanded nothing but the best from his players and pushed them to strive for excellence. He did not play favorites among players, and did not tolerate egos or slacking off. As a motivational tool, he was known to use profanity and intimidation. He also displayed indications of a fiery temper, which he dismissed as passion. In an infamous incident at a 1985 game against Purdue, Knight...
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