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Excerpt from the Forward to The Power of Double-Goal Coaching by Jim Thompson

By Phil Jackson

Positive Coaching Alliance National Spokesperson

Head Coach, Los Angeles Lakers


The Power of Double-Goal Coaching, Jim Thompson’s latest book, is a terrific, concise summary of the impact a character-focused coach can have – for a season or a lifetime.


It is a practical book coaches can use to get better results from players while providing an ethically superior approach to competitive sports. When coaches regularly use these positive forms of motivation, they find they have willing, eager athletes on their teams.


In particular, our coaches, parents, and athletes need to understand and embrace what Jim calls the ROOTS of Honoring the Game: respect for Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates, and Self. Honoring the Game is needed at all levels of sports.


Click here to purchase The Power of Double-Goal Coaching


I have personal experience with how honoring the opponent is a concept that works. In 1990, my Chicago Bulls were defeated for the third consecutive time by the Detroit Pistons. We had lost to them in the first round, the second round, and in the finals of the Eastern Conference playoffs. It was easy to build up dislike for the Pistons “Bad Boys” after such futility. Each year had brought a confrontation, from a benchclearing brawl to take-downs and flagrant fouls, one of which resulted in a concussion to our young star, Scottie Pippen.


As a result, we had developed a raw anger toward their team that had clouded our abilities to function instinctively as a team. I used something I’d learned from the Lakota of the Dakotas. They had a mortal enemy in the Crow, but they honored them because they were wonderful warriors and to fight against the Crow demanded bravery, cunning, and teamwork. I borrowed that theme. The conflict brought about the best of both tribes. So rather than getting angry and frustrated in a contest with a physically stronger team like the Pistons, and flailing out in futility, we resorted to meeting them with focused willpower, resilience, and teamwork. We honored the Pistons ability to compete and it worked in our favor, with six NBA championships for the Bulls.


I agreed to be the National Spokesperson for PCA when Jim Thompson asked me because I believe so strongly in the kind of sports culture that PCA is fighting for. I am proud of the 10 NBA championship rings that I have earned as a coach, but I also want the success of PCA to be part of my legacy.


As a leader, coach, parent, or athlete, I hope you will make it part of your legacy also. Together let’s transform youth sports to be all it should be in the lives of our nation’s youth.


Phil Jackson

PCA National Spokesperson

Head Coach, Los Angeles Lakers


Click here to purchase The Power of Double-Goal Coaching


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