Four Pillars of Philosophy from Phil Jackson

Coach Furtado
2 min readMar 1, 2022


Phil Jackson is arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time. Diving into his life’s stories, insights, and philosophies was incredibly inspiring.

While I may not ever coach the same caliber of players like Kobe or Jordan, I want to implement parts of his philosophy into my own.

1. Continuity in Culture: One of the most challenging aspects of coaching in the player empowerment generation. But, a vital part of building championship-level teams and transforming the lives of the humans on the team.

There must be continuity in rules, attitudes, and ways teams approach the game when building a culture. Of course, it’s preferable to have the same players be on the team for years, but for coaching an HS program, the team players will constantly be changing.

2. WE over Me: The aspect that is fundamental to a culture I will build is WE over Me. The behavior we expect in our culture will always be about the bigger picture than ourselves. Managing egos is a considerable part of this. It’s imperative not to interject my ego.

A strong WE begin with player empowerment and let the team define their goals for the season. The team goals can then be implemented into the season at hand. Adapting to the team at hand is essential for success.

3. Process & Patience: Building a lasting culture takes time and patience. In today’s social media society we live in today, we want everything now, so it will take buy-in and trust from everyone to believe in the process. Ensuring everyone feels a part of the process is essential to the team’s well-being.

It may take more than a year to build the collective culture, and that’s completely normal. Of course, it’s vital to have a growth mindset and tinker with different strategies for optimal results. However, one should never switch entire philosophies! It’s the same as consistency, and if we are continually changing philosophies, there will be no consistency. No consistency, no success.

4. Mindfulness: Incorporating different aspects of mindfulness, whether yoga or meditation, will be a part of the culture. Being a student-athlete can be incredibly stressful. Social life, sports, and academics can all flow through a player’s mind throughout the day.

Giving youth the tools to calm their minds and bodies is essential to well-being. It’s about helping them recognize their gifts from the universe and their weaknesses and then cultivating strategies to implement them into their lives.

We are helping youth recognize the only moment we have right now in the present moment and how to lock in and thoroughly enjoy it.



Coach Furtado

Writing about leadership, teamwork, and human development through the lens of sports.