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Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior Paperback – October 17, 2006
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An inside look at the higher wisdom of teamwork from Chicago Bulls' head coach Phil Jackson. At the heart of the book is Jackson's philosophy of mindful basketball -- and his lifelong quest to bring enlightenment to the competitive world of professional sports, beginning with a focus on selfless team play rather than "winning through intimidation". Sacred Hoops is not just for sports fans, but for anyone interested in the potential of the human spirit. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Considered a maverick for his unorthodox coaching methods, Jackson demonstrates how he adapts the precepts of Zen Buddhism, the ways of the Lakota Sioux, and other alternative styles to the task of coaching the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls. They range from group meditation sessions, to hanging Lakota warrior items on the locker room shelf, to splicing segments of the movie Wizard of Oz into game films to make a point. Perhaps of greater interest to fans are his reactions to the return of Michael Jordan, following Jordan's retirement, and his take on an incident in which one of his players refused to reenter a playoff game during its final moments. Chicago Bulls fans, in particular, should take interest in this inside view. For regional and large public libraries.
William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
There are basically four elements to Sacred Hoops. One is Jackson's personal road to philosophical development. I've read quite a bit on Zen and other schools of thought, so I found his perspective in that regard interesting. Another is a discussion of how Phil developed as a coach. I think those sorts of things are worthwhile for any coach generally speaking, because they can be sources of inspiration and motivation.
The third is a history of the Chicago Bulls teams up to the point of the book's writing. That bit I could care less about. Interwoven in that history, though, is the fourth element, which is how Jackson - at least in his own mind - dealt with a variety of different coaching challenges along the way. The level of athlete may be considerably different from the ones most of us have to work with, but many of the issues Phil brings up have parallels at all levels and in all sports.
I'm not going to say Sacred Hoops was some kind of major "Wow!" read for me. There weren't any parts which forced me to rethink things in my own coaching in a serious fashion. Perhaps that's at least partly because I'd already read about some of the philosophical stuff seemingly at the core of Jackson's way of thinking, so there weren't a lot of new ideas in that vein. Still, I thought it was a useful read from the perspective of offering up a different set of ways to look at things that could be filed away for potential future use or reference. For that reason I do recommend it coaches. Content aside, it's a convenient read as it comprises a lot of short sections so you can read it in short bursts as I did.
This is a book written in Phil's voice and reads something like a diary he would have kept. It gives some good biographical information on Phil, his years in school, as a player for the NY Knicks, as a beginning coach and how he came to combine his spiritual searches with basketball playing and coaching. Most of the examples given and stories told pertain to Phils years as head coach of the Chicago Bulls. There are a number of references to books on Zen and Indian spirituality that have influenced his thinking
The only critique I would have is that the book's sense of time is rather fragmented and does not progress in a strictly linear fashion. There are references to events that occurred earlier and those to come later. So, I had to construct my own timeline to track the strict evolution of events--a minor chore--but it would have been helpful if the book had supplied this.