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Relationships And Passion Are More Important Than X's And O's

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Chris Collins (@coach_collins) is the Head Basketball Coach at Northwestern University. Before arriving, Collins spent 13 years as an assistant coach for Duke and also worked closely with the USA Men's Basketball teams that won Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. As a player, Collins received Illinois' top high school honor as 'Mr. Basketball' and went on to an illustrious career at Duke University.

Working under basketball guru Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) for 13 years and playing for him as well, Collins learned that coaching and leadership is not as much about strategy, match ups, and the x's and o's as most people think. In order to truly be a successful leader, coaches must develop good, trusting relationships with their players, and help them come together as a common group that will fight for one another and fight for their coach.

As Collins says, "It doesn't matter how you play or what plays you run- if you don't have a group of guys who believe in a leader and what you're teaching, it won't work." The only way to build that belief is to build the deep relationships and to get to know the players by talking about things off the court so they trust you and believe you care. Once this happens, players tend to demonstrate enthusiasm, passion, and togetherness on the court, all things that usually make for successful teams."