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Chris Collins: Building A Winning Culture At Northwestern Basketball

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Listen in as Positive Coaching Alliance goes 1-on-1 in interviews with top pro and college players, coaches, executives and other major sports figures who provide tips, tools, information and inspiration for youth and high school sports coaches, parents and student-athletes.

This 1-on-1 interview features Chris Collins (@coach_collins), the Head Basketball Coach at Northwestern University. Collins most recently led Northwestern to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Before arriving, Collins spent 13 years as an assistant coach for Duke University, where he had starred as a player. He also worked closely with the USA Men's Basketball teams that won Olympic Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012.

Jason Sacks (@jrsacks22), PCA's National Director of Business Development, talks to Collins about how he transformed Northwestern from a perennial loser to a successful team, his first tournament experience as a coach, taking the pressure off athletes, and keeping the fun in basketball by celebrating big successes as a team.

Other highlights of the podcast include:

  • The relationship Coach Collins has with Northwestern Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald, a fellow PCA National Advisory Board Member

  • What it meant to grow up as the son of a coach (Doug Collins)

  • Collins' recruiting philosophy in identifying players that align with his values

  • Building a team culture the "right way" and building a team identity.

  • Learning "leadership demeanor" from other great coaches like Coach K, Joe Maddon, and others.

  • The power of belief in accomplishing feats that have never been accomplished before

  • Taking the next step after achieving greatness.

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