Phil Jackson is a basketball legend and unquestionably, my favorite coach in any sport. Throughout his Hall of Fame coaching career, Jackson won 11 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He coached superstar players such as Michael Jordan, Shaq and the late Kobe Bryant. He even won two titles as a player himself with the New York Knicks, even though he was predominantly coming off the bench. Nobody has won more NBA titles than Jackson, and the now-80-year-old has left the game of basketball for good with more than enough accolades for any coach!
My favorite Phil coach moment comes from him quoting Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book". He would meet with players and remind them of the following:
Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back—
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
As squash players, we are obviously involved in a very individual sport, and it undeniable that we must walk on that court alone in pressure moments and win or lose on our own merits. However we should also keep in mind that it takes a village to assist us in our preparations. We need practice partners, match play, coaches to advise and gym buddies to motivate. The strength of the wolf is indisputably, the pack!