40 Phil Jackson Quotes to Bring You Closer to the Top

These Phil Jackson quotes will teach you about leadership and winning, whether inside or outside the basketball court.

In the field of sports, Phil Jackson is definitely one of the names that you will never miss out on. He is known for being a star player, a great coach, and an executive in the National Basketball Association.

Phil Jackson’s way of incorporating his beliefs and philosophies in coaching significantly impacts the team he leads. Years after his retirement, he continues to inspire many coaches and players. There is no doubt that his legacy in sports and basketball will live on forever!

He also authored some books that immortalized his vast wisdom about winning and life. Given that, we’ve compiled some of Phil Jackson’s most valuable quotes below to guide you on any career you want to pursue.

Make sure to read the complete list below to learn more.

Let’s get started.

And don’t forget to check out these basketball quotes and John Wooden quotes.

Best Phil Jackson Quotes

1. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

2. “Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.”

3. “Approach the game with no preset agendas, and you’ll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts.”

4. “Your problems never cease. They just change.”

5. “The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way.”

6. “Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.”

7. “Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together.”

8. “Winning is important to me, but what brings me real joy is the experience of being fully engaged in whatever I’m doing.”

9. “You can’t force your will on people. If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire them to change themselves.”

Famous Phil Jackson Quotes

10. “Basketball is a simple game. Your goal is penetration, get the ball close to the basket, and there are three ways to do that: pass, dribble, and offensive rebound.”

11. “The ideal way to win a championship is step by step.”

12. “When the mind is allowed to relax, inspiration often follows.”

13. “The bigger your head, the easier to fill your shoes.”

14. “Before a vision can become a reality, it must be owned by every member of the group.”

15. “You’re only a success for the moment that you complete a successful act.”

16. “The unconscious mind is a terrific solver of complex problems when the conscious mind is busy elsewhere or, perhaps better yet, not overtaxed at all.”

17. “Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball.”

Also read: Famous Quotes, Positive Quotes

Wise Phil Jackson Quotes to Elevate Your Mind

18. “If we can accept whatever hand we’ve been dealt, no matter how unwelcome, the way to proceed eventually becomes clear.”

19. “If you have a clear mind, you won’t have to search for direction. Direction will come to you.”

20. “No one plays this or any game perfectly. It’s the guy who recovers from his mistakes who wins.”

21. “If you give the future all your attention, the present will pass you by.”

22. “Hearing the unheard, that’s a skill everyone in the group needs, not just the leader.”

23. “I’m not trying to find answers anymore. I’m trying to live what I know.”

24. “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.”

Also read: Encouraging Quotes, Inspirational Quotes

Phil Jackson Quotes on Leadership and Teamwork

25. “Leadership is not about forcing your will on others. It’s about mastering the art of letting go.”

26. “Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the ‘me’ for the ‘we.'”

27. “Basketball is a sport that involves the subtle interweaving of players at full speed to the point where they are thinking and moving as one.”

28. “As a leader, your job is to do everything in your power to create the perfect conditions for success by benching your ego and inspiring your team to play the game the right way. But at some point, you need to let go and turn yourself over to the basketball gods. The soul of success is surrendering to what is.”

Also read: Bob Knight Quotes, Mike Krzyzewski Quotes

Phil Jackson Quotes About Basketball

29. “In basketball, as in life, true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment, not just when things are going your way. Of course, it’s no accident that things are more likely to go your way when you stop worrying about whether you’re going to win or lose and focus your full attention on what’s happening right this moment.”

30. “Like life, basketball is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and an open heart. When you do that, the game and life will take care of itself.”

31. “What moves me is watching young men bond together and tap into the magic that arises when they focus with their whole heart and soul on something greater than themselves. Once you’ve experienced that, it’s something you never forget.”

Insightful Phil Jackson Quotes on Being a Coach

32. “Coaching is about ‘How do I get people to play at their peak level?’ It is a spiritual quest. And if it’s not that, you don’t have a challenge. You don’t have a mission. Forming a brotherhood and trying to move it forward, that’s what coaching is.”

33. “A coach’s main job is to reawaken a spirit in which the players can blend together effortlessly.”

34. “Everybody has an opportunity to play a role, a playmaking role, so it makes it harder to coach. It takes a little more time.”

Phil Jackson Quotes for Basketball Fans

35. “Winning was fine. In fact, my mother was one of the most fiercely competitive people I’ve ever met, but reveling in your own success was considered an insult to God.”

36. “My philosophy is that you can’t motivate players with speeches. You have motivated players that you draft. That’s where they come in, and those are the guys that are competitive. You cannot teach competitiveness.”

37. “I’m a patient person. I think that’s one thing that I feel comfortable I can deal with, the downfall and the errors, as long as I see progress and people trying.”

More Phil Jackson Quotes to Learn About His Philosophy and Beliefs

38. “You go in the weight room, and you lift weights, and you do all these things to strengthen your body. This is strengthening your mind. When you can stay focused, and you can use that focus to always come back with your breath to center yourself, so that you’re kind of floating in the moment, in the spirit.”

39. “But trying to eliminate anger never works. The more you try to suppress it, the more likely it is to erupt later in a more virulent form. A better approach is to become as intimate as possible with how anger works on your mind and body so that you can transform its underlying energy into something productive.”

40. “There’s a Zen saying I often cite that goes, ‘Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.’ The point, stay focused on the task at hand rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.”

How Did These Phil Jackson Quotes Impact Your Career and Life?

Most of us have an individualistic view of reaching our dreams in life. But, sometimes, success is best achieved by working with a group of people with the same passion and vision as you.

This is especially so in today’s world; flourishing and succeeding sometimes require us to build rapport and teamwork with others. This is a fact highlighted when reading Phil Jackson’s quotes. Through it, we understand the perks that cooperation and good leadership bring to the table.

Teamwork does not only apply to winning sports trophies. It is also helpful to practice it in any aspect of our future success. After all, many people working for a dream together is better than being alone and struggling.

Through this Phil Jackson quote collection, we hope you were able to get inspiration and a new perspective about teams and success. Make sure to apply what you’ve learned in this list to win in life!

Are you a fan of Phil Jackson? Do you like basketball? Comment your thoughts below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.