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  • Jack Fleming

David Fizdale — Building Your Program

David Fizdale newest Head Coach of the New York Knicks talks about how to build a program from the ground up in his latest clinic at Coaching U Live 2018.


  • Me and Spo started our vision in 1997 in the video room

  • What do you believe? How do you think the game should be played?

  • How do you think offence and defence should be played?

  • Accumulate your vision with information, then be flexible enough to change when you’re wrong.

  • We are going to be wrong a lot.

  • Every step of the way, take something from the people that you work for and make it your own.


  • Eric Musselman’s incredibly fast paced offence and ability to take advantage of isolations.

  • Mike Woodson’s dealing with knowing you’re going to lose a lot, but still preaching habits every single day. ATO’s he was the best too.

  • Miami Heat: how we look at defending, evolving as a coach, humility, building a culture.

Memphis Experience

  • Amazing growth and learning experience. Gun’s blazing for 18 months.

  • I learnt a valuable lesson: you cannot rush culture, relationships, trust and judgement.

  • Evaluate the talent that you have, fit it within your vision and system.

  • Unless you are in charge of absolutely everything, you better work out how to work with people.

New Job

  • Starts in the press conference, starts in your interviews.

  • Makes you put your vision, philosophy and how it works with your organisation, your personnel and your team.

  • Paint that picture for an organisation and you can be successful.

  • I prepared for 5 interviews in 11 days.

  • Offence, Defence, Player Development — how does that overlap with what the team has right now?

  • Never sacrifice what you’re players are truly great at, fit it into your coaching philosophy.

  • Press Conference: you better have your message, clear as hell.

“If you don’t win the people in your building, you cannot win a game.”
  • Listen, with no judgement.

  • HOW DO I SERVE? When people know that you are there for that, you will earn trust and support.

“There is no job too small.” — Miami Heat

Your Code

  • What are your core values?

  • Respect, serve, growth mindset, competitors only.

  • It has to be genuine. Can’t fake it.

  • From the moment I got fired to the moment I got a new job — I HAD 42 meetings.

  • Spending time with people who could teach me how to manage egos. Whoever would talk to me about how to manage people I listened to.

  • You will never reach a point where you don’t have to get better.

New York Knicks

  • Try and build relationships with my organisation.

  • Get your guys together right away, get to know them as soon as possible.

  • It only takes one person to screw up your whole deal, because they don’t feel valued.

  • When we won in Miami, the janitors got rings. Every single person. Can you imagine what that means to those people? Value and pride in your organisation.

  • Create an environment where (a) your players feel safe and (b) where your players enjoy being there.

  • Go and do fun shit with your team, remember to have fun! That is from the great Pat Riley.

  • If you are in the moment and forget about you, you will have fun with your team.

  • If you are straight with them they will fall in line. Consistency, spell it out early and you can conquer your battles.

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