Coach K vs. Coach Knight Essay

1291 Words Oct 18th, 2013 6 Pages
Subject: Coach K vs. Coach Knight
Several NCAA Championships, consecutive final four appearances, and hundreds of victories. These are only few things from a long list of accomplishments that two the candidates for the head coach position have already achieved as a coach. Based on statistics, it would be hard to differentiate the legendary Coach Knight and Coach K, but if one examines the masters from a psychological perspective, significant differences can be found. Even though the accomplishments of these individuals are impressive and clearly reflect the effectiveness of their leadership styles, there are factros such as personal qualities and characteristics that make Coach K a better fit to the Pepperdine Athletic Program. In
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Beside the difference in behavioral approaches, the two coaches differ regarding their assumptions about the players’ attitudes. Coach Knight’s philosophy is that „kids will be satisfied with what you tolerate.” His perfectionist attribute comes from this idea since he thinks players will be satisfied with mistakes if a coach tolerates them. This assumption about players being lazy and trying to avoid working hard defines Douglas McGregor’s Theory X about human nature. The renowned MIT professor defined another category of people with his Theory Y which includes people who enjoy what they do and therefore put effort into furthering organizational goals. This theory better reflects Coach K’s philosophy who believes that his players work hard because the family environment with its care and love makes the team ”members want to show their hearts.” Rather than using force to follow instructions, Coach K transforms his team to a family which helps players become committed to certain goals. In addition to that, rather than becoming a dictator who tries to enforce all the rules, Coach K wants to be a flexible and dynamic leader. His ability to combine different leadership styles depending on the situation and the development level of his players is very unique. In contrast with Coach Knight who can be best described as a directive and

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