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hustleplays
01-23-2012, 10:41 PM
I'm sure that many of us have read Coach K's book, "Leading with the Heart." [I picked it up thinking it would be a great sports/duke b-ball book, and it is. But it also shows how Coach K brilliantly builds a winning team culture. Highly recommended!] In his 2nd chapter, "Building Your Team," there is a section on "Finding the Heart" [pp 30-33].

Just a few excerpts: "Heart is not easily defined, nor is it obvious to everyone...Just as there are different ELEMENTS of heart, there are different LEVELS...Leaders have to search for the heart on a team, because the person who has it can bring out the best in everybody else...while the coach has to look for it, it's always known by the players on the court -- always...The person with heart inspires the team...He's the one that makes the formula work -- one element that sets off the explosive reaction..."

Coach says that sometimes heart is easy to see [e.g., Hurley and Wojo], other times less so [e.g., Langdon]. He says that if he's fortunate there is more than one heart at high levels on a team. Finally, he says, "I'm ALWAYS searching for that in a team. I'm ALWAYS looking to lead with the heart. Every preseason I ask myself the same question. Where will the heart be?"

In past years, it has been pretty obvious who has the heart [not to say that there weren't other players whose heart was strong but less obvious to fans].

My question to y'all is: Where is the heart, who has the heart, on this team?

mkline09
01-24-2012, 06:04 AM
Interesting point you bring up, though I'm not entirely sure the issues that Duke is having this year have as much to do with heart as leadership. I'm not sure I've seen a game this year except for unc and FSU and said, "wow they have no heart." In Duke's case I like the effort, I like the intensity at times but they seem to be lacking that killer instinct. They just seem out of sync and again to reference K's book not "playing as a fist". I notice a lot of watching going on at times. It is hard to put a finger on it though. Defensive issues have already been addressed in another thread, but I think defense has been a weak area. I think not having a true on-court leader who just takes this team on his shoulders is obviously a problem at times. No one seems to want to take on the role. Krzyzewski said it in the preseason that leadership is a hard thing to develop. Some are better than others and obviously we are seeing that.

In years past as soon as Duke builds that 8 point lead they had against FSU under 10 mintues, they go in for the kill. I was thinking that was going to happen. But several times this year already we've seen that lead evaporate significantly and in some cases all together. It is hard to point at one guy though or fault effort. These alas are the challenges of a young and inexperienced team. There is still time to turn it around. Perhaps the heart ache of losing on a buzzer beater motivates some to step up to the challenge and take this team over.

SupaDave
01-24-2012, 07:03 AM
Interesting point you bring up, though I'm not entirely sure the issues that Duke is having this year have as much to do with heart as leadership. I'm not sure I've seen a game this year except for unc and FSU and said, "wow they have no heart." In Duke's case I like the effort, I like the intensity at times but they seem to be lacking that killer instinct. They just seem out of sync and again to reference K's book not "playing as a fist". I notice a lot of watching going on at times. It is hard to put a finger on it though. Defensive issues have already been addressed in another thread, but I think defense has been a weak area. I think not having a true on-court leader who just takes this team on his shoulders is obviously a problem at times. No one seems to want to take on the role. Krzyzewski said it in the preseason that leadership is a hard thing to develop. Some are better than others and obviously we are seeing that.

In years past as soon as Duke builds that 8 point lead they had against FSU under 10 mintues, they go in for the kill. I was thinking that was going to happen. But several times this year already we've seen that lead evaporate significantly and in some cases all together. It is hard to point at one guy though or fault effort. These alas are the challenges of a young and inexperienced team. There is still time to turn it around. Perhaps the heart ache of losing on a buzzer beater motivates some to step up to the challenge and take this team over.

I like this rationale b/c I certainly don't think heart is an issue (Tyler has got enough heart for the whole team). Our players aren't playing with that chip on their shoulders - at least not all of them yet. But the killer instinct is what we just might be lacking. This could be the biggest 'problem' with this team - the ability to put teams away. That's not a heart issue - in fact - I might say that it is a FEAR issue. This team isn't SCARED of losing just yet. They've got to get that businessman like mentality about winning in their SOULS.

Mike Corey
01-24-2012, 07:56 AM
I think this team began to find its direction after Temple.

Yeah, we lost to Florida State, but the manner in which Duke lost was very different.

Would Duke have been any less worthy, any less capable a team had Butler nailed that half-court heave? Of course not.

Duke's on the right path; K is working his magic. And I think K has taken the reins until a player steps up.

Native
01-24-2012, 09:02 AM
2311

Right here. Methinks that Florida State awoke a beast.

MCFinARL
01-24-2012, 09:08 AM
2311

Right here. Methinks that Florida State awoke a beast.

I agree--or at least I hope so. I thought this reaction to the loss was a very good sign. The next couple of games will say a lot about how effectively the reaction is being channeled.

hustleplays
01-24-2012, 12:18 PM
I agree--or at least I hope so. I thought this reaction to the loss was a very good sign. The next couple of games will say a lot about how effectively the reaction is being channeled.

Thank you very much for your replies to my question. Since I raised the question, I'm not going to jump in with any of my own answers. But I do want to say a little more, definitionally, about Coach K's view of heart. I do this carefully, with great respect, and knowing that, as he says, heart is not easy to define.

But it's clear that for Coach heart is much more and different than trying hard, intense effort and wanting to win. It's more and different than just "playing with heart." At a high level, heart is a very special quality that entails a fierce competitiveness, a refuse to lose attitude, a fiery passion for playing the game and for playing the game at its best -- all the time, and not buckling -- at all -- under pressure. It's having and showing steel.

Heart and leadership are very connected. Heart is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for leadership. It's so important for Coach because, as he says, every player can sense on the court who has heart and every great team needs heart. The heart is the glue and catalyst of the fist. Coach wrote the book a while back, before Nolan. But for one of our very best, recent examples of a player with great heart, Nolan's the man.

I hope that these thoughts contribute to the conversation. I really want to know what you think. Thanks.

ncexnyc
01-24-2012, 12:43 PM
I like this rationale b/c I certainly don't think heart is an issue (Tyler has got enough heart for the whole team). Our players aren't playing with that chip on their shoulders - at least not all of them yet. But the killer instinct is what we just might be lacking. This could be the biggest 'problem' with this team - the ability to put teams away. That's not a heart issue - in fact - I might say that it is a FEAR issue. This team isn't SCARED of losing just yet. They've got to get that businessman like mentality about winning in their SOULS.

A very good thread and your input is interesting. Yes, we've hung on to win a number of games where we've given up big leads. As you've pointed out we've failed to bury opponenets when the opportunity presented itself. I wonder why? To me it seems that everytime we reach that certain point in the games in question we fail to hit a wide open 3 or someone makes a forced play, which leads to a turnover and a serious momentum shift.

Now maybe this isn't a valid topic for discussion, since we watch the games at home and in hindsight it's easy for us to pick a particular score in the game and say this is where we should have burried a team, but in reality the players on the court don't realize this and as you say it's business as usual.

DukieInBrasil
01-24-2012, 12:46 PM
But it's clear that for Coach heart is much more and different than trying hard, intense effort and wanting to win. It's more and different than just "playing with heart." At a high level, heart is a very special quality that entails a fierce competitiveness, a refuse to lose attitude, a fiery passion for playing the game and for playing the game at its best -- all the time, and not buckling -- at all -- under pressure. It's having and showing steel.

Heart and leadership are very connected. Heart is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for leadership. It's so important for Coach because, as he says, every player can sense on the court who has heart and every great team needs heart. The heart is the glue and catalyst of the fist. Coach wrote the book a while back, before Nolan. But for one of our very best, recent examples of a player with great heart, Nolan's the man.
I agree with your definition as such, and with your example of Nolan as a player with immense heart. Scheyer, too, even if he was a bit quieter than NS.
WRT the bold section i don't see anyone on this team who has exhibited that quality. Perhaps Austin has it, but he hasn't been able to bring it to game level very often. I have been quite surprised that Ryan seems to embody part of that ethos, but buckles under pressure. IOW, he doesn't have the steel. Andre seems to be too dependent on his emotional state at the particular moment to embody that. Seth seems that way sometimes, but is unable to perform at a high level with the pressure on. Mason is a good player and driven to win, but he doesn't demand the ball very much (plus his FTs are so bad that he just can't be on the floor in crunch time). Miles seems to have improved in this area lately, but he needs to get meaner. TT seems to have it, but for some reason hasn't transmitted it to the rest of the team. Maybe there really are some serious chemistry flaws on the team that are hindering the expression of "heart".

Duvall
01-24-2012, 01:57 PM
A very good thread and your input is interesting. Yes, we've hung on to win a number of games where we've given up big leads. As you've pointed out we've failed to bury opponenets when the opportunity presented itself. I wonder why? To me it seems that everytime we reach that certain point in the games in question we fail to hit a wide open 3 or someone makes a forced play, which leads to a turnover and a serious momentum shift.


It's much more likely to be a result of Duke's subpar defense.

Lar77
01-24-2012, 03:13 PM
I agree--or at least I hope so. I thought this reaction to the loss was a very good sign. The next couple of games will say a lot about how effectively the reaction is being channeled.

I also agree. Tomorrow's game with Maryland (which will be high on emotion) and "our house" game with SJU (remember who beat us soundly last year) on Saturday will say a lot about our team.