On this podcast, we get to hear from many different vantage points: artists, scientists, elite military, politicians, those who run highly successful businesses, and those who have been on the razor’s edge in the sports arena.

When it comes to elite sport, there’s a rare breed that have succeeded as both player and coach — and winning championships in both roles is almost unheard of.

That is why I wanted to sit down with Luke Walton, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Luke played in the NBA for 10 years, winning 2 championships.

He’s coached for 4 years, winning one NBA title with the Golden State Warriors.

But even more important than his track record, Luke is flat-out a phenomenal human being.

He was hired as the 26th head coach in Lakers franchise history, the eighth individual to both play and coach for the organization, and is the youngest coach in the NBA.

Luke has been around the game of basketball and legends his entire life.

His dad, Bill, played under John Wooden at UCLA, is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. The father/son duo are the only pair in NBA history to both win multiple NBA titles.

Luke’s had the fortune of being coached by and playing with the likes of Lute Olson, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, and the list goes on and on.

In this conversation, we talk about the impact these people have had on the way he looks at life and how he thinks about improvement.

We discuss how relationships impact performance.

We talk about the mindset that is required to make it at the professional level and why he believes mindfulness is an important part of that equation.

I hope this conversation gives you some wonderful insight into how Luke approaches learning, living, growing and being in relationships to bring the best out of each other.

“The greatest coaches teach way more about life than they do about basketball.”

In This Episode:

  • How he was impacted by growing up around legends (hid dad, Larry Bird, Jerry Garcia, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant)
  • The reason he was ok with being a role player during his 10+ year NBA career
  • Why winning a championship matters no matter how big or small a role you play in it
  • Whether or not teammates need to get along to win in basketball
  • Lessons from his dad (Bill Walton)
  • What it was like playing with Kobe, the greatest competitor he’s ever been around
  • Whether or not he would want his children to have the same qualities as Kobe
  • The mindset required to make it at the professional level
  • Implementing mindset training with the Lakers
  • Why awareness is most important mindset skill to him
  • What he would ask another “master of craft”
  • Why he’s not on social media

 

Listen via: iTunes | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

 

 

Quotables:

“Pressure comes from within. It’s not real. I have complete control of pressure situations, it’s how much do I want to let outside factors have control over me.”

“There’s such a huge part of the game that’s mental and I feel like it’s such an untapped resource where we can make huge strides, not only in our industry but for our team and our young players.”

“I love people. I see the good in everybody. I try to bring that type of environment into my job now coaching.”

“There’s a sense of joy inside when I’m at my best.”

“To truly become a master or even close to it involves sacrificing time with your family, it’s sacrificing vacations, it’s sacrificing going out to bars on a Saturday night.”

On the Lakers: “We’re family and we got each other’s back but we’re here to push each other and get better.”

“As a culture, as a community, we’re losing so much of our human interaction, our conversations, just relying on social media instead of talking to people. I love the human interaction in life.”

On Kobe Bryant:

“The most fierce competitor I’ve ever been around to the point where I didn’t even know that you could be like that.”

“He can get his mind to a place that was so beyond even my understanding of a place you could live in everyday.”

 

Related Episodes:

  • Finding Mastery 085: Texas Men’s Basketball Head Coach Shaka Smart on Bringing Out The Best In Others
  • Finding Mastery 083: Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts on the Warriors’ Success, Culture, Leadership
  • Finding Mastery 080: Author & speaker Jon Gordon on Team Building, Relationships, Connection
  • Finding Mastery 047: Coach Paul Assaiante on The Longest Winning Streak in the NCAA, Perspective, Courage
  • Finding Mastery 027: Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll on Competing to Be Your Best

 

Luke Walton is the current head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 10 seasons in the NBA as a forward, and won two NBA championships with the Lakers and won one with the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach.