My parents didn't really understand too much about sport. At that time, we were in a Polish community in the inner city of Chicago, and I was the youngest of a bunch of cousins. Polish families are real big, with cousins and aunts and uncles.
I'm still not a great reader, but my wife is and my daughters are, and I envy them. I think I got into a bad habit of trying to do something all the time, instead of trying to sit down and take my time a little bit.
A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That's how I want you to play.
When I went to high school, an all-boys' school, a Catholic school, I tried out for football, and I didn't make it. It was the first time, athletically, that I was knocked down.
Once you win a National Championship, how do you do that again? How do you get the passion to do that again? We won it again right away, the next year. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I didn't give myself an opportunity to enjoy the first one.
If you win a National Championship, or you win two, people think you have not only seen the Holy Grail, but you've embraced it. Basically, I do what a lot of people do, but I've been able to win.
Actually, the Kentucky moment was better than winning the two National Championships, because it was the epitome of what I try to get from a team in a crisis situation.
I had a really bad temper, when I was growing up. Sport helped me channel that temper into more positive acts.
The other thing I knew I had was a high level of competitiveness.
I've tried to handle winning well, so that maybe we'll win again, but I've also tried to handle failure well. If those serve as good examples for teachers and kids, then I hope that would be a contribution I have made to sport. Not just basketball, but to sport.
I'm fortunate now that I coach at Duke University and we've won a lot. I have some kids who haven't failed that much. But when they get to college, they're going to fail some time. That's a thing that I can help them the most with.
Even though we want huge individual egos, our collective ego is unbelievable.
That's another thing, we made up games. We didn't have equipment. When it snowed, we would play slow motion tackle football. We would play hockey, but we wouldn't skate. We just made things up. I loved doing that.
The thing I loved the most - and still love the most about teaching - is that you can connect with an individual or a group, and see that individual or group exceed their limits.
The life expectancy of a team is about eight months. Then the next year, it's a whole new team.
There are kids don't want to do something because they're afraid of looking stupid to their peers. There comes a time when they start protecting themselves, instead of extending. I want to make sure that they're always trying to extend themselves.
Playing sport was somewhat frivolous, but I liked it. I rebelled a little bit, and wouldn't go to music lessons and things like that, but I would go and play ball. My parents learned to love it because they saw how much I got out of it.
Basketball was not my main sport in grade school, or even the first year of high school.
Parents can really help, but they can also really hinder the development of their youngsters.
I've been so fortunate in my life that my family has never been jealous of my success. They have shown true love and commitment to me by being supportive. They shared in it.