Shaka Smart Podcast

Shaka Smart joined host Michael Gervais on “Finding Mastery” for one of the best podcasts I’ve heard lately. Great stuff from Smart on the relationship between feedback and growth, what he learned from Billy Donovan, stole from Jack Clark and the “Big E’s” that he so desperately chases.


On the importance of work/life balance (6:45)

On being a relationship-based coach (11:50)

On his desire to learn, how he learns and why he loves to re-read his favorite books (27:45)

On non-verbal communication (31:15)

On breathing training, mindfulness, and meditation (33:20)

On how he has exposed some of his players to meditation (39:15)

On how your coaching staff must exhibit the core values they preach (41:43)

On how he developed his coaching philosophy while being an assistant (42:35)

On his coaching style, pushing people to be the best version of themselves, and “Big E” epiphanies (43:45)

On what it means to be a coach (46:25)

On the power of relationships, interactions and exchanges (50:35)

On “The Fundamental Decision” (52:09)

On “cool” or apathy as a self esteem-saving mechanism (56:48)

On bringing out a mean streak (or “the killer”) in a player (1:00:06)

On spending time with players (1:04:22)

On his recruiting pitch about developing the “whole person” and not just the player (1:06:45)

On his coaching philosophy—“Through relationships, building trust to help our guys become the best version of themselves” (1:08:47)

On the difference between being and becoming (1:09:59)

On learned optimism (1:14:33)

On relationships – “You are going to be who you’re going to be through these relationships you have” (1:17:37)

On growth – “The most important component of accelerating growth is changing someone’s relationship with feedback” (1:19:08)

On taking a different approach to coaching a player after a poor play (1:25:18)

On Anson Dorrance, UNC Women’s Soccer (1:26:36)

On the “Big E’S” (1:28:55)

On what “response” means in the Texas program (1:31:10)

For more on Shaka:
-Shaka Smart clinic notes (LINK)
-Shaka: “Your job is to adapt” (LINK)
-How Shaka Smart landed a top-5 recruiting class (LINK)

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