Shaka Smart is the Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Texas and he’s got a phenomenal way about himself.

It just jumps out of this conversation how much he cares about other people, how invested he is in relationships, how he’s working to be the most authentic person he can be — and at the same time pull that out of other people.

He’s definitely a relationship-based coach, which is obvious in this conversation, and he’s got a real crisp point of view about how to help others become their best.

I hope you enjoy learning from Shaka as much as I did and that we’re doing justice in these conversations to highlight the brilliance and the genius within people.

I also want to thank Ryan Holiday, a former guest on the podcast, for introducing me to Coach Smart.

“Mastery is awareness, it’s alertness, it’s presence. It’s having a clear mind right now to be the best version of yourself.”

In This Episode:

  • Why not having his dad around as a child led him to become a coach
  • The struggle to efficiently devote the proper time to his family and be present during it
  • Learning the importance of trust from his mother
  • How playing for two basketball teams at once: one white and one black, helped him discover who he was as a person
  • His attitude towards money and the valuable gratitude lesson he learned from taking a trip to Mississippi
  • Why everything for him begins with the relationship he shares with each player
  • Mindfulness and it’s role with his team
  • The different types of coaching and when each is appropriate
  • The meaning of “epiphany moments” and how he creates them for his players
  • Having an awareness of what emotional state you are in
  • The role of the alpha in sports
  • His coaching philosophy
  • Whether or not you can train optimism
  • The relationship between growth and feedback
  • How he articulates mastery

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