Brian Soell


Good Morning! There were 3 core philosophies that guided Coach Dean Smith in his career and were constantly instilled in his teams by him and his staff. The Carolina Way, is often how this philosophy is referred to. Every year, regardless of personnel, these were the 3 goals:

  1. Play together (play unselfishly)
  2. Play hard (play with effort)
  3. Play smart (play with proper execution)

Coach Smith strongly felt by focusing on these 3 key areas, consistency could be achieved and winning games would be a by-product of this commitment. Furthermore, by meeting these 3 goals, a 4th by-product would be achieved...having fun! Does this sound similar to the 7 Keys?


However, this philosophy was not without critics. Back in 1977, after UNC had lost in the championship game, a writer for The Charlotte Observer, was very critical of Coach Smith’s philosophy and believed that UNC’s emphasis on consistency would prevent them from winning championships (A Coach’s Life, p. 174). Roughly 20 years after this date, Coach Smith retired from coaching, having demonstrated the importance of consistent execution. Here are a few things Coach Smith and his UNC teams accomplished: 879 wins, 13 ACC Tournament championships, 11 Final Fours, an Olympic Gold Medal, 2 National Championships, over 225 players graduated, and 57 played in the NBA.


This is why consistency is so important and why it’s key for SlideBelts. When we are committed to consistency, we can better navigate the choppy waters of criticism and not get bogged down on negativity, particularly from an unpleasant experience such as a negative comment. Keep up the great work of executing on the 7 Keys and have fun!


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