What I’ve Learned from Coaches of Other Sports

As well as learning from coaches within your coaching sport, we can learn from coaches in other sports, both positive and negative. For me, I've learned from professional football coaches. The great ones are well-organized and have their teams prepared for any game situation. They stress execution and precision and run purposeful practices. They also oversee all branches of offense, defense, and special teams, which is daunting.

Because of this amount of responsibility, great football coaches are more essential for success than in any pro sport. Plus, they have to deal with players that can be egocentric, un-coachable, or uneducated. The coaches that handle all these factors and get their players to work as a team toward one goal are successful.

Coaches that have exhibited these qualities historically and in the present are Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Bill Walsh, and Bill Belicheck. Lombardi and Walsh were system coaches. They took over bad teams and immediately changed player mentality by proving through repetition and results that their philosophy worked. Shula and Belicheck adjusted their coaching methods to their personnel, winning several championships along the way.

I have also learned from these coaches and others how not to act, specifically interacting with people not involved directly with the sport. Football coaches are boorish, humorless, paranoid, smug, distrusting, and devoid of integrity. They blame outsiders for losses and come across as spoiled brats.

For example, Belicheck was fined a half million dollars for spying on other teams. Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears has no patience for the media, gives the media little credit for having any knowledge of the game, makes excuses for his players, and gives nothing answers or insight when asked questions. This last point makes Smith look more inadequate when he is outcoached because we don't know what HE knows.

I would rather see coaches follow professional basketball coaches such as Glenn Rivers, who is very direct and forthcoming and understands players should be professionals and held accountable for their actions and play.