Below is a list of 10 qualities that make a great coach! I received this in an email from the Coaching Insider this morning and wanted to share. Enjoy!
- Longevity – Some coaches rise like skyrockets to win early championships, but great coaches put their love for their school against any other ambition.
- Drive – Coaches, like Paul Bryant and Nick Saban, may not have as much in common as people think, but they have the same drive. They ate, slept and worked at becoming better 365 days a year. Coaches like that drive themselves harder than they do their players or even their assistants. They set the standard for work ethic and dare everyone around them to just try and keep up.
- Creating Togetherness – Win as a team, live as a team, be responsible for one another like a team. Lou Holtz, in his first year as the Arkansas Razorbacks’ coach in 1977, stirring emotions so high that his heavily-underdog Razorbacks went and beat the team that would have won the National Championship with a victory, Oklahoma. In that game he suspended his best two running backs, he told the boys that it was them against the world and that nobody gave them a chance but him. But he told them if they believed in themselves as a unit the way he did, that no one could beat them.
- Fairness – Holtz sitting out his two best running backs in the biggest game of the season for the Hogs was just one example of fairness. Coach Bryant sat out Joe Namath for the biggest game of the year, the 1964 Sugar Bowl. The Tide won anyway. Namath said it was the single-most important act Bryant did to show him that it didn’t matter the crime or the player. Rules were rules and all would abide by them alike or all be punished alike. Instead of holding such a thing against him, Namath loved Bryant like a father and many years later, broke down in tears just mentioning his name at his NFL Hall of Fame induction.
- Consistency – Other coaches may have impressive streaks, but great ones have a consistency of success year after year.
- Being a builder – Some coaches inherit good programs and have good careers. Others build them, or in some cases, rebuild them. Bobby Bowden came to Florida State when it was everybody’s favorite homecoming team. To say it was a joke of a program would be an insult to joke programs. It had been a former girl’s school. He inherited a team that had won just four games in three years, yet his only losing season was his first in 1976. His Florida State Seminoles finished an unprecedented 14 straight seasons in the top five of the AP College Football Poll, and won the college football National Championship in 1993 and 1999.
- Making decisions and sticking with them – It’s not about being a dictator or arrogant. A great example was Bo Schembechler. When he came to Michigan, he thought the team was too soft and instituted a regiment that even many assistants thought was too tough on the players. But Bo was not about to be swayed from his decision. His first training camp in 1969 saw around 140 players enter, but just 75 emerge from the grueling camp to stay and embrace Schembechler’s system. Every Michigan football player who played for Schembechler and stayed at Michigan for four years left Michigan with at least one Big Ten championship ring. Later, when he was athletic director, the men’s basketball coach, Bill Frieder, who led them to the NCAA tournament announced at the end of the season he was leaving for another school. Instead of letting him coach his team in the last games of the season in the most important games they had in years, Schembechler fired him on the spot. People thought he was crazy, but he insisted that the coach of Michigan team be dedicated to Michigan first. His replacement came in and won all six of the tournament games and the 1989 NCAA Tournament.
- The buck stops here – A great coach is one who gives all the credit for win and takes all the responsibility for a loss. A great coach doesn’t blame the refs, a badly-timed fumble, or a cheap shot. A great coach can not only take the blame for his mistakes, but will also protect his players like a mother grizzly bear defending her cub.
- Love your school – Many coaches, once they were at “home”, would never give a thought to leaving. Many were offered better and higher-paying jobs to leave, but once they were “home”, they never left for pastures they thought were greener.
- Have class – How can you teach class without first having it yourself? “I have tried to teach them to show class, to have pride, and to display character. I think football, winning games, takes care of itself if you do that.” “I always want my players to show class, knock’em down, pat on the back, and run back to the huddle.” These are two great quotes from Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
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