Advice From A Genius

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The following was written by Bill Walsh, often nicknamed ‘The Genius’, in his book, Building a Champion.  He wrote it referring specifically to professional players but it holds for all levels.

Coaches have to realize that players aren’t necessarily going to appreciate what you’re doing for them.  The player assumes this is part of your job.  Because he is part of a select few, he feels that someone else should deal with the mundane details of his life.  As soon as you resolve one problem, he tends to forget that and comes into your office with another.  A coach who expects that the player will be appreciative or demonstrate more loyalty or will be more motivated on the athletic field as a result will very likely be disappointed.  A coach should take these actions because he feels they’re in the best long-term interests of the athlete.  The coach should believe that his advice, counsel, and actions on behalf of the athlete are ethically and morally right.  He should not expect service in return.

Tagged Coaching Philosophy, Bill Walsh

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  1. That’s such a great quote. The last three sentences are the critical ones. I was talking to a guy from New York the other day who was complaining about his kids being ungrateful. How he gives them cars to drive then they don’t pay fines so he has to pay for the car to get out of impound so that they can have it back.

    All I could think of was that he was facilitating their helplessness. He meant well, but the ‘best long-term interests of the’ kids were NOT being looked after with his actions.


  2. it definitely reminded me of an old vietnamese proverb i heard recently. “The tears flow down, not up”. The love from parent to child (coach to player) goes unreciprocated and it’s just the way it is. And I definitely agree that sometimes what’s in their best long term interests isn’t to fix the immediate problem


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