Quotes – Part 1

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Over the last couple of years on the facebook page I have posted quotes that jumped out at me from various sources.  Here is a collection of some of them. In no particular order.

“From failure you learn ten times more. Victory gives you ten minutes of peace, but then it makes you stupid.” Pep Guardiola

“Being a coach is fascinating. That is why it is so difficult for some to give up. It’s sweet, a constant feeling of excitement, your head is going at 100mph all the time.” Pep Guardiola

“In a club’s normal practice sessions, the idea is for the coaches to push the players so that they work just one notch harder than they want to work.” Phil Jackson

“The key is not the “will to win” – everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” Bobby Knight

“Football is not art. But there is an art to playing good football. … It is also very difficult to play simple football. It is the same with artists. The best work is not difficult, it is simple.” Ruud Krol

“I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.” Michaelangelo

“Football, as anything else, is always a series of problems. Your success will depend on how well you are prepared and how well you handle those problems as they come along.” Bill Walsh

“Success is about having. Excellence is about being.” Mike Ditka

“There’s a different between knowing the path and walking the path.” Morpheus

“If you make every game a life and death proposition you’re going to have problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.” Dean Smith

“Real competitiveness is what you do when the opponent is yourself.” Mark Lebedew

“Statistics is similar to a hiking map: once you use it, it has been overtaken by reality already. It can be put to good use for orientation though. You have to read it with sanity or will get mislead otherwise.” Martin Kruse, German Theologian

“I think structure creates freedom.” Ron Howard

“There’s no speech that causes that turnaround. It’s simply a matter of will.” Peyton Manning

“My foundational principles were established decades ago, … I lived my athletic career with these principles as my guide, and continue to adhere to them as a volleyball teacher and coach. They are: Mastery of Fundamentals, Relentless Preparation, Elevating the Play of Those Around Us, and Ferocious Competition.” Karch Kiraly

“If you yell all the time, how do they know if you’re really angry?” Hugh McCutcheon

“We had these (coaching and tactical) principles that we believed in and worked with one population and I wanted to see if they worked with another. Hey look, people are people. Before we’re men and women, we’re human beings and because of that commonality these principles should work.”  Hugh McCutcheon

“Sometimes situations only become problems because the coach addresses them.” Mark Lebedew

“You can’t change your hardware, that’s your DNA. But you can definitely upgrade your mental software by questioning & learning every day.” Gary Kasparov

“Remember that everyone on a team must adapt, including the leader, so that your team benefits from the best of each member.” Mike Krzyzewski

“Mental Toughness is doing the right thing for the team when it’s not the best thing for you.”  Bill Belichick

“If you pay attention nearly every defensive action with feet is a direct result of poor readiness or position or laziness.” Mark Lebedew

“Consistency is overrated. A leader is obligated not to be consistent, but to be right, to do what’s best for the organization.” Bill Parcells

“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” Jim Watkins


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

Cover v2


  1. Mark,
    Can you put this quote into context for me please
    “Consistency is overrated. A leader is obligated not to be consistent, but to be right, to do what’s best for the organization.” Bill Parcells


    1. This page suggests that it refers to being flexible (giving preferential treatment) especially with the best players. http://emuss.blogspot.com.au/2008/10/confidence-is-born-of-demonstrated.html
      A lot of coaches have similar quotes, normally referring to rules and their implementation. Another version is ‘I don’t treat everyone equally, but I treat everyone fairly.’
      But in this case, I like his use of the word ‘right’. Even if two situations seem similar, they can occur in two completely different contexts. In that case, it is possible that the ‘right’ solution is different in both situations. If a coach had fixed rules and punishments, they would make the wrong action in at least one of those situations.


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