Why We Win Why We Win By Billy Packer Chapter 1 – Red Auerbach (Former Head Coach Boston Celtics) The worst thing that coaches do is talk too much. They overcoach. For example, I had guys with me for 10 years. Cousey, Russell, Sharman, those guys. How much would I say every practice, every pre-game, every halftime, every post-game? They got tired of listening to the same crap all the time. So I used to pride myself in advoiding repetition.
Avoiding having them know what’s going to happen. I always used the intelligence of my players. I didn’t treat them like they were beneath me. They’re not. i take Cousey, what am I, 10 years older than Cousey? So What? Does that make me smarter? But coaches today, they think that their form of discipline is that they should be in total control, every practice, every game. And they’re like a dictator.
They know it all. And it’s not so. That’s how you got to get respect of your players is you treat them like people. You see, I always used to hate the expression, How did you handle Russell or Cousey? You don’t handle them. You handle animals.
You deal with people. If they’ve got a problem, we go one on one. One thing that I used to tell all my guys who are coaches, try not to hold grudges. If you get down on a player for anything that he has done, I said call him in a talk to him. Lay it on the line.
There’s no better way to do it than that. Just talk to him, but don’t hold grudges. Chapter 2 – John Wooden (Former Head Coach UCLA Basketball) I never believed in teaching through fear. there are those who do, and I could name some and it appears that they’ve gotton fine results. But I always wanted to keep my psoitive approach.
And sometimes I just had to let my players know that they weren’t going to be successful. Sometimes the other person is just better, and there’s nothing you can do about that. But there is something you can do about making the effort to become the best of which you’re capable. And that’s all I ask. We were consistant.
it has been said that consistency is the last refuge of those without imagination. I’ve always wanted to be consistent. Another thing that was said about our UCLA teams is that we kept it simple. Our opponents always said we were easy to scout but difficult to play because we executed well..We kept things very simple. I think the most important thing in sports is quickness under control.
From the mental standpoint, the key is balance. We have to keep things in perspective. We have to keep balance. Physical balance. Emotional balance.
Mental balance. Offensive balance. Defensive balance. There’s a need for balance in just about every area you can think of. After each season had been over for five or six weeks, I’d then take up a topic and explore. For example, I might take up rebounding.
I’d contact great rebounders or coaches who coached great rebounders. I’d get books, and I’d take everything together and just study rebounding. Then I’d take all the information and create a composite, just as I did in recruiting. ***** Coach Wooden also believed in team discipline. He had a couple of team rules at UCLA.
One of the rules was that no player, at any time, was to have facial hair. Lou Alcinder (Kareem Abul Jabar) was the captain of the UCLA team and considered the best basketball player in the country. He had decided that he was going to grow a beard towards the end of the summer. UCLA was the number one team in the country going into that year. At the beginning of that school year, Coach Wooden called Alciner into his office.
At this point he had grew some facial hair. Coach Wooden calmly said I understand that you are going to grow a beard? Alcinder ansewed, Yes Sir I am. Coach Wooden then said, Well I wish you the best of luck with whatever university you will be attending. Alcinder showed up for practice the next day cleanly shaved. Chapter 3 – Ara Parseghian (Former Head Coach Notre Dame Football) Bear Bryant was the best at taking the heat for any loss.
You don’t blame coaches. You don’t blame any players. You give credit to the opposition because they played better than you that day. They won. That was our philosophy, and I watched Bear Bryant do exactly the same thing.
He took the rap right down the line onit. Then you watch your players and you watch your coaches work the following week. We never lost two games in a row in 11 years at Notre Dame.. Loyalty is a major part or your team strength. Chapter 4 – Anson Dorrance (North Carolina Women’s Soccer Coach) I think that one of the great mistakes that all the young coaches make as they are entering the profession is the feeling that they have to be liked.
And what ends up happening is they end up trying to win a popularity contest, and they end up sacrificing the respect of the team. It’s much more critical to be respected. We feel you should take responsibilty for any loss, and so we try to do that. Any time your team loses, as a coaching staff, we take full responsibility. And what ends up happening, we feel over time, is that all of us collectively take responsibility for our failures. And I think as soon as anyone does that, they’re basically making a statement that they’re going to change and improve.
You have to react to the leaders on your team, making them feel that they’re a critical part of leadership as the coach is. I think that causes you to win their affection and respect. I’ve learned that some players hate setting goals. And for those players, we don’t. I think what we have to accept is that everyone is uniquely different, and everyone is motivated by different things.
And I remeber this one player hated setting goals. And so, in a way, we kind of set a subtle goal for her. She just said she didn’t want to set any goals, she just wanted to come to practice and have a good time. So, I said, well, lets just make that your goal. And it was like this huge weight was lifted off the player’s shoulders.
Basically, I stole all my practice ideas from Dean Smith..He would have his managers scattered around the gym, and they would be recording absoutely everything. Whether a guy hit a shot or missed. How many times they won a one-one-one contest..And Dean would be addressing the troops, and then at the end of his address, he’d turn around. The head manager would be standing behind him with a compilation of that practice stats. And Dean would read off a list off who would leave practice early based on performance, and who would stay and sprint, angain based on performance.
I went thinking what a wonderful way, where every practice was basically important, and everyone had to basically play on the edge of his or her game. Sports and Games.