A few weeks ago I attended a Get Motivated Business
Seminar in Indianapolis.
I got to see several successful and inspiring speakers
including Steve Forbes, Robert Schuler, Zig Ziglar and
General Colin Powell.
But being in Indianapolis, it was headlined by two
local heroes: Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning.
As a diehard New England Patriots fan (I used to teach
and coach right in Foxboro, the home of Gillette
Stadium and the New England Patriots) it was tough
to sit in the RCA dome and listen to all the diehards
go overboard everytime the Colts were mentioned.
Nevertheless, as part of my ongoing quest to evolve
as both a coach and a human being, I took advantage
of the opportunity to learn from both of these men.
So I thought I would share with you some of the key
points I learned from them and put them in the context
of how we can apply these pieces of wisdom to our
I’ll start with Tony Dungy, who is just as much of
a class act as people say he is.
Tony talked about leadership and as coaches, trainers
and parents, we simply can not expect our athletes
to follow us and meet their potential if we do not
display the following five characteristics.
Of course, what I’m talking about is dependent almost
entirely on the fact that you consistently apply
training strategies that will get results.
So let’s look at the first of the 5 points Tony
You have to know where you are going and how you plan
to get there.
Great leadership is not leadership at all if you don’t
know exactly how to get your athletes from Point A
to Point Z.
They depend on you to accomplish this task.
Just because you’re the adult and you’re in charge
does not mean you have the full attention and respect
of your team, group or clients.
I’ve had enough athletes (and parents) approach me in
various situations and ask for help or ask my advice
because they (parent and athlete) have lost faith in
the coaching they are getting.
The fact that you are reading this tells me that you
know there are holes in your system.
None of us (myself included) should be so arrogant as
to believe that just because athletes are doing what
we say, that it also means they believe in what we
Young people are incredibly perceptive. They pick up
on your mistakes. They know when you have no idea how
to fix technique, teach a drill or come up with workouts
that work. They dream of mutiny when their teammates
keep getting overuse injuries (shin splints, strains,
hamstring pulls, etc) year after year.
Tony said that the best leaders have the ability to
listen and get the opinions of others, not claim to
know it all.
This is critical. It’s the foundation of any success
you hope to have in any position of authority and all
other traits hinge on it.
It goes back to my recent articles on identifying the
‘World’s Greatest’ speed coach.
A few years ago, a particular team (and on paper a
successful one) had a disproportionate
number of athletes and parents coming to me for help.
In fact, several of them offered to match, out of
pocket, my coaching salary if I would jump ship and
come to this town to coach.
It was tempting because this town was overflowing with
underdeveloped talent and I always wanted to coach
I knew those coaches would never allow such a thing
to take place and I was happy with the progress of
my current program.
But I sent a ‘feeler’ email out to the Head Coach.
He told me, in no uncertain terms, that the way they
did things there wasn’t going to change and that they
were not interested in change.
His exact quote was ‘The (name of town) way is the
And that’s why his athletes and their parents came to
me in droves.
He didn’t have the hearts and minds of his athletes
or their parents. And that is not the way to get the
most out of everyone.
Or anyone, for that matter.
If you want athletes to *want* to work hard for you,
it starts with clearly knowing where you want to go
and how you’re going to get there.
It’s why you need to be using Complete Speed Training
as the foundation of your speed and athletic
If not, you’re already lacking a strong sense of
And if you don’t have one, your athletes are already
going elsewhere to find someone who does.
What happened to 2,3,4,5?? Did you lose your DIRECTION?
I’m sure ethically you told those wanting you to coach in their town to get lost, right? How many people do you think are going behind YOUR back right now?
Where do you get such an ego? What I have seen so far is what is wrong with coaches in general!
I’m not sure I understand your questions.
I understand some of the frustrations endured by parents ans student/athletes in a high school. It seems to be almost a line that cannot be crossed by parents and if you do your student can be put on a black list and excluded. I am a former teacher and coach with 2 athletes in high school. We made a decision years ago to go outside the sytem in the offseason because of similar coaches attitude toward discussing anything with me and parents in general. In fact, in the handbook we are required as parents to communicate with coaches through the student only. I see this as very cowardly and an approach that will not build a program. It seems that our coaches cannot actually handle any input from outside their group and hide behind the kids and the program continues to degrade and lose in this case football players at an increasing rate rather than doing a true self evaluation or changing methods and “direction” and growing as coaches. Our going outside the system resulted in my daughter developing well enough to recieve volleyball scholarship offers from 5 top 25 programs at the D-2 level and 1 D-1 opportunity after being told by her high school coach she would never play college ball so I can relate to the article and we are seeking outside help for my son who is currently being overlooked by the coach and not one of the “chosen”. As coaching professionals I now question the ability of most coacing staffs to do the continuing education it takes to stay competitive in today’s enviornment and appreciate the information that athlete’s accelaration provides not just relating speed traing, but also to the personal leadership development and I print, read and discuss these concpts with my children it lends credability to have resources like Tony Dungy in my files so I can pull them back out and review the ideas when we lose our focus thanks for the articles!
Excellent ideas here, have emailed my mum so expect a big reply!!