Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coaching Knowledge Project #1 Bum Phillips

               Over the last few summers, I have started taking notes on some of the coaching biographies and books that I have read. One problem that I have had over the years is that I read so much and look at so much different info that I don't ever retain the knowledge for future use. I will read about a drill or a philosophy and I will think "Hey, that fits pretty good with my guys. I wanna use that this year." Then I will lay the book or the info to the side and forget all about it.
             Earlier this year, I began to compile & organize these notes & axioms into a single document. Ideally I would like to eventually have a notebook that I could add to each offseason and look at again each pre-season as I reevaluate my program. I thought that as part of this blog and my compilation efforts, I would share some of the things that I've found.
           These are quotes about coaches, quotes from coaches about their influences, and outside observations on coaches and their programs. Some of these are Hall of Fame coaches, some have losing records, and some are career assistants; all have good things to offer.

             Today, I am looking at Coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips from Texas. A Marine during World War Two, Phillips coached Texas high school football in the 1950s & 60s, college football in the late 1960s, and pro football in the 1970s & 80s.
·         Gillman believed in hiring an assistant from college football whenever possible to take advantage of the college coach’s skills in teaching & conducting drills that mold important fundamentals. (Sid Gillman hired Phillips into pro football)

·         Drills and techniques are methods of doing things. You drill for execution and a team doesn’t really execute unless it is drill-oriented.

·         He was knowledgeable in certain aspects of the game and I knew he would acquire those he did not have.

·         My approach now is to let the kids play and enjoy it and let the coaches do the work.

·         We can learn a lot of lessons from football that we can’t learn in school or anywhere else. Now if you play it right, that’s all you’re going to get out of it. Everyone will forget you when you leave the game and all you will have left are the things it taught you – to sacrifice, to work hard. There are a whole lot of people who don’t know how to work. But they play football and they like it well enough to get some good work habits because they work at getting better. When they get out in the world, they find they’re not lazy anymore. They’ve developed some good work habits such as getting after a job when it must be done. Without them knowing it, football has trained them to do some good things, like not giving up when things are going bad.

·         That’s where teaching comes in and teaching is nothing more than selling. But a coach must study the problem first, analyze it real well and be sure he knows how to correct it. Once that’s done, then he’s got to sell the guy on the idea that his way will make him a better player.

·         The first thing is to get them to listen to you. The easiest way is to let them do it. If they can’t get it done and are having some trouble with some phases of technique, they want you to tell them how to correct it. They want to do good so now they’re listening to you.

·         If the head coach gets in the drills, then the players would listen to him and if that is the case, then he certainly didn’t need the other coach. It would be like telling the players, “That man doesn’t know what he is talking about. I’m in here to tell you.” Whatever you do, the players must have confidence in the guy who is telling them something.

·         The Bear always took all of the blame. Anything that would happen, he would say, “My fault”

·         He would always start by complimenting the coaches or the team on what they did. The team would think “He’s got to be right because he’s saying good things about me”. But he’s got your attention. Then he’d name a couple of things – never too many – that we’d have to work on the next day. By starting out with good things, he really had their attention and got them conscious of correcting things.

·         One of Hayden Fry’s strong points was that he had a great belief in his players.

·         I feel that if I haven’t taught a guy something about helping people, it doesn’t matter how much football I’ve taught him.

·         I teach them to get along with their fellow man – the other players.

·         Coaching is making a better man out of a guy you have on your team.

·         Developing good attitudes in people, the ability to take the losses and the ability to come back as well with the proper emotional approach…those are the things that are most important.

·         I try not to get a ‘no’. If I get talking about something like that I want to make sure I get a ‘yes’ before I force an answer. I think that’s part of my obligation – not my job, my obligation – to help guide a man. I can sure tell them what not to do.

·         He places a high priority on dealing with the real essence of a man.

·         Developing the ‘Edge’ was something that can be built from personal physical conditioning or working longer than the opposition. Phillip’s method is to get a player feeling he must play better because he wants to.

·         He must be doing something for someone other than himself.

·         He’s got to think that you believe in him if you expect him to believe in you.

·         Gillman & a player got into a confrontation. “Wait, wait, hold it,” Gillman said suddenly, “Just a second. Don’t you say anything more and I won’t say anything more. I’m going over to another group and you go work with a group on the other side of the field. Tomorrow we will talk about it.” Gillman had diffused a serious situation.

·         You must be a big enough man to overlook things.

·         Don’t ever force a guy to tell you ‘no’! If it’s real important to you and you can see you might get a ‘no’ , don’t force the issue.

·         Bum Phillip’s rule: Treat them right.

·         He makes players feel that if a rule is broken the team suffers.

·         You know that if you do something against the rules you have put yourself ahead of the team and no one likes to be thought of as selfish.

·         I’d rather have preparation than motivation. The only way they won’t be motivated to play the game is if you have taken it out of them on the field.

·         Football players play harder if they like their teammates. They try harder not to disappoint each other.

·         We win because of our method of teaching.

·         Players should work only on those things that will help them to win.

·         Show me an emotional coach on the sidelines and I’ll show you a team that will mirror everything he does.

1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing! I have an extensive collection & would like to exchange notes with you.

    Please contact me:
    Coach Bill Mountjoy
    804-716-7038 (Va.)