Sunday, July 10, 2011

Coaching Knowledge Project #2 Chuck Noll

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 sharing some notes taken while studying some things about Chuck Noll. Chuck Noll was the Head Coach for the Pittsburg Steelers from 1969 until 1991, a time period in which he coached & won 4 Super Bowls. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

·         The style of play is to win the battle of the hitting.

·         He wanted to build an organization that reflected excellence from the front office to the locker room.

·         Efficiency is the prime objective from a teaching standpoint. A teacher or coach cannot wander because he works with attention spans that are short for what he must accomplish.

·         Becoming a winner is a day to day thing: teaching, learning, growing. A team must grow together and does not grow immediately.

·         You need an overall process of development and it is necessary to have the guts to stick with it. We show people how to get things done.

·         There are many impediments to winning and most of them lie in the area of attitude. Nothing impedes problem-solving more than a lousy attitude. And a bad attitude can spread thru a locker room in a hurry.

·         We’re aiming for a championship – right now! We’re not aiming for respectability or any other such words. The only true respectability in this game is winning a championship.

·         Noll has always told his players they were going to be the best.

·         You must live the words, not just say them.

·         The attitude has to be, “If we are not winning, it is my fault.” That’s the way it should be. We have to have everyone doing that. With that attitude, everything falls into place.

·         His passion was born of the satisfaction he received with regard to instructing & preparing players in the proper fashion. His goal was to work with players who possessed a willing attitude and then convey the appropriate methods and techniques that would allow them to maximize their talents and upgrade the team. As a tactician, he advocated flexible systems and strategies. This enabled him to structure his game plans to accentuate the capabilities of various players at different times, ultimately giving his teams the best chance for success.

·         As you gain experience you must mature as an individual, and along with that comes the ability to solve problems.

·         It is his view that a coach is a problem-solver in his role as supervisor, organizer, and teacher.
·         If you’re losing, you try to find out what really is causing it.

·         Most times you want to sit down calmly, find out what the problem is and take a course that will solve it. Then you convince everyone that is the right course.

·         All I ever tell my players is that they might have to suffer the consequences for what they say. That is their responsibility and they must act as mature men in facing it.

·         There comes a time in a person’s life when he must say “This is tough for me to do” but he must still do it. You face up to it and you say “I’m going to do it” and you do. That’s a great maturing thing. This is building positive attitudes.

·         It really gets down to “Can you handle your job?” That is the problem for each man out on that field. As coaches and teachers we must teach them the techniques that will allow them to cope with those problems.

·         A coaches only goal must be to help his players be the best they can. If you don’t do it, they will know. If you do, then you can be a very big part of what is happening.

·         Some place in your life you are going to have to function in a pressure situation and if you can learn to do it in a game where the results are not life and death, you can come to a situation where it is life and death and be better able to cope.

·         Defense is the ultimate team function because it must be played as a team. It takes a special kind of man to be a defensive player, one who must get great personal satisfaction from doing his job well.

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