Monday, August 1, 2011

Coaching Knowledge Project #3 Chuck Knox

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 going to follow up Chuck Knoll of the Steelers with notes, quotes, & comments from and about Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks. He is best remembered as head coach of three National Football League (NFL) teams, the Seattle Seahawks, the Buffalo Bills, and the Los Angeles Rams, serving two separate stints with the latter team over more than two decades.

·         When you talk to him about an upcoming game, he lights up.

·         If it was bad, we don’t want to repeat it. If it was good, we want to see if we can improve on it.

·         The game never stands still. It takes a great amount of time and study during the offseason to keep up with the changes.

·         Players must feel secure in what they are doing, secure in the knowledge that what they are doing is for their own good and the good of the team.

·         It starts with the head coach and the price he is willing to pay.

·         You build on skills that exist.

·         There isn’t a day I’m on the job that I don’t get my plan together and get in touch with myself.

·         We stress the sense of pride but I tell  my coaches and players that pride is not like a coat; it is not something that you lay down for two or three days and then decide when you get up some morning that you’ll have pride that day and put it on. It must be there everyday and it takes constant work to achieve it, to keep it.

·         The pride factor involves coming out every day and trying to be a little better football player than you were yesterday.

·         The greatest feeling a team can have is to be in a locker room on gameday with each player knowing that everybody else worked as hard as he did that week, that everybody else on the team is ready to play. You know its true because you saw them in the meeting when coaches asked them a question and they responded correctly. You saw them make a mistake in practice, the mistake was corrected and they didn’t make it again. You saw the QB take home films. You know that he looked at them because you rode to practice with him and he talked to you about what he saw the previous night.

·         If they see that you and your coaches know what you are talking about; if you treat them like men with no emotional highs and lows; and if they feel they can talk with you and feel comfortable with you, then the respect will come.

·         When everyone knows what must be done, they are with you.

·         Principles of Coaching
1)      To Inspire Learning
2)      Concentration
3)      Belief
4)      Demand it be done
5)      Evaluate
6)      Never forget the Basics
7)      Sell Skill
8)      Don’t Demonstrate
9)      Teach, don’t holler

·         He follows his own example by simplifying the technical instruction

·         Motivation begins with the coach’s attitude towards practice

·         I want my coaches going out there everyday with specific objectives in mind.

·         Methods he feels are most successful:
1)      Knowledge of football & belief in what is being taught
2)      Knowing people

·         Winning Edge:
1)      Build confidence by playing the percentages
2)      Be basic in your approach to the game
3)      Don’t coach caution into good players
4)      Nothing is accomplished without enthusiasm
5)      Look for and recognize mistakes
6)      Little things are done by winners
7)      Having a good time just gives you a chance to win
8)      A coach must be himself
9)      A coach must be alert
10)  Prepare for the psychological ups & downs : I always know what I am going to say if we win, or if we lose. I know what I’ll do if we win or if we lose. All this affects the individual player and the moment you say or do the wrong thing, it is too late to erase it.
11)  A coach must have a plan and believe in it.

·         A player cannot have dedication unless he is in good physical condition. His body simply will not let his mind do what it wants because he can’t concentrate if he is tired. Then all his mind is thinking about is survival, and practice or playing a game becomes nothing more than an endurance test.

·         He feels the OL coach should have the most to say about the running game.

·         He believes strongly that a defensive backfield coach cannot handle the overall defensive coordination because of the importance of his work with the secondary.

·         He has a method of making his assistants sell their ideas to him and back them up with sound, logical football sense. He tells his coaches not to be discouraged if he turns them down.

·         He stresses each season that his coaches return to page 1 in their books and begin with the most basic fundamentals.

·         4 objectives each summer:
1)      Develop a winning attitude
2)      Sound base of fundamentals
3)      Well- conditioned
4)      Finish all experimenting

·         Each week, draw up a checklist that tells them what kind of game they can plan on. They lay out key elements such as establishing the run, field position, substitutions, communication, when to be conservative and when not to be.

·         This outline keeps us on top of the so-called little things because I firmly believe those are the things that really win for you.

·         The key for us is that practice without improvement is meaningless.

·         His blocking system – he will look for a point of isolation along the line where one defensive man is put on an island by cutting off the other defensive people. The they block that one man square up, right in the middle of his face, and whichever side he decides to take, we run the other side.

·         The defense is not burdened by too many details. Everything has been made so concise.


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