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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I have blogged before about my relationship with legendary baseball coach Cal Bailey.  While an assistant men's basketball coach at West Virginia State College I also served as the Sports Information Director for baseball which mean that I shared a seat on the bench with Cal, rode in vans with him and had a lot of meals.  It was one of the most valuable experiences of my coaching career.  I learned a great deal from observing Cal and talking to him about coaching, teaching and life.

Recently there were a set of podcasts talking to Cal about various things including his coaching philosophy.  Here are a few take aways:

Something he got from a college instructor, Dr. Herman Kennedy, when Cal was 21 is that "life is hell."  And the sooner you realized that the sooner you could go about navigating successfully through life.  It helped form his coaching philosophy.  Cal would actually create chaos at practice intentionally.  His thought process was that we wanted to occasionally put his players in situations where they would fail in practice to learn how to recover from it.  The experience in practice would make it more comfortable to handle in a game situations.

As Cal said, he want to "teach them to become their own best coach."

Another thing that Cal shared on the podcast was something that he learned as well -- 4 Keys To Being A Good Coach:

#1 The ABILITY to recognize ABILITY

#2 The ABILITY to surround yourself with ABILITY

#3 The ABILITY to develop ABILITY

#4 The ABILITY to utilize ABILITY

Cal retired at the end of last season but after listening to the podcast the Big Dog is still teaching me.