Saturday, December 10, 2011


The following comes from one of my favorite coaching books, "Finding The Winning Edge" by Bill Walsh with Brian Billick and James Peterson.  It is 550 pages of theory and philosophy written in the form a text book that covers every possible situation a coach could face.  It is the most detailed book on coaching and teaching I have read.  Unfortunately, it is one of the most difficult books to find and is often very expensive.  Click on the name of the book above and it will take you to Barnes and Noble where you can purchase a copy for $139!  I would highly recommend looking on ebay, and used book stores to find your copy:

One of the great strengths of General George S. Patton, arguably one of the best general officers in the history of the U.S. Military, was his ability to work with and lead those individuals under his command.  In this regard, many of his insights can be applied to the way that coaches work with their players.  For example, in his Letter of Instruction Number 1, which he addressed to the officers under his command in his United States Third Army, Patton offered six key dictates -- each of which has application to coaching:

1. Remember that praise is more valuable than blame.  remember too, that your primary mission as a leader is to see with your own eyes and be seen by your own troops while engaged in personal reconnaissance.

2. Use every means before and after combat to tell the troops what they are to do and what they have done.

3. Discipline is based on pride in the profession of arms, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence.  Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the battle or the fear of the death.

4. Officers must assert themselves by example and by voice.  They must be preeminent in courage, deportment and dress.

5. General officers must be seen in the front line during the action.

6. There is a tendency for the chain of command to overload junior officers by excessive requirements in the the way of training and reports,  You will alleviate this burden by eliminating non-essential demands.