Tuesday, February 7, 2017


One of my favorite concepts from Tom Izzo is "the best coached teams are player coached teams."  In other words, they are the custodians of their own program.  The police each other and hold each other accountable.  It creates a special culture of ownership that that great teams show.  And by great teams, I mean those teams that are consistently competitive year in and year out and are driving by their culture.  Here is a short piece on the New England Patriots.

"In the biggest games, in any situations and on a weekly basis, his production was phenomenal," Belichick wrote.  "Rodney Harrison embodies all the attributes coaches seek and appreciate: toughness, competitiveness, leadership, selflessness, hard work, intensity, professionalism -- and coming from Rodney, they are contagious.

After all, there were many "normal" things in the locker room that weren't necessarily normal in other places.  Harrison was among those who were there for the installation of things that were not taken for granted.  The players, for example, were coachable, maybe because some of their toughest coaches were their peers.  All of their competitions were based around improving team performance.

They gave out that mental error belt to prevent mistakes in the game.  They challenged one another to get to work early and interrogated players who tried to leave early.  They took the punitive nature of being late for meetings away from he coaches and handled it themselves; if you were the last one sitting down, no matter what time it was, you were late.  In fact, Harrison learned that lesson when he first arrived from San Diego. He and others became enforcers of that rule and many more.  They checked one another's plate for fatty foods.

Fried chicken again today, huh?  No wonder you're making so many mistakes in the game.

From the book "Belichick and Brady" by Michael Holley


The following comes from the book "Belichick and Brady" by Michael Holley and gives a glimpse at the drive to improve that makes Tom Brady great:

Ty Law's team had been miserable: the Jets were 2-10 after a 16-3 loss to the Patriots.  The two teams played again, the day after Christmas, and the Patriots walked away with a 10-point victory.  One fo the few highlights in the game for the Jets was Law picking off Brady and running seventy-four yards for a touchdown.  

A couple of days after the game, Law got a phone call.He recognized the number, the voice, and the question.

"Hey Ty," Brady said.  "What did you see on the interception?  What did I give away."

Three titles and two MVPs later, he was still searching the way he had when he was trying to take the job from Bledsoe.

"Tom, I played with you longer than anybody over there, right?"  Law explained.  "It's obvious what you do:   You do this exaggerated throwing motion and I knew you were coming back the other way.  I played with you long enough to know that.  As soon as I saw that motion, it's not a real throwing motion, I just stopped.  You threw it right there."

The flaw would be corrected for the play-offs.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


What men's basketball coach Chris Collins says he learned from Chicago Cubs manager Joe Madden:

“He was really helpful, especially (by saying) that when you are trying to build something, pretty much the last thing that comes are the wins. You have to build the winning culture and the winning environment. And sometimes you have to learn how to celebrate some of the small victories … guys coming in early (to practice), guys coming in at night doing extra work like strength and conditioning, how hard we practice, how the guys hold each other accountable.”