Mind Over Sports

WHAT SHOULD MEN’S PROFESSIONAL AND COLLEGE TEAMS LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A NEW HEAD COACH?

Posted on: September 6, 2015

Very often when colleges and professional teams are looking for a new head coach they look for someone who is strong-willed, who is a take-charge type of guy and will instill the fear of G-d in his players. The Marine drill sergeant type who isn’t afraid to “kick a few butts” and will let the team know in no uncertain terms that it’s “my way or the highway.” This is the type of person a team should hire, right? Wrong!

The best head coaches are those coaches who have been through some type of adversity or tragedy in their personal lives that makes them have great empathy for their players. And that’s one of the most important characteristics a coach can have. When his players know he cares about them as human beings first and then as athletic performers, they’ll play their hearts out for him. And this is something a coach can’t fake. Either he has it, or he doesn’t. Here are three examples of coaches who have it:

Andy Reid, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2012, his oldest son Garrett, died of a heroin overdose.

Cuonzo Martin, men’s basketball coach at the University of California, is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 1997 while playing professional basketball in an Italian League in Europe.

Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, is a former alcoholic and has a daughter who has been diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

All three of these coaches have been highly successful and the primary reason is because they have great empathy for their players. They don’t want their players to fear them. But rather, they want their players to know they love them.

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