Saturday, February 21, 2009

Making investments in the lives of the players you coach

Nancy Gay has a good column in my local paper today about Mike Singletary who "insists he will not coach by intimidation. He will not lead his players with an iron hand. He is now their father figure. The players will be his flock."

As Gay writes, "Singletary and his coaching staff - who have a reputation as teaching, caring individuals - aim to turn the 2009 roster into a bonded family unit."

"We want to really get to the root of the matter, and that is to make sure we're making investments into the lives of those young men, so that when they leave that team, they can say, 'Wow - I didn't know I was just learning how to be a better football player; I was also learning how to be a better man.

I spend a lot of time with kids. I have seven kids myself. So, no, I don't think they have any clue," Singletary said. "I think they'll sit there and tell you, 'Yes, I know what I want to do and I know what I want to be.' But once you turn the fire on and it starts getting hot, it's 'Well, wait, I'm not sure I really want to do it that way or that much.'

I want my players to go away and be successful in business; they can be successful fathers.

I always say that when I study great coaches, whether it be Tom Landry or Vince Lombardi, George Halas, Bill Walsh - they are the coaches who looked at their players five or 10 years later and wondered: What are they doing now? If the bulk of those players are successful, then they are great coaches."