“As Florida State linebackers coach in 1972, Bill Parcells read the preface for Bill Libby’s The Coaches, published that year by Regnery. Feeling that it eloquently described his profession, Parcells condensed the 1,039-word introduction into roughly 390 words that hit home the most. The coach laminated the shortened version. Throughout his long football career, he re-read it, especially during tough times. Below is the exact wording from Parcells’s sheet,” from Parcells: A Football Life, by Bill Parcells and Nunyo Demasio.
He is called “Coach.” It is a difficult job, and there is no clear way to succeed in it. One cannot copy another who is a winner, for there seems to be some subtle, secret chemistry of personality that enables a person to lead successfully, and no one really knows what it is. Those who have succeeded and those who have failed represent all kinds—young and old, inexperienced and experienced, hard and soft, tough and gentle, good-natured and foul-tempered, proud and profane, articulate and inarticulate, even dedicated and casual. Most are dedicated, some more than others. Some are smarter than others, but intelligence is not enough. All want to win, but some want to win more than others, and just wanting to win is not enough in any event. Even winning is often not enough. Losers almost always get fired, but winners get fired, too.
He is out in the open being judged publicly almost every day or night for six, seven, or eight months a year by those who may or may not be qualified to judge him. And every victory and every defeat is recorded constantly in print or on the air and periodically totaled up.
The coach has no place to hide. He cannot just let the job go for a while or do a bad job and assume no one will notice as most of us can. He cannot satisfy everyone. Seldom can he even satisfy very many. Rarely can he even satisfy himself. If he wins once, he must win the next time, too.
Coaches plot victories, suffer defeats, and endure criticism from within and without. They neglect their families, travel endlessly, and live alone in a spotlight surrounded by others. Theirs may be the worst profession—unreasonably demanding and insecure and full of unrelenting pressures. Why do they put up with it? Why do they do it? Having seen them hired and hailed as geniuses at gaudy, partylike press conferences and having seen them fired with pat phrases such as “fool” or “incompetent,” I have wondered about them. Having seen them exultant in victory and depressed by defeat, I have sympathized with them. Having seen some broken by the job and others die from it, one is moved to admire them and to hope that someday the world will learn to understand them.”
Action Line: Sometimes, we need a coach—another set of eyes other than the ones we see in the mirror. A coach to help bring out the best in ourselves. Someone who sees your potential.
Are you coachable? If you are, I believe in you. Let’s talk.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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