What makes a coach successful?

jnjcoach

Active member
If you read the Western Reserve Thread there is a discussion in there about what makes a person think a coach is successful or not? Obviously wins and losses play into it but what else can be used to evaluate a coach as being successful or not? Is a .500 coach successful?
 

bedevil

Well-known member
It's weird, but in this era of participation-trophies-for-all regarding sports, that consideration suddenly stops when puberty hits. THEN, winning matters, and it is still the primary barometer of coaching success. Winning brings recognition and respect to not just the program, but the school it represents. In some communities, success on the football field is embraced as the community's primary identity. Based on record alone, and it IS how most coaches are viewed, winning is the key.

But, it has been my experience, listening to others from other programs from other schools, that the true definition of a coach's success comes approximately 5-10 years and more after those players have left. If a coach provided these players with an experience that still has them talking about the man and the lessons that were learned under his tutelage, that stands in greater regard than any trophies earned in that time. For players to still talk about their coach and his staff with respect and affection is a greater tribute, and I've heard that from players on 10-0 teams, 0-10 teams, and everything in between. I've also heard the opposite, and believe me, the regret that I hear from those guys stings worse than any losses they experienced on the field and those feelings rarely fade and obviously still resonate. A lousy person and a good football coach are not, unfortunately, mutually exclusive. I guess that's a long-winded way of saying you can gauge the success of a coach beyond his record.
 

NEohioFB

Member
I think it really depends on who you ask.. If you ask fans (who mostly appear here on Yappi) it come's down to Wins/Losses. If you ask family members of players (or players themselves) it would be how the coach treats and respects him. If you asked the coach he would 'say' "I judge my success by how well-off my players are after they leave my program". Now, in the back of their head they would know it boils down to Ws and Ls. If you ask administration I think they would say it's a combination of how well they treat their players, run their program, AND Ws and Ls. But more of an emphasis on Ws and Ls.
 

Spread All Day

Well-known member
I think it really depends on who you ask.. If you ask fans (who mostly appear here on Yappi) it come's down to Wins/Losses. If you ask family members of players (or players themselves) it would be how the coach treats and respects him. If you asked the coach he would 'say' "I judge my success by how well-off my players are after they leave my program". Now, in the back of their head they would know it boils down to Ws and Ls. If you ask administration I think they would say it's a combination of how well they treat their players, run their program, AND Ws and Ls. But more of an emphasis on Ws and Ls.
Correct.
 

dhsdog06

Active member
To me, at the high school level. Yes, wins and losses in the end matter, BUT there is so much more. It's about growth. Being a positive role model, having those kids leave school as better people because of your guidance. Getting the absolute most of out of your talent. Instilling a work ethic.

Everyone likes to win, but a coach with a team who's talent level is 2-8 that squeezes every ounce of that out, has a team that fights for 48 minutes every week, goes 3-7, and does good things in their community? That, IMO, is a great coach. His kids will go on to be winners in life, and that in the long run is much more important than the game.
 

NEohioFB

Member
To me, at the high school level. Yes, wins and losses in the end matter, BUT there is so much more. It's about growth. Being a positive role model, having those kids leave school as better people because of your guidance. Getting the absolute most of out of your talent. Instilling a work ethic.

Everyone likes to win, but a coach with a team who's talent level is 2-8 that squeezes every ounce of that out, has a team that fights for 48 minutes every week, goes 3-7, and does good things in their community? That, IMO, is a great coach. His kids will go on to be winners in life, and that in the long run is much more important than the game.
I couldn't agree more. The basic fans want WINNERS. And the administration wants WINNERS. Because they want $. Winning puts fans in the stands. But like I said, I couldn't agree more with what you said.
 

falcons53

Active member
The issue has always been that the Coach, player, parents and fans all define it differently. I played on back to back SVC championship teams and loved the staff I played for. Others believed we underachieved because we didn't play for a state title. Some believed we overachieved because we weren't full of D1 college players, so winning as much as we did was exceptional. My graduating class had about 25 guys who played regularly and another 10 who saw little action, but were part of the team all 4 years. Of those 35 guys, 29 had a GPA over 3.0. There are several doctors, 2 dentists, 6 accountants, at least engineers, I believe 5 school teachers, etc.

Successful? Yes in my mind. And that is just looking at my class. The classes around us had similar success on and off the field.
 

FootballFan1795

Well-known member
Know of a kid who was by far the best player on his team. Natural athlete with a horrible home life though, so he was kindly taken in by a teammate’s family. Needless to say, the kid was dealing with some heavy stuff for some time. On top of that, he and the coach couldn’t seem to see eye-to-eye on anything (different personalities, backgrounds, etc.), so the kid constantly got benched. Team won a few games when the kid was allowed to play and lost when he didn’t. Ultimately, the kid rode the bench so often that he quit three-fourths of the way through the season, and the coach accepted a losing record over playing the kid.

Wonder what other posters think of this situation and this coach?

In the overall scheme of life, wouldn’t this abandoned kid have been better off being allowed to contribute to a team effort? From what I understand, today’s teachers deal with kids of different personality types, intelligence levels, and socio-economic backgrounds all day long too, and they constantly strive to find ways to reach (and help better) ALL of their students (it’s called differentiation). Shouldn’t the coach have at least tried to find alternative methods of reaching this kid in order to bring out the best in him? (I was told by the teammate’s family that the coach was a ‘my way or the highway’ type guy.)
 
Growth of a kid is important as well as academic success.

At the end of the day to me, you gotta show kids the value of hard work. If a kid is at every off-season workout for four years and is busting their butts to get bigger, faster, and stronger... then they will see the results on the football field.
 

dhsdog06

Active member
Know of a kid who was by far the best player on his team. Natural athlete with a horrible home life though, so he was kindly taken in by a teammate’s family. Needless to say, the kid was dealing with some heavy stuff for some time. On top of that, he and the coach couldn’t seem to see eye-to-eye on anything (different personalities, backgrounds, etc.), so the kid constantly got benched. Team won a few games when the kid was allowed to play and lost when he didn’t. Ultimately, the kid rode the bench so often that he quit three-fourths of the way through the season, and the coach accepted a losing record over playing the kid.

Wonder what other posters think of this situation and this coach?

In the overall scheme of life, wouldn’t this abandoned kid have been better off being allowed to contribute to a team effort? From what I understand, today’s teachers deal with kids of different personality types, intelligence levels, and socio-economic backgrounds all day long too, and they constantly strive to find ways to reach (and help better) ALL of their students (it’s called differentiation). Shouldn’t the coach have at least tried to find alternative methods of reaching this kid in order to bring out the best in him? (I was told by the teammate’s family that the coach was a ‘my way or the highway’ type guy.)
Yes. In many ways I think there's far too many kids that the education system in general fails. This would be an example of that. Certainly if he was a disruption there should be SOME punishment, but constant benching probably isn't it. Maybe being a part of a team and knowing he was a reason for their success would have pushed him.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Know of a kid who was by far the best player on his team. Natural athlete with a horrible home life though, so he was kindly taken in by a teammate’s family. Needless to say, the kid was dealing with some heavy stuff for some time. On top of that, he and the coach couldn’t seem to see eye-to-eye on anything (different personalities, backgrounds, etc.), so the kid constantly got benched. Team won a few games when the kid was allowed to play and lost when he didn’t. Ultimately, the kid rode the bench so often that he quit three-fourths of the way through the season, and the coach accepted a losing record over playing the kid.

Wonder what other posters think of this situation and this coach?

In the overall scheme of life, wouldn’t this abandoned kid have been better off being allowed to contribute to a team effort? From what I understand, today’s teachers deal with kids of different personality types, intelligence levels, and socio-economic backgrounds all day long too, and they constantly strive to find ways to reach (and help better) ALL of their students (it’s called differentiation). Shouldn’t the coach have at least tried to find alternative methods of reaching this kid in order to bring out the best in him? (I was told by the teammate’s family that the coach was a ‘my way or the highway’ type guy.)
Too many open holes in your story. Coaches don't just bench players for "not seeing eye to eye." That simply doesn't happen anywhere. There's more to the story and we often believe the "lies" that many kids tell as fact. Were there academic issues? Were there disciplinary issues in the school or the team? Did he know the playbook? My guess is it was a combination off all of the above and the coach was actually holding this best player to real standards, which many coaches don't do for their best player.

You most likely won't get the "real" story because the good coaches don't air the dirty laundry of their players.
 

FootballFan1795

Well-known member
Too many open holes in your story. Coaches don't just bench players for "not seeing eye to eye." That simply doesn't happen anywhere. There's more to the story and we often believe the "lies" that many kids tell as fact. Were there academic issues? Were there disciplinary issues in the school or the team? Did he know the playbook? My guess is it was a combination off all of the above and the coach was actually holding this best player to real standards, which many coaches don't do for their best player.

You most likely won't get the "real" story because the good coaches don't air the dirty laundry of their players.

Only know that the benching wasn’t related to academics or school disciplinary issues and that a few other players also quit the team in support of the benched player. Don’t know anything else, but does it really matter? My point is that it doesn’t seem that anyone wins here. To the kid with the mess-up home life, the coach is just another adult in his life who ostracizes or rejects him. For the Coach, he now has to face the possibility of losing his coaching position (especially if the losses continue). Seems there should be a better way to handle this conflict … one that could benefit both sides. IMO, it’s ultimately the coach’s responsibility to find that solution because he is the experienced adult in this situation.
 

thePITman

Well-known member
I think it comes down to the differentiation between a "good" coach and a "successful" coach.

A good coach is one who can teach the game and build a program where its teams have on-field success in terms of winning.

A successful coach is one who teaches and molds young men and women into more mature, respectful young adults, and who builds their confidence and makes them want to be more than they thought they could be.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Only know that the benching wasn’t related to academics or school disciplinary issues and that a few other players also quit the team in support of the benched player. Don’t know anything else, but does it really matter? My point is that it doesn’t seem that anyone wins here. To the kid with the mess-up home life, the coach is just another adult in his life who ostracizes or rejects him. For the Coach, he now has to face the possibility of losing his coaching position (especially if the losses continue). Seems there should be a better way to handle this conflict … one that could benefit both sides. IMO, it’s ultimately the coach’s responsibility to find that solution because he is the experienced adult in this situation.
Ok, how do you know for a fact he wasn't benched for those reasons? Did you talk to the coach, because again, coaches don't air that stuff out and kids lie about reasons all the time to take the blame off of them.

Again, even if not the two you mentioned, maybe he didn't know plays, had attitude issues, or any other plethora of legitimate reasons to bench a player.

Just because other kids quit to "support" this benched player doesn't prove your argument. The fact that the benched player and others quit shows they weren't really there for the right reasons.

I say once again, NO coach actually benches players for a personal vendetta or other nonsensical reasons. This is a coach who seemed to care about more than Wins and Losses. Open your eyes and see the bigger picture that football teaches our young players, which is accountability.

Quit believing the bull crap your neighbor's kid or whoever is throwing out there. Just because this kid had a messed up home life doesn't mean the coach ostracized him or rejected him. If you have standards every player must raise to those standards no matter your background. The real world doesn't care where you came from. If you have questions about this, actually go to the source and talk to the coach.
 

FootballFan1795

Well-known member
Ok, how do you know for a fact he wasn't benched for those reasons?
In the conversation I had with the teammate’s family member, coincidentally, one of the teachers was also present. When I asked if the benching was related to poor grades or getting in trouble at school, the teacher simply replied, “No.”

Again, even if not the two you mentioned, maybe he didn't know plays, had attitude issues, or any other plethora of legitimate reasons to bench a player.
I admit that I didn’t ask about the other possible reasons that you suggested, but I didn’t think to ask at the time.

If you have questions about this, actually go to the source and talk to the coach.
I also didn’t speak to the coach about the situation because it didn’t regard me, my kid, or a team that I follow closely.

Just because other kids quit to "support" this benched player doesn't prove your argument.
I only mentioned the other players quitting because you said good coaches won’t air players’ dirty laundry, but that doesn’t mean that other players, who were witnesses to the goings-on at practice, wouldn’t talk about or react to what transpired.

This is a coach who seemed to care about more than Wins and Losses.
Agreed, it seemed the coach cared more about his own ego.

Open your eyes and see the bigger picture that football teaches our young players, which is accountability.
Not so sure if anyone involved in this unfortunate situation actually learned anything about accountability. Just sayin’ that it seemed like a blown opportunity for a coach to test his motivational skills, while also helping a neglected kid to succeed. 🤷‍♂️
 

Stark Born & Bred

Active member
If you mean successful as in he wins more games that he loses, the answer is relatively easy -- good players. If you mean that they reach kids at a deep level and get them to perform at or near their potential while teaching life lessons along the way . . . the answer is lot more nuanced.
 

jnjcoach

Active member
Thats why i left it open for you guys to discuss. Is there really a difference between a good coach and successful coach? Do you want your kids to learn life lessons or just win? Are they synonymous? Ive known coaches who have taught life lessons, worked hard for the kids and won games when he had talent and Ive known coaches who have won games and had very good records that I would not want near my sons.
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
In the conversation I had with the teammate’s family member, coincidentally, one of the teachers was also present. When I asked if the benching was related to poor grades or getting in trouble at school, the teacher simply replied, “No.”



I admit that I didn’t ask about the other possible reasons that you suggested, but I didn’t think to ask at the time.



I also didn’t speak to the coach about the situation because it didn’t regard me, my kid, or a team that I follow closely.



I only mentioned the other players quitting because you said good coaches won’t air players’ dirty laundry, but that doesn’t mean that other players, who were witnesses to the goings-on at practice, wouldn’t talk about or react to what transpired.



Agreed, it seemed the coach cared more about his own ego.



Not so sure if anyone involved in this unfortunate situation actually learned anything about accountability. Just sayin’ that it seemed like a blown opportunity for a coach to test his motivational skills, while also helping a neglected kid to succeed. 🤷‍♂️
So you admit the benching could have been related to a variety of other reasons not classroom related and didn't speak to the coach.

I already addressed the fact that you can't necessarily believe other players on the team. Of course they are going to stick up for their friend, that's what every single teenage boy does. Every teenager also lies about stuff that happens to deflect the blame away from them, so I'd take the hormone filled teenage witnesses' statements with a grain of salt.

Why do you think this is about the coach's ego? Why was this a blown opportunity? How do you know that the coach didn't try everything possible to help this poor neglected kid succeed? Again, this is simply a selfish player who didn't get what he wanted and quit. We need to quit taking everything that kids say as 100% fact. This is the entire reason we have so many people complaining about younger generations is that we bow to their every whim. The real world doesn't care if this kid was neglected or has a rough home life, if he's not doing his part or what is asked, no matter if he likes it or not, he won't be able to keep a job. Those are the types of lessons that football is supposed to teach us. Again, it is not all about Wins and Losses. This seemed like a great example of a teachable moment for all involved, but let's blame the coach for the kid quitting. He QUIT, he wasn't kicked off of the team. It's the kid's fault, not the other way around. And you are right, the kid definitely didn't learn any accountability by quitting and all the adults around him shifting blame.
 

D4fan

Well-known member
What makes a successful coach?

My wife started out her teaching career with a job of tutoring students who needed an extra boost. No matter how efficient or proficient she was these kids were not going to "win" academically, but the goal was to make the comfortable with themselves (confident), determine they were giving effort to be the best they could be with their natural ability ( give personal effort), and develope a relationship between pupil and teacher that shows care and concern while simultaneously demanding character and discipline.

To me that is the exact same in identifying a successful coach. They should be able to build a team that plays up to its potential. If that means winning games great, but perhaps it means finishing a drive here and there or even just picking up a first down or defensively making a stop.
If we tie success to wins and losses the most talented team may have the least effective coach.

Completely agree with the first response to the OP. It is the athletes themselves talking many years down the road that tells a coaches true depth of success. It is the way they react to adversity, the respect shown for the opponet, the concern for the wellbeing of each team member. My son said this weekend, it was a coach taking his personal time to scout the opponet and prepare the team so they could in turn be prepared that impressed him.
 

fortfan

Active member
He has to have the schools administration stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the kids parents stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the players stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

Without those things, it would take a pretty good group of kids to be successful - not that that is impossible.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
He has to have the schools administration stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the kids parents stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the players stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

Without those things, it would take a pretty good group of kids to be successful - not that that is impossible.
He has to have the schools administration stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the kids parents stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

He has to have the players stand behind him when he tries to discipline a kid.

Without those things, it would take a pretty good group of kids to be successful - not that that is impossible.
Concur.
Parents are HUGE in this scenario. If a parent undermines what a coach wants, punishes then it will not achieve its desired effects and that goes in sports and in the classroom. There has been times I have disagreed with what a coach had said/did/punishes/benching of the boy but if you dont stand behind the coach then the kids just wont respect/listen and learn
 

Slampoint

New member
I was blessed to play for a High School (State) Hall of Fame coach and a college Hall of Fame coach...these coaches had an abundance of common traits between them: #1 They were all about making their players successful young men on and off the field. #2 They surrounded themselves with other great coaches that were motivated to developing championship minded players. #3 Both ran systems that were tailored for the type of kids they had in their program #4 Both had great success in getting players to the next level athletically (College or Pro) #5 both had seasons where they had down years, but never lost support or respect from the players, parents or administration #6 Both had administrations and communities that supported the program #7 Both had outgoing and approachable public personas and were happy to promote their kids and programs in front of the press #8 Both held their players accountable (academics and discipline), and both relied heavily on upper class leaders to regulate the locker room and promote the legacy they were responsible for representing. #9 Both were consistent in how they approached adversity: always confident, always in control and always with a plan to overcome. #10 Their door was always open (great communicators) and they were both fair...not equal, but fair...and they kept their players motivated by being open and honest about their role on the team. So, there you go, 10 traits in no particular order...that's my opinion on what makes a good coach...how do you get to that point? You study other successful coaches, you educate yourself on sport psychology, you go to camps and seminars, learn the game, learn the players, develop a strong cohesive base of like minded coaches that you trust and above all, remember it's all about the Johnnys and Joes and a little bit about the X's and O's...
 

suplex21

Active member
Only know that the benching wasn’t related to academics or school disciplinary issues and that a few other players also quit the team in support of the benched player. Don’t know anything else, but does it really matter? My point is that it doesn’t seem that anyone wins here. To the kid with the mess-up home life, the coach is just another adult in his life who ostracizes or rejects him. For the Coach, he now has to face the possibility of losing his coaching position (especially if the losses continue). Seems there should be a better way to handle this conflict … one that could benefit both sides. IMO, it’s ultimately the coach’s responsibility to find that solution because he is the experienced adult in this situation.
If you aren't the coach or the player, you really have no idea what the benching was about. You could think or assume, but ultimately only the coach and the player "know" why the player did not play. Every coach wants to win, but ultimately it is how we use the game to teach life. Obviously this coach felt sitting the player would teach him more than playing him.
We can assume all we want. Ultimately if he was a good man and a good coach he had good reason.
If he had ill intentions and had no good reason, he was probably a bad coach.
 

FootballFan1795

Well-known member
Why do you think this is about the coach's ego? ... How do you know that the coach didn't try everything possible to help this poor neglected kid succeed?
In my OP, I said that I was told by the teammate’s family that the coach was a ‘my way or the highway’ type of guy – hence, the ego assessment. And, even speaking hypothetically, it’s still my overall opinion that sometimes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for motivating players isn’t the most effective or successful.

Why was this a blown opportunity?
He blew his opportunity to test alternative approaches which might contribute to the greater good of a child and a community.

... this is simply a selfish player who didn't get what he wanted and quit ... This is the entire reason we have so many people complaining about younger generations is that we bow to their every whim ... He QUIT, he wasn't kicked off of the team. It's the kid's fault, not the other way around.
Again, we’re not talking about some rich, spoiled brat whose mommy and daddy fight all of his battles for him (in this case, they’re not even in the picture). Perhaps the intention of the coach wasn’t to ostracize or reject, but it’s probably what this kid took from the benching, considering his background. So, of course he quit. No kid wants to publically be made an example of and be excluded from the team. Seems you’re only looking at it from the adult’s perspective and expecting the kid to also think and behave like an adult, which he’s not.

Shame that there are likely a number of kids with great potential who ‘slip through the cracks’ due to the stubbornly uncompromising approach that some coaches adhere to. Also wonder, if a coach loses his job over it, would he still believe it was worth dying on that hill?
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
In my OP, I said that I was told by the teammate’s family that the coach was a ‘my way or the highway’ type of guy – hence, the ego assessment. And, even speaking hypothetically, it’s still my overall opinion that sometimes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula for motivating players isn’t the most effective or successful.



He blew his opportunity to test alternative approaches which might contribute to the greater good of a child and a community.



Again, we’re not talking about some rich, spoiled brat whose mommy and daddy fight all of his battles for him (in this case, they’re not even in the picture). Perhaps the intention of the coach wasn’t to ostracize or reject, but it’s probably what this kid took from the benching, considering his background. So, of course he quit. No kid wants to publically be made an example of and be excluded from the team. Seems you’re only looking at it from the adult’s perspective and expecting the kid to also think and behave like an adult, which he’s not.

Shame that there are likely a number of kids with great potential who ‘slip through the cracks’ due to the stubbornly uncompromising approach that some coaches adhere to. Also wonder, if a coach loses his job over it, would he still believe it was worth dying on that hill?
Right, so coddle the kid because of his issues because that's what life lesson is important. The world is free of people in charge who are "my way or the highway."

Why would a coach lose his job over benching a kid?

I keep beating a dead horse here, NO coach benches a player for personal reasons. Has anyone that has been benched thought it wasn't personal?

I applaud this coach for benching "the best player" because 90% of them don't have the guts to do it. Player didn't live up to some standard and had a consequence. He didn't like the consequence, and quit.
 

SMARTY22

Well-known member
If you read the Western Reserve Thread there is a discussion in there about what makes a person think a coach is successful or not? Obviously wins and losses play into it but what else can be used to evaluate a coach as being successful or not? Is a .500 coach successful?
Depends on the situation the Schools Football program is in and or looking to be in. Example, Oak Hills. If the new Coach at Oak Hills goes 500, 3 Times in say the next 5 years that would definitely be a success!
 

cincifbfan

Well-known member
Depends on the situation the Schools Football program is in and or looking to be in. Example, Oak Hills. If the new Coach at Oak Hills goes 500, 3 Times in say the next 5 years that would definitely be a success!
That's not going to happen though. Not enough talent and too difficult of a conference.
 
Obviously most people will say wins and losses. But I think there is another component. What makes a program stink. How many kids quit because the coaches have killed the sport for the kids? When yelling replaces coaching. When the stars get special treatment over the almost stars and non Playing kids When kids are forced to lose summer due to 5am practice times. When head coaches refuse to change their play calling to suit talent. Hiring assistants that are just ok. When tradition out weighs common sense.
 
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