Think coaching doesnít matter? Tell that to head coach Andy Reid and his 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
Basketball greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant didnít win championships until Phil Jackson took over the reins of their respective teams.
Iíve heard all the arguments from both sides. All coaching is not the same and not everyone can be the head coach. While some players are great Iím not convinced that coaching doesnít matter when it comes to winning consistently.
Iím not saying that coaches donít need players to win because they do. Nor do I think that every coach is completely at fault for every bad team. Coaches are better with great players, but there is a partnership between the two. Bad coaches are just as detrimental to a team as bad players.
The argument that bugs me the most is that coaching is the same the closer that you get to the professional level. While the techniques and tactics may be the same with a lot of coaches, Iíd say higher competition levels demand a higher quality of coaching. A coach has to believe in his players, but more importantly the players have to trust their coach as being the right person to lead.
When head basketball coaches like Duke Universityís Mike Krzyzewski and the University of North Carolinaís Roy Williams make a call in a game, players follow their instructions, not because they are legendary coaches (which they both are). They follow their instructions because both men have put in the time to earn their playersí trust.
Coaching is more than knowing the Xs and Os of a game. I have no doubt that there are other college basketball coaches who know just as much as Williams and Krzyzewski. However, no one gets more out of their players than these two. Sure, these are top-flight programs, both of which are able to recruit some of the best players in the nation to become a part of their respective programs, but those players still have to be coached.
Doug Collins was Chicago Bullsí coach for three years with Michael Jordan and never came close to winning a championship. When Phil Jackson took over as coach, he won six titles with Jordan. Thatís not to say that Jackson knows more about basketball plays than Collins, but there is something to be said about getting players to buy into the coachís system. Anyone can be knowledgeable about a sport; but for the great coaches, teaching is where their programs start. When players believe that the coach knows what it takes to win they can achieve anything. If there is doubt the teams will crumble when it counts the most.
Ron Rivera is the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. He is probably one of the NFLís best defensive coaching minds, yet the Panthers have lost 14 games decided by 7 points or less. Is it completely his fault for the Panthersí woeful record in close games? Not completely. He bears the brunt because he is the head coach. Rivera has failed the first rule of coaching ó belief. Teaching players to believe is where coaching begins.