Nfl Coaches Essay, Research Paper
12. Anderson, Dave, The Football Story, New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1985.
“THEY CALL IT COACHING,” VINCE LOMBARDI ONCE SAID, “BUT IT IS TEACHING.”
Coaching is not only showing a team what to do, but explaining to them why it is so. Each game, the coach is accountable for getting all 11 players on the field working as one unit. He’s responsible for preparing his team for battle each week and for making sure his game-time decisions are flawless. The coach is not only the head of the team, but a leader for all the players. A coach must maintain a pristine level of emotion and discipline so that he is respected by everyone.
2. Lorimer, Larry and Devanex, John, The Football Book, New York, Random House, 1977
11. Sullivan, George, All About Football, New York, G.P. Putman’s Sons, 1987
OVER THE YEARS, FOOTBALL HAS GONE THROUGH DRAMATIC CHANGES.
Played back on November 6, 1869, the first American Football game did not show the characteristics that it does today; the game resembled rugby more than it did football. Yet, over the years football has been molded into the way people see it now.
During the early years of football, many players were injured due to the violence in the game, and as a result of this, many people wanted to change the way the game was played. From 1876 to 1882, Walter Camp pioneered the idea of a Quarter Back handling the ball every play. He also thought of the four-downs system. In this system, each team had four chances to move the ball ten yards, or the other team would receive the ball. His new ideas helped reduce injury drastically. Amos Alonzo Stagg designed the huddle so that the players on each team would know which play the Quarter Back was running, and therefore, would have less chance of running into another player. However, the most revolutionary idea ever came in 1906. John Heisman, a former college football player, thought of the idea of throwing the ball forward, instead of just back and across the field. This creative new concept changed the face of American Football forever.
1. Classic Sports Network, Inc. (1999) Vince Lombardi
3. Jenkins, Dan, Football, New York, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers, 1986
NO OTHER COACH IN HISTORY CHANGED THE GAME MORE THAN VINCE LOMBARDI.
Lombardi, who’s quotes still echo through locker rooms before football games across America, achieved such a high coaching excellence that it has yet to be matched. Lombardi, who took a 1-10-1 Green Bay Packer team to 7-5 in only one year with the program, started his career in Green Bay in 1959. Within ten years he led the Pack to six divisional titles and 5 NFL championships, including Super Bowls I and II. “Our greatest glory was not in never failing, but in rising when we fell,” Lombardi was quoted saying. Jerry Kramer described Lombardi as, “a cruel, tough, gentle, miserable, wonderful man whom I often hate and often love, but always respect.”
Lombardi’s philosophy changed the way future coaches conducted their teams. Preparation was the key to the way he coached his team. Instead of putting the importance on talent, Lombardi demanded every player on his squad to be perfect in practice. Lombardi knew that if his team didn’t practice well, they wouldn’t play well; no player wanted the coach on their backs when the team performed poorly.
Vince Lombardi’s masterful coaching style set the stage for many succeeding coaches of the future. His intensity set the standard in the NFL. No other coach in history had achieved success so remarkably. His ideas and insights into the game are still used today. Vince Lombardi was most famous for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
5. Anderson, Dave, The Story of Football, New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985
6. Current Biography 1974 p.366-369
DON SHULA’S UNDEFEATED SEASON SCULPED A TEAM EXCELLENCE YET TO BE MATCHED.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins. 17-0. Super Bowl VII champions. When the name Don Shula is mentioned, these things come up. But what about the rest of the “things” Shula accomplished. No other coach in history won 100 games in their first decade of coaching. Not even Vince Lombardi could compare to that. Shula won an unprecedented six Coach of the Year awards. Not only could he coach, but he could win. He won with not one team, but two. He took the Baltimore Colts and Miami to the Super Bowl, and almost won with both. Coach Shula produced the first back-to-back champions since the Packers.
And what about the man behind the coach? “…if you lose, Shula goes crazy,” one of his players once stated. Shula, so precise in direction, would hold four workouts in a day; two before lunch, one after, and another in the late afternoon. Don Shula’s strive for perfection made him into a leader. It also produced one of the NFL’s leased penalized teams in the Dolphins.
No one remembers every little feat a person produces. I guess it will always be that Don Shula is most famous for orchestrating an undefeated season with the Dolphins. Maybe that’s how he wants to be remembered. Maybe that’s why every year, when the last unbeaten team in the NFL has lost, Shula pops open a bottle of champagne and celebrates.
4. Bill Walsh
10. Bradley, Michael and Johnson, Paul. “Go West” Sport (Jan 1997 v88 n1) p. 46
BILL WALSH’S “WEST COAST OFFENSE” CHANGED THE STYLE OF OFFENSE IN THE NFL.
Bill Walsh entered the San Francisco Forty-niners with high expectations. His plan was to convert the Niners into a winning team. He brought with him ideas of teamwork, selfless play, discipline, and the hopes of exploring new boundaries. He also brought a new aerial attack now known as the West Coast Offense. This radical new system utilized the speed and quickness of the 49er team. Based on precision, accuracy, and ball control, the offense produced three Super Bowl titles while Walsh coached the team. In the ten years that Bill Walsh coached San Francisco, they made the playoffs seven times, won six NFC Western Division Conference titles, and, of course, won the Super Bowl three times.
Along the way, Walsh tutored some of the most successful people in the NFL. He shaped and molded Joe Montana into one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. In addition, Steve Young, Montana’s backup, was trained in the ways of the WCO. After Montana’s departure, Young produced another Super Bowl ring for the 49er organization. Not only were players influenced by Bill Walsh, but also so were other coaches. All taught under Walsh, Mike Holmgren, George Siefert, and Mike Shanahan, took their talents to Green Bay, San Francisco, and Denver respectively, and won Super Bowls. In 1995, 4 of the top 7 NFL offenses in the league used some variety of the WCO. Bill Walsh’s experienced leadership resulted in an induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.
7. Brett Banducci 1996, The Ditka Alter
8. The Sporting News (1998) Wisdom of Mike Ditka
9. Ditka, Mike, interviewed by Dan Pompei. Mike Ditka: the former Bears coach growls about his rocky past and uncertain future. Sport p. 32 Oct 1993.
MIKE DITKA’S “IN YOUR FACE APPROACH” CREATED THE RESPECT A COACH DESERVES.
When asked why he like to coach football, Mike Ditka asserted that he was, “put on this earth…” to coach. Ditka’s unique outlook on life and football changed the people around him. He was once caught saying, “Friends are hard to find; you can find a wife anywhere.” It was these kind of different ideas that made Mike Ditka into a great coach.
Leading the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl championship in 1986, Ditka won the NFL’s Coach of the Year award. Ditka’s discipline and hard work showed that anybody could achieve success. Ditka not only coached his team, but he became connected to the players on it, and became bothered often when talented players underachieved. Not only were his accomplishments outstanding, Mike Ditka’s hardass reputation will forever be remembered in the NFL.
COACHING TAKES COURAGE, SELF DISCIPLINE AND RESPONSIBILITY.
To be a successful coach in the NFL, a person has to know what it takes to do something new, daring, or exciting. The coaches mentioned, Don Shula, Mike Ditka, Bill Walsh, and Vince Lombardi, all knew how to accomplish this. Lombardi used his charisma and character to get what he wanted from his players. Ditka and Shula used discipline and toughness. Walsh invented an offense that best suited his team. These men, coaches, are the people players look to for leadership. Without coaches, 22 dumb jocks would be running on the field in total chaos.
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