I love reading books on great coaches.  What I find fascinating about coaches is they lead high-capacity individuals in high-profile, high-stress environments which are immediately measurable.  Coaches have to deal with preparation, conflict, overcoming adversity, in-game adjustments, talent evaluation, multi-millionaire players, billionaire owners and how to deal with success and failure.

Some of my favorite sports books on coaching are the following:

  1. The Score Takes Care Of Itself by Bill Walsh.
  2. Coaching Confidential by Gary Myers
  3. Win Forever by Pete Carroll.  For more from this book read What Is The Difference Between Winning Organizations And Losing Ones?
  4. You Win In the Locker Room First by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith.  For more from this book read 91 Lessons On Developing A Winning Culture At Your Church or Business.
  5. Success Is The Only Option by John Calipari.  For more from this book read 50 Leadership And Quotes On Coaching Extreme Talent From John Calipari Part 1 and Part 2.
  6. The Gold Standard by Mike Krzyzewski
  7. The Pyramid Of Success by John Wooden
  8. Above The Line by Urban Meyer
  9. Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy.  For more from this book read 44 Leadership Quotes From Tony Dungy And His Book Quiet Strength.
  10. The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny

Today I received a book Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban wrote in 2005 entitled How Good Do You Want To Be? A Champion’s Tips On How To Lead And Succeed.  It is an amazing book!

During one section, Coach Saban shared his following 11 Lessons On Teamwork:

  1. There is no I in team but there is an I in win.  Coach Saban preaches individual responsibility.  His teams perform their best when individuals put the group first and do what is best for the team.
  2. Everything you do, you do to the team.  This speaks to personal responsibility and accountability.
  3. Get out of yourself and into the team.  Coach Saban wants his players to rise above their own selfishness and ambitions and dissolve themselves into the team.
  4. Don’t forget the fundamentals.  This can be lost in the rush to prepare.
  5. You can have no flickering lights.  The torch must be fully lit when passed from the upperclassmen to the underclassmen.
  6. Do not allow mistakes to go uncorrected.  You must evaluate the previous game and ensure mistakes are corrected for the upcoming game.
  7. Having skill is not having talent.  Brilliant!  Coach Saban says, “Skill alone does not equate to talent.  Talent is putting skills into productive use.”
  8. You must trust, not just believe.  Belief is trust that is firm.  Are you willing to put your success in someone else’s hands?
  9. Sometimes what is best for the individual is not what is best for the team.  Winning is not the only thing.  How you win matters just as much.
  10. Teams must takes ownership of themselves and their personalities.  The most successful teams have a culture where all the members have a say.
  11. Teams that play together often end up lucky.  Coach Saban firmly believes in luck but you must put yourself in position to be lucky.  The luckiest teams are the teams that play well together.

What is one lesson from Coach Saban which you can implement today to make your team more effective?

To receive more leadership insights from Coach Saban, click HERE or on the image to the left for my new ebook The Leadership Of Nick Saban: Timeless Truths From The Incomparable Head Coach Of The Alabama Crimson Tide.  Enjoy!


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