Bill Belichick Autobiography- Notes

October 26, 2015

I have just finished reading Bill Belichick’s Autobiography: The Education of a Coach and thought it was a pretty insightful book into how Bill Belicheck grew into being one of the most successful NFL coaches of all time. It was a long process for sure. This book also proves that you don't need to have been an amazing athlete or professional player to be a worldclass coach. In fact Belichick only played 3 years of D3 football! But his passion, comittment to learning, work-ethic and bravery to put himself in uneasy positions were always there and more apparent than his peers. A lot of the book talks about his father's coaching days which may seem irrelevant but there are actually some good lessons there. 

 

 

Bill Belichick’s Autobiography: The Education of a Coach

 

Notes:

 

  • Steve Belichick’s (father) basic defensive premise: find out what the other team does well and then design a plan to best negate that

  • Steve Belichick grew up in the depression, at a time where discipline wasn’t taught but it was LIVED… you don’t ever waste money, you don’t ever waste food, you HAVE to work hard or you don’t eat, sacrifice what you want to do so that the family can survive

  • When asked if he wanted the offense or defense to run out onto the field before the Superbowl Bill said either the whole team runs out or no one runs out

  • Bill is incredibly stubborn… he always does things the way he wants them to be done and no one can influence him otherwise

  • Bill’s only focus is about coaching… he has no interest in good image with the media, he personal perception to the public, or the stardom of himself or his players

  • You know the value system of the team as soon as you walk into his office

  • He relentlessly scouts every team he faces and puts a huge emphasis on it

  • Steve and Bill have mastered the ‘scathing look’ they can give players when they need it

  •  Bill loves teaching. Teaching is his passion.

  • Bill has this ability to always make you feel like you have a distinct advantage against your direct opponent.

  • For Bill when scouting, its more important to find the other team’s strength and then create a way of limiting/stopping that… then it is to try and find a team’s apparent weakness

  • From an early age, Bill learned from Steve that football wasn’t just a game, but needed to be approached as a job

  • Bill thought there was one great truth about film… the more you watched the more you learned

  • Bill learned from his Phillips Andover coach never to belittle a player and maintain a healthy mutual respect

  • Even as a PG at Phillips Andover, he had the discipline to already be a coach

  • Bill only played 3 years of D3 College football- still one of the greatest football coaches ever

  • First ever coaching job was as a volunteer film analysis guy for Baltimore Colts

  • He knew he would excel and make it as a coach in the industry when during his first job, much older players seeked him out directly to ask for advice

  • He was told early on by another young coach that he absolutely cannot be the players pal… you will always get burned/betrayed if that is your goal

  • As a young coach, Bill would always ask for more and more work/responsibilities… he would disappear and do his work and then show up again once completed and asked for more

  • Bill Parcell was the type of coach whose strength was reading the player’s emotional state and being able to push their buttons to get the most out of them vs. Bill Belichick who the ‘rationale’ coach who made every decision with sound reasoning

  • Parcell had 7 different jobs in his first 14 years of coaching… very much paid his dues to be a head coach

  • What motivated Bill was always the intellectual challenge that the NFL provides

  • The best assistant coaches challenge the head coach’s ideas in the office but fully support the messages and strategies of him in front of the team

  • In times of high-importance and stress, players don’t need to over-do their role… just fulfill your primarily responsibilities

  • Every defense needs certain points of pride

  • Belichick became the head coach of the Browns at 38 years old… one of the youngest in history

  • Bill always has a stoic, weary, on the alert type of look because in the NFL showing your emotions can allow an owner, player, referee, fans, reporter take advantage of you

  • There cannot be two sets of rules- one for the team and one for a special player or two. This completely compromises and undermines all your authority

  • When your recruit- you must weigh talent and character of the player equally

  • Bill was the communicative bridge between Parcell’s and Kraft as an assistant at New England… because of this good social skill, it helped him become the full time coach for Kraft years later

  • First thing Bill tried to fix at New England was mental toughness, but he learned from Cleveland to be patience

-Bill smiled when two guys fought each other during a game because it showed them that there was pulse and people holding others accountable

  • Tom Brady had a drive to prove he wasn’t a 6th round pick, a drive not to be the initial 4th string (chip on his shoulder), experience playing under big pressure at Michigan (20-5 record there), and experience fighting for constant playing time… all translate really well for being successful

  • For Belichick you have to earn everything!... and earn it again and again and again

-Players who aren’t committed to continually re-earning things are released

-Players who are feel entitled are his least favorite players

  • Brady got better and better continuously because Belichick’s undying belief in him

  • Bill visited Jimmy Johnson (former Dallas Coach) in Miami after Patriots first Superbowl win. Spent three days discussing how to handle success and problems that come with it

  • Every single season it is imperative that you upgrade

  • The best coaches take the Head Coach position as a 24/7 job

  • Most important thing the players must show is their unwavering belief in the head coach’s mantra, even if it is very different than from others coaches  

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

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I am a youth and college soccer coach who is passionate about making coaching my career and helping assist players in their development. I am always trying to learn from the game and always willing to share with others the insights I have made from the game. If you have coaching tips or materials you would like to share, just contact me.

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