Jack Welch

JACK WELCH From the Bleachers

What does a head football coach do? Some spectators might believe the assistant coaches do all the work. After viewing a practice or game, I often hear people say the head coach did not do anything to help the team win.

These nescient folks need to observe all the work and preparation prior to practice or game. Great head coaches understand having a delegating leadership style empowers staff members to exercise autonomy. Employing this approach provides a shared vision, which provides assistant coaches with big picture conception.

When quality assistant coaches feel they are trusted, then great results take place. What these people do not understand is it takes much more preparation and guidance to delegate than to do it yourself.

As a coach, when I view my opponents’ head coach working like a busy beaver while the assistant coaches are dormant, I feel like our team has the advantage. One person can only do so much. When quality assistant coaches have been assigned and are entrusted with important tasks, the staff will accomplish much more than one person. The program operation will increase more strategic contemplative thought.

Legendary Osawatomie and Lawrence head coach, Bill Freeman, led his teams to seven football and two track state championships. If you ever witnessed his practice or game, it was hard to detect who was the head coach. All coaches were in harmony.

David Bailiff, Texas A&M University-Commerce, is the only Texas head football college coach to win 10 games at the FBS, FCS and division two levels. He is a master at empowering staff members. All his assistant coaches are visionary and confidently display imagination and innovation.

Have you ever witnessed Kim Mulkey, LSU women’s head basketball coach, at practice or games? She is emotional and extremely active. Her coaches follow suit. They handle their duties and responsibilities just like a head coach.

Historically, most people believe one central figure in an organization, who dominates decision making, is a great leader. These type leaders are dictators, and everyone simply does what they are told. This eliminates innovation and team building.

Next time you view a practice, observe how the assistant coaches interact with the team and head coach. If all are active and confidently sharing authority, I believe you will detect a powerful organization.

Thought for the week, “Few burdens are heavy when everyone lifts.” Jack Welch

Jack Welch grew up in Osawatomie. He holds a Doctor of Education degree and has been a college and high school football coach for 39 years. He is author of the book titled Foundations of Coaching (2020). He can be reached at jackwelch1975@gmail.com.

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