Bill Walsh on Developing Your Philosophy- Part 1

March 12, 2018

In his book Bill Walsh-Finding the Winning Edge, the Hall of Fame coach discusses the importance of a head coach developing his own personal coaching philosophy.  According to Walsh, a head coach’s philosophy should be a combination of several factors.  His background in playing and coaching the game, his personal experiences, his education, and his aspirations are all factors. He is literally a sum of all of the beliefs he has gained working with head coaches and other assistants throughout his developing years. By sticking with the best of these philosophies, he has a practical method of deciding what to do in a particular situation.

Walsh says in his book that “a coach’s philosophy provides him with a blueprint for action. His philosophy is often the single most important guiding influence on how he coaches.”  Walsh believed that it is a coach’s philosophy that will help him keep a proper perspective in a critical situations.

Here are the first five suggestions from one of the all time greats on forming your coaching philosophy.

  1. Be Yourself- Walsh said that although a young coach will learn from many coaches over the years, he cannot be any of those coaches. Although all coaches should work to take advantage of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, they “are who they are.”  Some coaches are extroverts and some introverts.  Whatever direction you tend to lead, you cannot be a phony.
  2. Be Committed to Excellence– Part of your philosophy must include trying your best to do things properly at all times.  Your staff and players must understand that the team must have a commitment to excellence in all areas that will not be compromised.
  3. Be Positive– The head coach must maintain a positive attitude. Your staff and players will respond better to a positive environment than a negative one. Work hard at creating a positive working place.
  4. Be Prepared– No aspect of coaching is more important then being prepared.  Coaches can’t control everything, but they can control how well there team is prepared. Success on the field is usually a product of design.  Attention to detail is critical in regard to preparation.
  5. Be Organized– It is extremely important that the head coach make the best possible use of the available time and resources.  Being organized is the single best way to avoid wasting time. Any time a head coach puts into organization is well worth the time invested. Being organized is a great way to relieve the stress and pressure for the coach, whether in practice or game situations.  It also makes you look much more competent to the players, staff and all of those around the program.

Check out part 2 for some of the most important concepts of developing your coaching philosophy.