Comparison of Two Different Successful Coaches

Compare and contrast the roles, responsibilities and skills of successful coaches

Introduction and facts about the coaches

I will compare and contrast two high ranked basketball coaches who made big influence in basketball.

John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. As head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period—seven in a row. Within this period, his teams won a record 88 consecutive games. He was named national coach of the year six times.

As a player, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and he won a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship at Purdue University in 1932. He was one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

Gregg Charles Popovich is an American coach who is currently the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s San Antonio Spurs. Popovich is the longest posted active coach in both the NBA and all Big Four sports leagues. He is often referred to as “Coach Pop” or simply “Pop”. He has won five NBA championships as the head coach of the Spurs. He also has the most consecutive winning seasons (playoffs included) of any NBA coach. Popovich is one of only five coaches in NBA history to win five or more NBA championships.

Comparison of roles, responsibilities and leading styles.

Gregg Charles Popovich believes that sometimes players has to make descisions for themselves, because they are the ones on the field holding the ball and doing actions. Certainly he leads the team, plan tactics and explains them to his team, but there are times when everything depends only on the players, because coaches doesn’t have 14 timeouts to plan everything for the players. Gregg thinks that communication between team players is very important You guys got to get together and talk. You guys might see a mismatch that I don’t see. You guys need to communicate constantly — talk, talk, talk to each other about what’s going on the court.. He thinks that competitive people doesn’t like to be manipulated a lot and when they feel in charge they release all the potential and try their hardest. Only drill and acting like a coach won’t win the game, he thinks that players sometimes have to take initiative for themselves and plan strategies on the court, because you can’t instruct them to do everything. Gregg also says Then you interject here or there. You call a play during the game at some point or make a substitution, that kind of thing that helps the team win. But they basically have to take charge or you never get to the top of the mountain..

Popovich is known to deal with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.   He cuts out of the unnecessary and focuses only on what directly leads to a win by using his observation and evaluation skills and applying his experience and knowledge. Through that focus on the useful parts of the game has led him to treat his players like grown men with their own emotional and professional needs. Not models to be molded to his particular needs. He leaves responsibility to team by telling them that they are the ones who will win or lose, he is here only to guide and help.

Gregg has strong observation skills, he monitors and evaluates situation and makes impartial judgements where required and weights up the team’s options in a dispassionate way. Coordinates team to focus on the objectives and delegates positions to players effectivelly. He challenges his team to sometimes take initiative for themselves and take the responsibilitiy.

John Robert Wooden believes that coaches don’t have to yell and scream at players for their poor play. Instead of that John uses back-bench which always gets player attention. As long as players know why they are coming out of the game will make them to feel the need to perform better and try harder. Reducing time on the court is really the only thing that gets their attention and coaches who always scream at their players are just fooling themselves if they think that it has positive effect on the players. It even can have negative effect to players, they might start to feel stressful and under a lot of pressure which can affect their game.

John always demonstrated positive behaviour during games from their players, because they are representing themselves. And he feels that the coach and players should take the role to demonstrate positive example to people.   He thinks that having appropriate skills and ability to properly execute them is better than having a lot of experience and little of skill. John was confident team coach and had a lot of knowledge and experience in what he was doing at his best years. He was good at solving problems like managing conflicts in the team and setting team objectives and goals. He even wrote a book about leadership and created a scheme “The Pyramid of Success” which can guide team to effective performance and good conflict management.

Both of these coaches have similarities and differences in their coaching style. First I will highlight the similarities in their coaching style, their skills, abilities and roles they control in their team. Both John and Gregg believes that coaches shouldn’t be yelling and screaming at the players, because it is not effective way to reflect the mistakes they do and this create a separation from coach and the team. They lose trust and belief in their coach instead of understanding and creating cohesion with team and coach. Both Gregg and John were great monitors and evaluators of their team and co-ordinated players to focus on their main objectives and roles. They keep confident in their coaching style and are able to stay focused even when plan doesn’t go well. Letting players to take their own initiative and not only instructing them, was one of similarities that possibly led those two coaches to big success.

Differences between these coaches were that they displayed particular behavior and held different roles within their team. Gregg was more challenging and allowed his team to show their own initiative in the game and lead it by themselves at some times of the game as John took most of planning by himself and in calm manner managed all the conflicts within the team and was the bond that connected all team players. I think that both coaches have worked out that team has to be connected and work together towards same goal to reach it that is why they worked out their best way to coach and are professionals in their job and that’s why they reached such a success.

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