I love what I do. As we instill tradition and structure to our program – all we talk about is coaching. We talk about how to treat our players like adults and get the most out of their performance because at every level of every sport – it’s a delicate balance.
If you ask Steve Hauschka and Chandler Catanzaro their opinions on coaching styles that they might have strong ones as they have recently dealt with opposing approaches.
If you recall – Chandler Catanzano accounted for the Cardinals 6 points with 46 and 45-yard field goals in their October 24th game against the Seattle Seahawks. Then he booted one off the cross-bar with 3:26 left in Overtime from only 24 yards, costing his team what should have been an easy win.
Hauschka could have locked in a cherished NFL “W” himself for the Seahawks with his attempt from 27 yards having also hit two longer field goals earlier in the game. He also missed, the game ended in a historic low NFL score 6-6 and I thought the stories about the Coaches reactions were fascinating.
After the game Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians said at a press conference that he told Catanzaro – “Make it. This is professional, this ain’t high school baby. You get paid to make it.”
Those are all factual statements. I don’t necessarily think they are the right ones. In my opinion they put too much pressure on one player and one play within the context of a 60-minute football game played by at least 25 different individuals.
How many other plays could the team have executed perfectly that afternoon that could have led to a team victory in regulation?
I would imagine that’s what Pete Carroll had in mind when he took the opposite approach:
[Hauschka] made his kicks to give us a chance and unfortunately he didn’t make the last one. He’s been making kicks for years around here … but he’s gonna hit a lot of winners as we go down the road here. I love him and he’s our guy.
When Steve Hauschka hears that quote, he gets fired up to put his Seahawks uniform on and kick for wins the following Sunday. He missed but it’s ok because he’s still the Coaches guy.
Do you know why else I like that response? That sounds like something Coach Roy Simmons Jr. would have said about me in the mid-90’s at Syracuse. He would have said that about me when I played my absolute best. And he would have said that about me after the final game of my career when we lost 10-9 to Princeton in the NCAA semifinals.
Coach Simmons way of supporting and motivating me was to befriend me and make no secret about the kind of potential he thought I had. As a player – that angle helped me reach that potential because I wasn’t afraid to fail. It’s a lot like parenting. If you want to raise fiercely independent children, you must show them love so that they have confidence to go out in the world and give it their best without being afraid to fail.
Enough with the objective evidence. Let’s get to the empirical evidence. University of Houston Head Football Coach Tom Herman takes loving and respecting his players to another level. Any one of his Cougar warriors could be walking off the bus to get dressed for a big game or heading into the locker room for half time and it would not be out of the ordinary for Coach Herman to grab them for a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It’s just how he shows his love. The team has responded by finishing last season 13-1 with a national ranking of #8, their highest end-of-season ranking since 1980. This year they are ranked 13th and they’re 6-1. Need I say more?
I got to go. I’m going to get Coach “JG” and I a case of Chap stick because those records sound damn good to me.
How do you motivate a human being to do things against his own nature? There’s two things: love and fear. And to me love wins every time.
– Tom Herman, and me
Until next time.
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