The essential job of a coach is to train, develop and position people to succeed by effectively using their talents. When the season starts, the coach should be able to step back and let the team perform.

Football teams have been hard at work now for weeks, preparing for their busy time. Let's think about why that's necessary for success in the season that lies ahead. After all, football players have had extensive experience in the past. They're well aware of what it takes to compete and win. Aside from getting into shape, why is it so important that they spend weeks on end practicing before the season starts?

I think about the attitudes of great coaches. Bill Belichick, generally regarded as the best pro football coach today, is famous for responding in interviews: "He did his job." He boils all the emotion and turmoil of performing at your peak during crunch time into a summary of what you need to do as part of a successful organization. You should know your role, trust your teammates and execute as planned. Nick Sabin, arguably the best college coach of his era, was asked a question last fall that led him to respond "…losing is never acceptable." In different ways, great coaches get players to respond at the highest level when it matters most.

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