Why Bill Belichick is Successful

November 1, 2015

Knowing nothing about Bill, what would you guess his secret sauce is?

Sure, he works hard.
Maybe he even plays close to the foul line, bending some of the rules.
But I had no idea what made him tick until I started reading a book on him.

His secret sauce is extreme deep passion for studying the game of football. And I don’t mean as an adult. He was studying football game tapes at ages 7-9. He loved it. That’s all he cared about. He wanted to be a coach.

See, Bill’s father was a football player, coach, and scout. And their family had a work hard, immigrant mentality. Bill’s grandparents migrated to the states from Croatia. And they experienced The Great Depression. So the hard work ethic was there.

Bill’s father Steve was one of the best scouts out there. He loved the details. He had good eye for talent. And could figure out other teams strengths and weaknesses that no one else could see.

And Bill grew up in this household. Bill Belichick was obsessed with football plays, breaking down what works and doesn’t, and was extremely smart.

He played high school and college football. Played center position and was decent. But his true skills centered around being a player coach.

He can watch game tape over and over and over and over. This is probably the most boring part of the whole game. But Bill loves this tedious work.

And another interesting thing happened in his life. He met another kid who was equally, if not more, obsessed about football details as him. Ernie Adams. He was one of the few people in the whole country who had ever bought Steve Belichick’s book on football scouting. That’s how much of a football nerd this guy was.

Bill and Ernie hit it off right away. They still work together with the Patriots. Ernie as Bill’s football research director.

Two huge brains. Both love football analysis. Started at a very young age. Great attention to detail. Love doing tedious, repetitive, boring work. Natural teachers. And coaching football is what they are passionate about. A recipe for success.

See, your obscure childhood obsessions can pay off!

The Education of a Coach – David Halberstam