Coaching Leader Quality 3 – Good Instincts About What Motivates People

One of a coach’s greatest qualities is good instincts about people. What motivates them, inspires them, and makes them tick? Great coaching leaders have an uncanny and almost intuitive way of knowing what makes people tick. Part of the way they understand what motivates people is by taking time to get to know them, ask questions, and uncover their desires and ambitions. They know when to use that information in just the right moment to create outstanding results.

See full size imageVince Lombardi, the legendary football coach of the Green Bay Packers for eight years, was a master at this. One of his players, Jerry Kramer, an All-Star guard, tells the following story:

In one of the practice sessions early in his career, Kramer missed his blocking assignment on a play. On the very next play he jumped offside. He said, “Lombardi really jumped on me and reamed me out; he had me feeling awful! I felt like smacking him in the mouth!”

“I was in the locker room after practice, ready to hang it up and do something else. Vince came up to me and patted me on the back and said, ‘Son, don’t you know that someday you’ll be the best guard in this league?’ Those words lit a fire!

This little vignette is a great lesson for aspiring coaching leaders. Lombardi knew at that moment on the field that Kramer needed a swift kick in the pants. He also had the instinct to know that Kramer was in need of a pat on the back in the locker room.

Had Vince Lombardi not had that intuition about Jerry Kramer, one of the greatest guards of all time may have gone down a different road!

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Monday, October 25th, 2010
  • Comments Off on Coaching Leader Quality 3 – Good Instincts About What Motivates People