“As for the town, it took a while to come around. Mainly because they couldn’t understand Sweet’s coaching methods. The standard at the time, especially in the Midwest, was for coaches to ape Vince Lombardi. It was a militaristic approach—players were to follow orders. Then in comes Sweet and he lets his players run practice on occasion, and choose their own positions. He treats them like adults, not kids, and then, day by day, finds ways to boost their confidence while helping mold them into men. At the time, that kind of approach was incredibly unusual, not to mention threatening. One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from a rival coach during the state tournament, who grumbled to a reporter that Sweet had “set back Illinois high school baseball ten years.”
The interview also discuss Sweet’s leadership method which was based on inspiration and respect instead of on control and power. He also reiterates the power of believing in people and acknowledgement.
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