Trailblazing Coaches and Players

Trailblazing Coaches. The Wednesday Weekly Roundup is Where The Coaching Conversation Points You to Interesting Articles on Coaching, Leadership, Sports, Performance, Health and Fitness, and sometimes, money.

The Trailblazing Coaches Who Went From Friday Night Lights to the NFL (The Ringer)

Great read on the value of teaching, fundamentals and innovation in the transition from youth to pro.

“From a creativity standpoint,” Simpson says, “high school coaches start with: If you aren’t willing to do it all, you probably won’t be very good.”

It’s official: Paul Riley has established the NWSL’s first dynasty (The Equalizer)

Remarkable job.

Heather O’Reilly ends storied career on top with NWSL title (American Soccer Now)

“It all stems from Paul Riley’s creation of a training environment that is very intense,” she explained. “I’m used to very intense environments playing at UNC and the U.S. teams for my entire career, for the most part, but here I would say it’s another level of intensity. Just from minute one you’re expected to be on, you’re expected to be locked in.

O’Reilly Embodies Relentless Courage as Her Storied Career Ends With NWSL Title (Sports Illustrated)

Know who you are as a team.

What they have is quality—almost all of the Courage’s starters are full internationals—and an identity that makes them extremely difficult to play against. On a humid day in the Piedmont, several Chicago players were nearly doubled over from exhaustion, and it was still in the first half.

North Carolina Courage wins NWSL title with win over Chicago Red Stars (USA Today)
Vlatko Andonovski could be just what the USA women need to stay on top (The Guardian)

Andonovski reportedly already has a list of players who have been plying their trade in Europe that he’d like to give a look at an identification camp in December. The competition for roster spots will only get tougher as Andonovski, who is so thorough in his research, leaves no stone unturned.

 Life after football – how the women’s game has changed (

“Doyenne means I can give women athletes the opportunities that I did not have myself.

Trailblazing Coach Dungy: Family, community service ‘imperative to life’s success’ (Delta)

“I said to my team, ‘Ge​ntlemen, we’re going to win – that’s our job. But if all we do is win football games, it will be very short lived and it won’t be meaningful,” Dungy said.

England dethrone New Zealand to reach Rugby World Cup final (The Guardian)

A trailblazing coach is eliminated.

“If you’re prepared to play a certain way against the All Blacks – and you can do it very well – you can make them uncomfortable. That hasn’t changed since Adam was a boy.”–Jones

One of the best players shares a page of his performance journal. No matter the level….
On Frame: Has Dome Torrent coached his final game for New York City FC? (Pro Soccer USA)
5 Lessons from Margaret McFarland, The Scientist Behind Mister Rogers (

Five key ideas here, all valuable for coaches.

David McCullough boild down McFarland’s worldview, saying, “what she taught, in essence, is that attitudes aren’t taught, they’re caught. If the attitude of the teacher toward the material is positive, enthusiastic, committed, and excited, the students get that.”

How to Ungrade (

What students write to me in self-reflections and self-evaluations is profoundly different from the kinds of interactions we would have in a purely transactional system. Their self-evaluations (which I sometimes call “process letters”), and my responses to them, become a space of dialogue, not just about the course, but about their learning and about how learning happens.