Lesson from Schiano

“If your only reason for coaching is to win, you have already lost”

Greg Schiano

I’m leary to put his name to the quote because he may not have said those exact words.  But, that is the main point I took from Greg Schiano, head coach at Rutgers University, as the keynote speaker at the PSFCA Football Clinic.

Schiano spoke from experience as he was returning to Rutgers after some failed attempts in the pro’s and taking some time off of coaching.  He described how when his only priority was winning,  it allowed him to justify anything, good or bad, if it got him closer to winning.  Shiano discussed how things like not always putting the needs of his players first, not spending enough time with his family, and not being a stand up guy were rationalized under the goal of winning.  

His speech solidified the approach I have taken to coaching and why my staff and I receive emails from parents like the one below

“You not only care about the game, but it is clear that you also care about character and that you see the big picture and realize you coach these boys for a short period of time and that this time can impact them for years”

Athlete’s Parent

But it also validated some things I had been working through when it comes to Life.   I, like so many,  have uttered the words “I just wanna be happy”.  However, once that became my only goal, I could justify anything in pursuit of that singular target.  It didn’t matter if it was  good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, right or wrong, if I believed it was getting me closer to being happy, I could  rationalize my pursuit of it.  

Now,  there is nothing wrong with being happy and there is nothing wrong with winning but Schiano reminded me that sole pursuit of these things can lead to a very slippery slope.   

So what do you pursue?  Schiano suggested values.  Set values for your team that everyone from the coaches to the players can strive to achieve.  For example, he refers to F.A.M.I.L.Y., Which stands for Forget About Me, I Love You.  He believes this makes the way everyone in the Rutgers organization interacts with each other change.  It’s not only  about winning but about Love.  

Schiano explained how he may want his injured star athlete to play but he would have to sit him out of love.  Yes, Rutgers may lose the game but Schiano  will achieve his goal of loving his players.   

Schiano’s speech made me not only strengthen the values I will continue to stress to my athletes but also the values I will live my life by.  Values that aren’t solely based on being happy because I’m learning that 

“If your only reason to live is to be happy you have already lost”

Allyn Bacchus



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