Coaching Tree

As a lifetime sports fan I have always not only enjoyed watching the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (circa 1970 ABC Wide World of Sports, quote/credit), but I have been equally intrigued at the leadership qualities, values of winning teams and the true “business” side of athletics.

A relatively new concept in football has been the discussion centering around the “coaching tree.” New, up and coming coaches that get their first big job are today analyzed as to which coaching tree they came from. What legendary coach of the past hired, mentored, and taught them the ropes as a young assistant or coordinator.  Was it Lombardi, Walsh, Belichick, Shanahan, Reed?

In the emergency response / IMT world task books have been around for decades. A great piece of advice I received early on in my careers was “be careful who signs off the tasks in your task book.” I was fortunate to be mentored by several very strong, well known Planning Section figures in the NWCG world making it all the way through passing S-420 as a planning section chief.  I can confidently trace my “coaching tree” directly back to the beginning of the system of Incident Command as we know it, through the series of task book signers.

Repeated failures on incidents over the past few years, particularly, in the area of notification, should make us pause and take a look at what we are doing wrong. Is it the training, who is teaching the classes, a lack of consistency in approach or possibly weak programs based on the leadership in place.

Check your coaching tree. If it, along with the quality of the incidents, exercises, and planned events that you were signed off on aren’t up to speed you are bullshitting yourself that you are ready and qualified.

PS- that’s exactly what a Lombardi, Walsh, Belichick, Shanahan or Reed would tell you.

Coaching tree - Wikipedia

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