Saturday, December 3, 2011

Here's why Bob Lantzy thrived at Eisenhower

What made Bob Lantzy a special and successful high school football coach?
Here are four areas where he distinguished himself on the way to winning more than 300 games in 41 seasons at Eisenhower:
OPTIMISM: Lantzy believed in his coaches and players. He believed in their ability and in their willingness to improve, and he frequently expressed that belief. No one was better at boosting the self confidence of players and coaches, of making them believe they were up to the short- and long-term tasks at hand, than Lantzy.
ORGANIZATION: Lantzy was not afraid to move coaches around within his staff. In fact, that was one of his trademarks. The backfield coach one year might be the receivers coach the next. And so it went. He had a way of keeping his staff fresh, of keeping ideas and innovations flowing. The words “stale” and “Eisenhower’ were never heard in the same sentence.
CREATIVITY: Sure, Eisenhower was blessed with many talented players over the years. But Lantzy and his staff also found ways to use as many players as possible, to put players in positions and situations where they could thrive. One did not have to be especially big or strong or fast to play for the Eagles. If a player had a special ability, even one that was good for only a few plays each game, Lantzy and his staff found it and utilized it.
INVOLVEMENT: Eisenhower’s on-field post-game gatherings were like town meetings. Coaches, coaches’ wives, players, parents, friends, fans, support staff and anyone else with an interest in the Eagles participated, even if only to watch and listen as Lantzy and his assistants handed out plaudits, game balls and the like. Lantzy allowed many individuals to take ownership in the Eagles, made them feel involved and part of the team, and, as a result, they worked diligently on anything that could help Ike succeed.


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