Knute Rockne’s 10 Coaching Commandments
Knute Rockne is recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame as “without question, American football’s most renowned coach.”
As Notre Dame’s head coach from 1918 to 1930, Rockne set the greatest all-time winning percentage of .881, an achievement that still ranks at the top for both college and professional football. During his tenure as head coach of the Fighting Irish, Rockne coached teams to 105 victories, 12 losses, five ties and six national championships.
Rockne was an innovative coach with a wry sense of humor. “I’ve found,” he said, “that prayers work best when you have big players.”
Perhaps his greatest achievement involved the principles he taught – coaching that provides lessons for today’s leaders.
Here are 10 of Rockne’s so-called commandments
- Cooperation: Everyone should work for the common good of the school and the squad. Everyone should boost everyone else; a disorganizer has no place on the squad.
- Habits: Good habits are only doing those things which help and not doing those things that will harm or hinder.
- Ambition: Always try to improve oneself. Interest and spirit sometimes outweigh natural ability.
- Morals: A high standard of living and thinking.
- Sportsmanship: Good sportsmanship means clean and fair play. Treat your opponent with respect.
- Conduct: Your school, family, town, community and yourself are judged by your conduct; you can make or break them.
- Leadership: The willingness to help, guide or direct, in the right way, by example, words or actions.
- Self-sacrifice: Giving up some of the present things for the future.
- Determination: The mental quality of strong determination is very necessary to win in the face of strong opposition.
- Responsibility: Being dependable, the performing of one’s duties, the desire to be known as responsible.
“A coach’s greatest asset,” said Rockne, “is his sense of responsibility – the reliance placed on him by his players.”
What kind of coach are you?