Want To Learn The Winning Formula of National Champions? Learn from their Coaches!

An excerpt from the Netflix Series - "The Playbook: A Coach's Rules for Life,”

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I thought I will watch only one episode and humbly give the remote back to my daughter because it is not that easy to intrude the father & daughter’s watch time but episode after episode, the film started growing in me. I was stuck to the TV until 3AM when I finally was done with all the episodes. I barely realized the time flying nor did I feel the heaviness in my eyes.

I started taking notes on my phone because it was impossible to ignore the depth of the nuggets shared and I realized, it was not any small numbers or short notes, it was over 40+ nuggets & every one of them are GOLDMINE and in full sentences without skipping a word of what each of the Coaches had to transpire.

The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life,” is a Netflix documentary where Successful Coaches share the rules they live by to achieve success in sports and in life. The film featured coaches include Doc Rivers, Jill Ellis, José Mourinho, Patrick Mouratoglou, and Dawn Staley.

Remember, they are not just another coach, they are Champions themselves and created many World Champions in their journey and what they have shared is pure GOLD beautifully narrated, documented & filmed. Irrespective of any roles you play in your life, a trainer, a professional, a student, a teacher, a manager, a leader, a businessman, a friend, a parent, watch this documentary (or read this blog) to enhance your life skills.

Doc Rivers – He is an American basketball coach and former player who is the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. His golden rules for Coaches for Life are:

  • Rule No 1: Finish The Race
  • Rule No 2: No Victim Mentality
  • Rule No 3: Ubuntu is the way of life. Work hard, stay out of trouble, do not quit
  • Rule No 4: Pressure is Privilege
  • Rule No 5: Champions Keep Moving Forward

Jillian Anne Ellis– She is an English-American soccer coach for Women, the Winningest Coach in USA Soccer history. She narrates her life experience as a coach & recommends the following as Rules For A Successful Coach:

  • Rule No 1: Mountains top are small & air is thin. Share your success & own your failures
  • Rule No 2: Hold Fast & Stay True
  • Rule No 3: Risk is Opportunity. “if you have some abilities & if you are a good person, you will also land on ur feet’ you will love what you do”
  • Rule No 4: Be True to yourself. “You got to be brave, take hard decisions, if you want to be a leader”
  • Rule No 5: If you want to win, make a statement. ‘Own who you are, be proud of who you are. Stand up for what you believe’.

José Mourinho – He is one of the greatest coaches in Soccer (football) history, and he is the manager of Manchester United. He is a Championship Coach & managed top football clubs such as Porto, Real Madrid, and Chelsea Soccer. He recommends his Success Principles as Rules For A Successful Coach:

  • Rule No 1: Understand your audience
  • Rule No 2:’You sweat the shirt’ – Hard-work, Sacrifices, Sense of Competitiveness, Passion
  • Rule No 3: If you are prepared for the worst, YOU ARE PREPARED
  • Rule No 4: Some rules are meant to be broken. ‘There is no pressure for us to win but we cannot lose’. ‘For your family, you can do anything’
  • Rule No 5: The Train does not stop twice
  • Rule No 6: Don’t Coach The Player, Coach The Team. Everything is about the team. Without the team, special talent players cannot express themselves fully.

Patrick Mouratoglou: He has been the coach of Serena Williams since June 2012 and has been the reason for her comeback titles. He recommends the following as Rules For A Successful Coach:

  • Rule No 1: Your Greatest Strength Can Be Your Greatest Weakness. ‘It’s all about what you are with what happens to you’.
  • ‘I accept to make mistakes because I take risks and because I’m not scared’
  • Rule No 2: Never be afraid to get fired
  • Rule No 3: Mistakes are inevitable but don’t let them define you. Failure & Frustration are two of the best things to happen, if you handle them in the right way, then you are going to learn
  • Rule No 4: Emotions are the worst advisor. ‘When you are a good coach, you do not break relationships. There are zero reasons to break it’. ‘Make sure when you make the decision, it’s not the decision taken because of the emotion you feel’‘ A Coach does not listen to what you say but listens to what you think’
  • Rule No 5: ‘Let Them Know They Are Not Alone’. ‘You are a team with them. The Relationship is Everything’

‘Everyone has limits, they are not technical, tactical, physical, they are mental’. Even if the player is the most ambitious on the planet when the doubt comes, it can affect the way they think’ and when you don’t think like a champion, you don’t act like a champion, you don’t win like a champion’. It’s very important, the mind works the right way & that’s the coach’s job’

  • Rule No 6: A Good Lie Can Become The Truth. ‘As a coach, you have to say the right things to bring confidence’. ‘A Coach has to remind the player who they are’

‘Everything depends on you- You can have an impact on anything, and st the end of the day, if you think about it, you can change everything that is around you in order to get what you want – so everything depends on you and if you think like that and whatever you start to do in life, it’s magic’!

Dawn Staley is an American basketball Hall of Fame player and coach. She is a three time Olympic Gold medalist and was elected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. She beautifully blends her experiences both Success & Failures as a player & as a coach into this Playbook for Rules for Coach:

  • Rule No 1: Bring Your Own Ball. ‘Earn respect with perseverance’
  • Rule No 2: Growth takes place outside of your comfort zone. ‘Just because life throws you something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable or makes you a little bit different than some other people, don’t allow that to be a weakness’

‘Don’t think so much about scoring. Just do what you’re asked. If you do that, your role will increase because you get counted for’

  • Rule No 3: Create A Homecourt Advantage. ‘When you make someone feel special, they want to help you succeed’
  • Rule No 4: The 24hr rule

‘24hrs from a Win Or Loss, We Move On’.

‘At times, one has to learn that the steps of becoming a champion, one of the steps are losing’. Because it is all about momentum. And momentum does not mean it is a positive thing’. You can have the momentum to lose & be defeated, it brings out the ugly part of you’

‘You got 24hrs to either bask in ur victory or 24hrs to agonize over your defeat’

  • Rule No 5: What Is Delayed Is Not Denied’

‘The execution, the hard work, you cant speed it up, you cant slow it down, but if you are going to be patient, you are going to be successful’. ‘Most people say winning was divine intervention, but losing actually is’


I hope you enjoyed it. You can apply all these rules to your personal & professional development.

One need not agree upon all the rules mentioned here nor be able to implement it all. It takes “Small Steps To A Big Leap”! Take any one rule & own. Hold it as though your life depends on it. “Believing” is one thing but “Practicing it” is another dimension.

So, how to practice this rule? (a bit of my coaching here;)

  • Pick up one rule that appeals to you the most
  • Write it down on a card & Stick it on your wall where your sight falls on it often
  • See it quite often for the next 24 hrs
  • Make that one rule as your main focus & Pay attention to it for the next 24 hrs and slowly extend it to the next 48hrs and so on
  • Create your daily goals in accordance to this one rule for the next 90 days
  • You will see that you are becoming effortless in that one rule
  • Apply the same for other favorite rules
  • Now, take a few moments to Share, Tag someone whom you think can benefit from these life lessons.

Cheers 🙂

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  1. Haven’t been able to see this. So, this summary really helps! Hope to catch up on the episodes soon. My wife and teenage daughter have agreed to watch with me! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Anand!! Im glad it helped you. Please do. Y’all will love it.. Its totally a feast for thoughts on coaching 🙂 We too watched it as family. Except that my 6yr old daughter fell asleep right after the first episode ::) perhaps it went all over her head but she loved to see the players evolving & my husband was inspired too but had to binge watch it only on the next day. It is one of the best recommendation from Sid.

  2. It was a Bulb On moment for me and my son reading this article. Beautifully summarised “The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life” the Nflix series by Brinda is a must read blog for anyone and everyone who cradles a dream of becoming a successful coach. Full of Golden Nuggets from the series, the world’s top most coach’s interviews and their assorted takeaways from their entire successful coaching career can’t be more precisely penned down.
    Thanks Brinda for sharing this invaluable content piece.
    “Hold Fast and Stay True”
    “Pressure and Privilege”
    What is Delayed is not Denied”
    are some of my picks from the above treasurerove.

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