In Marc We Trest: A Look at the Man Guiding the Chicago Bears
Welcome to In Marc We Trest; a weekly column were I analyze and dissect the coaching decisions or in-decisions of new Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman. While I don’t (and won’t) claim to know why Coach Trestman does the things he does or makes any particular decision; I can (and will) give you a coach’s perspective of what Coach may have been thinking, and if (in my opinion) it was a good decision or bad decision.
If you read my bio (or the previous paragraph) you already know that I am a coach. I have been a high school track & field coach for over 10 years. Coaching is a passion of mine and I am constantly striving to improve.
When I learned about the hiring of Coach [Trestman] I went through and read quite a few articles about him and what an “outside the box” hire he was; he had been out of the league for 5 years and he had bounced around the league from 1985-2004 as a RB coach, QB coach, and OC; he spent a couple of years as OC at N.C. State before acting as a consultant for the New Orleans Saints in 2007. He then spent the next 5 years in the CFL as HC of the Montreal Alouettes, coaching a similar yet very different game. I was trying to see what kind of coach the Bears had hired and I wanted to see what kind of man Marc Trestman is. As a belated birthday gift, I was given his book Perseverance: Life Lessons on Leadership and Teamwork, which I read in only a couple of days.
I was impressed.
I am of the mindset that you don’t have to scream or yell at athletes (or people in general) to motivate them or get them to do their job; that is not how good leaders do things; especially in this day and age. Coaching is about building relationships and teaching correct fundamentals and principles.
When I talk to athletes at the school I coach at I constantly talk about valuing men and women of Character and Integrity over simply having talent. I explain that a person of Character will be honest with me (and other coaches) and their teammates; they will do what is asked of them and they will do it 100% that way all the time. Athletes with lots of talent and not a lot of character wind up hurting your team more than they help it.
Trestman seems to share these principles.
Oh believe me, there is absolutely a time and a place to read someone the riot act and to get into their face; a private section of the locker room or coach’s office are such places; in front of teammates, the media or fans is not. Effective coaching is about not only choosing your battles, but where to fight those battles as well.
Coach Trestman started near the bottom of the football world as a volunteer assistant at the University of Miami and slowly worked his way up; paid assistant, running backs coach, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, Head Coach in the CFL and now Head Coach in the NFL. He did what all great men or women do when they have passion and little to no experience; they work their tails of doing whatever it takes to succeed; he studied, asked questions and actually listened; he looked at what conventional wisdom said, then looked for other possibilities.
He is appears to be humbled and thankful to be coaching in the NFL. He doesn’t seem like the type of guy that will have issues with his team looking past an opponent or getting to full of themselves.
The overall theme of the book (and football in general) from my eyes is this: change is going to happen; sometimes in life you get thrown for a loop and it seems like your entire world is falling apart; it happens. It is not about what happens to you that is important; it matters how you choose to respond; just like a football game. If you choose to allow negative things bring you down whether it is a bad day at work, a fight with your spouse, or you drop a pass on 3rd down that would have moved the chains; you correct it, learn from it and move on.