WYC 131 – 14 Great Coaches – Chris Trieste talks John Wooden, Vince Lombardi, and more

Chris Trieste has over 20 years experience in K-12 education as a teacher, school administrator, athletic director, and coordinator of physical education.  For more than 10 years he has coached numerous youth sports, primarily baseball and basketball, from the elementary through high school grade levels.

He has extensive experience in tennis, serving as the head men’s tennis coach at Mount Saint Mary College where he was twice named Coach of the Year and playing for four years at Marist College where he was a team captain.

Chris also recently authored 14 Great Coaches. Based on a study of the best practices of 14 of the most respected and successful coaches in the history of sports, and combined with the author’s experiences and observations as a coach and instructional leader, this book provides a road map for all coaches who want to have an enduring positive influence and provide a transformative experience for their athletes.

Book: /book link
Twitter: @CTrieste2

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Coaching your own kid

  • Coaching should end on the field. The ride home should be you as their parent, not their coach.

Cringe moment

  • Chris had some coaches he coached with that humiliated some of the kids, he quickly disassociated from those coaches

Teaching Skills

  • Teach in a games approach: Deliver some instruction – then create some type of game setting (competitive) activity to start the learning.
  • Innovative scoring – Reward activities that you are trying to encourage. If playing tennis and trying to get players to the net – if you win a point at the net you get double points.

Mental toughness

  • Encourage athletes to picture times they have been successful – Play a movie in their head
  • Other athletes don’t want to think about much – encourage them to think of something simple like ‘just see it and hit it’


  • Coaching staff should answer the question – in twenty years how do you want your players to remember their experience
  • Have kids help own the experience by incorporating them in the standards you set for your team
  • Captains – one good method might be to have rotating gameday captains based on merit (demonstrating leadership skills)

14 Great Coaches – the book

  • 60 timeless concepts that coaches
  • Vince Lombardi – Had zero tolerance for any type of racial discrimination. Also believed in simplicity over complexity.
  • Nick Bolleteri – You don’t have to be a great player to be a great coach.
  • Pat Summit – Her players changed a play she called. She self-reflected – and realized she had not analyzed who the best player for that moment was.
  • Tom Couglin – Tom changed his coaching style – he went from trying to force his compliance to a new style of trying to listen and incorporate their feedback. He established a player council who met regularly and communicated with Tom.
  • Joe Torre – Had a great skill for working with huge egos, and making sure they all felt their role was important no matter what it was on the team
  • Book: /book link

Parting Advice

  • Enjoy the experience. Don’t take wins/losses too seriously.

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