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April 5, 2018 • Coaching

Rapid-fire coaching lessons from Jon Gruden

Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden was among the featured speakers at the 2017 USA Football National Conference. During his talk, he offered coaches everywhere some quick lessons that he’s learned throughout his career.

Here are 10 of his top suggestions.

1. High school coaches: Recruit from your own school and don’t steal from others. Get your own kids off their butts.

2. A lot of our games were won during the offseason. Always ask yourself what you can do to get better, regardless of previous success.

3. I challenge all of you to keep the coaching fraternity going strong. Do what you can to support one another and encourage your colleagues. Help each other out.

4. Al Davis (former coach and owner of the Oakland Raiders) taught me that preparation and presentation go hand-in-hand. You must be able to communicate effectively as a coach.

5. Have a contingency plan for everything — an injury, a turnover. Adversity is going to strike at some point, and you need to be prepared for it.

6. You need to constantly evaluate your staff. Who can help me, and how can I utilize their strengths to the benefit of our program?

7. Communicate. And I’m not talking about Snapchat or Twitter. I’m talking face-to-face with your players and your coaches.

8. Coaches love to talk, but you also need to listen. Go to clinics, talk to other coaches. That’s how you get better at what you do.

9. Always give a complete effort, because you can’t demand it of your players if you’re not giving it yourself. And always be intense.

10. I know what high school coaches go through. Parents are tougher, the pay is lower. But you have to see through it for the sake of your players.


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