One of the biggest reasons head coaches (and people in general) fail is because they often think they’re the smartest person in the room.
It would be easy for Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel to think he’s the smartest person in the room. At times, he probably is. Vrabel’s had a successful football career that includes three Super Bowl wins, a Pro-Bowl appearance, and a rapid ascent through the coaching ranks.
But Vrabel knows in order to be successful that he has to be willing to listen to what other successful folks have to say.
An example of his willingness to listen to others came recently when former NFL pass rusher Jared Allen offered to share some tips with the Titans’ pass rushing specialists.
It would’ve been very easy for Vrabel to say “Nah, I got this. Thanks, but we’re good”.
Instead, Vrabel, who never played with or coached Allen, welcomed the NFL great with open arms.
From Titans Online:
“Anything we can get around our players that can help us, great,” Vrabel said. “Having an idea of things he could do to help our team and to help our players, we were able to get him out here and work with some guys in the Phase 2 program where a lot of that is individual drills and position specific development.
“The more he can be around here and working with one or two guys, I think that is key, trying to do things to help our players improve.”
I think that should be extremely encouraging for Titans fans. Not so much that Allen is sharing his wisdom (even though that’s obviously a positive), but that Vrabel is so willing to let his team hear another viewpoint other than his or his staff’s.
Good coaches know what they’re doing. They know how to prepare a team and how to put their players in a position to succeed.
Great coaches, however, are willing to adapt and do whatever is necessary to give their team an edge.
It’s why Nick Saban has been so good at Alabama. And it’s why Bill Belichick continues to dominate the AFC.
I’m not saying Vrabel will be a coaching legend like those two guys, but he’s certainly taking the right approach to being a head coach.
Featured image via Sports Illustrated