The Playbook – A coach’s rules for life

Sports has been a very important part of my life.

While, I didn’t manage to reach a level that would allow me to play my chosen sport(s) even at the district level competitively. I did manage to learn a lot from sports. A lot !

For one, it taught me how to deal with failures.

It also taught me patience and commitment – How to improve yourself gradually (sometimes too slowly to even notice)

But this post isn’t about me, its about this absolutely fantastic series on Netflix – The Playbook – A coach’s rules for life

Source –

If you haven’t yet seen it, I strongly recommend you to do so tonight itself ! And you can thank me tomorrow morning.

Summary of The Playbook – A coach’s rules for life

I have a habit of taking notes, and couldn’t resist noting down the amazing wisdom that the series has for each one of us.

These life lessons, as shared by some of the greatest sports coaches of our times, and are as true in the corporate world as they are on the sports field or our individual lives.

What’s even more interesting, is that each of these life lessons are presented with a story from their lives.

Given the level at which these coaches operate – i.e. when the stakes are really high and you are coaching the best in the world – the lessons have so much more punch and relevance.

The quick list here is my way of keeping these lessons present in my own life.

Doc Rivers ( Basketball)

  • Pressure is a privilege (what a way to shift our mindset – from stress to gratitude)
  • finish the race (dream big and see it through)
  • you will not be a victim ( Life will throw surprises, step out of the victim mindset)
  • ubuntu – I am because we are (how do we build a team)
  • champions keep moving ahead

Jill Ellis ( US women’s soccer team)

  • mountaintops are small and air is thin (not just about how you become the best, but stay the best)
  • hold fast , stay true. (Taken from Navy. Hold fast – hang on during rocky times. But believe in yourself)
  • risk is opportunity
  • be true to yourself
  • if you want to be heard, make a statement (references the equal pay protest)

Jose Mourinho (football)

  • understand your audience
  • if you are prepared for the worst, you are prepared
  • the underdog attack
  • some rules are meant to be broken
  • the train doesn’t stop twice
  • don’t coach the player, coach the team. They already know how to play. Teach them how to play in that team (my favorite)

Patrick Mouratoglou (tennis)

  • your biggest weakness can be your greatest strength
  • never be afraid to get fired
  • mistakes are inevitable but don’t let them define you
  • emotions are the worst adviser (loved how he owned up to the sour episode with his mentee)
  • let them know they are not alone. (Amazing story about why players tank their games even at the highest levels)
  • a good lie can become the truth (how a lie helped Serena Williams during the Wimbledon)
  • everything depends on you

Dawn Staley (basketball)

  • bring your own ball (watch the episode to get the drift. She bought her own ball to boys games so as to play with them)
  • growth takes place outside of the comfort zone
  • create a home court advantage ( build a community of supporters/fans)
  • when you make someone feel better, they want to help you succeed
  • 24 hrs rule- move on from a win or loss in 24 hrs (I loved this – can sure be mantra for our lives too)
  • what is delayed is not denied. It will happen. (amazing how rituals, symbols can become so powerful – she was gifted a part of the net by someone who believed in her. Kept it in her purse all the time.)

Thanks to Sanjay for pointing me to this series on Netflix.





2 responses to “The Playbook – A coach’s rules for life”

  1. Lloyd Avatar

    Thanks for doing this. I enjoyed the series and since I was watching on my cross trainer I didn’t take notes!

  2. Posey Avatar

    Thank you for taking the time to write these down and posting them!

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