Quotations and Soccer Tips

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Those leaders who give credit and take blame are more likely to be successful than those who take credit and give blame.

(I asked permission from Coach Lawrence G. Fine to reprint this article from his website FineSoccer.com, because I found it very interesting and actual.)


Recently I read a book called "Good To Great" by Jim Collins. It's an excellent book that is unrelated to soccer (it's a business book) but actually very related in that it deals with how an organization that is good can make the transition to great and which traits and characteristics are needed to do this.

The placement of credit and blame by the leader was described in an interesting way and it certainly pertains to coaching.
Too often I hear coaches take credit for wins "my team was prepared to play this game" but place blame for losses "they weren't mentally up for the game." Just recently there have been some excellent examples of this in a local paper where a coach discusses tactical adjustments, which resulted in the wins for the team, but when the team lost, it was all about the players lack of discipline and lack of motivation.

In the book, it explained a leader should think of there being both a window and a mirror.
When things go well (a win) look out the window to everyone who is responsible for the success. In soccer, this would mean looking at the team, the management (parents maybe), assistant coaches etc.

However, when things go poorly (a loss) don't look out the window and instead look in the mirror to see what went wrong. In other words, don't place the blame with others when things go wrong but instead, take responsibility for the failings and then figure out what can be done to fix this.

Top organizations and leaders (and in this book it wasn't about winning short term but the ability to sustain success over a long period of time) understand the importance of giving credit and accepting blame while less successful leaders take credit and give blame.

From a coach's perspective, give the players the credit for the wins and improvement and when you don't see improvement, try to determine what YOU can do better to make sure things improve.

If you are a player, the same thing should happen. If you score a goal, find the player who passed the ball to you and make sure they understand that if it weren't for their wonderful pass, the goal never would have been scored. If you are a keeper and a goal is scored on you, don't blame the defender for letting their player shoot, instead, take responsibility for not doing a good enough job communicating to your teammate about marking up.

Those leaders who give credit and take blame are more likely to be successful than those who take credit and give blame.


Coach Lawrence G. Fine