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What Makes A Great Coach?

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If you have ever had a child play sports you have likely had the opportunity to witness various styles of coaching. Some of those coaches might have believed in winning at any cost while others may have been more interested in the development of character along with skills. Those who were genuinely interested in the individual as well as the athlete were typically the best coaches and were the most admired and respected by their players. Certain coaches tend to make their practices a time of drudgery and frustration while others have the ability to see the benefits of having fun at the same time their teams are learning technique.
Recently one of the greats in the coaching world was honored with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor was bestowed upon Dick Motta, who spent 25 years of his life in the field of coaching. He served as head coach for the Chicago Bulls from 1968-1974. While in that position in 1971 he won the Coach of the Year Award. He coached the Washington Bullets from 1977 until 1980. During that time he lead the time to a National Basketball Association Championship.
The next stop for Motta was with the Dallas Mavericks where he coached with his unique and admired style from 1980 until 1987.
Coach Motta retired in 1997 after stints with the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets. Likely every one of those teams that he coached during his tenure benefited from his “make the game fun” style of coaching.
Dick Motta was unique in another way as well. He was one of the very few coaches in the NBA who did not play basketball in high school, college or on a professional level. He did, however, rise to the top of his chosen profession. He ranks among the top ten coaches in the NBA to accumulate the most victories with their teams. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who didn’t have much anything to do with the sport during the early years of his life.