Former Auburn head coach, and now ESPN analyst, Gene Chizik has had an interesting coaching journey, and with that journey has come a number of even more interesting lessons.
His head coaching tenure at Auburn netted a national championship with Cam Newton leading the way, and he had very successful stops as the defensive coordinator at Auburn, Texas, and UNC dating from 2002 to this past seasons when he decided to step away to spend more time with his family.
Chizik recently decided to open up and share some of the wisdom he’s picked up over the years via a post on LinkedIn, where he shares how organization and having a well thought out plan is key to success in both life, and coaching. The former head coach also shares one of his favorite sayings he’s told countless players and assistants.
“As my former players and assistant coaches have heard me say a million times: “Plan your work and work your plan,” before later adding that, “You don’t wing it, or you get beat.”
Chizik then shared a story about a conversation he had with Hall of Fame Boxer Evander Holyfield, where he shared that before a fight he and his trainer would devise seperate plans for the fight, and then come together and take the best ideas in each one to compose a final approach for the fight.
Just like in football, sometimes that plan worked flawlessly, but in times when it didn’t pan out for Holyfield, his instincts took over, and that’s exactly how adjustments work in life – and during a game for coaches – for those who are successful.
Head here to read Chizik’s full post, including why he prefers to plan six months in advance using an old-school paper calendar that he still color codes to this day.