Bill Belichick: Genius or Zen Master?

Gary WolffContributor IIDecember 26, 2008

Bill Belichick's legacy will be within the limited spectrum of the sport of football. 

There will be much to learn from studying his philosophy, his methods, and his career. So much so that he is already somewhat of a living legend. A genius, in fact, as proclaimed by many, both from the realm of those whose opinions would matter as well as many whose opinions have no merit to make them worthy.

I, as a Patriots fan, love Belichick. Yet I am intrigued by him and admire him more for his perspective on life than on football alone.

Now, I must confess I don't know BB, and don't know anyone who knows BB, and I've never even read his book(s). So my perspective on him that I share now is from afar, and based off of his press conferences only, which we all know are a small fraction of the man as a whole.

This is what makes the man great—a genius, if you will:

  1. His ability to evaluate character, and see whats inside men before they are even able to see it and find it themselves
  2. His ability to break down a task into its components, prioritize them, and then focus with laser-sharp precision on the current task.

No. 1 is what makes him a football legend. It is what allows his "system" to work. Obviously he has a superior football mind, but his ability to identify the character of men relative to what it takes to be a professional football player is the basis for his excellence.

No. 2 transcends football and is the essence of living harmoniously and abundantly. "Now," meaning this current moment, is all that ever exists. If you can focus on "right now," and do what is necessary "now," to allow you to reach your greater goal, one step at a time, you have no choice but to become hugely successful.

This is a Zen-like quality or ability. So although Bill loves football, that is just a blessing for all us football fans that this Zen master is amused and motivated by this complex game.

His passion could have easily been middle east culture, and then we would have been deprived of the greatest football coaching legacy of our time and been left watching integrated Palestinian and Jewish philanthropic activities instead.

In all seriousness, though, Napolean Hill said (I'm paraphrasing) that the only thing a person has complete control over is his thoughts. And fortunately, what you think about produces the results you experience in your life. So that leaves us in total control of our lives, if, and it is a big if, we can focus our minds properly.

Belichick is a superior role model, and his results prove it.