Bill Belichick and the Three P’s

Passionate People, Preparation & Performance

You’ve seen him scowling, stomping the sidelines on NFL Sundays in his trademark hoodie with the sleeves cut off.  You’ve also seen him hoist three Lombardi trophies, one of only nine coaches to win three or more championships since postseason play began in 1933.  So what’s the philosophy that drives the success of the man in the hoodie?  Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, preaches the “Three P’s”: passionate people, preparation and performance.

1. Passionate People From a big picture perspective, the talent level across teams is pretty comparable in the NFL.  These athletes are in the league for a reason– they are the most talented players in the world.  Belichick tries to differentiate his teams by finding players that are in it for the love of the game, not the opportunities or rewards it might bring. Those are the guys that love what they do and have passion for preparation, the second “P” in Belichick’s set of core values.  Belichick himself made his entry into coaching as a 23-year-old temp for the Baltimore Colts, compensated with a $25 weekly wage and free room and breakfast at the local Howard Johnson’s.  Belichick looks for the same qualities in his players, coaches and anyone else who touches the Patriots organization. He wants to surround himself with people that share his philosophical outlook and passion for the game.

2. Preparation Preparation and attention to detail are hallmarks of Belichick’s work.  He is even known for giving his players “pop quizzes” to test their mental preparation. Troy Brown, one of Belichick’s former players, said, “I don’t think there is anyone on his equal, being as focused and on his game.” Belichick is also creative in his approach to preparation, promoting an environment where players are encouraged to think outside the box.  When working with defensive players, for example, Belichick often teaches offensive strategy to them because he wants them to understand the big picture of how the opponent will attack.

3. Performance While Belichick puts an emphasis on preparation, he knows it’s all leading up to the ultimate test—performance.  In football, you only have one opportunity each week.  Everything you did all week in preparation manifests itself in three hours on Sunday, so there is a heightened sense of urgency.  Belichick gets his players to understand the importance of every single play and every decision.  At the end of the day, it’s about his players’ ability to perform under pressure when the lights come on.  If they are a passionate group of guys who have prepared at the highest level, chances are it shows up in their performance.

The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.