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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Coach Like Freddie Roach

I've always been a boxing fan. And as a fan, I am fascinated with the current pound for pound best boxer today, Manny Pacquiao. There is one boxing personality however that interest me more than Pacquiao. That is his coach, Freddie Roach.

I want to coach like Roach.

While I believe in Manny's talent, he couldn't have achieved his full potential without Roach. It is Manny's Attitude and Roach's coaching that allow the champ to get better every time. Let me point out some of the things that Roach do that make him worth emulating by anyone who is responsible for growth and success of another.


Roach showed that one cannot coach in absentia. One has to be there in person to observe, give timely feedback, cheer the player on, or in some instances throw in the towel if necessary. In order to do all those, a coach like Roach has to be in the thick of the action. During practice and in the fight night. As a manager I need to be there for my team. I also need to be in the thick of the action. I should be ready with my feedback. I should be ready to cheer them on and make my call whenever necessary. I need to be there.

A Step Ahead

Everytime Pacquiao faces a challenge, Roach knows what to do. He looks ahead. He scouts the opponent by watching his previous fights, looking for chinks in the opponents armor. He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent and identify opportunities that his ward can capitalize on. He works on his game plan and then work with Paquiao on execution, way ahead of the fight. As a result, success is almost always assured.

I regret that I'm not always a step ahead as much as I want to be. As a manager and as a coach responsible for the success of my employees, I need to do more of stepping ahead, scouting for possibilities and laying the ground work for my team members to succeed.

Clarity of Purpose

Roach's purpose as a coach is clear. To help Manny succeed. The boxer's success is his success. In order for Pacquiao to succeed, he needs to become a better fighter. In order for that to happen, he needs to understand Pacquiao's strengths and weaknesses so that he can capitalize on the boxer's strengths and work on his weaknesses. Knowing his ward's strength help him pick the right fights for him. Not all coaches are as clear about their purpose as Roach. In fact some have it the other way. They need to succeed and the players are stepping stones towards that success. This method produce at least one loser and atmost, two losers - the player and the coach. I understand from Roach that the way to succeed is to help others succeed. That is the way to go.

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