It’s finally Sunday afternoon. I set up my computer, food and drinks for the rest of the day and lay my butt on the couch to watch the greatest sport ever, football. This has been a custom for me since 10th grade, no matter how much homework I have. About two Sundays ago, I watched the New England Patriots take on the New York Jets. The announcers started discussing the success of one of the most victorious coaches in the history of the game, Bill Belichik. Besides for his tremendous ability to create a successful game plan, Belichik is noteworthy for his ability to handle his players. Every player who has ever played under coach Bill has noted of his incredible ability to get the most out of his players.
While I listened to all this on the television, I began to think of all the homework I would have to do at 11 pm that night. I recalled the 23-page article from political science that I had to read. My mind began wandering about the different readings we had, and it hit me right there. Instantly, I made a connection between Machiavelli and Coach Belichik. In The Prince, Machiavelli is famous for stating that as a ruler, it is better to be feared then loved. If a king is loved by his people, they will take advantage of him. There must be a reasonable balance, where the king is feared and loved simultaneously. This is an extremely difficult task, but if it is achieved, it’ll lead to an extremely successful reign. Bill Belichik was able to do just that with his New England Patriots
Bill Belichik has achieved this perfect balance. He is able to get the most out of his players by setting high expectations. He demands that all players prepare and work hard to perform at the best of their abilities. He does all this without being hated. The players understand that Bellichik is doing his job and may be a hard-ass at times in order to achieve greatness. There aren’t many coaches who have the ability to achieve such a perfect balance between fear and love. The players start to respect their coach and understand that his methods will only lead to success.
Nobody questions his tactics; rather they do whatever coach Bill says because they respect him as a coach. As a result, they begin to love their coach while never thinking about disobeying or taking advantage of them. There are a few other coaches that fall under the category of being the perfect ‘Machiavellian coach’ including Tom Coughlin and Gregg Popovich. Both coaches have been coined as being hard noised and tough. However, both have received enormous praise from their players while winning numerous championships. Machiavelli would most likely agree that these three coaches are coaching their teams in the most efficient possible way.