Bill Belichick: You may know him as the head coach behind six Super Bowl championships. Or, as the NFL’s longest-tenured active head coach.
But, did you know about his commitment to share his knowledge and resources with the next generation?
Bill Belichick and longtime girlfriend Linda Holliday created the Bill Belichick Foundation to help others grow academically and personally though athletics and financial assistance. To date, over $1,000,000 has been distributed in grants and scholarships to student athletes an athletic organizations.
A man known for his actions more than his words, I had the rare opportunity to hear from Belichick about his father who inspired his career, what he’s learned about what makes for a successful player and team, and why he wanted to leave a legacy through his foundation.
Read on to see what he shares.
The true power of coaching and mentorship
What has Bill Belichick gained from being a coach and mentor?
“The ability to give back. Football has been very good to me and my family. The Bill Belichick Foundation helps to provide opportunities for other student athletes through scholarships and grants to programs so that youth can enjoy and learn the values of sports and competition.”
Finding success through adversity
“I have been a part of many teams that have worked hard, made personal sacrifices, and fought through adversity to win championships. Those teams and those moments will always stand out for me.”
Discovering one’s calling
Some are fortunate to discover their calling early. Belichick was one of them. He shares, “I’ve always been interested in coaching. My father was a football coach at the U.S. Naval Academy. I worked at football camps as a counselor and also was comfortable helping coach players on the field as a college lacrosse player.”
Leaving a greater legacy
“I started the Steve Belichick Scholarship Fund after my father passed away. Linda Holliday coordinated the transfer of that scholarship fund into the Bill Belichick Foundation as it currently stands today, so we could expand our reach and resources to more student athletes and athletic programs across the country. Focusing on football and lacrosse, its mission is to bring the values of the Belichick family, a love of sports, coaching and team building, to the athletic leaders of tomorrow.”
The impact of the Foundation
“The Bill Belichick Foundation was able to visit a recent grant recipient in Atlanta where we got to see first-hand how our funds will help a local high school’s football program. Linda (Holliday) was able to meet the head coach of a football team who applied for our grant who is also the head coach of the school’s baseball and wrestling teams. His goal is to grow the newly-founded football program at a school where there is a high demand to play soccer because students have not had the resources or opportunity to learn and play football. The grant will help grow the football program by funding improvements to the football field and provide necessary equipment for students.”
Building cohesive teams
What’s his advice for building a great team?“ Put together a group of unselfish people with a common interest and goals. They will find their own way to work together and create their unique chemistry. ”
Sports as a metaphor for life
“In sports, as in life, everyone gets knocked down. You learn how to get up and keep working to improve and compete. Sports involves personal discipline and sacrifice to be successful. These sacrifices come in advance, before any success.”
Lessons from his father
What’s the number one lesson Belichick learned from his dad? “To be honest and direct with your players, and work hard to contribute to your team.”
Traits that make a successful player
If anyone’s seen what it takes for a player to be a success, it’s Belichick. What does it take?
“Having a team attitude, being coachable, has a strong work ethic, learns from mistakes, improves, can communicate, and is willing to help others.”
This article was originally published on Forbes.