The Wisdom of Coaches

Top local coaches—from Ozzie Guillen and Tom Thibodeau to Oliver Purnell and Kelly Amonte Hiller—reveal sacred truths about perseverance, motivation, the importance of hard work, the value of failure, and more

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Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White SoxOZZIE GUILLEN

POSITION Manager, Chicago White Sox
STATS In 2005, led the Sox to their first World Series victory since 1917

Honesty got me in a lot of trouble.

Don’t be afraid. Believe in yourself, then back it up. A lot of people say, “You talk a lot of shit because you have success.” Well, I have success because I talk a lot of shit. I never see a leader that is mute. You have to stand up and be a great communicator, and people have to believe what you say, trust what you say. That’s what leadership means.

I got 25 guys. If I get nervous, they will get nervous. If I can be happy, they will be happy.

It’s easy to coach or manage when the player is [doing well]. When the guy is good, you leave him alone. When the guy struggles, that’s when you hug him and try to talk to him about it.

I get upset if a guy doesn’t hustle. But I don’t get upset when a player makes mistakes.

[White Sox chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf has a very, very thick skin. Wow, it’s like a crocodile’s. Everybody jumps on his back. The Bulls don’t win, it’s his fault. The White Sox don’t win, it’s because he’s cheap. What did I learn from him? Make sure nobody gets to you. And nobody does.

[Former Atlanta Braves manager] Bobby Cox once told me, “Take credit when you are winning, because you are going to take credit for losing.”

You want your dream to come true? Wake up and do it. I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in dreams. I believe in goals. A lot of people say, “That was your dream to win the World Series.” No, that was my goal. I wanted to get there.

 

Photography: (top) Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune

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