What Coaches Can Learn from Grapes

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Our SportsLeader team was treated to a tour of the seminary in the city of Cincinnati recently by Father Anthony Brausch.

Father Anthony is extremely knowledgeable about so many different things so it was a fascinating experience listening and learning from someone with such a vast array of experiences ranging from construction, landscaping, architecture, botany … and grapes.

Father Anthony Brausch

He took us to the vineyard he started.

One point, among many, he spoke about really registered with me … grapes don't do well in rich highly organic soils. Vines supported with an abundance of nutrients and water go "vegetative" meaning that Grape vines return to leaf growth and will stop producing fruit.


It got me thinking … If we could make the comparison …

Players on our team = The Grapes 
The Team = The Vines 
Season = The Wine 
Coach = The Winemaker

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If you read the below, reflecting on the relationship between players, teams, season and coach … comparing it to grapes, etc. ...

Ultimately, wine quality is dictated mainly by the grapevines, not by the winemaker.The better the grapes, the better the wine. If you have a proper growing site that has good drainage, access to full sunlight and nutrient-poor soil, you can micromanage their development and pick them at the moment of perfection.


Wine quality also depends on picking the fruit when its not only ripe, but mature, and making sure the harvested fruit is immediately brought to the winery — perhaps your garage or basement — to begin the winemaking process.

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Soil - The environment of your team, the balance of virtue, mentoring, ceremony, structure and discipline …

Positive yet demanding, not too harsh yet not too easy either.


Sunlight - Encouragement and positive reinforcement.

Constructive criticism done in a respectful and charitable manner


Pruning - Demanding, setting resolutions and goals, and striving to achieve them, accountability …

What you say you are going to strive for - you do it and demand it.


Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd 
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