President Coach

When I was a kid, I played a lot of sports. The one coach I hated was my freshman football coach, whose name I no longer remember. He was the classic Type-A personality, at least what popular culture has come to think of it. The guy was always on edge, ready to explode into a purple faced rage, which meant everyone around him was always on edge too. The guy found a way to get under everyone’s skin. He had some way to needle every player on the roster, often with some sort of nickname.

The thing is though, the guy managed to squeeze out more from the roster than logic said was possible. In my case, I was always just at the point of wanting to bash his skull in with my helmet, but I channeled those pleasant thoughts into execution. I was not giving that prick the satisfaction of making a mistake. Even though I hated the guy, he did make me and my teammates better players. I still recall the joy of winning with my teammates, but I don’t remember the coach’s name.

My guess is everyone who played sports growing up had at least one of these types of coaches. Bill Parcels was famous for playing head games with his players. He was big on keeping every player on edge, even his stars. At the NFL level, the psychological aspects of coaching are more complex, but the underlying strategy is the same. You make the players doubt themselves in a way that results in their natural hyper-competitiveness kicking in, so they push themselves to the edge of their potential.

I’ve been thinking about this watching Trump torment Congress, especially the Democrats, over immigration. He’s not just making the open borders people nervous with his rhetoric. He is getting under the skin of his allies and his own staff. The blockheads in the gentry media are calling it the Jell-O strategy, but it is a safe bet that none of them ever went outside as kids, much less played competitive contact sports. In the world of high-pay, low-work professions, the hard driving boss does not exist.

What Trump is doing with his comments about DACA, in particular, but immigration in general, is keeping the issue boiling. That is Trump’s natural style of negotiating, but it has the benefit of keeping immigration patriots slightly ticked off and highly engaged in every aspect of the process. Congress has seen their e-mail flooded with messages opposing amnesty. Their voicemail boxes are constantly full. This puts pressure on Congress to do a deal and get the issue off the agenda for the midterms in ten months.

Steve Sailer compares Trump to George Steinbrenner. It is a good comparison as they both have a similar style. Both men understood that pressure reveals character. The great players, the great deal makers, rise to the occasion when under pressure. On the other hand, the fakers and losers crack under pressure. If you read Trump’s book or listen to people with whom he has done deals, you see that he is always looking to bring things to a boiling point, where everyone is under the gun to get something done.

That’s what Trump is doing with DACA. He’s cleverly made this the goal of the Democrats, thinking they will push themselves to the breaking point to get it. At the same time, the laundry list of immigration reforms has become the all or nothing end game for immigration patriots. Trump’s public statements are keeping the good guys fired up and willing to hammer Congress on the finer points of immigration. Every time Trump says something positive about DACA, the phone lines melt in Washington.

There is no question that this style of managing people does get the most from those willing to give their all. It also boils off the people who like to talk about maximizing their opportunities, but unwilling to do what it takes to accomplish it. In the realm of sports, this result in better teams. Bill Parcells was a wildly successful coach because his style gets the maximum from the roster. Trump’s success as a businessman and media personality is largely built on getting the most from top people in their respective fields.

Whether this will translate to politics is hard to know. One constant that comes through from people who have done business with Trump is that he is exhausting. The never ending competition and wrangling over details wears people down. In business, you can always get new people when the old ones wear out. In politics, you can’t easily get new supporters. His style could end up exhausting his base. How many times can someone call their Congressman, enraged about immigration or trade policy?

That’s a question often asked of sportsball coaches. How long before they wear out their players? How long before the team stops responding? The great ones seem to get that and they make sure to reward their players so they keep wanting more. Trump’s zingers on twitter or when speaking in front of a crowd may serve that function. He has an uncanny way to saying the obvious in a way that outrages the enemy and amuses his supporters. Perhaps that’s enough for President Coach to get us over the goal line.

65 thoughts on “President Coach

  1. Z Man;
    Great concept and true. I woke up in my mid-late 30s to the fact that my careers did better under tough bosses. Like you said, they kept you on your toes and made you up your game.

    But one caveat: Tough ain’t enough if there’s no higher objective involved than the tough boss’s ego or own career. Tangible external objective is the difference between a superior who’s a good coach/motivator and one who’s just a pr**k.

    That’s why MAGA is such a critical rhetorical concept.

  2. Zman’s Coach is a representative of an archetype I have encountered four times in my life:
    1) my father who I never could please (he was a typical German it was said);
    2) an instructor in telescope making (another German) who one could literally not please or do anything correctly;
    3) in the military, a superior officer three grades above my grade, who obviously had never learned or forgot any technical details of what we were doing, constantly threatened dire consequences for any lapses and micromanaged from afar;
    4) Chairman of the Department at an Ivy who ruled with an iron fist and actually destroyed some careers and would always have a long term “goat” to embarrass or bully among his underlings and not just grad students and post docs but junior faculty as well.

    I always believed that success came despite such leadership but now in my approaching senescence I am not sure. Looking back I see that always looking back over my shoulder I worked harder than I would have given that never ending pressure from those autocrats.

    Dan Kurt

  3. Even though the Trumpster has “operated” in a world of exceptional comfort/convenience for most of his adult life, there seems something uniquely “grass roots” and “authentic” about the man. Many have commented that he is much more “aware” of what’s really been going on than even most of his “constituency”.

  4. Back around 2012, was at board dinner for my old firm. Was seated with one of the directors that had been the senior guy at Citi in the 80s/90s and was the “fixer” for large credits that had gone to shit. A bunch of Trump’s casino borrowing ended up on his docket. What he thought was a package of senior debt with a lot of preference rights in the covenants (based on how it was priced) turned out to be priced as secured, but the covenants were gutted. Trump was going to pay them back if and when he felt like it. And it was exactly Trumps negotiating style, lots of chaos in the deal room, Trump interjecting himself with the bank execs and basically just wearing the bank out. And if you’ve known bank guys, they just don’t have the stamina for this. Nothing about Trump’s style today is a surprise. Nothing.

    • I heard about his immense grasp of detail while listening to radio in NYC.
      He knew the fine details of the unions, the lawyers, the suppliers, the contractors, the city councilmen, the transport logistics and transit planners, the permits department….

      This ain’t chess. It’s bowling. Steee-rike!

      • Real estate development is an oddly grounded business. Perhaps not so oddly. One of my kids sailing friends’ dad is asshole buddies with Trump (both are real estate guys) but while I’ve never met Trump, but I see this guy on regular basis and my son has spent a lot of time with them in the city. Guy is obsessive about details on his buildings. Owns an 80 foot Hatteras, but captains it himself, will do his own oil changes, makes the kids maintain it in the summer. Real estate is a weird combo platter of both long cycle times to get a project on line and OCD about managing construction and expense details. Nor do people appreciate what it takes to stay alive for decades in a cutthroat business where you often have to put everything down on 32 Black and spin the wheel. Like I said, don’t know him personally, but have had all these one degree of separation experiences that affirm the belief that Trump is constantly “misunderestimated” by his foes.

  5. Have to admit just skimed the headlines, but the amnesty thing doesn’t make me happy.

    Really hope this is just another one of the president’s tactics.

    • Trump has offered a very generous DACA proposal. The “ethnic” political leadership and the Democrats are slapping it away. Little by little, until it turns into a flood (a “preference cascade”), the DACA people not wandering around in the streets fussing about things (which is most of them), are going to jump on this and abandon the Left. Wait and see. And Trump doesn’t even need to deliver on all 1.8 million, and not right away. Before too long, the DACA people will be lining up to shake Trump’s hand and ask for his help, just as the industrialists are doing now. Both groups know a good deal when they see it, and they know that the offer may not be out there forever.

      Personally, I have no problem with 1.8 million new citizens, if they really want to get on board, be good citizens, contribute to the broader community and the nation, and run far away from all the “La Raza” and Aztlan crap. Pick through them and make good choices over who gets to stay. Works for me. And picking out the “good” ones is easy, because everybody posts stuff on the internet, and the internet is forever.

      Also love to see game theory played well. The Donald is a grand master.

  6. The ‘Coach’ appears to be riling up the team with the latest amnesty offer: we give you 1.8 aliens and their extended family today while you give up the wall funding and chain migration tomorrow. I wonder how that is going to work out? How about a different plan: you complete the wall, end chain migration and re-start interior enforcement today and after the wall is completed and chain migration is ended, we will give green cards/no citizenship to the 800,000?

    • I expect the 1.8 million, in the short run at least, to be the football that (Trump) Lucy pulls away when (Chuckie Schumer) Charlie Brown tries to kick it. The Donald really plays the game well, throwing out bait and then pulling it away. Our side should have learned by now to stand back and let him operate.

    • Your plan works for me: green cards but no citizenship — they’re citizens of the country from which they came; and I encourage them to go back at some point, permanently.
      Let’s not forget that with citizenship comes voting rights and that spells another huge win for the uniparty Democrats, and Republicans like Ryan: more socialist dependents to turn purple states blue in perpetuity.
      No way.

      And green cards must come AFTER, as you state, the other *completed* NECESSARY fixes to the de facto open borders we now endure.

  7. I had the same coach – used to have sunflower seeds hanging from his lips yelling at you. I think Doug Pederson seem like the right coach. Hopefully he’ll best Brady/Belechek.

  8. The man is a mad genius. I don’t know if he said “shithole countries” or not, but the end result was Democrats thumping their chests in full How Dare You! mode that these countries are not shitholes, and you’re a racist if you say it.

    Well, if they’re not shitholes, then why can’t these illegals be sent home? The answer, of course, is that we can send them home anytime we choose, and the Democrats walked face first into the wall.

    Whether it was intentional or not, the end result was Democrats giving up their favorite argument about illegals – that they’re basically refugees and we can’t send them back because (as Paul Ryan likes to say), “That’s not us.”

    No, Paul, it’s not YOU. Sending them packing is perfectly US.

    Btw, I was in a history classroom yesterday because my son wants to take AP Euro next fall. This is the quote his teacher had on the board:

    “Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided—that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849—but by iron and blood.” Otto von Bismark

    • The real Cosmic Justice would be if the whole “shithole countries” thing was made up by Dickwad Durbin, and It still burned down the Democrats.

      • Their little shutdown didn’t even make it three full days. They have convinced themselves that the public is 100% on their side about illegals but they keep losing this issue in a rout. I said it back when Trump first announced his candidacy, and I’ll say it again, the political party that embraces, enacts, and carries out strong border and immigration enforcement is the party that can win 47 states.

        Illegals are the “gun control” issue of our time. Nobody seriously debates new gun control laws at this point. They just use it to raise money, but the issue is settled for at least another generation or two. Destroying the Open Borders cabal is absolutely possible.

        • Trump is perfectly aligning himself with recent public opinion on a path for the DACAs, build the wall, restrict family migration, and block the visa lottery. The other side got nuttin.

          Trump appears to be really good at sweeping away the DC and media smokescreens surrounding public policy. They hate him for that.

          Gun rights appear to be a settled issue, and he is just getting warmed up on abortion policy and a sane version of civil rights policy. Busy guy.

          • I’d take one DACA if it ended anchor babies, chain migration, shithole preference, preloaded lotteries, and H1b scams.
            First, plug the hole.

            Plus, he once again forced the self-serving traitors to show their hand.
            So obvious now.

            More, black Americans are P.I.S.S.E.D. now that they’ve officially been thrown under the bus for newcomers. That’s why the official tokens are being rushed into top billing.

            Edit: hadn’t seen Dutch’s Lucy comment yet. What delight- we’re holding the football this time!

            While hiding the smirk on our face and the knife behind our back.

  9. Trump is giving the establishment fits because they’re not used to dealing with someone who’s succeeded in a meritocracy. Politics is the opposite of a meritocracy; the last people who should be running the country are career politicians.

  10. Not all great coaches are/were aggressive screamers. John Wooden, Pete Carroll, Phil Jackson, Tom Landry and even Bill Belichick are just a few who come to mind.

    Trump is more akin to Mike Ditka. Ditka is much smarter and cagier than people give him credit for. For what it’s worth, he’s my favorite coach of all time. I’d probably have died for him on the field. But that’s just me.

    • I grew up in Chicago, remember the 85 Bears quite well, and have the opposite opinion of Ditka. The Bears won the Super Bowl in spite of Mike Ditka, not because of him. He didn’t get along with Buddy Ryan–a coach the players loved and the guy who fielded the best defense the NFL has ever seen. One of them had to leave in 86; unfortunately, ,the wrong coach left.

      • I saw a great documentary about Buddy Ryan last year, wish I could remember where. But those men on the Bears, and on the Eagles, LOVED that man. Genuinely, truly, loved him. Part of the show involved the players going to visit Buddy in his addled years, and he’s a shell of his former self. Just fascinating to watch. The documentary goes into some of the “Was it Ditka or was it really Buddy Ryan?” stuff.

        • The documentary was “30 for 30” on ESPN. And yeah, it was really good. I even shed a tear at the end. The players on the Bear defense grew to love Buddy Ryan, even though he was tough on them. The combination of Ditka, Ryan and a team full of colorful characters, like Jim McMahon, The Fridge, Dan Hampton, Steve McMichael, Walter Payton, including the greatest defense ever was fascinating to watch.

          • Odd but true is how those who are tough DO get people coming back years later, thanking them. Today, a lot of people see consistency and discipline as meanness. It is kindness.

      • Neither coach was particularly successful apart from the other. Symbiosis between the two was pretty special. Had they not parted ways I’m certain the Bears would’ve won several more Super Bowls or at least made it there. I mean the 86-87 Bears minus Ryan had a statistical defense that was better than the 85 Bears. The only reason they didn’t win or make it to the Super Bowl is because they lost McMahon to injury. At any rate Ditka was a very good coach and a great motivator and probably the most entertaining character in coaching history. He was also very impulsive but then again so is President Trump.

  11. It’s been at least a decade since any elected figure made me smile, much less laugh. I have Rick Scott for a governor and Trump for a president. I now get to laugh uproariously at least once a week because some liberal’s head has just exploded in spectacular fashion. Not tired of winning. Bigly.
    Keep up the great work Z!

    • We are one for two out here in California. But I smile more and get my laughs in as well. The Left has had its way for so long, they really have gone soft, and they have put up some real doofuses in power positions.

  12. “How many times can someone call their Congressman, enraged about immigration or trade policy?”

    Years ago, as a National Guard officer, after a couple of drills in a new unit, all my men started saluting and referring to me as “LT”. The saluting bothered me, so I pulled my platoon sergeant aside and asked what was going on. This is the National Guard, we don’t salute unless we’re pissed at the guy receiving it.

    The platoon sergeant gave me a funny look and said, “That’s only because we don’t get that many who deserve it.”

    My platoon outperformed every other platoon in the battalion.

    So how many times will people turn out and hammer elected officials? In Trump’s case, I think indefinitely. His supporters are ENJOYING the fight. It’s isn’t just recreational, it’s therapeutic. These people now have a Leader (capital “L”) who fights back. And most importantly, he fights back for THEM.

    The Democrats are learning the reality of the caution from Isoroku Yamamoto after Pearl Harbor: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    These people will keep this up until hell freezes over.

    • That’s key. Formerly, activism from proto-alt right groups or concerned citizens was simply ignored. The futility quickly burned out any sustained grass roots campaign. Addition of Trump has made resistance to the destruction of traditional culture a achievable goal.
      He’s giving us confidence that defeat is not inevitable, thus giving us the much needed will to fight.

      He’s shown us the enemy bleeds. And to quote a favorite film-
      “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

  13. Read how Hitler (no, I’m not saying he’s Der Fuhrer) got his way on the Sudetenland.

    Trump’s doing the exact same thing.

      • Or General Patton at the head of the 3rd Army. Crazier than a bedbug, but the right man for the situation.

  14. Your first and second paragraphs perfectly describe interacting with another type of “coach”…your average male military basic training drill sergeant. And that’s your unrealized connection for today.

  15. Spectacular commentary as usual, Z. But I may have to take exception:

    “There is no question that this style of managing people does get the most from those willing to give their all. It also boils off the people who like to talk about maximizing their opportunities, but unwilling to do what it takes to accomplish it. In the realm of sports, this result in better teams…”

    Not necessarily. If I have the money, I can buy a team of talent that will defeat yours no matter how hard they try. As an outhouse philosopher I have always maintained that we cannot be empowered or degraded by others – we can only do it for ourselves. YOU drove yourself, Z, the coach was just a prop. But whadda I know? I readily admit I could be full of beans.

    Trump is a businessman. He speaks to the common man and understands his motivations and aspirations. The Cloud People don’t – and they don’t want to know either. That is why Trump is winning. I will bet that if the Donks field a candidate that isn’t an affirmative action flunky, or a pervert, or a Marxist rage head – and the candidate can reason and think – he will eat Trump alive in the next election. Lord help us if the Donks ever develop the maturity to realize that.

    • “I will bet that if the Donks field a candidate that isn’t an affirmative action flunky, or a pervert, or a Marxist rage head – and the candidate can reason and think – he will eat Trump alive in the next election.”

      Yeah, but since there is no Demonicrat candidate that isn’t an AA (this includes women, homos, transgenders, any non-White), a pervert, or a Marxist (rage heads usually don’t get very high. See Bernie Sanders as an example of a non-rage head Marxist), this is a very high level of improbability. Not to mention that their base is incapable of the maturity of voting intelligently.

      Let’s say that there is a rational Demonicrat, for the sake of argument. Who is it? And if they are a very low-level or new recruit, do they have the necessary oral skills to please those that control the money spigots? Look at the wealthy Demonicrat zealots. They COULD pull a Trump and finance themselves and waive their salary. But, which ones are rational? Zuckerfucker? Please stop…..You’re going to make me pee! Bezos? Maybe, but he supports all of the positions that got Trump elected, so how rational can he be? Kamala Harris? Uh, no. I don’t think non SJW Whites are ever going to support a negro again. They had one chance with the gay mulatto, but now any black candidate the media promotes as being rational will just be like putting lipstick on a pig. Everyone has gone to the media sources that support their belief structure, and Trump’s base will never believe the MSM version of reality.

      Trump does have weaknesses. I admit I was more black pilled last May after I watched him make what I thought was one mistake after another. Only thing was, he turned the narrative on everything. Now, I may not understand why does what he does and may question his decisions, but I am willing to wait to see how all his maneuvers play out. I think if he doesn’t get some major change in immigration policy he will anger his base. But, its not like they have anywhere else to go. I think he has to get some indictments on some major Demonicrat players, but this will enrage many of the SJW’s because they will view it as Hitler’s Knight of the Long Knifes. And the Fake News establishment will present it as overthrowing the noble accomplishments of 50 years of irrational stupidity. The truth is, we have to accept that we are in an eternal struggle between good and evil, realize that we are the ones “on the right side of history”, and develop the political will that the parasites and other minions of the hive mind display. This means registering to vote, and voting. As often as possible. I know I have to hold my nose sometimes but you do what is necessary when you are at war.

    • Fielding a “… a candidate that isn’t an affirmative action flunky, or a pervert, or a Marxist rage head…is beyond the DEMs.

      They have to respond to their base, or they are DONE! Thus, their candidates consist of only persons from the sets of defectives that you mention.

  16. Energizing the base helps make the more extreme power abuse by the neolib-con coalition difficult to pull off in plain view. The high stakes game; however, is simply wrangling enough power players under your banner to start getting things done.

  17. Part of Trump’s terror to the left (as well as the stab-in-the-back establishment Republicans) is he is politicizing people who generally want nothing to do with politics. The regular white working class has finally realized that since the revolutionary left has politicized every single aspect of daily life, because to a revolutionary every formerly private thought, every independent action is political, that they must also become politically motivated as well.

    This also historically happened in 1850’s America as well as 1918-1933 Germany, with the same end results- counterrevolution.

    • Precisely. That is the only way out. We got into this via revolution and war and we will emerge from this nightmare in the same fashion.

    • I think that’s why you see the fever pitched hysteria of the Left. They have NEVER been talked back to before. They’re like spoil brat children. Finally somebody stands up to them, and the resort to tantrums and screaming and wailing. They’re just not used to that sort of thing.

      • Isn’t it fun to watch? Right out of the gate they tried all the rituals that always, always sent Republicans scampering for cover. It failed and they are now succumbing to pure despair.

          • All they had with that gay, Muslim Kenyan was an ICON the media could worship and his opponents could never criticize because, RACISM!

        • I told an anti-Trumper at work the other day exactly that…….I may not agree with everything Trump says and does, but the fact that he makes leftists cry and gnash their teeth is hilarious. Stomp your little feet snowflakes, we’ll only laugh harder.

      • As a teacher, saw this every year in the classroom…kids who had never been told no…first they’d try to talk their way out of it…when that didn’t work, they’d spread stories around “That teacher’s mean! She’s pickin’ on me!” Then they’d rage and refuse. When consequences were given , they’d think they could get out of them by saying “I won’t do it again.” They had to learn, okay, you won’t, but the consequence still stays. In this case, Trump and his supporters say, “Kick up all you want; we ain’t goin’ nowhere.” And finally, they learn…they’re sullen about it at first, till they find out that doesn’t get them the rewards everyone else is enjoying. They finally…give in. The thing is, regardless of pressure from administrators and parents, the teacher must not give in first. The reason so many schools fail is because parents and administrators will harass the teacher to the point of going elsewhere because THEY cannot withstand the pressure.

  18. “In the world of high-pay, low-work professions, the hard driving boss does not exist.”

    Not sure what romper room environment others are living in within the technology wing of corporate America, but back in the dotcom days where I cut my teeth, there was an unspoken rule that meetings weren’t really over until someone cried, conference calls with vendors usually started off with “How have you failed my today?” and every now and then a coked out VP would interrupt staff meeting by throwing objects across the room. And the females were much more formidable than the pussy hat wearing creatures who run to HR if they feel the work environment is too hostile.

    • Ahhh. I still love Nam stories. There was a cartoon that I only saw a few times “Those Were the Days”. It had that Tom and Becky feel to it, model T Oogah horns and knickerbockers.
      It’s all gone brother, energy spent, momentum bled off. Should have kept coking those VPs….

    • And most of those dot-com companies crashed and burned. That type of management style is not sustainable in the long run. Even Steve Jobs discovered that as he matured.

  19. Trump will never allow his base to go back to their lives as usual, uninvolved and uninformed. Is that what you’re saying, Z? 🙂

    The devil made me post this observation. Hope it is received in the spirit in which it is offered.

  20. Trump may turn out to be one of the most brilliant CICs we’ve ever seen. The reason? He understands human psychology on a practical level. The “debate of ideas” has very little relevance. He had his goals and “debate” will not achieve them.

        • He’s escalated tensions with Russia despite his promises. Got the US closer to nuclear war with Korea than ever before, Illegally droned Syria and just declared that the U.S. “Presence”- i.e occupation in Iraq is “indefinite”. He proposes a 10% increase in the Military budget, while the Mexican border is undefended.

          Fucking wonderful.

          • The US isn’t “closer to nuclear war with Korea than ever before”. The US is closer to utterly destroying North Korea, killing all their leaders, and then helping the South Koreans turn it into profitable real estate.

            Nobody would be talking about the Norks lobbing ICBMs our way if Obama/Bush/Clinton hadn’t been so pathetic. Our entire foreign policy for the last 25 years can be boiled down to, “Oh no! Don’t make ’em mad!”

          • If anyone is “escalating tensions with Russia” it’s Trump’s enemies, not Trump. Their “collusion with the Russians” fairy-tale requires a “Russia is evil” subtext that current events do not justify. The anti-Trump maniacs are willing to poison normal relations with a major power, just to get Trump.

          • He’s buying off the army to fight the domestic spies. That’s why the tax cuts benefit the DoD suppliers.

            Get rid of the commisars, you can reform the army pronto, as the CiC.
            Not so with Congessional blackmail lists, so ya always heed the army first.

            Note: making American sources rich, not globalists per Bush/Obama
            (h/t hokkoda)

      • Hmm…the last two couldn’t beat ISIS if you let them drop nukes and gave them 10 years. Obama was a pathetic cluster fuck as a CIC, feckless and weak and aligned with America’s enemies. Bush was caught up in the “Democratize the World” neocon utopianism.

        Trump appears to be neither.

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