During 52 years of coaching football, 42 of them at Saint John's University in Minnesota, John Gagliardi has established a winning record by adopting a long list of no's. No tackling, wind sprints, or lengthy calisthenics during practice, for instance; no training tables and no compulsory offseason weight lifting.

By eliminating tackles in practice, Gagliardi says he believes injuries are reduced. ``Form tackling,'' in which defenders put their arms around and shoulders into the ball carrier, simulates full contact, only no one is brought to the ground.

``Once we know a guy can tackle, we don't need to keep testing him,'' Gagliardi says.

At last count, the list of Gagliardi ``no's'' ran to about 100. They began casually and emerged more definitively in the 1960s, when Gagliardi was invited to speak at coaching clinics.

``I didn't know what to talk about, so I gave them this approach,'' he says. ``I figured it's different; They'll like it. I made a list and built on it.''

His so-called rules are neither arbitrary nor unduly rigid. For example, he's not opposed to being called ``coach,'' it's just that as young upstart in the profession he didn't feel comfortable with the title. ``If my players want to call me coach, that's fine,'' Gagliardi says, ``but most of them call me John. There's a lot of informality. We like it that way.''

Today his ``Winning With No's'' philosophy includes:

* No players cut.

* No one considered too small.

* No grading of game films.

* No signs in dressing rooms.

* No laps.

* No use of the words ``hit, kill,'' etc.

* No practice on Sundays or Mondays.

* No big deals when we score. We aren't surprised.

* No play calling from the bench.

* No statistics posted.

* No cheap shots tolerated.

* No practice in rain, mud, or excessive wind.

* No timing anyone in 40 yards, mile, etc.

* No superstitions.

* No player unsuited at home games (115 or more dress).

* No pampering athletes.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.




Save for later


Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items