Here’s an excerpt from There’s Only One Way To Win, a book Dick wrote about his dad, the legendary Coach Chuck DeVenzio, better known as “Coach DV.” Dick played for his dad in high school, where their undefeated 1967 Ambridge team has been called the best in Pennsylvania history.
People who are not winners by nature don’t readily comprehend the concept of “every time reinforcement.” Every time reinforcement is a hallmark of those few people who truly understand what it takes to be successful in highly competitive environments.
If there was one prime quality which set Coach DV in a very select group, above literally millions of other coaches throughout the world and throughout history, it would have to be his ability—call it incredible energy and commitment—to correct every error he ever saw for forty years. Ahead by 40, behind by 40, in games, in practice, with a headache, with a sore throat . . . the environment was simply not a factor. In the face of an error, the score at the time was absolutely irrelevant to him. An error must be corrected to prevent its recurrence. Fail to correct an error and you will see it again—and be responsible for it!
Great coaches see all events as though they are playing against champions or about to play champions. That is the only way to coach a team to prepare its players to be champions. This may make it clearer why a coach like DV would have so much trouble accepting a suggestion from a fan. The fan that could wonder about yelling at a kid whose team enjoyed a 40-point lead simply had no concept of what championship coaching is all about. To have to consider the score and other outside factors before correcting an error would be nearly impossible.