Oregon Coaches

Behavior Modification: Oregon Ducks Football Coaches Don't Yell At Players

Monday, January 12, 2015 1:25 am

Written by: The Post Game Staff


The image of a coach berating one of his players is familiar to anyone who's watched a game of football. Unless you watch Oregon Ducks football, anyway.

In that case, it's a foreign sight. And that's by design: Ducks coaches don't yell at their players.

According to The Wall Street Journal , the no-yell approach to coaching is one that has been in place at Oregon for years. Before current head coach Mark Helfrich, Chip Kelly instituted a policy in which all members of the coaching staff, as well as players and other administrators, are approached as equals on the team.

And that means respect is given to every person.

Heisman winner Marcus Mariota says players learn more when their teammates approach them in a positive manner to discuss mistakes and how they might be corrected. Motivations of fear or shame are absent from the Ducks program.

Not everyone understands or prefers that approach, however. Former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti said his preference is to yell at kids and push them with a little tough love. But his style proved ineffective with Ducks players, forcing him to change his style.

"I used to like kids that you could get after and really coach hard," Aliotti said. "But society has changed."

When flare-ups happen on the opposite sideline -- as was the case in the semifinal playoff game against Florida State, where Jameis Winston and other players were getting into fights with coaches and themselves -- Oregon's athletes look on in awe. It's something they never see within their own program.

And for the Ducks, that style has fared just fine.