From David Harris' 2008 biography The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty.
At the same time he was continuing to grow up, Walsh was learning a lot about what kind of coach he wanted to be. "There was this religion of 'toughness' in coaching circles those days," he explained, "and all coaches were trying to be like marine drill sergeants and scare people into playing well. I got caught up in that for a while but I concluded it didn't come close to working. It was a kind of mass delusion. All the coaches thought the players loved them despite how badly they treated them, and all the players were doing was putting up with the coach so they could play football. Instead of loving and revering the coach, they couldn't stand him and were disgusted with him but they wanted to play football. They wanted the fellowship, they wanted the association, they wanted the excitement, and only put up with the bullying because they had to. Most played football in spite of the coach. By the time I left Cal I had decided that if you taught people to play the game better, that was real coaching -- being a teacher rather than a thug." Sports psychologists would later describe Walsh's new approach as "nonaversive," and once he tried it out and found it worked, it would be one of his trademarks.
Tags: Bill Walsh, The Genius, David Harris