Leadership

Bill Belichick rarely takes time off, and it could be key to his success

Bill Belichick, one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, hardly ever takes a vacation. And it may just be the secret to his success.

In a rare, wide-ranging interview with CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, the New England Patriots head coach says he spends little time away from his team in order to gain a competitive edge.

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That's not always easy, though.

"It's tough. It really is," he tells Welch when she asks whether he has decompressed from his Super Bowl win in February. "Because once the season's over you're already just a few weeks away from the Indianapolis Combine. You're another week away from free agency."

The football season doesn't seem to end for Belichick. "Now we're into the spring workouts, the draft, and then once the draft's over our players come in," he says.

Belichick knows that if the team isn't training early, it could come back to haunt them. "If you don't work at your team now in the spring," he tells Welch, "you're probably gonna pay for it in November. We just gotta keep grinding away."

That's the kind of laser focus it takes to become a master of your field. Belichick doesn't dwell on the past. He concentrates on what the team can do in the present. "We're on to 2017," he says. "Nobody cares about 2016 anymore."

Of course, that doesn't mean the coach never takes time to relax. "Downtime for me is Nantucket from mid-June to mid-July," he says. "I'll be glad when that gets here."

That leaves Belichick with about a month away from the sport he loves, and he makes the most of it.

"You're not a big fan of leisure time, are you?" asks Welch.

"Oh, I can kick back," he says.

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