Leadership

Bill Belichick shares the life-changing advice he got from his dad

For New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, it's a case of like father, like son.

The legendary NFL coach recently spoke with CNBC contributor Suzy Welch on a wide range of topics, including his leadership tips and career as one of the winningest coaches in the sport's history.

During the interview, Belichick also spoke about his father, Steve, an accomplished football player and coach who taught him about sports as a child.

"I learned coaching at an early age," says Belichick, "[and] how coaches think. What bothers them. What doesn't bother 'em."

He highlighted two major lessons he's learned from his dad over the years.

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Work hard no matter the circumstances

Belichick says that his father, who was an immigrant from Croatia and the youngest of five children, taught him about perseverance. "[He] grew up kind of in a poor environment," he says to Welch. "Went through the Depression. Father was out of work. Two of his brothers had to drop out of school. And World War II."

"So his big break really was football. [He] worked his way through college," Belichick explains, "and made a career out of football and ultimately ended up here at the Naval Academy where I think he was destined to be."

His father saw immigrants to the U.S. as great examples of achievement and working hard. "He talk[ed] about how much he learned from ... the quality of people that come [to the U.S.] because of their toughness," says Belichick, "their work ethic and their devotion to the country."

That's something Steve tried to instill in Bill as a child. "And so many of those lessons I learned either from him or from my association with the people at the Navy academy, which represented those same values," he says.

Do what you love

When it came to his career, Belichick says his father taught him to follow his passion. It's a lesson he teaches his own children, all of whom work in sports. His daughter coaches lacrosse, while his sons work for the New England Patriots.

"I've told them the same thing my dad told me, which is [to] follow your heart," Belichick explains. "If there's something that you love and that's your passion when you're young, do it. Let everything else take care of itself."

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