Power Players

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

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Bill Belichick is one of the leading coaches in NFL history, with a record-shattering five Super Bowl wins to his name. The New England Patriots head coach is aiming to score his sixth big win with the team this Sunday, February 3.

Those who know Belichick's style  know he's no stranger to preparation. "He's just obsessed by the beauty of the game," CNBC contributor Suzy Welch said about Belichick a segment of CNBC's "Power Lunch" in 2018.

Belichick's father was also a coach, Welch pointed out, which spurred his love for football and his "superhuman fixation on preparation" by watching games to perfect his strategy.

"He has a methodology for winning and he's not experimenting right now," Welch said. "The game is won long before he hits the field."

As a result, the Patriots coach rarely ever takes a vacation and it may just be the secret to his success.

In a rare, wide-ranging interview in 2017, Belichick said he spends little time away from his team in order to gain a competitive edge.

That's not always easy, though.

"It's tough. It really is," he told Welch when she asked whether he had decompressed from his Super Bowl win that 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 said.

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 told 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 said at the time. "Nobody cares about 2016 anymore."

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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 said. "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?" Welch asked.

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

This article was originally published on February 4, 2018 and has been updated.

See also:

Here's why Bill Belichick re-watches his Super Bowl victory

This is an updated version of a previously published story.

Disclosure: NBC Sports is televising Sunday's Super Bowl.