Sean McDermott no longer sleeps in his office, tries to find better balance

Buffalo Bills Mandatory Minicamp
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Bills head coach Sean McDermott was once among the many NFL coaches who put in such long hours that they slept in their offices. McDermott says he’s now finding that a more balanced life is a better approach.

McDermott said before last week’s minicamp that he was looking forward to time off so he could be with his wife and three kids.

“After a few days this week, we’re going to unplug a little bit to get away, speaking of balance, and enjoy a little bit of what life has to offer,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News. “I think that perspective is good. And then we fire back up at the end of July, and we get this thing cranked up all the way here.”

McDermott and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier were assistant coaches together with the Eagles early in their careers and are heading into their sixth season together in Buffalo. Frazier sees the changes in McDermott.

“That’s a sign of growth, compared to a young Sean McDermott,” Frazier said. “He’s put a priority on family and spending time with our family, even though we spend a lot of hours here. A lot of hours. But he’s not one of those guys who will sleep at the office anymore, that’s way behind him.”

Every NFL coach works long hours, but there seems to have been something of a pushback in recent years against insanely long hours, as more coaches are finding that working longer doesn’t necessarily translate to coaching better.

15 responses to “Sean McDermott no longer sleeps in his office, tries to find better balance

  1. Good for Sean. We as people need to have a healthy life/ work balance. Life is to short to not spend time with your family and loved ones. Tomorrow is not promised.

  2. Spending time with your family only makes things better in your life. Every coach needs that balance

  3. Now that the team is a strong contender for the Super Bowl, when you guys get back and crank it up. Please pay special attention to the defense!

  4. In my own life, I’ve found that hard work is how you get what you want, but you can actually hurt your performance by overdoing it.

    Example: preparing for a big exam in college (which in a lot of ways I think is a little like a coach preparing to compete in an NFL game, I think). As a math tutor, I always told my students that overpreparing is the best way to ward off test anxiety and make sure you’re rock solid on every concept. But there are different ways to go about it.

    The day before the test, for example, you can stay up all night studying; or study for a few hours, go to bed, rest your brain, get up early, assess where your gaps are, then study for a few more hours and go into the test feeling fresh. My performance is always better with option #2 than option #1 even if I put in a lot more hours with option #1.

  5. As a Bills fan it’s disappointing to see him lose his dedication and passion for the game by wanting to sleep at home with his family.
    I don’t know how he thinks that’s going to help him win games. When they lose a game, we’ll know what the reason is.

  6. LOL!

    Scott Farkus may want to get some vitamin D on the face. These people up in Buffalo love that attention and awful weather/city.

  7. Good for you. coach! Work/Life balance is important. I learned that the hard way with an employer who did not respect my Work/Life balance. I will never work again for another “chew you up and spit you out” employer, I don’t care how much you pay me. The stress and mental anguish takes a toll on your health and it isn’t worth it.

  8. I’ve always been suspicious of McDermott because he *really* likes to talk about himself.

    But anyone advocating for a better work-life balance is okay in my book. It’s crucial for longterm sanity, not just for the individual in question, but for those around that individual, too. Good for you Sean!

  9. There are plenty of people performing far more complicated, far more stressful, and far more important jobs than coaching an NFL team who never have had to sleep in their offices.

    I really think that there is a fundamental problem with how coaching staffs manage their time and preparation processes. The game is not that complicated; the possible movements and reactions are limited, not infinite. It cannot be that hard for people doing it for years as full time jobs. Perhaps it is too much tradition (“If you have time to sleep you have time to watch film”), or maybe it’s just, well, the caliber of people who get involved in the sport full-time. I guess it’s possible they truly are doing the best they can.

  10. kurtlaughlin says:
    June 20, 2022 at 12:18 pm
    There are plenty of people performing far more complicated, far more stressful, and far more important jobs than coaching an NFL team who never have had to sleep in their offices

    Have you been an NFL coach to know this? I can see falling asleep at your office very possible in today’s NFL. Imagine having a road game Sunday, flying home, watching film to see where you went wrong Sunday, then reviewing film of your opponent (film review with your players and staff), and then having a walk through to implement it. It’s even more possible if you have a tnf game. That’s a lot to do in such little time.

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