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K-State Coach Bill Snyder's philosophy: Improve one small step a day

Bill Snyder

Bill Snyder, the most successful football coach in the history of Kansas State University, has a deceptively simple philosophy for success on the field – and in life.

The key to success, he says, is to “learn how to identify and execute a little bit of improvement every day.”

To illustrate how he mentors and motivates players, Snyder holds out his left hand, squeezing his thumb and index finger together until they’re about an inch apart.

“I’d say just this much,” he says, his left thumb and index finger showing incremental daily improvement. “What can you do today to become just a little bit better at your priorities?”

Snyder, one of only four coaches to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame while still coaching, shared his philosophy for success in football and in life with Via Christi’s Board of Directors and administrative leaders during a meeting in Manhattan in late May.

“What are your priorities in life?” he asked. “We’re going to get there a step at a time because that’s manageable, that’s doable. Not going from A to Z, but what little step can we take to become better today.”