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Sunday, February 21, 2010


The following is the final of four parts of notes taking from a Coach Nick Saban clinic talk while he was coaching at LSU:

There is no substitute for knowledge. Knowledge and experience is what help you make an excellent play as a player and as a coach.

You should never let the other team determine what you are. General George Custer overestimated and General George McClellan underestimated their opponents. You cannot let the other team destroy what you are. You will not win or lose or have success based on what the other team is. You will have success based on what your team is. Team work is a funny thing. You can have a 427 Corvettes with oversized cams that will run 160 miles an hour, but if you don’t have the lug nuts for one tire, you are not going anywhere.

On the field, you can’t develop leadership if the coaching is doing all the leading. The players have to play and the coaches have to coach. The coaches can’t continually tell the players what to do. Bill Belichick would make the coaches go to the sidelines all the time when we had team drills. He would say to let the players play. I have senior meetings all the time. When we have them, I give the players ownership in those meetings. We have a peer group from every class that serves in a Peer Intervention Program. This program centers on behavioral issues. They deal with drugs, alcohol, agents, how to treat the other sex, spiritual issues, or any other behavior issues both positive and negative that you might have heard about. It actually is a tool to develop leadership within every group. I need groups that I can meet with to find out what is going on and be a sounding board for the team.

There are no decisions made on this team that I do not control. I can frame out any situation for them and get them to do what I want done. But they think it is their team and they are making the decisions. If you give them that type of ownership, they will lead and effect the other guy.

To be a good player on your team, you have to affect someone else on the team. You have to cause them to play better by the way you play. You affect other players with the character and attitude. To be a great player, you have to affect your entire unit. If you are a great player, every player on that unit plays better when you are on the field. The number one thing on any team that will keep your players from being selfish is respect for the other players. Having respect leads to trust and from that they begin to believe in each other. That is the way it works and that is the way it has to be.