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Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The following is the 2nd of four parts of notes taking from a Coach Nick Saban clinic talk while he was coaching at LSU:

What is success? Success comes from consistency in performance. People who have consistent performance do it a certain way.

No one goes to the army anymore and gains that natural discipline. And very few people have ever worked on a farm. The old adage, you reap what you sow, is probably the most significant true statement that we could ever have.

How can you overcome adversity and beat the system if there is no suffering? If you are going to be persistent you have to fail at something. You have to have a negative experience. You have to be able to bounce back from a negative experience and make it into a positive experience. You can’t get frustrated. If we show our frustration to a player when he doesn’t do something right, he learns to show his frustration. Don’t let your ego get in the way of coaching. If you think a player’s poor play is a reflection on your coaching and you chew his butt out for it, you are wrong as a coach. I tell my coached that all the time. We need to teach him for the next play.

The player won’t know how to compete on the next play if they are frustrated or you are frustrated with them. That is the key to success.

I will not allow my players to put their hand on their knees or show in their face they are tired going into the fourth quarter. If they do, they are going to get their butt whipped. If they do that, they are showing the other team they can be beat.

People have to go through the process to improve. The bad thing about today’s athletes is they don’t think there is a process to go through. They think they are good from the start so there is no process to go through. Coaches are all about the process.

The best example I can give you about persistence was a commercial Michael Jordan did for Nike about three years ago. He pulled up in a limo and was going into the back door of the gym. The announcer was giving a lot of statistics about Michael Jordan. He said he had missed 26 game-winning shorts and he had missed 2,963 shots as a NBA player, and he had lost 293 games in the NBA. Michael opened the door, looked at the camera, and said, “Because I fail is why I succeed.”

Earle Bruce was the coach then, and Woody Hayes hadn’t had anything to do with the team or the school since the incident in the bowl game against Clemson. We got him to go on a trip with us and come and address the team. His speech centered on this statement: “There can be no great victories in life unless there is tremendous adversity.”

He turned all the adversity into opportunity.