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Thursday, August 8, 2013

HOW ALABAMA IS UTILIZING GUEST SPEAKERS TO GROW THEIR TEAM ON AND OFF THE FIELD

I blogged about this in 2008 -- utilizing guest speakers to help get messages across to your team.  In fact, in that particular blog post, Coach Nick Saban was one of the guest speakers we used during our run to a Final Four.  It doesn't always have to be coaches or athletes.  When I worked for Dale Brown, he often brought in people from every facet of life to speak to our team.  The connections made were incredible.

Here is an article by Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Times Daily.com on how Coach Saban is utilizing speakers this year.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban has children, so he has seen this too often.         

He tried to advise them about life, but it takes a Little League coach or someone else to deliver the same message to get the point across.

Players on his football team are no different. That's why he brings in a string of guest speakers during training camp to reinforce what he's tells them.
 
"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to try to, while we have camp and we have players here they don't have school," Saban said. "They don't have anything else, it's all about football — is to have people that can help develop a better attitude so that they have a better chance to be more successful in life, because they were involved in the program."

The speakers talk about life and use football as a backdrop. Topics include drugs, alcohol, agents, gambling, staying out of fights and how to treat women.

"We're really always trying to educate our players on the consequences of good and bad behavior," Saban said.

Former NFL player, coach and current analyst Herman Edwards and former NFL player Ray Lewis were two of the latest speakers.

Saban liked their message of working hard so not to regret anything later in life, and to take advantage of your gifts.

Players were particularly intrigued by Lewis, a Super Bowl MVP. Linebacker C.J. Mosley said he was thrilled to meet one of his idols growing up, so he listened intently.

"It was a pretty nice thing to learn from (him)," defensive lineman Ed Stinson said. "He told us what he had been through, what was driving him to be great. It was a good point he made. I hope some of us learned from it."

Here is another example of how Coach Saban uses speakers (must read) to get message across: