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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SABAN ON TRUST AND COMMUNICATION

Here are some great excerpts from an article written by Ken Rogers for the DothanEagle.com.  You can read the entire article here.

Several times already this training camp Alabama coach Nick Saban has talked about the need for trust – coaches trusting players, but, perhaps more important, players trusting each other.

“Something as simple as being on time,” Saban said Tuesday after practice. “Being on time is important because it shows that you care, it shows that it’s important to you. It shows that we can trust in you. It shows that your teammates can trust in you.”

It goes much farther than punctuality, of course.

“It’s important to pay attention to detail,” Saban said. “Know what your role is and be responsible and accountable to do it, because if you can’t prove that every day, how can the other guys in the huddle trust you? They may not say it, but how can they trust you?”

It’s a theme he began when talking with reporters before his appearance at SEC Media Days last month.

“I just think that in this day and age, the players are a little less geared toward communicating,” Saban said in Hoover. “They do a lot of texting, they do a lot of Facebook, they do a lot of social media, but in doing that, they don’t spend as much time communicating with other people. That’s one of the things that we really try to emphasize: that we have good communication.”

The coach talked about a recent leadership seminar players went through.

“The first question that was asked the players was, ‘Do you think it’s important to tell your teammates what you think?’” Saban said. “And 95 percent of the guys said no. That’s for the coach to do, or the strength coach or somebody in a position of authority."

“The next question was, ‘What’s the most important thing to you about your teammates?’ And the unanimous answer was, ‘What they think of me.’ That gives you a little bit of how much of a disconnect there is in the importance of communication.”

Linebacker C.J. Mosley said trust – and communication – is crucial on the field.

“If you’re worried about the other player, you won’t be focused or you might mess up on what you’re doing,” Mosley said. “If you know that that linebacker has your back when you’re spilling the ball on the power, you really don’t have to worry about if he’s going to get the guy.

“You just play ball and play your position. If you know that all 10 men know what they have to do and they’re going 100 percent, it makes your job that much easier.”

Senior offensive guard Anthony Steen was even more succinct about the issue of trust.

Saban said issues of trust, accountability and communication are keys to being great.

“If you’re going to have a great team, you’ve got to have great team chemistry, which comes from that respect and trust that people get from their discipline, accountability and responsibility they have to their role,” the coach said. “They’ve got to be able to focus on that no matter what else is going on around them.

“Which means it’s got to be important enough for them to want to do it and to stay focused on it. And they’ve got to be available mentally, whether in meetings or on the practice field or wherever it is, to take advantage of the repetitions that they get so that they have a chance to do that.

“That’s how you play winning football. That’s a challenge for every team. The devil is always in the details.”