This is part 1 or 3 parts of notes I took listening to Bob Stoops, the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma at a clinic following his 2001 National Championship team.
I believe the more you expect, the more you will get. If you expect an un-defeated season, and you only win 10 of 11 games, it sure beats the heck out of being 5 and 6. Expect a lot, and you have a better opportunity to get it. We walked in to Oklahoma and raised the expectations.
I believe in being positive, and I believe in being confident. I believe the more you talk to your players that way, the more it becomes a part of their nature. A confident and positive player on the field is better than one that isn’t.
When we started our first winter workouts, we had 20 players that had to fall out of the drills the first day. They could not make it through the first workout. They were throwing in the trashcans, pulling up with pulled mus-cles, and all kind of excuses. They were in bad shape.
Probably, the best person I hired was our strength and conditioning coach, Jerry Schmidt.
...what I getting around to is the fact that everyone talks about changing their perceptions and raising their expectations. Everyone does that. What we talk a lot about is "earning the right to win." We talk about earn-ing the right to those expectations. You can expect to go 13-0. You can say that. But, you have to earn the right to put that expectation up on the board.
We run a winter program at 6:15 am for three days a week. On one of those days three days we do speed work, and the other two days we do agilities. The way we work out is something to see. We really go hard.
I am not one to go get one of my coaches up at 5 am in the morning to get that one player that is late to the workout and have him work extra. That is hard on the assistant coaches. I do not want to do that. Why should I make one of my assistant coaches get up early? If the player does not have enough responsibility to get to practice, then we are not going to play that person. They have to be accountable and responsible to their team.
We had excellent participation in our summer workouts. We had 85 to 90 percent of the players there for the entire summer. In the second part of the summer, we had 95 percent of the players working out at school. We had great participation, and it make a difference. We were making pro-gress, and we were committed to winning. We had great participation, and we were acting like a team.
You will never hear me tell the players that we should have won a game. You will never hear me quoted as saying, "we should have won." I do not believe in it. You either do or you don’t. It is as simple as that.
The big quote association with me is "no excuses!" To be frank, I have never heard a good excuse. They all amount to the same thing. They all amount to losing.
If you give your players a reason as to why they did not win, or if you are quoted as to why you did not win, they are going to latch on to that.
I never acknowledge injuries, and I am never going to acknowledge how young we are, or anything that has to with losing. The reason for this is because I never want one of my players to have an excuse not to succeed or to win.