This is part 2 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.
The things we developed this year as opposed to that first year was this. We developed the work habits and the discipline to finish off the games when we were ahead in the games. We were a better football team, and we were better prepared. We were in better condition. We were stronger than we were a year ago after another year of training. We were more disciplined in our regiment and in our fundamentals to finish off those games. We were a tougher team, so we could finish off those games when we were ahead. We were able to build leads that were larger than they were the year before. It was not enough to talk about it. We had to develop work habits, the discipline, and the toughness to earn that right to have those expectations.
That has been engrained into our players. They know they have to earn the right to have the expectations. You earn it by the way you work, the way you prepare mentally, and the way you prepare your body physically. You had to have a toughness about you to be able to succeed.
Areas Stoops list in building a successful team
#1 ESTABLISH TRUST
Players have to trust and believe in one and another. You have to find dif-ferent ways to get the players close. When I first went to Oklahoma, if we had eight players in the dinning hall, we would have them sitting at seven different tables. Now, you walk in our training table you will see eight play-ers at a table that only seats six people. You have to find ways to get the players to care about one and another.
#2 ESTABLISH DISCIPLINE
All players want to be disciplined. The coach has to be strong enough to give it to them. I do not believe that all players should be treated the same. You treat them the way they deserve to be treated.
#3 ESTABLISH A WORK ETHIC
You must give a good effort. To me the best compliment you can receive is when someone tells you, "Coach, it is fun to watch your team because of hard they play." I value that comment more than any other. We grade effort. We want the tape of the game. After we critique the film for assignment and fundamentals, we will go back and go through it quickly to see who is player fast and who is player not playing fast. We look to see who is player hard and who is not playing hard.
Create team unity and establish trust.
The players are going to follow the lead of the head coach.
#4 BE CONSISTENT IN HOW YOU TEACH YOUR SYSTEM
We want to let players hear the terms over and over.
#5 CREATE A POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Make sure players have fun while they work. Talk confidently and positive-ly to players. Eventually they will believe you. You want the guy that isn’t so good to think he is great.
As hard as it is at the time, we will never accept a losing performance. I will not tell a kid that his effort is not good enough. I will tell him here is how you should do it. Even if the player can’t do it, I will tell him how it should be done. Never tell a kid that he is lousy, or that he can’t do some-thing. Eventually he will believe you. Teach them in a manner where they will accept it and try to change.
#6 ACKNOWLEDGE PERFORMANCE AND NOT POTENTIAL
We are going to play players that play hard and make the most plays. Don’t play potential; play players.
If we play harder, smarter, and more aggressively than our opponent, we will win. It takes no talent to play smart, to play hard, and to be aggressive and to be tough.
Coaches must have great respect with one another and a great working relationships. Keep egos out of the office. Coaches must be willing to help each other, and they must be willing to help others coaches on the other side of the ball.
#7 BE SURE THE PLAYERS TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WIN-NING AND LOSING WITH THE COACHES
As coaches, we always take the blame for our players. "It is my fault." I am not talking about the media. I am talking about in the meeting room and one-on-one.