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Saturday, January 10, 2015

OREGON'S FOOTBALL STAFF'S UNIQUE METHODS OF TEACHING

Here are a few excerpts out of an article written for the Wall Street Journal by Jonathan Clagg on the approach utilized by the Oregon football staff that works hard at steering clear of yelling at their football players:

In a move that may send football traditionalists into a sideline meltdown, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich and his staff have ditched the age-old technique of screaming at players to motivate them. Instead, Oregon’s coaches have implemented a softer, less confrontational and altogether cuddlier method of running their team.

“It’s not about who can scream the loudest,” said Helfrich, the Ducks’ 41-year-old second-year coach. “We have excellent specialists in their field, great leaders of young men that need to teach guys what to do, to show them and tell them and find a way to bring that home. There’s hopefully way more talking than yelling.”

Granted, the Oregon practice facility won’t be mistaken for the library. But players say that raised voices are almost unheard of during team meetings or workouts these days.

Rather than scream at a player over a dropped pass or a key penalty, Oregon’s coaches rarely react with anything more severe than an arm around the shoulder and some gentle words of encouragement.

“When you put your arm around a guy and say, ‘This is how it could be done better,’ they understand you care about them and you just want what’s best for the team,” said Marcus Mariota, Oregon’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. “Those guys already understand that they did wrong.”

Oregon’s nonaggression policy isn’t limited to players. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost says that the spirit of civility extends to the coaching staff, where the lowliest graduate assistants are treated with the same deference as top members of the staff. “Guys in our program don’t get yelled at and treated like they are beneath the coaches,” Frost said. “There’s more enjoyment and laughing in our building than almost any football building in the country.”

This is just a portion of the article.  Click here to read the entire story.