Google+ Followers

Monday, October 24, 2016

COACH MEYER: THE NOTE TAKER

The past few days I've been rereading "How Lucky You Can Be," by Buster Olney which is a wonderfully written book on the life of Coach Don Meyer.  I came across a story that made me laugh out loud but at the same time displayed what made Coach special and great:

Don Meyer was the worst fisherman that Ron Vlasin had ever seen.  Years before Meyer's accident, Vlasin and Meyer had gone out on Lake McConaughy, Nebraska's largest body of water.  Shortly after the two men had dropped their lines, Meyer asked Vlasin a question about the high school basketball team that Vlasin coached.  With his back to Meyer, Vlasin started answering the question keeping his voice low for fear of disturbing the fish.  After a few minutes, Vlasin had glanced over at Meyer at the other side of the boat and saw that his friend had put down his rod, had pulled out a notebook, and was writing everything that Vlasin had said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

THE PREPARATION MINDSET OF CHAMPIONS

The following comes from "How Champions Think" by Dr. Bob Rotella:

I heard a story from Brad Faxon recently that illustrates the way champions are single-minded. Brad is a New Englander and a big fan of all the New England teams, including the Patriots. He’s become friends with Tom Brady. A couple of years ago, New England pulled out a big win against San Diego in the final minutes. On the day after the win, Brad called Brady. “Congratulations. What a great win!” Brad said. “Man, that must’ve been some party on the flight home.” “Brad, we have a no-drinking policy on our flights,” Brady said. “By the time we got on the plane in San Diego, every player had a computer at his seat with next week’s opponent broken down position by position. That flight home is the best five hours we’re going to get to prepare for next week. Monday will be taken up with a lot of physical rehab. Tuesday is taken up with a lot of PR and endorsement stuff. If we waited until Wednesday to start getting ready for next week, we’d have already lost. There wouldn’t be enough time.” That’s what single-mindedness looks like on a team level.




Monday, October 17, 2016

JIM JABIR: BUILDING YOUR CULTURE

We were blessed this weekend to have Jim Jabir as our guest speaker at the Gary Blair Coaching Academy. Coach Jabir had two sessions with our coaches, one on Building Your Culture and the other on The Phoenix Transition Offense.  Here are a few notes from his lecture on culture.

Goals vs. Process

Goals can cause you to lose sight on what you need to be doing at that moment.

It's like climbing a mountain.  If you are constantly looking at the top of the mountain as you climb, you're going to misstep and fall.  They key is to keep your eye on each single step and step by step you'll arrive to the top of the mountain.

What do people see when they see your team?

You must have a philosophy/program of substance -- it must be bigger than the game.

Coach Jabir wants his program to represent unselfishness, intelligence and playing hard.

Important to control what you can control.

Greatest compliment he's received as a coach was at a recruiting event.  He was on another court when someone came up to him and told him there was a "Dayton player" over on court 1 -- meaning there was a player that displayed the characteristics that this person related to being a Dayton player.  When Coach Jabir went to the court to check the player out, it turned out to be one that had committed to him earlier.

First thing he did when getting hired at Dayton was write "FAMILY" on the board and then outline all that it meant.

"Greatness comes from being consistent in your belief system."

Coach Jabir wants kids that love each other and will win because they want to win for each other.

It's a game of trust.  You can't love someone you don't trust.

We talk about "what" but we don't talk about "why" enough.

Great leaders inspire action.

It's not enough to give a kid a role -- you have to help them understand it and it's importance.

Has had the opportunity to observe Geno and the big thing with him is that he challenges them every day.

You can't be good at everything...what's your team equipped to do?  Work on that.

Are you "complaint" or are you "compelled."

Everyone says they want to play fast but do they want to do all that it takes to successfully play fast...painful work...discipline.

Archie Miller sign in locker room "Do Your Job" (Patriots)

Don't hype your opponent -- be factual.

Advancing in the post season is believing in what we do.

Coach Jabir doesn't use conditional statements -- doesn't say "if."

You need a certain level of stress to succeed.  Create stress levels in practice but reward them when they get it right.

Be in the present!

Can't be afraid of making a mistake.

Great players aren't great by coincident. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

WHY ALABAMA RARELY FLUCTUATES

There is one thing noticeable in process-oriented coaches -- they remain the same regardless of the outcome of the game with their team.  The final score has little say in the evaluation of the team's performance.  And this makes an impact on the the players and their own evaluation.  They just aren't satisfied with winning.

This was brought out in a recent New York Times article on Nick Saban and the Alabama football team.  After defeating #20 Southern Cal 52-6, Saban said, “If you want to know the truth about it, I wasn’t pleased with the way we played.”

Running Back Damien Harris has obviously bought in the process-oriented culture when he said, “At the end of the day, if we’re not playing our best, then it’s not a good game.”

Coach Saban is interested in dominating your opponent individually and collectively one play at a time.  The result of that type of philosophy is a player like Calvin Ridley saying “We have to get better and keep working,” after a 34-6 victory over Kentucky.

Always looking for improvement.

As written by Marc Tracy:
“We have to get better and keep working,” wide receiver Calvin Ridley added after a 34-6 win over Kentucky on Oct. 1 during which Ridley, a sophomore, caught 11 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Saban’s perpetual dourness is only somewhat surprising. The coach, among the best in college history, preaches “the process,” one that takes apart complex goals, such as winning a game or a national title, into their smallest possible units and perfects them. For the Tide, that means emphasizing the flaws in single plays over more salutary final results, such as the four national championships Saban’s Tide have won in the past seven seasons.
Although Saban’s personality is anything but Zen, his outlook can seem rather Eastern, reminiscent of the koan that states: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
“What we try to do with our players is be very technical about the things that they did well and get them positive self-gratification with those things,” Saban said recently. But, he added, the team does not overlook mistakes “just because we won the game.”
Harris said the players imbibed this message.
“That’s how he is, that’s how he coaches us, and that’s how we are as a team,” he said. “We enjoy our victories, but at the end of the day, we watch film, we see the mistakes we made, and we’re not satisfied.”

And then there’s this from Greg McElroy, an ESPN commentator who played quarterback on Saban’s first national title team at Alabama, in 2009, who said it helped to know that nothing would alter Saban’s disposition — the same things would be demanded no matter a game’s result.
“He’s the same guy after a big win as a crushing loss,” McElroy said. “That’s why the team never really fluctuates.”
He added: “I’m not kidding when I say this: We could be playing Texas in the national championship game or Western Carolina, and it was the same guy.”
Or as an enlightened Saban might put it: Before beating Auburn, practice hard, study film; after beating Auburn, practice hard, study film.