One of the key changes in sports over the last few decades has been the advances in strength and conditioning. The Iowa Wrestling Blog gave us some insight into how the Hawkeyes are getting the job done with Travis Rutt as their strength coach.
Wrestling is very unique in that the goal is not put on a lot of weight, but to get stronger.
As someone that has studied the science of strength and conditioning, I can say Rutt is right on with the goals of strength training for wrestling to be gaining strength without the mass. It is different than most other sports.
Lane Kiffin was in a lot of ways a wonder kid. He rose to be an NFL head coach faster than anyone, then went to Tennessee, before bolting for USC. He was confident and excited and he rubbed some people the wrong way. He worked hard and jumped at opportunities and had an attractive wife, he made millions. The son of one of the greatest defensive coordinators ever in the sport, many people thought it was handed to him.
I am a Lane Kiffin fan. For many reason but one of the most impressive things about this guy is his willingness to learn. Too many coaches are just set in their ways and I believe it hurts the players and sports. I also believe, if USC had stuck with him, he would have gotten things going.
1. Be a team guy.
2. Be a good listener.
3. Take corrective criticism.
4. Discussion is good. Arguing is a waste of time. Discussion helps the team improve. Arguing exists only to prove who is right.
5. Be totally organized in the meeting room. “If the players show up and I don’t have the film ready, that tells them that I don’t respect them and don’t respect their time.
6. Don’t waste time on the field.
7. Be on the details. Stress the little things.
8. Be accountable to your fellow position coaches.
9. If your head coach gets on a player and you hadn’t explained it to him, take up for your player. He’ll respect you for it. Kiffin was big on this, and all player-related issues. For example, if a wide receiver does not make the proper sight adjustment and the head coach and coordinator jump on him for it, his wide receiver coach may be tempted to join them in hopes of looking good in front of the head coach. Terrible idea. “You just lost him for the day,” Kiffin said. Instead, “say, ‘that’s my fault, coach, we’ll haven’t been over that yet but we will after practice’,” said Kiffin.
10. Stay positive. It can be a long season, so stay upbeat.
11. Don’t get in their face. Be demanding, but in the right way. Kiffin said he used to mother(blank) players after mistakes, but doesn’t anymore. “He didn’t want to drop that pass, he wasn’t trying to drop that pass, so why would I (blank) him for it?”
12. Be respectful to the down-the-line players. Carroll taught him this one by always playing catch with a reserve players during breaks in practice. When he and Steve Sarkisian asked why, Carroll told them small acts like that can swing the whole locker room in the coaching staff’s favor. The starters buy in by default since they’re the ones that suck up all the playing time, but winning the down the line players over pushes the whole team forward.
13. Do not put players on the board to draw up plays. The ones that aren’t good at it, Kiffin said, know they aren’t good at it and, when they inevitably draw up 10 players instead of 11, get humiliated by the rest of the room.
14. Be honest with the players. Don’t BS them. “Don’t build a player up into something he’s not.”
15. Never tell a player he’s going to play and then not play him. What happens here is two-fold, Kiffin said. If you tell a safety he’ll play in the third series, then fall behind 14-0 and fail to play him, A) that player knows you don’t really trust him and B) he’s probably told his parents he’s going to play, and now you’ve got an issue on your hands with him.
16. Take it one year at a time. Sign on and don’t look back. Whether you’re at a place you like or a place you don’t, make the best out of it and learn something from it.
17. Have a passion for coaching. Don’t punch a clock. Carroll taught him this one. He created an atmosphere of “want to” versus “have to”; players and coaches were excited to show up for work at six in the morning. You’re going to be there anyway, so why not make it fun?
The reinvention of Lane Kiffin
Coaching is a form of teaching and working in an organization. I saw a pretty solid list of tips for assistant coached and was amazed at how many of the tips related to communications.
“Coach using the 8 “Cs” of coaching – composure, clarity, communication, certainty, confidence, compassion, creativity and calm.”
After my years as an assistant, I thought this is solid advice from both sides of the desk.
Much has been made of Mark Schultz lately, there are three movies out in the last few years one as a major motion picture, one from Flowrestling and one on Netflix. With that it has become easy to forget just how good Mark was and how much he sacrificed for his greatness. In this clip Mark teaches some technique with a young Cael Sanderson, it’s a sneaky trick but it works well.
From the recently retired and very succesful Gary Pinkel. He built Mizzou into one of the strongest programs in college sports.
The University of Missouri Coaching and Teaching Responsobility and Philosophy
- Let Your Players Know That You Care About Them!
- Trust is earned, Not Guaranteed.
- Communication is the most important thing between you and your players.
Developing a great relationship is vital for our team success.
- Lead By Example. Be A Good Role Model To Your Players
- Honest = Respect = Loyalty.
- If you’re not 100% honest, you will have no credibility.
- You Must Get Your Position To Believe That You Are The Best Coach And Teacher In The League. If The Players Don’t Believe, We Won’t Win.
- We Must Be Great Teachers
- What you see on video is what you have coached. You are a teacher!
- Your teaching is evaluated by your player’s performance.
- Professors can have A, B, C, D, F students. We must have all A’s.
- Keep things simple. Don’t over coach. Find the best way to teach. Teach fundamentals.
- Our goal is that each player masters the fundamentals at his position.
- We Know What Must Be Taught – Staff Growth. Improve Schemes, But Have A Philosophy And Sell It To The Players
- Utilize Teaching Aids
- Change up procedure of meetings
- Must use teaching aids
- Video Breakdown (find a way to use it).
- Marking Boards – accuracy of diagrams is critical – 75% of learning is visual.
- Practice and Scrimmage Video
- Training Video
“We’re creating a system that we’re never teaching a kid how to fight through (tough times). There’s a lot of kids who should transfer for the right reasons. But 3/4 of the kids are transferring because they didn’t get enough shots, didn’t get enough ball, didn’t do this or that. We’re helping create a society of, when the going gets tough, you bolt and leave.”
Finding a job in coaching is not very different than other professions, you network, you apply and you follow up. Tom Thomas of the executive search firm Cardinal Advisors shared his thoughts with the American Football Coaches Association in a two minute warning podcast a few years back. Here are his notes.
You can listen to the full interview here.