Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

The 5 P’s of Success

Posted by admin August - 29 - 2014 - Friday

Game day! Our Word of the Week is PREPARATION. In my talk to the team yesterday, I shared how essential following the “5 P’s of Success” is in life. Oh… Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!!! Notice the emphasis on Proper. I always ask them if this statement is true: “Practice makes perfect.” Some of them always fall for it! Why? cuz, it’s one of those “sayings” that gets repeated and just becomes accepted as being wise and true. But… it is NOT! The only practice that makes perfect is… perfect practice!

We spend a lot of time encouraging hustle during practice. We run everywhere. Once they’re off the practice field they can walk. While on the field, they run. We talk a lot about focus and paying attention to details. If a player has a missed assignment, we go back and correct it. All of these things are reminders that our practices must be performed at a high level— physically and mentally. We watch game video of our opponents and show our players keys to look for. With Hudl, we encourage them to watch video at home. We give scouting reports and game plans, etc. and etc.!! We review a lot in practice so everyone is comfortable with that game plan. We always make sure that we have a back-up ready at each position. I don’t care what type of athlete he is, we just want someone ready to go on the field in an “emergency” situation. He knows how to line up and he knows his assignment. Take care of the details, coaches!

Then last night, I got home and saw this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated on the table. NFL Preview week! I immediately turned to the article on Russell Wilson of the Seahawks. Since he is from my home state of Virginia, it was of particular interest. About half-way into the article, the writer talked about Russell’s relationship with his dad. There were 2 slogans that Harrison Wilson hammered into his son. I only remember one! and… that’s because it hit home so powerfully with what I’ve been “preaching” to our players all week. The slogan is: “Separation through preparation.” WOW!!! That’s exactly why I hold “preparation” in such high regard. It’s how you separate yourself, your team, your organization from the rest of the pack.

One other thing. I heard this one years ago from Lou Holtz. I’ve mentioned on here before that “Daddy Lou” was my head coach at William and Mary. It was his first head coaching experience. One thing he said a lot was “Failing to prepare is… preparing to FAIL!” PROPER preparation has been a hallmark of my coaching tenure. I want our players to go out there Friday night and have a “been there; done that” attitude! Nothing surprises them because we have spent the time during the week getting them ready.

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