Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

The TRUTH About Success

Posted by admin October - 15 - 2014 - Wednesday

Sorry for those of you who check weekly. I had a mixup with my domain provider last week and I had problems renewing. We’re back up and raring to go!

I uncovered something on my desk this morning that I’d been saving. It was in my “football stack” and when I saw it, I had an ah ha! moment. I can’t draw the picture that is on the piece of paper, but… I’ll try to describe it.

The truth about success is: “Success is like an iceberg.”

Imagine a picture of an iceberg on a piece of notebook paper. People see THIS: and THIS would be a verrrrrrrrrrrry small portion of the iceberg protruding out of the water. It’s jagged edges and frozen peaks appear ominous. But… though it may be 20-30 feet high (think movie, Titanic, what you SEE is not necessarily what you get!!!

If you recall the sinking of the Titanic, the look-outs saw the “visible” iceberg strike the side of the huge ship and concluded that they were ok cuz it just grazed the side of the ship. However, they did not see nor did they know what was going on below the water!

That’s what my picture depicts so well. What really happens when it comes to the TRUTH about success is: what goes on beneath the surface!!!

If you haven’t seen a photo of a real iceberg, suffice it to say… there’s a LOT more there than meets the eye! A typical large iceberg (that one that hit the Titanic) usually goes down in the water for several hundred feet!!! Much more is under the surface than what you see above the water line.

So it is with success!!! There are factors that go into “success” (winning on Friday night; getting that big contract at work; that special moment when she says “yes!”) that we just don’t see. Such things as: taking risks, focusing on the details, setting lofty goals, persistence, overcoming failures, sacrifice and just plain hard work are all factors in experiencing success.

The TRUTH about success is: we often view just the “finished product!” We exclaim, “Wow! Another overnight success story.” When in reality, that person has been struggling for years to achieve success. Those people did the things that people didn’t “see” beneath the surface.

One of my favorite sports stories from my youth is the account of Jerry Lucas. Lucas was an all-american basketball player at Ohio State and went on to an all-pro career in the NBA. The thing about Lucas that got my attention was that when he was growing up in Ohio, it snowed a lot. Lucas had a basketball goal in his backyard. Even if it had snowed, he swept the court and continued to shoot 1000 jump shots every day. Oftentimes, he’d be late for supper cuz he was still in the backyard shooting jumpers after it was dark.

Lucas,thus, springs on the scene in high school and everybody raved about this prodigy. Little did they know about the countless hours spent on that backyard court shooting every day… snow on the ground and late at night. The TRUTH about Jerry Lucas’ success was “unseen” (under the surface of the water). The sacrifice, the hard work, the persistence carried him to tremendous success in his field.

I’ll conclude with a quote from the newspaper this morning. My old coach Lou Holtz was commenting about the success he had while at Notre Dame. The article was about ND’s failure to upend a number 1 team in the past 20 years. (They face Florida State this weekend, by the way!) The article said that Holtz told the writer that he was so successful against ranked opponents because he set high expectations. Holtz said: “It’s not rocket science. It isn’t about the coaches. Give your players something they can do and demand they do it. That’s all.”

I am working on getting our defensive players to be more aggressive and run to the football. We’ve lost our edge on defense. Sooooo… the thing I’ve given them that they can do (Coach Holtz’s mandate) is: we’re all going to pursue to the football and we are going to gang tackle— and it starts in practice. IF… they don’t do it (cuz I know they CAN!) the penalty is a few up/downs to “remind” them that they are expected to pursue and gang tackle. We can’t have one guy making a tackle while the other 10 gear down and watch!!! We’re going to demand that they do it. The reward will come on Friday night when we get back to dominating an opponent’s running game.

The truth about success lies under the surface… behind the scenes. As I’ve heard all my life: If winning was easy, then everybody would be a winner!

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