Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“We’ve Always Done It THAT Way!!!”

Posted by admin May - 23 - 2017 - Tuesday

A coaching friend of mine just got hired as the new head coach at a school which has been mired in mediocrity for at least a decade. He’s a fire ball and highly motivated so I know he’s going to work hard to “change the culture” at his new school. Whether he gets it done depends on a lot of things. One thing that I KNOW is a factor in success or failure is attitude.

You may have heard the axiom that “attitude determines altitude.” But did you know that this is part of the Law of Aerodynamics? The “attitude” (tilt) of a plane’s wings controls whether that plane rises or falls. It is the same with us. If our attitude is positive, we are likely to climb. Likewise, if the attitude of our “mental wings” is tilted downward (negative attitude) then we are likely to crash and burn.

I hear a lot these days about “changing the culture” of a program. What that entails is getting people to change their attitudes— attitudes toward work; attitude toward their teammates and… attitude toward themselves. If a certain mind set (or pervading attitude) is entrenched in too many people’s minds, it’s going to be very hard for a head coach to change it. Thus, the title of this post. Someone who’s been in the program says, “We’ve ALWAYS done it that way!” “Wellllllll… if you look at your record over the last 10 years, it’s pretty obvious that THAT way is not working!” should be your reply. However, even with reality staring them in the face, some people are going to be unwilling to change! Why?

Check this out: Psychologists placed 12 bees in a glass jar in a dark room. A beam of light was shown onto the bottom of the jar… and then, the lid removed! Instinctively, the bees flew toward the light and spent their time and energy attempting to buzz through the bottom of the jar— till they died! The researchers then took 12 houseflies and did the same experiment. Within seconds the flies found their way out of the jar! Yes, bees are smarter than flies and their survival instincts are stronger; yet, it was those instincts (“we’ve always done it that way!”) that doomed them to failure.

Assumptions, rigid thinking (Zig Ziglar called it “stinkin’ thinkin’!”) and force of habit can cause us to… here we go!… keep doing things that DON’T work and make NO sense! Don’t let your fears and preconceived ideas about how something should be done keep you from growing and ultimately succeeding!

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