“I think the real postive self-gratification you get is seeing people perform, accomplish, become more than even they thought they might be. And that’s sort of why we do this.” -Nick Saban, three time national champion.
I came accross this quote in the aftermath of last night’s snooze-a-thon of a national championship game. It spoke to me. I do not consider myself a Nick Saban fan, but I have great respect for his coaching. He has built dominate programs at LSU and Alabama, and from afar my impression of him is great clarity. By that I mean, he builds his teams upon clear principals….suffocating defense, dangerous special teams, and ball control offense. He recruits big, fast athletes and gets them to play with accountability and character. He is tactically adept and seldom outcoached in a big game. He knows all of this. It is his blueprint to success.
The talent in this is to sell his players on this blueprint season after season. College football involves constant turnover of personnel, and every individual who has played for Saban is that…an individual. Some better than others, and some worse. In selling his blueprint to each of his teams he builds the collective, and through that the performance and accomplishments follow.
As a coach, it is important that you build a collective, a team, something that is greater than the sum of the parts. It is the collective that succeeds in sports, and it is the collective that creates the bonds and memories that linger after the final whistle.