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Developing a culture

  • I’ve coached high school, college and professional athletes and the one thing that remains consistent at all levels is… those athletes that are humble, disciplined, respectful and have a huge appetite for competition are always successful on and off the field. In my 35 years of coaching I’ve never seen an athlete “mess up” that exhibited those qualities day in and day out. We can sit at our computers and blame parents, the environment that kids are brought up in or peer pressure (which I acknowledge all can play a part)….but in the end it comes down to personal responsibility and making choices. Otherwise, how do you explain the hundreds of adults from the suburbs that I’ve seen tossed from games for losing self-control and acting like idiots? I taught and coached at an inner city high school early in my career and my athletes were some of the most respectful, disciplined athletes I’ve ever coached. They did not look for entitlements and they did not receive any. They came from nothing and made a choice to make something out of themselves and used sports as a vehicle to get to college and where they wanted to go in life. And the one ingredient that they understood more than any other was the meaning of “consequence of actions”…..both positive and negative. Here’s something to consider…what if we spent more of our time identifying the great choices young athletes make and exposing and reinforcing those than the other way around?

    Watching D. Walker’s interview yesterday I saw a young man that will be extremely successful. He was humble and expressed thanks to God for his talents and was very respectful to his family and those who have helped him along the way. He seems focused in knowing where he wants to go and what it will take to get there and he’s not afraid of hard work and competition. I saw that same thing with O.J. and other players that have committed to us this year. It’s evident that CNS has been intentional in recruiting these types of players and to be honest…I’m just as proud of that as I am when we win a national championship because we’re not compromising important ingredients just for the sake of trying to win. Our players understand what’s at stake and have bought into the culture CNS has set. Character kids bring intangibles, leadership and confidence and it’s very contagious. And if you don’t think so just look at our other sports programs this past year!

    Do college athletes make poor choices? Absolutely. And we’ll have our share of athletes that will also. But how we deal with it when that time comes will determine the impact. When entitlements are granted and abused…that’s when coaches lose players and respect from their team. For example, if Hoke plays the players he suspended (in the opener) he will be compromising and sending the wrong message. He’ll lose a little bit of his team and compromise becomes part of the culture. Once done…he’ll never be able to get it back. Same goes for.......well, you get the picture.

    Right now, we’re witnessing that culture in action at awbarn. It’s called “consequence of actions”... or lack of.

    Sorry for the rant…..just had to put it out there.

    …couldn’t be prouder to be a Bama fan right now.

  • "Right now, we’re witnessing that culture in action at awbarn. It’s called “consequence of actions”... or lack of. "

    It's more like a culture implosion.

    I, too, am a strong proponent of individual responsibility. There are thousands who walk the straight line even though they came from very bad backgrounds, neighborhoods, etc. Unfortunately, too many in America have been taught to expect free rides rather than solid work ethics.

    You offer a good piece dgrewb

  • I see fans of other teams say that we cover everything up because our star players never get in trouble. Im of the opinion that you dont get to be a star at UA unless you buy into the program. If you dont have the right attitude you don't see the field. Who knows how good some of the guys who have left the program could have been? Or how good those that are here that were highly recruited but never see the field.

    I could be wrong and AJ could be holding up a liquor store as I type this but I believe this to be the case.

  • gatider12

    I worked for multiple years in a boys home where we cared for and taught abused and neglected teenagers, basically teens taken out of their homes by DHR and not eligible for Foster care (because of behavior). There is one lesson you need for teaching these kids, especially the ones that grow up without boundaries, to teach behavior you must have low tolerance.

    Saban has extremely low tolerance. He does not give it, you must earn it (another rule we lived by). Kids that lived with us did not GET television but it was a PRIVILEGE. They earned everything that they got and it transferred into life and school. I watched kids that had barely earned a C (most always F's in the low 30s and 40s) turn their grades into A's on a consistent basis.

    My point, these destructive cultures like the Barn break both rules. They do not have a low tolerance. They kick them off the team. Well, who did that help? Who did that teach? It is too late once they are kicked off of the team. They also give them everything and then try to "ground them from it" when they get in trouble. This is a disaster that is confusing for these kids and ultimately ineffective for the program.

    What good are "standards" if you are not, leading, guiding, and teaching to them each and every day? In short, these coaches in these other cultures are lazy and only want to deal with things when they get too far out of hand. You can see why Saban works so hard at a culture of accountability.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by gatider12 23 months ago

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  • ^^^^this and +1

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  • Solid post.

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  • These posts are spot on baby!

    +1 for both of you dgrewb and gatider12

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by hardnard 23 months ago

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