Video: Marin Catholic Highlights vs. Analy
Great programs are built from the ground up and the foundation is truth and honesty.
One of my favorite books is "Think Like A Champion: Building Success One Victory at a Time" by Mike Shanahan, the ex- NFL head coach.
He wrote it after winning back to back Super Bowls as the head coach of the Broncos. If you haven't read it, check it out. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
One of my favorite quotes is: "Without truth there can be no trust. Without trust, there can be no relationship. And without relationships, the chances of achieving success decreases dramatically."
You and I have both been a part of teams who were built on strong relationships, and other teams who were not. I can attest to the fact, and I'm sure that you can too, those teams with strong relationships usually overachieve. Teams without strong relationships usually underachieve. This is a truth that exists at every level of football.
Telling the truth to your players is the foundation of building a relationship. If you don't have a good relationship with them, that truth is hard to tell. It is like an endless circle.
Telling the truth to your players starts in the offseason. Tell them what your expectations are, what your attendance policies are and hold them to those things. If you tell them that you are not going to play if you miss a certain amount of workouts, and then Johnny Superstar misses those workouts, but you let him play, you lied. You didn't tell the truth.
Tell the truth to your players in your actions. If you tell them that you're going to be somewhere, then be there. Maybe it's meeting them in your classroom at lunchtime for tutoring, or going to watch their baseball game. If you fail to show up, you lied to them.
Tell the truth to your players on the field. There is nothing worse than downplaying an opponent to try to build the confidence of your team, and then getting whooped by that team. What will your team think of your words about the next opponent? Tell your players the truth about their route running, their efforts on getting down the field on kickoff and about their attitude. The more a coach tells the truth, as long as that truth is accurate, the more trust they will build with their players.
Head coaches need to lead the way in building relationships with their players, followed by assistants. If the players know that relationships are important to the head coach, then they will know they need to make relationships important to them.
And as Coach Shanahan says, these relationships are all built on truth.
Telling your players the truth is an important part of the process of building trust which leads to a strong relationship. When players wholeheartedly trust their coaches, they will play harder for them, they will try harder for them, they will do whatever it takes to make their coaches happy.Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.