Sunday, August 28, 2011

Coaching Knowledge Project #4 Bill Snyder

Over the last few summers, I have started taking notes on some of the coaching biographies and books that I have read. One problem that I have had over the years is that I read so much and look at so much different info that I don't ever retain the knowledge for future use. I will read about a drill or a philosophy and I will think "Hey, that fits pretty good with my guys. I wanna use that this year." Then I will lay the book or the info to the side and forget all about it.
             Earlier this year, I began to compile & organize these notes & axioms into a single document. Ideally I would like to eventually have a notebook that I could add to each offseason and look at again each pre-season as I reevaluate my program. I thought that as part of this blog and my compilation efforts, I would share some of the things that I've found.
           These are quotes about coaches, quotes from coaches about their influences, and outside observations on coaches and their programs. Some of these are Hall of Fame coaches, some have losing records, and some are career assistants; all have good things to offer.

In the 1990s, Bill Snyder left the offensive coordinator position at Iowa under Hayden Fry to become the Head Football Coach at Kansas State University. He is widely regarded as steering the biggest turnaround of any college football program in history. This is good stuff by and about Bill Snyder:

·         He was clearly organized, had a vision and an expectation. Visible toughness was demanded.

·         The idea was that if each one of us found a way to make that daily improvement, then individually we would grow, which means collectively we would be growing.

·         Some guys didn’t stick. Snyder didn’t view those guys as bad guys or guys with poor character. To them, it just wasn’t worth the price, which was ok to admit.

·         It was a way of showing how we cared and we were going to do everything possible to help them live their lives in a positive manner.

·         When we came to Iowa, every visual image of the past, and losing, had to go.

·         The players wore blazers. It is a way of saying, “I’m going to do my part.” It demonstrates a professional presence and sets an example for the players in the program. To the players, it’s likely that everyone they have known in their life that wore a suit held some position of authority.

·         Win your games and you’ll get where you want to go.

·         Being persistent in what you believe in, sticking to your guns, and when things are bad, finding a way to make them better.

·         His attention to detail and his organizational skills on a day to day basis were just astonishing

·         Commitment - We wanted everyone committed to a common cause.

·         Unity - There was a commonality of purpose and caring about one another and our team.

·         Toughness – There has to be the ability to get thru and extend that breaking point.

·         Expectations – But if you do collectively prepare to win; players & coaches there is every reason to believe that it can culminate in success.

·         Leadership - On a football team, you want only 2 groups, Leaders & Followers

·         Improvement – Do something each day to help you improve in each of the key areas.

·         Eliminate the types of mistakes that we had total control over.

·         Expect more out of ourselves than anyone else.

·         Responsibility – The responsibility comes with holding yourself accountable to achieve the things that you have control over.

·         My message to the team was the greater the investment, the greater the pain in defeat, and I didn’t see any great pain. The pain was going to be equivalent to what you’re putting into it during the course of the week.

·         No task was beneath me. I wanted our players to know that. It was about setting the example.

·         What I assessed the year on was steady improvement made during the course of the year individually, and to some degree, collectively and that we had gotten ourselves into the fourth quarter with a chance to win in four of our games.

·         Confidence is a quality that allows abilities to surface.

·         We didn’t all of a sudden become a better football team. We were a better football team by first being individually better, and then collectively better.

·         The secret to success is constancy of purpose.

·         He had such attention to detail for absolutely every facet of our football program.

·         Here is what we expect the opponent to do, and here is what we want to do.

·         This was a way to have players perform under pressure. You knew they were going to answer most of the questions right, which allowed the team to gain confidence.

·         Make sure you take 5 minutes today to come up with something that can make you a better coach. Practice was to be thought through with a sense of purpose.

·         We play with one heart and eleven heads.

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