Friday, November 5, 2010

Nick Saban: The Process

Passing along a great link provided by Trevor McIntyre, detailing elements of Saban's program manual and how it influences players at Alabama.
Blueprint of a Champion Article

Though Saban isn't the only coach to use such intense indoctrination methods to build a positive-peer culture, this is an insightful look at how to lay a detailed foundation of expectations, behaviors, motivation, and mental processing to build a consistent product. Some of the insights regarding player expectations outlined in the article can be heard here and also through the 2010 ESPN "All-Access" special.

Some choice excerpts from the article;

“It's almost like you're being brainwashed into, 'This is how you play the game, how it has to be,'” [Colin] Peek said. “Those stories, those messages, and how that relates to us are reiterated by the coaches. It's a motivational tool to bring it home to us.”

“In short, perceived self-efficacy is concerned not with the number of skills that you have but with what you believe you can do with what you have under a variety of circumstances,” Bandura wrote in his 1997 book, “Self-Efficacy, the Exercise of Control.”

“Discipline, commitment and effort and toughness - that's the four fingers,” (Scott) Cochran said. “The thumb is pride. “So when you put the four fingers up, that's what it's all about. It means fourth quarter, but there's a lot more.”

The manual is obviously not just the sole creation of Saban, but a collaboration from his entire staff, selling a united message. Even at the high school level, there are many valuable tenets to essential program building to be garnered from this lesson ( framing competition, staging strength & conditioning, positive mental imagery, leading with purpose, etc).

Additional Links:
Dr. Kevin Elko
Albert Bandura
Self-regulation of Motivation and Action through Goal Systems


AJ Hamilton said...

Shot in the dark but I am an assistant coach at an inner city public school and think my players could use something like this to explicitly set expectations. Anyone have a copy of this or something similar that I can work from in creating my own?


Coach Hoover said...

A good place to start would be to get a copy of Saban's book, How Good Do You Want to Be? Also, hope Brophy doesn't mind my shameless plug, but check out my site ( and look at the resources under Football Program Manual.

Coach Hoover said...

From Brophy's article link, found a book that could be good, too - Vision for Victory: A guide to Becoming a Football Champion by Dr. Kevin Elko, who has helped Saban with some of the content in his manual. Anybody read it?

Trevor said...

Thanks for the credit Brophy. I'm glad I could be of some help in finding a good article for y'all.

brophy said...

slight nuance, but I believe the Bandura publication about Self-Efficacy is a wonderful example of why many best-intentioned 'moral' mentorship/classes HS programs beat their chest over MISS THE POINT.

It touches on positive output not through compliance or piusness, but through performance and self-empowerment.

brophy said...

With regards to AJ Hamilton.....
If you can find a copy, lemme know...I'd love to see it.

However, the 2001 LSU playbook, the first 20 pages or so kind of go over the exact same thing. I doubt something like this would be copy & paste appropriate. It would have to be a supplement to what you are already teaching the kids in your program. It may be better served to develop short chapters (nutrition, S&C, visualization, etc) by your staff, using the language you guys will be using, than to introduce a foreign voice (dissonance) with teaching concepts.