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).
Dr. Kevin Elko
Self-regulation of Motivation and Action through Goal Systems