Jimbo Fisher: 'It isn't what you know, it's what they know'
Jimbo Fisher sees three major components to coaching college football: recruiting, coaching and player development. Coaches, by and large, excell at the first two. But, to Fisher, player development is the most forgotten, and the most important.
"We love recruiting, getting out of the office, being social," said Fisher. "We love coaching ball, but it's player development that gets overlooked."
The first step to player development, says Fisher, is getting them to buy in and eliminating complacency.
"How do we take all these 'me' guys and make them 'we' guys? That's what player development is for," Fisher explained. "Kids today think they've arrived. You can never be satisfied. You can never arrive."
To reach that point, Fisher relies on communication and honesty. He said he meets with each member of the roster once a semester to discuss the player's goals in all facets of football and life. "We may agree to disagree, but we're going to know where we're at," he said.
Fisher goes to great lengths to build a culture of honesty and trust at Florida State, and he gets there through a two-way street. First, he deals honestly with his palyers. "You can never coach a kid until he trusts you. That doesn't happen by lying to him," said Fisher.
Second, he ensures that his players are honest to his coaches by first making them honest with each other. Florida State has implemented 14-to-18 member unity councils, for which players have to answer to any time they violate a team rule.
"These kids can lie to you because they've been lied to their whole life," Fisher said. "The guy that's hard for them to lie to is their teammate."
Combine those factors together, and you create a player that is ready to be taught.
"A coach is a teacher. It isn't what you know, it's what they know."