Stanford sports performance coordinator Shannon Turley (2011 FootballScoop Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year) has helped the staff (both under Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw) breathe new life into the Stanford football program since coming to The Farm in 2007. Each and every Saturday, the Cardinal have consistently been one of the most physical and disciplined teams on the field.
To develop that mindset, Turley and the staff believe in ensuring that every player become a "technician."
"We define being a technician as being a guy who is going to concentrate on the factors that he can control. Things like his technique, effort, attitude, mental discipline...all of the intangibles that essentially take no talent to master." Turley explained.
Beyond the intangibles, being a technician also includes putting the proper fuel in your body to make sure it stays running all day, properly warming up individually, and making a conscious decision when your alarm clock goes off in the morning.
"One thing that we teach them is that in the mornings they set a deadline as to when they're going to wake up, and the alarm goes off and you've got a choice. Your first choice of the day. You're going to be a winner, or you're going to be a loser."
"A winner is going to snap up out of bed and have a great day. A loser is going to hit the snooze button." Turley says.
This is a very good overall philosophy. Get your players to understand these things, and your they'll not only be more self aware of what it takes to be successful, but leadership and discipline within your team will improve tremendously, and your players will enter game feeling as prepared as they've ever been. Even better yet, they'll be very well equipped for life outside of football.