Good coaches win their fair share of games for a few years, followed by some down years, and the cycle continues. What seperates the good coaches from the great ones is the ability to build a program, and then maintain it.
Earlier today I came across this article from USA Football, where they highlight the four stages to building a program, and then follow them up with some great details and examples from coaches and players that have been through the process.
The article lays out the blueprint for building a program that Urban Meyer got following a phone call to his mentor Lou Holtz just after being tabbed to take over the Bowling Green program.
As most seasons come to an end, this is some quality stuff to reflect on.
The four stages are as follows:
1 - Learn how to compete
From the article: "Remind your team each day what your cause is. What are you playing for? Why are you putting in all this work? Your cause should transcend wins and losses."
2 - Learn how to win
From the article: "Discipline on the football field manifests itself in taking care of the football, winning the turnover battle, managing the clock, eliminating or minimizing costly penalties, playing fundamentally sound football for four quarters and finishing opponents when you have early leads".
3 - Learning how to handle winning
From the article: "Confidence is knowing what you’re capable of doing, knowing that you are prepared and have the skill set to achieve what is expected of you. Arrogance often exists in a false reality, and it can lead to complacency and unpreparedness."
4 - Learning how to be a championship level program
From the article: "If you can build a program that is rooted in a cause greater than any individual or team and communicate to each individual that they will live a greater, more successful and more meaningful life from being a part of the cause, then you have something special. Something worthy of celebrating: A championship-level program built upon champions in football and life."
Head over to USA Football to read the full piece, with plenty more insight including some insight on Nick Saban's team goals at LSU just before their national title season.