The Ducks may add a bench or two under new coach Mario Cristobal, but Oregon still focuses on speed out West — hence a weight room not as expansive as some. There's a yard digital-sensor electronic track on the mezzanine level, one of the few in the world. The nest overlooks the practice field. SLIDE 1 of 35 Kansas Jayhawks. SLIDE 2 of 35 Miami Hurricanes. SLIDE 3 of 35 Georgia Bulldogs. SLIDE 4 of 35 Penn State Nittany Lions. Photo: Penn State Athletics Penn State's recent locker room update put a fresh coat of paint on out-dated digs and the Nittany Lions are planning for a Beaver Stadium facelift — years from now.
SLIDE 5 of 35 Florida Gators. Photo: Sports Now that Florida has one of the nation's nicest indoor practice facilities, it's time the Gators take the next step in college football's arms race. SLIDE 6 of 35 South Carolina Gamecocks. SLIDE 7 of 35 Michigan State Spartans. SLIDE 8 of 35 Kentucky Wildcats. SLIDE 9 of 35 Washington Huskies. SLIDE 10 of 35 Michigan Wolverines. Photo: Sports Hail to the Jumpman. SLIDE 11 of 35 Nebraska Huskers.
SLIDE 12 of 35 Oklahoma State Cowboys. SLIDE 13 of 35 Auburn Tigers. SLIDE 14 of 35 Florida State Seminoles.
Photo: Seminoles. SLIDE 15 of 35 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It is important this plan can be communicated clearly to assistant coaches as well as to each member of the team. There will invariably be peaks and valleys during this process.
During the adverse times, it is good to have a common reference written plan everyone understands and values. This should help in re-establishing the positive progress within the program. Accountability within the program is very important. Accountability is obtained by having a sound disciplinary policy and by enforcing it consistently. Fair treatment of all players is vital; from the Division I prospects to the players who may never see the field.
Any favoritism or unfair treatment will be noticed by other team members. This can prove to be devastating in starting a program and the credibility of the coach will likely be damaged. Assembling a quality coaching and support staff is extremely important. It is critical each staff member at the youth, middle and high school level understand the overall philosophy of the program.
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Establishing a family atmosphere among the coaching staff at all levels is important. It is beneficial if everyone within this family feels a sense of ownership. It is very important to have a positive relationship with the wives and family of each coach and staff member. Keeping the wives informed as active participants is critical to helping maintain a positive morale within the coaching staff.
At the beginning of each August, I provide each family with a calendar for the entire season.
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This calendar enables the coach and his family to plan their schedule throughout the season. The calendar will list the details regarding practice, meetings and scouting responsibilities. I have found if the wives are happy, the staff is also likely to be happy.
On the first Friday in August, I host a luncheon at a local restaurant and invite each staff member and their family to attend. Positive parental involvement is important. Keeping parents informed about important dates and events by email or the postal system will be appreciated. A relationship built on trust can be established by effective communication with the parents. When problems with their child occur, the parent may be more understanding since a prior network of communication had been established. Home visitations are the best way to develop a relationship of trust with parents.
A home visitation packet complete with game schedules, NCAA academic requirements and the program philosophy seems to always be appreciated. Community service and involvement can be another beneficial aspect of starting a successful football program. This can be performed by the coaching staff as well as by members of the football team. Visits to local churches, retirement homes and elementary schools are great ways to demonstrate you truly care about the community.
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Other methods are hosting youth football camps, hosting clinics for youth football coaches and being visible at sporting events other than football games. A quality off-season program is extremely important. In starting a football program, the first season will likely be tough. Whether successful or not, the first off-season is critical.
Each coach will provide a minute presentation to the team on what it takes to be a champion. Joe Montana got the ball, looked left, pump faked, and then threw right, where Rice was covered man-to-man in the end zone.
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It was a touchdown, and it won an important game for us. But it would not have happened if we had not been prepared. You need to have a plan even for the worst scenario. But you will always be prepared and at your best. But the same applies to virtually every situation at every point in the game. Say you are on the defense and inside your own yard line. The situation can vary, so there are a number of particulars you need to prepare for. You have third down and inches. Third down and feet. Third down and yards. Inside the yard line, all that changes, and inside the 5 it changes again.
Each situation is different, and for each you might have 15 different game situations to practice. You have to allocate time for all of them, you have to practice plays, and you have to work with individuals. One of the most impressive attributes of your 49ers teams was their ability to take what some people might consider a disadvantage and use it to their advantage.
Did you work on developing this skill? I can think of several cases where we consciously tried to work on the players to reverse what in football are usually crippling disadvantages. One was playing on the road. In football, the home-field advantage is often decisive.
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But we were able to bond together, play in enemy territory, and feed on the emotions of the situation, without being intimidated by the other teams or their fans. To accomplish that, I would condition the 49ers to adversity. We would talk about how it feels to fly into enemy territory. We would discuss what crosses your mind when you take the field. It allowed us to turn our status as outsiders into our advantage. When I talked with the team, I would use examples from the early days of World War II as illustrations of the desperate and heroic fights we could emulate.
By talking about what could be a disadvantage, we turned our people on. We made it an advantage. The other example is the injury factor.
Some teams come unraveled when a star player gets injured.