Tony DeMeo

How Good Do You Want To Be? by Nick Saban

Nick Saban has been a highly successful “turnaround” artist. Turning around a college football program is arguably the most difficult challenge in coaching. Added to the challenge is the impatience in our society with the process. We want instant results. As great a coach as John Wooden was, he might not have had the chance to excel at UCLA in today’s culture. Wooden went sixteen years before he won his 1st championship. Saban successfully turned around The University of Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, and now Alabama,

Saban’s approach to coaching is clearly outlined in this book: How Good Do You Want To Be? I enjoyed the book and recommend it to all who are facing a turnaround situation but I would also recommend it to all coaches. The following are some key points that I got out of Coach Saban’s book.

Focus on what it takes to be a champion. Never get out-worked. Focus on the little things. Focus on the details. The process is just as important as the result. Play each play as hard as you can without looking at the scoreboard. What must we do to dominate for sixty minutes.

Make expectations clear and consequences laid out. Develop commitment, conviction, character, and attitude. Only a Positive Mental Attitude is allowed. Develop these qualities with a demanding off-season conditioning program.

Champions don’t belong on the ground. Win the day. How you play is more important than the score. Always stay focused and never let a distraction cause you to stray from your game.

Teamwork is the key to winning team sports. The best TEAM wins not the best players. Peer pressure is the best enforcer of the rules. The worry of “me” destroys a team. Success leads to wanting credit and recognition. Worship of stats is a sign of this “me culture”.

Raise standards and enforce them. Great leaders have to make tough decisions. Great leaders insist on excellence. They concentrate on vision and values. They motivate and inspire their tem every day. Build your program with “character guys”. You can only be a champion if you CHOOSE to be.

These are just a few of the ideas that stood out for me. Coach Saban goes into great detail throughout the book and is an excellent text on becoming better regardless of what your field or endeavor. I highly recommend this book and would go so far as suggesting reading at more than once.

Tony DeMeo