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How do you Build Culture?

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Coach Kyle
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I just read about Mahonz Promise Keepers, where he has players make a promise and symbolically add some grass to a coffee can. I also know about the crunch bar, where the player with the hardest hit gets a crunch bar. What other traditions do you have that shape your team's culture? Or perhaps it doesn't even have to be traditions? How do you build culture?

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

I just read about Mahonz Promise Keepers, where he has players make a promise and symbolically add some grass to a coffee can. I also know about the crunch bar, where the player with the hardest hit gets a crunch bar. What other traditions do you have that shape your team's culture? Or perhaps it doesn't even have to be traditions? How do you build culture?

Mahonz recently started awarding and artichoke at the end of games. No idea who gets it or why, but kids and parents seem to love it.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @coach-kyle

I just read about Mahonz Promise Keepers, where he has players make a promise and symbolically add some grass to a coffee can. I also know about the crunch bar, where the player with the hardest hit gets a crunch bar. What other traditions do you have that shape your team's culture? Or perhaps it doesn't even have to be traditions? How do you build culture?

Mahonz recently started awarding an artichoke at the end of games. No idea who gets it or why, but kids and parents seem to love it.

Oh, I sure hope it's not for the reason I think.  😮 


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

Mahonz recently started awarding an artichoke at the end of games. No idea who gets it or why, but kids and parents seem to love it.

Oh, I sure hope it's not for the reason I think.  😮 

No, no no.  Far from it. About 3 games in, we became the "Fighting Artichokes", named after Scottsdale Community College. One player gets an artichoke after the game. Not a stuffed artichoke, or a plastic artichoke, but an actual artichoke from the produce section.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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chucknduck
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I'll just speak for myself.

I only want good hearted coaches.  I don't care if they've never played or coached before.   I also don't care if they played in the NFL, if they're an A-hole, they've got to go.  The less ego,  the better.  One egomaniac can ruin your culture. 

The best players and the worst players get the same amount of reps and attention at practice.   The worst players probably require a bit more attention in fact. 

We will platoon as much as we possibly can.  No primma donnas and no scrubs.  No player is unimportant and no player is too important. 

No players are minimum play players.  They all have a role.  They are in a set rotation.  They keep rotating in and out after the mpr has been met.

No arguing with officials.  We live and die with what they call.  We do not beg for calls.

No standing around at practice.   We are a no huddle team and we practice all phases like a no huddle team.  We want as many reps as we can get in practice. 

We don't condition.  We're not going to waste time running back and forth across the field at the end of practice when that time could be used to rep our plays up and down the field.

The way we use our entire roster probably isn't the best recipe for taking a team to Florida.   I'm not coaching for national titles. I doubt very many parents sign their kids up to win national titles.  Plus, we do ok in the win-loss department. 


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @coach-kyle

I just read about Mahonz Promise Keepers, where he has players make a promise and symbolically add some grass to a coffee can. I also know about the crunch bar, where the player with the hardest hit gets a crunch bar. What other traditions do you have that shape your team's culture? Or perhaps it doesn't even have to be traditions? How do you build culture?

Mahonz recently started awarding and artichoke at the end of games. No idea who gets it or why, but kids and parents seem to love it.

Ah....you missed game one. Actually Hesse started it game one when he brought me an artichoke from the produce section. So i decided an artichoke award for something fun that happened away from the game was in order. After the game I gave it back to him as an award because he lives in a squirrel cage. 😀 Ice is up next for his 2 ugly girlfriends story. 😎 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago by mahonz

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
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We let our players and parents know what we demand, what we like to see and what's important to us.  Then we reward it when we see it.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
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ANYTHING that is considered team building and I am all in. 

The last few years we have traveled to scrimmage one team in particular. Their field is about 6 blocks from a DQ. I happen to know the manager so I give her a heads up and at 7:30 she closes the lobby portion of the store and we take over. Free anything for everyone. Its mayhem....sweet beautiful mayhem. We have a very generous sponsor that covers that $500 bill. One season we made the trip twice.  

I also will do at least one early season pot luck after practice. Couldn't do it last year due to COVID. First time it didn't happen in probably 20 years. 

Banquets must be blowout type Events. Anything less is simply not worth it. Last year we co-op'd with another team and rented an entire indoor mini golf arcade facility. We had to wait until the end of January due to COVID but it happened and the kids had a blast while the parents felt COVID safer. 

Hiring a team photographer is a must and have a designated film guy for each game. At the time its seems unimportant and excessive but in 10-20 years it will be like gold to every player. Every player gets a copy....used to be all VHS...then DVD....now thumb drive.  This is money VERY WELL SPENT and now quite a bit less expensive than the old days. I typically luck out and find a College kid in school to take the pictures. A parent films. We supply the camera. Im an archive everything Coach because I have run into enough former players...some with young   families of their own that mention this.  

Stuff like this makes each season a bit more memorable IMHO and has nothing to do with X' and O's but is all part of the atmosphere. I have also learned its rather painless to find sponsors to cover these costs.  Door to door never works....selling candy bars....forget that chit...work your own Network and you will be surprised. People are more than willing to do it for the kids. Just have to ask them and most will become  repeat sponsors every year. I have one sponsor who is on year 15. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
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Under Mahonz, I've learned to appreciate the pageantry. It does matter to the kids. Some examples:

Helmets:  When our players arrive to the field (practice or game), they stage their helmets in a straight line, facing the field. Why? because it looks better than dropping your helmet wherever. The team pays for any helmet that is not where it should be. It takes awhile, but pretty soon, you have kids telling each other to fix their helmet. That's great, but what's really special is when the "that's not my helmet" stops and you see kids fixing helmets without saying a word. That shows they are thinking about the team before themselves.

Break Down: Our breakdown is a ritual. We've been doing it the same way since I joined and I'm sure it was done that way long before then. We're at the point where the kids do it themselves. It's important to them and it's important to me. I always chuckle when I hear other teams do a breakdown lead by a coach, and it's clear he has no plan and it ends with a weird "ran out of things to shout" vibe. Our players recognize this and I think it's a big reason we have kids coming back every year despite our W/L record.

Rope Ceremony: The beginning of the season, we strip the helmets of last year's team logo. At some point before the first game, we have our rope ceremony and new stickers are awarded as a symbol that we have come together as a family. We bring some twine and invite a player to break a single strand, which he does easily. Then, we put 25 strands into a rope (or however many kids we have) and invite him to break that, which he can't. Several kids will volunteer to try and break the rope. They all fail. The lesson is that individually, we are easy to break, but together, we are impossible to break. Then, each player is given their own strand that is taped to their shoulder pads next to their heart to remind them that they are part of a rope that can't be broken. At the same time they get their strand, they get their helmet back with a new sticker.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coach Kyle
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Posted by: @coachdp

We let our players and parents know what we demand, what we like to see and what's important to us.  Then we reward it when we see it.

--Dave

Dave, you're all about culture. I've seen your power points and heard your speeches. You're unrivaled on the topic. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @coach-kyle
Posted by: @coachdp

We let our players and parents know what we demand, what we like to see and what's important to us.  Then we reward it when we see it.

--Dave

Dave, you're all about culture. I've seen your power points and heard your speeches. You're unrivaled on the topic. 

"Culture" (which is an overused word in coaching circles nowadays, and means a variety of things to a variety of people) is the single most important aspect to establish for a successful program.  We used to call it "atmosphere," but regardless it's why I have already met (in person) with every incoming player and parent(s).  Whether we met at the school, or at their home, parents have been extremely receptive to being invited into our program and learning about the what/when/where/why/how of our approach.  They now know what's expected and both players and parents are on my page.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Coach Kyle
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One of the things I remember, I think it was from DP, they would have the kids gather their A papers all week, and then they'd show it off in a group meeting. They'd read off their name and make some noise for them. I'm trying to think of a better way to signify it. I know Dave has a trophy. I think I'm looking for something more symbolic. I want people to value education for the uses of it. I want to think about how to symbolize that and promote it.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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@coachdp

Sounds like you're saying that to achieve a good culture you need buy in from the stakeholders (parents, players, and directors). It also sounds like you're saying that having a well defined approach is important to gaining that buy in. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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@coachdp

Sounds like you're saying that to achieve a good culture you need buy in from the stakeholders (parents, players, and directors). It also sounds like you're saying that having a well defined approach is important to gaining that buy in. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Posted by: @chucknduck

I'll just speak for myself.

I only want good hearted coaches.  I don't care if they've never played or coached before.   I also don't care if they played in the NFL, if they're an A-hole, they've got to go.  The less ego,  the better.  One egomaniac can ruin your culture. 

Amen

The best players and the worst players get the same amount of reps and attention at practice.   The worst players probably require a bit more attention in fact. 

Valuing each player equally is definitely a worthwhile value.

We will platoon as much as we possibly can.  No primma donnas and no scrubs.  No player is unimportant and no player is too important. 

No one above the team. Everyone does their role.

No players are minimum play players.  They all have a role.  They are in a set rotation.  They keep rotating in and out after the mpr has been met.

This is very impressive. I've never made this commitment to the kids. I typically play the best players and allow them to "earn their spot". I do a fair job of coaching the B team, and that's 90%  better than most in the equality department.

No arguing with officials.  We live and die with what they call.  We do not beg for calls.

I do love this. Frustration and whining is a poor example to set for kids. That being said, I don't know if "live or die by their calls" is necessarily a message I want to send. I want to understand every call and use it as a learning opportunity. Being inquisitive in situations of adversity is what I want to model for the kids. How do we grow?  

No standing around at practice.   We are a no huddle team and we practice all phases like a no huddle team.  We want as many reps as we can get in practice. 

Absolutely. I want a swim team like practice. Everyone is moving all the time. If they're not moving their learning. 

We don't condition.  We're not going to waste time running back and forth across the field at the end of practice when that time could be used to rep our plays up and down the field.

The way we use our entire roster probably isn't the best recipe for taking a team to Florida.   I'm not coaching for national titles. I doubt very many parents sign their kids up to win national titles.  Plus, we do ok in the win-loss department. 

 

Great Input Coach

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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