In the post-win news conference after Alabama beat USC in the 2016 season opener, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban shared insights on the team preparation and attitude that are important for personal and professional success.
- Focus on your internal scoreboard, not the external scoreboard (wins, praise, hype, rewards…).
- Continually improve your skills and performance, especially when you’ve had success.
- Challenge your experienced personnel to improve their performance and mentor the younger players.
- Train your inexperienced team members early and give them practical experience so they will be ready to step into their expected role at an unexpected time.
- Develop a disciplined proven system of excellence that focuses on what you can control, infuse it into the culture, then trust the process to prepare you and your team for any challenge.
“If you want to know the truth about it, I wasn’t pleased with the way we played. And, again, you know, if you look at your internal scoreboard rather than the external scoreboard and you say, “What do we need to do to improve? What do we need to do to get better?” Well, you just get satisfied with the result that we got. So you don’t take coaching, you don’t try to improve, you don’t think that there are things that we can improve on, then we’ve got some really tough games with some really good teams. If we don’t get better, we’re going to struggle. And we play some of those teams in very tough places to play.
So my focus with our team right now is what can we do better? How can we get better? How can every guy improve? How can we get more guys to play better? And, look, I’m happy that we won. And I’m proud of our team for beating a good team. And I don’t want you to think that I’m not. …we have a lot of young guys playing out there now. If you notice, when those second teams went in, there was a whole bunch of freshmen out there. Well, those guys are going to have to grow up, all right. Because they’re going to be the depth of this team. And, if we lose players, they’re going to have to play. So we’re going to need those guys to improve dramatically.
And I think every guy needs to look at what they can do to get better and make their unit better and their team better. Look, you’ve got to trust in the plan, you’ve got to trust in your teammates, and you’ve got to trust in yourself that you can do your job on a consistent basis. And our consistency wasn’t always great, you know, tonight, especially on offense. So it’s definitely something we need to get better at.”