Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: Culture Defeats Strategy

Randy Jackson, the head football coach at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas, wrote a new book on culture that is a must read for any coach who wants to improve his or her program. Coach Jackson has been a very successful football coach and has done a great job of turning around programs at every level in Texas.

The book had some actual actionable ideas that were beneficial to me as a coach and to our players. Coach Jackson talks about how they build mental toughness and drive competitiveness in their program. Everywhere he has been he has built programs that have beaten people they shouldn't beat. What intrigued me was watching them beat a couple of programs they had no business beating. Not just beating, but hammering them. They had a 145 pound kid toting the rock and an offensive line that looked like our freshmen team. But they flat out got after it.

The book gives you a specific process for how they divide their year to create culture. Coach Jackson has demystified culture and how it is built. He talks about practical application of concepts he has used to turn programs around by building mental toughness and accountability.

That's the thing about this stuff. There are a lot of people that talk about culture like it's a mystery. Culture is simply the attitudes and behavior attributes of a particular group, team, or organization. It exists whether you build it or you don't. Every day we are building a culture within our programs. You build a culture by design or by chance. It all starts with relationships, but it goes far beyond that. I visited a Tom Hermans practice at Houston and they talk heavily about culture. I read Urban Meyer's book Above the Line last spring and it was tremendous. Nick Saban and Pete Caroll have great books. What do they all have in common... Culture. They talk about having a process for building your culture. Randy Jackson gets the importance of culture.

I learned the hard way how culture mattered. We had 7 D1 kids back early in my career and went damn 5-5. It was a disappointing season because we had the talent to win it all. We had in fighting and leadership issues. We had selfishness. We had really talented kids that were mentally not tough. We researched in the off-season about motivation and building leadership. We visited a very good program and they talked about "culture." We had no clue what "culture" was. We made a few adjustments, set some new standards of performance, and held our guys accountable. We then dove in a little bit further the next year. It changed me as a coach. What it did do was allowed us to coach our kids harder than ever before and push them to new limits. The atmosphere around the locker room changed. Guys worked harder. They played harder. We won more.

That's the thing about culture. You may never use the word. What do you want your program to look like? How do you want your kids to perform on Friday night? How mentally tough do you want them to be? Answer those questions and design your program to produce that. That's what culture is about. That's the point of Randy Jackson's book. Your culture is more important than your strategy in determining your success. Your system doesn't matter if your guys don't play hard. Your talent level doesn't matter if you don't play hard. Your talent doesn't matter if your kids are selfish. That is why your culture is vital.

Coach Jackson's book will give you roadmap for building culture with your program. He gives you tools you can use immediately with your players to begin building a the culture you want within your own program.

I highly recommend this book! It will help make your program better! You can order it by going to http://coachrandyjackson.com.

Shameless pitch for my own books...
A while back I published a couple of iBooks that can help your program with X's and O's. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense. Here is a link to the iBooks version: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1078061959. The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense. I wanted these books to be affordable, so they are priced to be easy on your pocket book!
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the Amazon version for the Kindle. It has everything except the embedded video. You can order it here: http://www.amazon.com/Installing-Explosive-Concepts-Into-Offense-ebook/dp/B01B12YSCG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I also wrote a book on Tempo. It will greatly help you build a multiple tempo system with simple communication that will allow your kids to play with confidence. It also had over an hour of video clips! You can order the ibooks version here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1075902270.

Order the Amazon Kindle version here:

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