This is conference championship weekend for college football.  As I watched ESPN’s pregame shows I gleaned  the following 17 Habits Of Highly Successful Coaches:

  1. Highly Successful Coaches Are Always Looking Forward, Not Backwards – “The first game (against TCU) you learn from it what you can but it really doesn’t matter tomorrow. Tomorrow’s its own game.” -Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
  2. Highly Successful Coaches Know Greatness Is Required From Their Best Players – “Greatness.  That’s who he (Sam Darnold) is, especially when the lights are bright… I’m expecting him to be totally great tonight.” – USC head coach Clay Helton
  3. Highly Successful Coaches Knows What Situations Matter The Most – “The ACC Championship game.  This is when they matter… It’s the biggest game of the year.  It’s good on good, best on best.  That’s the way a championship game should be.” – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney
  4. Highly Successful Coaches Respect Opponents Enough To Properly Prepare – “They have a lot of respect for this team we’re playing.  The greatest way to show respect is to prepare and play your very best.  They’ve prepared.” – Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer
  5. Highly Successful Coaches Have Smart Players – “We have to be smart.  We have to be sound.” – Stanford head coach David Shaw
  6. Highly Successful Coaches Stick With Their Process – “The same things that won those other 11 (games) is what it’s going to take to win this one.” – Coach Swinney
  7. Highly Successful Coaches Demand Alignment Throughout The Entire Organization – “The biggest thing you have to have is alignment from top to bottom.  I’m talking from the president all the way down to the receptionist in the football office… Know what your standards are.  Know what your expectations are… Everyone knows what you expect out of them and what you demand out of them on a daily basis.” – New Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen when asked by Kirk Herbstreit what is the key to sustained success and avoiding complacency.
  8. Highly Successful Coaches Survive And Advance – “It’s all about advancing.  You’ve got to go play your best so you can make the next game more meaningful.” – Georgia head coach Kirby Smart
  9. Highly Successful Coaches Value Hard Work – “Whatever happened a couple of weeks ago has nothing to do with what’s going to happen this game.  It has to do with how hard you’re going to play tonight.” – Coach Mullen on rematches.
  10. Highly Successful Coaches Instill Belief In Their Players – “Just go back in there and let it rip.  You have to believe.” – Miami head coach Mark Richt on his quarterback recovering from a poor performance last week.
  11. Highly Successful Coaches Limit Mistakes – “If Miami ends every drive with a kick and don’t turn this ball over they’re going to be in this game (against Clemson) because they have a good defense too.” – North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren
  12. Highly Successful Coaches Are Always Recruiting Top Talent – “What have to focus on is what we can do right now and that is focus on recruiting.” – Alabama head coach Nick Saban
  13. Highly Successful Coaches Channel Their Emotions – “Channeling your emotions in the right direction is the most important thing you need to get the execution needed to play in a game like this.” – Coach Saban
  14. Highly Successful Coaches Trust Their Players – “When you play in big games you have to trust your players.” – Coach Saban
  15. Highly Successful Coaches Are Always Looking For An Advantage – “The running game is relatively simple when you run the spread but the defense has to declare itself so the offense always has a better opportunity to always get in the most advantageous play.” – Coach Saban
  16. Highly Successful Coaches Are Disciplined – “The discipline in eye control is what you have to have to play good defense.” – Coach Saban
  17. Highly Successful Coaches Love Their Teams – “I love UCF and I love Nebraska and those decisions are hard.  But more than anything I love these players and this team.” – UCF and presumptive Nebraska coach Scott Frost

What is one thing you learned from this list which will make you a better leader?

To receive more leadership insights from Coach Saban, click HERE or on the image to the left for my new ebook The Leadership Of Nick Saban: Timeless Truths From The Incomparable Head Coach Of The Alabama Crimson Tide.  Enjoy!

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