Urban Meyer on How to Approach a New Leadership Position

From Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports:

Urban Meyer is one of the top three coaches in college football. He has taken two elite programs, Florida and Ohio State, to national titles in his coaching career. At each of those stops, he was entering the head job soon after a legendary coach had left the role.

One of Meyer’s proteges, Tom Herman, is starting his first year as the head coach at Texas, another heralded football program. Herman slipped up when he said publicly to not expect a quick turnaround given the team he inherited from the previous regime.

That led to this smart thought by Meyer:

That’s like, when I got here, everybody wanted me to say Jim Tressel left the cupboard bare…If I heard any assistant coach [say that], they’d be gone. You’re done. Those are your players. I hear TV guys [say], ‘Wait until they get their own players in there.’ They’re our players. What do you mean ‘their players?’ The minute you sign a contract, they’re your players.

You didn’t choose me, I chose you. You’re mine, absolutely. I love you, and I’m going to kick the shit out of you, and we’re going to do it right …[Blaming players] drives me insane…

I’ve advised my coaches when they take new positions [to] always be extremely complimentary. Never talk as if those players aren’t your players


One-off Bits of Advice Picked Up from Various Podcasts

Los Angeles Clippers basketball player JJ Redick: Your performance and your team’s performance improve when you decide you are playing FOR your teammates and not WITH your teammates. Note: this same perspective is used to build bonds within units of the military, and I’ve seen elite football coaches like Urban Meyer apply it by breaking his 85-man team into smaller subsets to make it easier for players to identify a small unit they are playing for.

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball manager Dave Roberts: As a leader, there are three things your players are looking for from you: (1) Can I trust this person? (2) Does he/she care about me? and (3) Can he/she make me better?

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