Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Having a Program Motto

I think that as the head coach of a program it is important to have some type of saying or motto that exemplifies what your program is about. It is not ALL that your program is about, but the big overriding idea of your program. It gives your program an identity and it gives your players a sense of purpose/direction. It shows everyone involved in the program and outside of the program exactly what direction you want to take the program. This motto could come in a wide variety of sayings that cover a bunch of different topics. Every coach is different, and there are a ton of different things you could go with, some I have seen before are as follows:

"The climb is hard, but the view from the top is awesome!"
-This motto shows that the program is about working hard to get to the "top of the mountain" whatever that mountain is for your program - state title, conference title, etc. I do like this one, it's common but was Coach Vix's (Rushford-Peterson Hall of Fame Coach) when his team made their last title run.

"Defense wins championships"
"Have you run your offense today?"
-These sayings tell people that we are all about defense in order to be successful.

"You may never be what you could have been"
-Saw this on a t-shirt once and loved it, says that we are going to work as hard as we can to be the best we can be. Kind of neat but depressing at the same time.

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"
-Typically a football team one, but I have seen some basketball teams use it. Says we are going to be mentally/physically tougher than everyone.

"Runnin, gunnin, and stunnin"
-This motto says we are going to out run and out score our opponent. Typically used if you run an up tempo offense.

-Another I love. Simple but says our program is a family.

"Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing"
-I have seen this one before, but do not like it. What happens when you have this as a program motto and don't have the talent to win? It sends a message you are not meeting your ultimate goal. Also, it sends a message that nothing else, not people - not effort - not excellence - not integrity, matters all that matters is the W and however we have to get it is fine.

But now that I have accepted the job as head coach at South Tama County HS, I have to decide what I need to have for our program motto here at STC. For me it is an important decision because it will impact the next 5, 10, 20, 40 years I am here at STC (until they kick me out anyway). So after much debate, I came up with the following: Be a Champion: every practice, every game, every play, every second, every minute, every day.

I borrowed and modified this saying from my biggest mentor, Coach Fergot from LaCrosse Central HS. I think it says to a T what I want our program to be about. I want our program to be about doing your best every single day in every single thing you do. That is what being a champion is about to me. And we are not going to just play like champions here, we are going to be champions. Not taking the easy way out, not daying a day off, but always doing things to the best of our ability all the time. So this motto sums that up, that we are going to always give our best effort in everything we do as individuals and a program, on and off the basketball court.

Below is something I put together for all the players in our program. They are printed off on 8.5x11 paper and laminated. Each player in the program will get one; I want them to hang it somewhere where they are going to see it every day and think about what it means.


jwellner said...

Congrats on the teaching job John! Wish you all the best. Enjoyed the post as well. When I was a head coach at New Ulm for a year, I used "MINDSET" something that I took from the Monson and the gophers the year they were successful. Each letter stood for a different concept. I also had the players wear the "livestrong" bracelets (instead with mindset) on them everyday and practice. Good Luck in Iowa and keep the posts coming!

JohnCarrier said...

Thanks Coach!! I appreciate the congrats and the nice words.

The MINDSET thing, what exactally was it? I like those kinds of things as well for locker room signs. Don Meyer has one for ATTITUDE that is pretty good. So if you could figure it out I would be greatful.

jwellner said...

It was the following...
Motivated - The difference between a successful person and other is not a lack of talent,but a lack of will.

I signed - There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy, and that is its only reward. (I used this to help get away from minor violations)

New Ulm -You always represent yourself, our town, the school and everyone associated with the community.

Discipline- Little disciplines multiply to become great rewards.

Sacrifice -There is a price to be paid to accomplish anything of significance. You must be willing to pay the price.

Enthusiasm - A positive attitude is like a magnet for positive results.

Team -It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when no one cares about who gets
the credit.

I took over a team that had won 8 games in 2 years. I remember asking Monson how he got players to buy into the program after finishing last in the big ten and this it what he told me. He also mentioned that he never used the words last year with his players. If he did or anyone did, they owed 10 pushups. I did the same thing and it help keep me positive and thinking (as I told the team all the time) new year, new team, new mindset.

JohnCarrier said...


Thank you so much for the stuff. Will definately find a way to put something similar into play for my guys this year - obviously can't use the "New Ulm" part :)!

John Carrier

bruchu said...

Coach, congrats on the job.

JohnCarrier said...

Thanks Coach bruchu! I am very excited to be at STC. THe people here are amazing, the kids are great, and I think it's a place I am going to be for a loooong time. I would like to be here until I'm dead or fired!

Thanks again for the congrats!