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10/17/2012 9:16:00 PM -
Coaching = Life II

Yesterday I alluded to some of the things from coaching that have helped me out with life, and vice-versa. The first of these things is organization. The simple act of getting everything organized—at work, with coaching, at home, and everywhere else—has made a huge difference.

Think about this for a second. If you’ve either played or coached for a big time program (college or NFL) or you’ve been to one for a visit, what’s the first thing you notice? That everything is spotless. When you walk into a typical football office, there are very few things out of place. Yes, they can be “lived in,” at least to an extent, but most of the ones I’ve seen have been remarkably clean—with everything in its place. The same can be said, obviously, for most military facilities.

I’ve made a major effort to make things this way with our program and with my own life. Here are five ways I’ve managed to do that.

1. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. I go with a two book system for this—with one on my desk (it goes everywhere with me in my briefcase, too) and one smaller one that stays in my pocket at all times. From random thoughts to shit I have to remember, everything gets written down, including stuff I notice during practice. The notebooks I use for this are the basic black Moleskin knock-offs you can find at any office supply store. One regular-sized one, and one small one that fits in a pocket. Every night, I go through what I’ve written down and put it in its proper place.

2. USE A CALENDAR. As I said, I transfer all the random crap in my notebooks every night to where it all needs to go. One of these places is Google calendar. Our practices are planned out to the minute, too. Things don’t always go according to plan because we may find extra work we need to do in certain areas—that whole “we’ll be here all night until we get this right” thing—but for the most part, every minute of the day is plotted out at this point, both for practice and work.

3. USE SOFTWARE. This is another one I got from Dave Tate. Sometimes you can be driving, or otherwise incapable of writing shit down in a notebook, but you need a way to capture something you’ve thought of. Evernote is a perfect tool for this. I have an iPhone with Siri on it, so all I’ll do is tell it to email Evernote, dictate whatever I have to remember, and it ends up synched with the version of Evernote that’s on my computer. Another item we use for team task lists is Producteev. This lets you assign jobs to other coaches or coworkers.

4. KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN. I can’t stand clutter, and I work better in an environment where everything is clean and there’s a lot of space. Before I start working at any space, whether it’s in our office with coaching, or my office at work, the first thing I do is make sure everything is clean and shit is put away where it’s supposed to be. As discussed, I got this from observing several big time college coaches at work. Your first handicap in getting shit done is cutting through a mess, so the main idea here is to both give yourself a chance to be efficient and find everything you have to find—but also to maintain a working environment you actually want to be in. You also don’t want your players—or your employees—getting the impression of you as a coach or manager who enjoys wallowing in a shithole.

5. GET A FILE CABINET AND USE IT. This goes for just about everything—game tape, clinic DVD’s, practice plans, playbooks, you name it. Everything gets labeled and stored, because you never know when you’ll need it. This works the same way for bills, work documents, shit for your car, shit for your house, etc. Get storage stuff and make sure you have it all labeled and organized. Doing this was great for us, because we have access to everything we need, as opposed to having to dig through a pile of shit in order to get what we need to make cut-ups or anything else.

Angry Coach

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