Keys to an undefeated season -- from Alabama Director of Sports Science

Discussion in 'GarryP's Trojan Huddle' started by ErikMcKinney, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Keys to an undefeated season -- from Alabama Director of Sports Science
    ErikMcKinney

    ErikMcKinney Administrator

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    Jan 13, 2021
    #1
    Matt Rhea, Alabama's Director of Sports Science, posted this to twitter. Thought it was interesting enough to post here:

    https://twitter.com/MattRheaPhD/status/1349390558586925062?s=20

    "Something I’ve been pondering today.... In the last 10 years I have been a part of 3 undefeated football seasons (Logan High School 2011, IMG Academy 2016, Alabama 2020). Aside from incredible coaching and very talented players, here are a few similarities that I noticed:

    #1- Player buy-in was very high. The players were totally committed to the process. We all want our athletes to trust the process but too often, the process is bad and they probably shouldn’t trust it (see #2 below). In all three years, this wasn’t a problem.

    #2- Player development system was outstanding. Not just the S&C program but coaches teaching players correct skills in the proper progression resulting in highly skilled, very prepared players.

    #3- EXTREMELY low injury rates and very few games missed due to injury. This is a product of highly effective methods and great collaboration between S&C and sports medicine. It can’t happen without both. Both must be aggressive, year-round, and very data driven.

    #4- Very few fights at practice. Some places view it as a badge of toughness when guys beat on each other at practice. By the end of the season they can’t stand each other. These teams were ultra competitive with each other but had the right amount of respect for their teammates.

    #5- Player availability was consistently high. This goes beyond low injury rates. Players were present and active in all lifts, training, and practices. Very few guys avoiding it or being held out. Alter the demands as needed but participation is very important.

    It has been such a great honor to get to work with amazing athletes on those teams that have become part of my family! And talk about lucky, getting to work for head coaches Mike Favero, Kevin Wright, and Nick Saban in one decade is incredible. Thanks to each one of them."
     
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  2. big_pete

    big_pete Points Member


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    #2
    Reading this 6 years into the Clay Helton experiment is seriously depressing.
     
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  3. LoyalTrojan

    LoyalTrojan Junior Member


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    #3
    upload_2021-1-13_23-12-44.gif
    Preemptive...
     
  4. Jay4usc

    Jay4usc Points Member


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    #4
    Please forward to Helton and Bohner
     
  5. Jay4usc

    Jay4usc Points Member


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    #5
    Here’s some info about there SC program.

    https://www.si.com/college/alabama/bamacentral/alabama-football-sports-science-center-high-performance-david-ballou-dr-matt-rhea
     
  6. GoSC27!

    GoSC27! Points Member


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    #6
    Thank you for the article. It appears that the results seen are the end results of successful program looking from the bottom up. Obviously our end results looking from the bottom up is very different.
    I think more interesting are the breakdowns by Urban Meyer each Saturday morning as he is giving his perspective from the top down. He is diagnosing organizational/cultural issues from the top that severely impact the end results at the bottom level and the program as a whole.
    When coaches interview for potential openings, they have to prepare a presentation pertaining to strategy, culture, and most importantly how they are going to drive their plan into action while also being accountable and also holding their assistant coaches accountable. They cannot go into an interview and say our goal is a championship and that is what we are measured on (Sounds Familiar).. Athletic directors, owners and GM’s understand that championships are the end product, but how are you going to get there or execute it, and drive your planned strategy down to the lowest levels. How are you going to deal when a process is broken. I.E. individual players believe they are bigger then the team or you have an assistant that has not bought into your strategy/culture.
    Lastly, it is also difficult to execute strategy when you do a 180 with your strategy. For instance changing your offensive identity from a traditional balanced offense to an Air Raid offense. Your recruiting strategy changes not to mention retraining the current players to a new offense. Some players become frustrated because they were recruited under different pretenses. This isn’t to say it is not possible to change strategy and still succeed. Once you commit, you have to do an implementation strategy and get buy-in from both assistants and players.
    Helton got his job by default under difficult circumstances. He did not have to present anything and he is lacking skills needed to be an effective head coach. He got the job, because he had a relationship with players and he understood the message about no more surprise embarrassments to the university. Essentially it was a convenient hire and also lazy hire by Haden. There were other qualified coaches out there that possessed those skill sets and the other skill sets identified by Urban Meyer above. Then, Haden’s successor added to the problem by giving him a one sided extension. Again, that was due to lack of experience having no prior AD experience.
    In either event, we hope to one day get those same outcomes, but it is highly improbable with Helton as our head coach! There are too many broken links that he does not know how to fix. In short he can talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk!
    Fight On!
     
  7. JImmytheGreek

    JImmytheGreek Junior Member


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    #7
    Pure BS. Alabama wins because they get the best players for whatever reasons.
     
  8. heyrev

    heyrev Junior Member


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    #8
    "Like a dog that returns to his vomit, so is a man that repeats his foolishness."
    Proverbs 26:11
     
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  9. Peete2Affholter

    Peete2Affholter Junior Member


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    #9
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    But seriously - I remember reading a couple of books about Coach Bob Ladoceur up at De La Salle HS in Concord, CA. When he first began that ridiculous 151-game winning streak (a total of 12 consecutive undefeated seasons) he did NOT have the best players around. It was later, when his methods and culture shone through as manifested in winning titles, that great players flocked to him and his program in the same manner they do for Saban at the college level.

    The De La Salle program shared basically every attribute the aforementioned 3 undefeated teams had. Aside from their excellent coach and players, they also had enormous buy-in from the players themselves. I recall one of the passages in the book where it said, "At most schools, even very successful ones, the team is driven by a core of 10-15 highly committed players who hold their teammates accountable, are coaches on the practice and playing fields, and generally drive the culture forward. At De La Salle, ALL of the players are as committed." That may be hyperbole, but I think it just shows the strength of the culture that Coach Ladoceur instilled at his program, that, no matter how talented you may be, you are NOT bigger than the team, and if you're not on board, well, we will just keep on rolling, with or without you.

    Helton's culture is definitely soft and weak on discipline. We see that in the numerous penalties, the antics when they make a routine first down, the fact that there don't seem to be any consequences for poor play or bad behavior. Add on top of that a healthy heaping of favoritism, and you see the stumbling, ill-disciplined, underachieving and poorly-executing mess we have seen on Saturdays for pretty much the past 4 years.

    And yes, Helton had talk until he's blue in the face about "championships being our standard" - but that sounds like every interviewee I've sat across the table from. "Okay - I like your enthusiasm for the job, and that you believe you'll be the best agent/rep/salesperson on my staff - but tell me HOW you plan to go about your work?" That is when I can see whether that person will actually be a competent, efficient employee, or is simply good at blowing smoke in an interview. Needless to say, most are the latter, like Clay Helton.
     
  10. Jay4usc

    Jay4usc Points Member


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    #10
    SC was rank top 5 in talent under Helton a few year ago and they never made the playoffs and had the most injuries. There’s no BS on having an elite SC program
     

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