Keys to an undefeated season -- from Alabama Director of Sports Science ErikMcKinney Administrator Staff Member Joined: Apr 17, 2018 Messages: 6,228 Likes Received: 15,737 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." Peete2Affholter, AMLTrojan and Troy70 like this.