It was a great experience working with USA Football at the Arizona Cardinals Training Facility last week. We arrived at the facility shortly after 8AM and after a brief orientation began shooting the four video courses for USA Football Coach Academy.
In the next four weeks, I will share some of the information covered in the courses beginning with Setting Target Outcomes.
Using the term Target Outcomes in place of goals allows athletes to visualize the target they are aiming for and allows them to make adjustments when the target is missed. We begin by discussing how we create a Shared Vision for your players, team and program. Understand that a SHARED vision cannot be YOUR vision. We discuss how soliciting the input of players and coaches creates “buy in” and commitment in determining the vision. We complement Target Outcomes with Creating Performance Standards for the program, players, offense, defense, special teams and position groups so that everyone in the program understands expectations.
Then we discuss the importance of goal setting, why goals fail and why people don’t set them. We share different types of goals: short-term, long-term, process and performance. We note that goals should always be stated positively and not worded negatively. For example: earn at least one first down on every offensive possession, rather than stating NO three and outs. We addressed the step-by-step process of S.M.A.R.T. goal setting to see that goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. The course concludes with the importance of Monitoring Progress Towards Goals. Tracking progress for starters and non-starters, veterans and rookies shows all players that you care about their progress. Tracking also ensures that the goals stay relevant. Lastly, it exposes any change in training needs.
After videotaping the first three courses, we took a lunch break and had an all-you-can-eat buffet in the Cardinal’s offensive lineman meeting room. How ironic.
At the conclusion of production, I got to enjoy downtown Tempe, even though the temperature hit 110 degrees. The next day, I received the dreaded travel news…your flight is cancelled and your being rerouted. When life serves you lemons, make lemonade. The change in travel plans allowed me the opportunity to visit Arizona State University to tour their football complex, athletic training room, strength & conditioning facility and arena.
Although I spent most of my last night in a Chicago airport on a layover, missed a night sleep and did not get home until 6AM, it was a great experience I hope to repeat with USA Football.
Additionally, I look forward to sharing more about the programs I recorded for USA Football’s Coaches Academy over the next few weeks. Like the Target Outcomes discussion mentioned above, I’m excited to share the other programs and look forward to hearing your ideas about team building, goals, measures of effectiveness as well as some more detailed discussions of X’s and O’s!
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss summer OTAs, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!