Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2

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³So when you put the four fingers up.scribd.´ Saban said the day after the victory over Texas. discipline. . ³The thumb is pride. discipline. effort. When Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram bulldozed his way into the end zone with a secondeffort touchdown on the play after the timeout to extend Alabama's lead to 10 points and put the national title game on ice. On the cover of the workout manual issued to UA players nearly 12 months before the BCS National Championship Game was played is the image of a gloved hand.Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2 http://www. They were on the cover of the spring workout book distributed to every player and reinforced several times throughout its pages.. at least you're going to be moving in the right direction when it comes to work ethic. Cochran was sending a signal that harkened back to nearly a year before when preseason conditioning drills began with grueling daily workouts.´ A lot indeed. The values were constantly underscored during the team's offseason workouts and in meetings. It means fourth quarter.. and your mind kind of does whatever you tell it to do.. 2 of 14 9/4/2011 11:43 AM . ³and I think that most people who have passion for something as important to them is what gets them to commit to something. And behind the Crimson Tide's national championship season were the concepts of commitment. commitment and effort and toughness ² that's the four fingers. ³Discipline. toughness and pride. the toughness and the discipline to execute are probably the key ingredients to any Motivational speakers were brought in to further bolster the message. and I think the same ingredients would be necessary to be successful in anything. but something far more specific. ³I think that intangibles are probably really important to being a good competitor. that's what it's all about. with each digit marked with one of five values.. ³The effort. I think those are part of your character and who you are.´ Constant theme Alabama players were conditioned to embrace the five values not just as words.´ Cochran said. Those five values were designated by head coach Nick Saban as the building blocks of the program from the moment he was hired in January of 2007 with the mission of taking the Crimson Tide back to the national title game. ³So once you have the passion and the commitment. trying to make good choices about what you do and what you don't do. it marked the culmination of a year's worth of work designed to prepare UA players for just such a moment. but there's a lot more to it. but as guidelines. The message wasn't the traditional ³fourth quarter is ours´ commonly signified by the four-finger salute late in games.

that toughness. ³So you're hearing it four or five times.'´ That commitment goes beyond football.´ Saban didn't settle on the five values when he got to Alabama. ³I wanted to go somewhere else. that discipline.J. Players and coaches raise four fingers at the start of the fourth quarter and it means something to all of us. µYou just need to wait your turn. She told me.´ Saban wrote in his 2004 book. it's everywhere. They were also key to his 2003 national title run at LSU. ³These core values. ³One hundred percent reinforcement... ³In order to be a successful student-athlete.´ Cochran said.´ Receiver Marquis Maze. ³You're going to see me teaching it in the classroom to them .´ said punter P. we are virtually unbeatable because of our program. but I stuck around and it paid dividends for me because I was committed to the program. then the next thing you have is we're on the field and you hear it again.´ Cochran said. He arrived in 2007 as a highly-touted prospect who had produced more than 3. ³At times when I was sitting out I wanted to leave. everything you have. who just completed his sophomore season.´ Discipline The value of discipline is about making the right choices and following them with action. having the coaches committed.scribd. ³How Good Do You Want to Be?´ ³When we take the lead into the fourth quarter. I talked to my mom and she was committed. ³You've got to be committed to get good grades. allow our players to be at their best in the fourth quarter of games. You've got to be committed on the field to learn your assignments and execute them. that effort. everything you become is ultimately the result of the 3 of 14 9/4/2011 11:43 AM . ³Discipline is to do what you're supposed to do the way it's supposed to be done.´ Cochran said..Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2 http://www.000 yards and 30 touchdowns in his final two seasons in high school. you've got to be committed to time management. but sat out his first season as a redshirt. when applied to offseason conditioning.´ Commitment ³Commitment is being committed to the program. Just be committed to the program and yourself and you'll be successful. learned about commitment before he ever set foot on the field for Alabama. Fitzgerald. that pride. Beyond the field. A page in Alabama's 2009 spring workout manual addresses the concept: ³Everything you do. ³That's the players committed to the You're hearing all about that commitment. these five intangible values are what we expect our young men to exhibit in the classroom and in life.. when the game is on the line. ³It's not just on-the-field stuff.´ Maze said.

but there's mental toughness. That's what is going to make you successful. ³Everybody's got a role going down from the starting quarterback even to the water boys. There's not always going to be someone to make you do it. effort is the one players are most expected to cultivate on their own. ³Everything you do. It doesn't matter who you are.scribd. ³You've just got to give it. ³You have to have discipline in everything you do in life. right there. ³You have to have discipline to do things on your own. who just completed his sophomore season. or not going out and partying and all that kind of stuff. How will you use it? What's your choice?´ If there is one value Saban stresses above all others when he addresses his players. that's toughness.´ Cochran said.´ said defensive lineman Lorenzo Washington. everything you have.Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2 http://www. obviously. another 2009 senior. ³Coach Saban always talks about discipline. really. ³talent alone won't get it on this level.´ Of the five values. 4 of 14 9/4/2011 11:43 AM . every player. ³That's something everybody has to bring. who just completed his senior season. ³If you don't give effort.´ said receiver Mike in conditioning drills and on the practice field. ³Nobody is born with it. battling that heat. You have to give effort to do anything in this world.´ said Maze.´ Linebacker Cory Reamer. ³Just pushing yourself through that last rep and that last sprint during winter conditioning or summer conditioning.´ Even those who don't get to play have to demonstrate effort. ³If you have to do scout-team work. doing the right thing and having the discipline to do it all the time.´ said Travis Sikes. it may well be discipline. Discipline is one of the most important aspects you can have. You have to have discipline to do it yourself.´ it reads. you have to have effort to do your work and give the (starters) a good look so they can do their job during the game. was toughened by the same process. ³There's physical toughness. a wide receiver who just completed his junior season and has been on the field for only a handful of plays in his career. Effort turns good players into better ones. or being able to balance all your school stuff with practice and being able to block outside distractions during the year.´ said offensive lineman John Michael Boswell. everything you become is ultimately the result of the choices you have made. That's a big part of it.´ Effort ³You can't coach effort. ³You have the power to direct your life..´ Toughness Alabama's toughness was forged by the rigorous offseason conditioning program that began last January.´ Effort is what separates players in the weight room. a senior on the national title team..

When Saban talks about players buying into the program. the coach who administers Alabama's conditioning regimen. you've got to point to pride.´ said running back Roy Upchurch.´ said All-American offensive lineman Mike Johnson. Just pushing through whatever adversity you have. you automatically have a sense of pride. everybody was fatigued. ³We're going to develop all that.´ Washington said. ³On the last play of the game. but the constant reinforcement of the values of commitment.´ it proclaims. another 2009 senior. Cochran. The 15-play. and that gives you a tremendous sense of pride and sense of accomplishment. was toughened by the same process. he is talking in large part about embracing those values. ³Yea Alabama. ³We're going to make it difficult so it's going to be tough. that's what toughness means. 79yard drive to that score was fueled by pride.´ The glue Alabama's national championship run was a product of successful scheming by coaches and athletic play by players.´ Pride Alabama's football history. is steeped in pride.. Johnson said. toughness came into play. ³When you're down in the fourth quarter against Auburn and they're threatening to ruin your season. 5 of 14 9/4/2011 11:43 AM . people were tired. with the school now claiming 13 national championships. ³It glues you in on what you want and tells you to never give up because there is a bigger goal and bigger prize at the end. ³Pride is something you have as soon as you come to this program. ³When you're out there running and it gets hard and you're questioning yourself on whether you can do this or who just completed his senior season. ³It's something when you sign on the dotted line to come play with a program like Alabama. We just had to put everything on the line. Linebacker Cory Reamer.´ promotes this value: ³You're Dixie's football pride.Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2 http://www. effort. the Crimson Tide trailed Auburn from the opening moments until scoring the game-winning touchdown with 1:24 to go.´ When Alabama was holding on in the final minutes of its 12-10 victory over Tennessee.´ he said.scribd. a 2009 senior. ³It's just putting it all on the line to come up with a win. Crimson Tide. you've got to have the toughness to push through.´ Even the school's fight song. said the program was designed with toughness in mind.´ he said.´ he said. ³We just had to finish the game. toughness and pride served as a foundation. discipline. In the game where Alabama came closest to defeat. Terrence Cody blocked a last-play field-goal attempt to preserve the Tide's perfect record.

scribd. They all go hand-in-hand with everything we do in this program.´ said Reamer.. ³You always hear those words coming out of Coach Saban's mouth. 6 of 14 9/4/2011 11:43 AM . He emphasizes it a pretty good bit. embracing those values.´ Reach Tommy Deas at tommy..deas@tuscaloosanews.Nick Saban's Blueprint of a Championship Part 2 or at 205-722-0224. ³There's a lot of stuff you have to buy into and I think those five things are what you talk about the

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