Archive for December, 2011

Below is an email I sent to my coaching staff.  Our program is on the verge of becoming a strong program that is going to push young men to grow and be their best, not only on the field but off the field as well.  But we need to make some team culture changes and we need to improve as a staff as well.  The team can only grow as much as the staff grows, and ultimately as much as I grow.  If we want the team to take a step to the next level then as a staff we need to take ourselves to the next level.  This is why we have committed to reading books on leadership and influence over the break, and why we are attending the convention together as a staff.

This will give you some insight into what our goals are for the spring and what I believe are steps that our staff needs to take to improve…


New goals for Recruiting this Spring:

  1. Have the class of 2012 signed by February
  2. Have at least 10 individual visits on campus for the class of 2013 this semester
  3. Have at least 10 players on campus for the Junior Visit Day
  4. Get at least 20 recruits to our summer camps from the class of 2013
  5. Narrow down the 2013 recruiting class to 50 seriously interested players by June (right now we’re at 127), and organize them into our top 15 and 30.
  6. Get four verbal commitments for 2013 by August.
  7. Have our recruiting class of 2014 inquiries up to 30 seriously interested players by August (currently have 28, but may not all be serious)

 Also, I’d like us to have a series of meetings during the first week all three of us are back to discuss some changes I’d like to make to the way we do things.  A lot of it is based on the books I’ve been reading over break, but some are ideas I’ve been kicking around for a little while too.  Come in with ideas of your own too.  The main thing is I want us to start living up to the program creed “Experience the Difference.”  This needs to be one of the toughest places for players to play, and I want it to be the best place to play in the GPAC and the Dakotas.  We shouldn’t be fighting with local colleges for the same players.  It should be a no-brainer for kids that if they want to be the best they need to come to DWU.  To do this we need to change our team culture to play to the standard, not a specific opponent or school, but a perfect standard.

 After we get back from the convention I’d like us to do a series of meetings with the seniors and juniors to get their input into this culture shift.

 Also, start building up a store of youtube videos to use for film sessions with your lines (Stefan-keepers and backs; Dan- mids and forwards).  I’ve ordered film from the national tournament, and I’ve also ordered some additional film that I’d like us to watch as staff and break down for the players.  I really want us to make an effort to get into the classrooms this Spring semester with the players for at least eight hours total (in their lines, starters and reserves, etc).  We need to start explaining the player’s roles and expectations better to them.  They need to start reading the game better to make the best decision, not just good decisions.

 Finally, don’t forget about the books you’re reading over the break.  During our meetings when we first get back I’d like each of us to take a few minutes and talk about something we took away from the books we read that we can apply to the program in the future.

 Have a great break!  Safe travels as you guys are all over the country this winter break.  Thanks so much for everything you do!  The two of you have played a big role in the direction this program has turned and we definitely have not reached our peak yet!  It’s an exciting time for our program, and you guys are a major factor in this.


Quote of the Day

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle

With the season over I’ve had a chance to sit down and get back to reading some books.  One that I picked up was this book by David Winner.  It was a great book about the culture of the Dutch, not just their national past time.

Winner dives into the history of Total Football from its origins at Ajax and through the Dutch national team’s run of success in the Euros and the World Cups.  He not only explores the beautiful attacking soccer of the Netherlands, but he spends most of the book looking at the history of the country and the ties between Dutch culture and their football.

This is a great read for anyone who is a fan of Total Football, or soccer in general.  It’s a very interesting read that may approach the game in Holland a little differently than you’re used too.

Winner’s biggest interest is in the lack of success the Dutch have for winning the big tournaments.  Ajax had a strong run of success at the international level from 1971-1995 winning four European Cups/Champions League, especially the run that won them three in a row in 1971, 1972, and 1973.  But on the national side the Oranje have only experienced success once, winning in Euro ’88, but failing to ever lift the World Cup trophy in spite of being in the final three different times.

The world over agrees that the 70’s and 80’s marked the dominance of Total Football, but the culture seemed to lack the missing ingredient to make them world champions.  In fact Winner dives into the Dutch psyche to explore the lack of passion fans showed for the games themselves, especially the loses.

It was a very interesting read that was enjoyable to explore one of the countries that has impacted the game as much as any other world power.  I highly recommend this for anyone who is a fan of the Dutch or a fan of soccer history in general.