Over the last six years, X&O Labs has discovered that great programs work hard at avoiding one of life’s biggest pitfalls: poor communication. Communication is key to building culture. A football coach’s goal is to have a culture of success and accomplishment, with players expecting more of themselves and ultimately winning more games. Here is a tool to help you win more games.
By Research Team
“Games are often lost in four or five plays, communication and pride in
preparation makes all the difference in those few moments.”
Over the last six years, X&O Labs has discovered that great programs work hard at avoiding one of life’s biggest pitfalls: poor communication. Communication is key to building culture. A football coach’s goal is to have a culture of success and accomplishment, with players expecting more of themselves and ultimately winning more games.
To sum it up: Better Communication = Better Culture = Better Program.
Through extensive research and a handful of coaching interviews we believe we have found the best communication tool for coaches on the market: MaxOne.
We’ve talked about MaxOne before and continue to hear about it from our readers. We want to share how this tool is changing the way coaches communicate, train, and ultimately turn their programs into cultures of success. MaxOne is a multi-faceted tool that solves many problems for coaches.
A couple months ago we outlined how Coach Keith Badger is utilizing the MaxOne strength training features , now we are digging in to hear about best practices from another coach who utilizes MaxOne to “communicate and drive the culture of his program.”
Meet Coach David Brozeski, an X&O Labs’ Insiders member who recently made the switch to MaxOne. Here’s a quick intro to his program:
Name: Coach David Brozeski
School: Norwin High School (Class 6A)
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Conference: PIAA District 7 (Joe Namath, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Terrelle Pryor, to name a few)
School Size: 9-12th Grade - 1,650 students
Demographic: Middle Class
Time Coaching: 22 years
Head Coach: 4th Year
Notable Success: 3 straight playoff appearances
Below you can read dialogue we had with Coach Brozeski. We can all learn from his best practices when it comes to frequency of communication, parent communication, and how to share ideas with your coaching staff.
We’ve also worked with the guys at MaxOne to get our X&O Labs readers a FREE 20-day trial and have your account loaded with some great coaching resources. Head over to www.gomaxone.com and get started today.
X&O Labs: Coach, you have had some good success at Norwin in your first four years. You mentioned that communication has played a big part of this, can you tell us more?
Brozeski: I believe culture is the manifestation of consistent and clear communication. Building culture is key to forming well understood expectations and well understood expectations is the recipe for success.
X&O Labs: How are you building your programs culture? What made you think you needed to change?
Brozeski: Our league is a buzz saw, it is tough, competition is fierce. We finally got real and acknowledged that our performance wasn’t good enough. We all agreed that we wanted more.
We opened our lines of communication and began to have a discussion on our beliefs, our goals, and how we would get there. How could we get better? How can we get our athletes and our community to buy in?
Eventually we defined our goals. Our coaches and athletes made a commitment to play harder, to buy in, and to hit the weight room more consistently. We communicate as often as possible on this subject, including multiple texts and emails every week. As a result, we have made some progress.
Making the playoffs for 3 years in a row has been an accomplishment for us, but we are bettering our expectations now. Our goals are morphing. Now we need to expect more than just making the playoffs, we want more. Clear communication has been critical in changing our past behaviors and we know it to be 100% necessary in constructing our program’s future. This conversation will always be a work in progress, but it all starts with communicating more often and more consistently.
X&O Labs: How long do expectations take to be built?
Brozeski: I think expectations can be set immediately, but building the understanding of what it takes to succeed, including off-season commitment and classroom work, can take some time. We are changing behavior in ourselves and in our athletes. Learning to achieve, more importantly, learning what it takes to achieve, makes all the difference.
Expecting to make the playoffs is not enough; understanding the discipline and work it takes to get where you are wanting to go - that’s the test of life. Games are often lost in four or five plays, discipline, communication, and pride in preparation makes all the difference in those few moments.
X&O Labs: How often do you communicate with your athletes?
Brozeski: In-season, we are in contact with our athletes 6 out of 7 days on the field. We also send out messages for key events in-season like practice changes, game-day details, and motivational messages. In the off-season, I use MaxOne to communicate 2 to 3 times a week . I generally send out a message with an agenda and some motivation included. Then I will ping a few reminders and follow-ups. On top of that, I try to make myself as visible as possible, attending games, saying hello in the hallways, and keeping myself in the weight room four days a week.
X&O Labs: How often do you communicate with your assistants?
Brozeski: Culture begins with the coaching staff. We must be unified and have the same goals and it’s my job as the head coach to communicate this. Starting in January, we have a monthly staff meeting where we get together, scheme, and share materials. If we want to share materials outside of our meetings, we input them into the Coach’s Corner area on MaxOne so we can access on our own time. This serves as a virtual coaches’ meeting room for us and ensures we have access to the same materials and remain on the same page. We also share new plays, techniques, and drills we want to see implemented in the coming season; it’s critical to our success that all coaches carry the same knowledge and message.
Here’s a look at the resources that the Norwin staff is sharing in the MaxOne Coaches Corner:
X&O Labs: How often do you communicate with parents? How important is it to keep parents engaged and in the loop?
Brozeski: I copy parents on all communication with the athletes through MaxOne . If I am sending 2 to 3 messages a week to athletes, I am also making sure to copy the parents to make sure so they stay well informed. For example, If I am sending out the week’s agenda it is guaranteed delivered to the parents, and that’s great.
Communicating with parents is very important, especially in today’s world communication can never come often enough. I have kids of my own, and I believe the more communication the better. Parents want their kids to succeed and have a positive experience, so why not give them clear line of sight to our activities.
X&O Labs: Is building expectations in parents critical to building expectations in athletes?
Brozeski: I would say that consistent and uniform communication is necessary for the entire community to succeed. We must be on the same page, have uniform and consistent communication, and therefore similar expectations. MaxOne is the medium I choose to use and the medium I recommend to other coaches ; it works very well for us.
Athletes are not only getting reinforcement on the field and in the weight room but on their phones thru text and from their parents at home. We are in constant communication; we are building something great here, we are headed in the same direction. The app makes this process easier than it has ever been.
X&O Labs: When these athletes and parents graduate and think back on their experience what do you want them to remember?
Brozeski: Regardless of wins and losses, I want them to walk away having learned life-lessons and having had a positive experience. Football is unique to sports in that you practice 3 times as much as you play at minimum. It’s a grind, it’s tough, but it is special. You must work together toward a common goal, you must build strong relationships and bonds of trust, and you will be rewarded with accomplishment and lifelong memories.
A successful experience and successful football program begins and ends with an open dialogue, of this I am certain. To be a great football team you must communicate constantly, be honest, work together, build confidence in one another, and be dependent on one another to execute. I believe these actions mimic what it takes to be successful in the real world. Therefore, I think the few years spent playing football are formative in teaching young men how to be successful in life
Interested in giving MaxOne a shot? Head over to www.gomaxone.com to start your free trial today.