By Mike Kuchar - @MikeKKuchar
Senior Research Manager
This report is a first for XandOLabs.com. We’re accustomed to spending hours upon hours researching football’s latest trends as it pertains to scheme and fundamentals. This special report is focused around something totally separate (and often more important) than the schemes of the game- the core of building a successful program. We started our research months ago by developing questions to target successful head coaches in the sport. We wanted to know the “why” behind their success. Why they won championships. Why they won titles? What specifically made them successful? So we developed a 30-question survey that we distributed to our entire reader base- over 26,000 coaches at all levels. Since 95.7 of coaches that responded to our survey were head high school coaches (reasonably so due to conflicting NCAA spring ball periods) we tallied their responses and detailed them in the report below.
But before we present our finding, it’s important to note we did something else that was totally different than previous reports- we segmented our research into separate areas. We wanted to target successful head coaches in this research and while we’re quick to point out that success is not all about wins (there are certainly too many other variables that add into that equation) winning is truly the main benchmark that we used to separate our readership. We decided to segment our research into the following groups:
All Groups- All Head Coaches that took our survey. Naturally, this equates to 100 percent of those surveyed.
Group 1- Head Coaches that have won at least 75 percent of their games over the last three seasons. This equated to roughly 33 percent of those surveyed. These coaches have won at least three-quarters of their games as a head coach since 2011.
Group 2- Head Coaches that have won less than 25 percent of their games over the last three seasons. This equated to roughly 13 percent of those surveyed. These coaches have won less than three-quarters of their games as a head coach since 2011.
Group 3- Head Coaches that have won between 2-5 championships (at the league, county or state level) in their careers. This equated to roughly 31 percent of those surveyed.
Group 4- Head Coaches that have won between 6-10 championships (at the league, county or state level) in their careers. This equated to roughly 11 percent of those surveyed.
Group 5- Head Coaches that have never won a championship at any level. This equated to roughly 29 percent of those surveyed.
This format is different than what we usually produce and for good reason. We really wanted to examine the difference between successful coaches and non-successful coaches, as it pertains to wins. Of course, when first designing this research we weren’t sure that there would be a distinction but we were quickly assured there was- in fact quite a substantial difference- between what successful programs do and what unsuccessful programs do (or do not do for that matter). What is traditional as it pertains to our format, is we separated our findings based on three categories:
Case 1- Coaching Philosophy and General Methodology
Case 2- Off-Season and In-Season Preparation
Case 3- Offense, Defense and Special Teams Structures
Case 1 - Coaching Philosophy
This case is centered around coaching philosophy and style- from creating mission statements to developing a mental training regiment. We take something from all of our categories of coaches. What worked? What didn’t work? What common mistakes do unsuccessful programs make? How do great programs win? Why take a job? Why resign from a job? How old is the right age to become a head coach? Thousands of coaches chime in with lessons learned from their greatest teacher- experience.