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Scheme or Culture?

Listen To The Podcast!     Coach L. Albaugh      DBLITY

Players don’t win championships, organizations win championships. I remember when Jerry Krause said that way back in the 90s and I was reminded of it when I watched The Last Dance. Now to be sure, Krause and the Bulls organization made some good moves to get players to help MJordan but lets face it, when you begin with the greatest player ever that makes it easier. Perhaps Krause was a little too full of himself. It happens. He always talked about the greatness of the Bulls Organization. But it reminded me about the buzzword in football today which is CULTURE. Listen to these quotes – “Culture eats scheme for breakfast,” Scott Frost said.“I can put the guys in the best scheme, the best offensive plays, the best defensive plays I can come up with. But at the end of the day, if we don’t have corners who can run through tackles and knife-knees, if we don’t have O-linemen coming off the ball, if we don’t have people holding each other accountable, and we don’t have our team making smart decisions and grinding and working hard, I’m not sure the best scheme in the world matters.” Chip Kelly said, “Culture beats scheme everyday.” Or how bout this? In an effort to fight off the urge to be content with past successes, Nick Saban has built a culture in his program that develops leaders at all levels. Every time a new coach gets hired, he talks about Changing The Culture. I hear so many coaches today talk about how culture is the most important component of a program. But is it? Or is it scheme, or coaching, or great players? And…what is Culture? Culture has evolved into this all-encompassing term that applies to how a football team is run from top to bottom. Culture is the shared beliefs, it’s the aligned behaviors and it’s the common experience inside your program. Thats one definition but there are many. But instead of definitions, how bout some examples. We brought in a new football coach many years ago and he said no rock tshirts or hot rod shirts. No torn tshirts, no cutoff sleeves. Culture? If practice started at 8 a.m. players were expected on the field dressed at 7:45 for prepractice. Culture? Any violaters lost their spot and had to earn it back. We had one player, we called him Kloot cause his name was Vanderkloot, slept in his car by the practice field during doubles cause he didnt want to be late for practice. What about his parents? They were a good family, very responsible. The previous coach had been all about big stats for his star players. This new coach never mentioned individual stats. Culture? When I was a wrestling coach we had clean, matching workout gear everyday. We preached hustle. No sitting in practice unless technique was being demonstrated. 3 man groups the odd man out couldnt sit. We never bent over when we were tired – hands on hips with an attitude was what we preached.  No putting our hands behind our head as some do to get xtra air, shows weakness to our opponents. Never let ’em see your tired. Culture? When you go out of bounds hustle back to the center, beat your opponent there. So yeah, very important culture. But lets get back to the Bulls. Scheme was important too. Doug Collins got fired cause he didnt run the right scheme. Krause wanted Phil Jackson who ran the triangle offense. By the way…I never knew… When the Bulls ran the triangle offense they won 6 championships.  He won 5 more with the Lakers with the triangle offense. So…scheme must be the most important ingredient to a program, right? But wait, he had the greatest player ever MJ, and another hall of famer in Scottie Pippen. Then with the the Lakers he had Kobe, one of the 5 best ever and Shaq, another truly great player. So, great players win championships, right? Phil had some of the greatest ever. We can make an argument that culture or organizations wins championships, coaches win championships, scheme wins championships, players win championships. Don’t they always say on ESPN that if you give Nick Saban more than a week to prepare he can outscheme everyone else. Again, we’re back to the importance of scheme. Oh man, which is the MOST important? Well heck…want my opinion finally? There is no ONE most important. Its all of em. And it’s the head coach’s job to make sure they all are addressed equally. Get the best asst coaches, work hard at a scheme that has answers to your opponents attack. You MUST be able to make adjustments. Recruit your community and hallways to make sure you get your fair share of great players. Got to have great players. And the head coach sets the tempo for a winning culture. As the apostle Paul said 2,000 years ago, God made our bodies with many parts and he has put each part where he wants it. No part of the body can say I am the most important. Paul had it right. AND…THATS MY TAKE!

The baseball program at Bowling Green State University will be eliminated effectively immediately, the school said last Friday.The program will be cut as part of the school’s effort to shave $2 million off the department of athletics budget following the coronavirus pandemic. The university as a whole is projecting a $29 million shortfall for the next fiscal year.The school says the decision to cut baseball will save about $500,000 annually. The University of Akron — which cut baseball in 2015 before reviving the program for the 2019-20 school year — eliminated men’s cross country, men’s golf, and women’s tennis on Thursday.  Add Bowling Green BSB to a list sport eliminations: ODU wrestling, FIU men’s track, Cincy men’s soccer & Akron men’s cross country, golf & women’s tennis. It wasnt the pandemic – that was just an excuse to get rid of some of the “minor sports” and that makes me angry.

I watched parts of the 1965 AllStar Game…1965 World Series on TV this weekend. Here’s what stood out to me. The all star game had Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Rocky Colavito, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Joe Torre, Sandy Koufax…these guys I grew up watching. Bunch of em are HOFers. And I noticed some batted with no batting helmet, just their ballcaps. They didnt dig in and dive into the pitch like they do today. Those pitchers would have put one under their chin. I watched a little of game 7 of the 65 WS. Sandy Koufax beat the Twins 2-0 to win it. He went the distance of course. When the Twins got a single in the 9th…tieing run…Koufax stayed in. 3 hit shut out. High strike.

Check out Friday Night Live on the Online Clinic Friday night at 7 Central. Game film review Featuring Kenny Simpson. This will be a special show. Get on it and keep learning.

One more thing…I was deeply saddened by the recent death Tuesday of Ravi Zacharias, a philosopher, deep thinker, and tremendous christian apologist. This guy was brilliant. He will be missed greatly. He was the best at having an answer to so many of lifes mysteries. He could debate and stop an atheist in his tracks. And he did it with compassion and logic. Never got angry. No one could out debate him. I wonder why the LORD would take a man like Ravi and leave an inconsequential man like me on earth. But you know what? Ravi would have had a great answer for that.

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Hey, join us next week for another CP coaches podcast and we’ll see you then!

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.    Nelson Mandela

Sweet 16 Countdown: 51. Alaska -9.2   50. Vermont -1.7   49. North Dakota 3.3   48. Wyoming 5.2  47. Rhode Island 8.4   46. District of Columbia 8.4   45. Delaware 14.7   44. South Dakota 15.3   43. New Hampshire 16.7   42. Montana 19.2  41. Maine 19.5   40. New Mexico 20.5  39. Oregon 24.2  38. West Virginia 26.3  37. Nevada 31.2  36. Idaho 32.2  35. Nebraska 32.6  34. New York 33.0  33. Iowa 34.4  32. Minnesota 35.9   31. Kentucky 36.3   30. Hawaii 36.5  29. Connecticut 37.3  28. Massachusetts 38.3 27. Wisconsin 39.9  26. Virginia 40.8  25. Oklahoma 41.5  24. Michigan 41.53 23. Kansas 41.8 22. Tennessee 41.9  21. Washington 42.6 20. Indiana 43.9 19. Colorado 44.4  18. South Carolina 44.61  17. New Jersey 44.63  16. Arkansa 45.0 15. Arizona 45.2 14. Mississippi 45.6 13. Alabama 45.8  12. Utah 46.0  11. North Carolina 46.7  10. Missouri 49.0  9. Pennsylvania 49.9  8. Illinois 50.3  7. Louisiana 51.9  6. Maryland 52.8  5. Georgia 57.2  4. Texas 60.8 3. Ohio 61.0  2. Florida 62.5  1. California 69.4

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Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.