Learning from Urban Meyer’s Example

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Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes and Urban Meyer.

There are two aspects that deeply impact me when looking at what Urban Meyer has done at OSU.The first is the most important:  Balance and making family a priority.  The second is his coaching methods and how he prepares the Buckeyes.

1.  Balance and Family

Here is an excerpt from a piece on Urban Meyer and how he prioritized himself in order to get back into coaching.  As coaches we need to find the balance that allows us to be there for our families:

Three days after his father’s funeral, five days after his family demanded promises, Meyer accepted the Ohio State job. During his first news conference, he reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a contract written by Nicki, which he’d signed in exchange for his family’s blessing. These rules were supposed to govern his attempt at a new life, as his father’s example had governed his old one. So much was happening at once, and as he said goodbye to the man who molded him, he began undoing part of that molding. 

[+] EnlargeUrban Meyer

Andrew Hetherington for ESPN The Magazine
Meyer signed two agreements when he was hired by Ohio State: one with the school that demands performance and another with his family, which demands much more.

He went to work. 

Meyer unpacked his boxes, setting up little shrines on the blond wood shelves of his Ohio State office. To the right, positioned in his most common line of sight, he placed a blue rock with a word etched into it: balance. Behind the rock went a collage of photographs, the orange of a sunset from his lake house — his particular harbor — and of his old church in Gainesville. The shrine was a gift from his pastor in Florida, a prayer from people who love him that he won’t lose himself again. 

Framed above his desk hung the contract he signed with his kids, written on pink notebook paper. 

1. My family will always come first. 

2. I will take care of myself and maintain good health. 

3. I will go on a trip once a year with Nicki — MINIMUM. 

4. I will not go more than nine hours a day at the office. 

5. I will sleep with my cellphone on silent. 

6. I will continue to communicate daily with my kids. 

7. I will trust God’s plan and not be overanxious. 

8. I will keep the lake house. 

9. I will find a way to watch Nicki and Gigi play volleyball. 

10. I will eat three meals a day. 

Read the entire article.

Another good piece on this:

Urban Seeks Balance, Success

Balance between family and football is something every coach should seek.  You can never get back time.  Don’t regret those extra hours you spent in the office.  Find ways to be more efficient and effective, and get home!

2.  Coaching Methods and Preparation

I truly believe that the best coaches don’t win because of scheme and players alone.  The are the best  teachers and are constantly looking to improve their methods and delivery of their subject matter.  Technology allows us to coach and teacher our players better than any time in the past.  Urban Meyer is acutely aware of this.  Just after taking the job at Ohio State, Meyer addressed the  Ohio High School Coaches Association at their clinic.   Meyer said,

“The greatest teaching tools available in the history of this sport are now available to you…The days of saying, ‘I don’t use that’ are not acceptable at the Ohio State University.  We’re going to be on the cutting edge of every teaching tool that is available.”

The evidence is clear that he knows how to prepare his teams to the point that their preparation is enough to overcome adversity and huge obstacles.

Here is an article in the Wall Street Journal which I was quoted before the Big Ten Championship:  How Urban Meyer Took the Buckeyes to School

Here are some posts on Urban Meyer’s Methods and similar coaching strategies:

Urban Meyer Coaching Methods

Urban Meyer On Edge Teaching/Coaching

On Edge Coaching Part 1

On Edge Coaching Part 2

Flipped Coaching

I will be releasing an iBook on these types of methods and the technology available to us as coaches that allow us to save time and be on the cutting edge as teachers and coaches.

I’ve also developed my company Coaches Edge Technologies to allow coaches to study the game in an efficient and effective manner.  Our coaching resources are presented in a format that allows a coach to dive deep into a topic.  We are putting hours of video and loading these products with interactive tools.  We offer them for what you would pay for a traditional DVD.

Part of finding balance is to get the answers you need to help your players and do it in a way that utilizes your time and resources wisely.  Taking weekends away from family to travel to a clinic is no longer necessary.  Our mission is to help coaches on both sides of the equation.  We want to give more than an overview of a topic.  We want to give the details necessary for you to implement a concept into your system.  Those are not usually communicated in an hour long DVD.  What’s best is that the learning is always there on your device, easily accessible anywhere, and set up in a way that allows learning to be done in small segments if necessary.

Our resources are on sale.  Check those out here or at www.coachesedgetechnologies.com

Also I’ve developed a program that saved me 12 hours per week on the college level, and I believe it can save any high school coach at least 8-10 hours per week, while helping the coach do his job better. Check it out here:

We also look to reward coaches for sharing and helping other coaches grow professionally.  If you are writing, producing videos, and willing to share what you learned to help other coaches, we want to reward you better than any other coaching education company.  Your intellectual property has value.  We want to help you find that value and use it to be able to do better for your family. Contact me at my personal email grabkj@gmail.com.

Please spread the word on Coaches Edge Technologies.  We are here to help coaches find balance and be on the cutting edge of coaching.

Follow me on twitter @CoachKGrabowski.

Urban Meyer coaching methods

Save on iBooks from Keith Grabowski, Dan Gonzalez and other Coaches Edge Technologies authors from now until the end of the AFCA Convention.

Tomorrow’s National Championship Game presents an opportunity to examine how coaching can propel a team to a championship. In mid-August, Ohio State’s season was in doubt as an injury ended Braxton Miller’s season.  He was the key piece to the offense. After a stumble, JT Barrett went on to break records and become a legitimate Heisman candidate. Then he broke his ankle.

Now Ohio State enters the championship game with the third team quarterback, Cardale Jones.  Will he be able to fill the big shoes of the two quarterbacks who were starters before he was for a third time?  How did Barrett do it?

When Urban Meyer took over, he spoke at the Ohio High School Coaches Clinic about his method of “on edge coaching.”   He said he wanted the Buckeyes to be taught and coached through “direct teaching.”  He made the point of using the technology and tools available to teach rather than just present to players, and to keep them on the edge of their seats.  Meyer said, “The greatest teaching tools available in the history of this sport are now available to you…The days of saying, ‘I don’t use that’ are not acceptable at the Ohio State University.  We’re going to be on the cutting edge of every teaching tool that is available.”

Tomorrow is a test of sorts, not just for the Buckeye’s on the field but the methods of the coaches in preparing the players off the field as well.  Jones performance on the field will be a reflection of the work done on the practice field and in the classroom up to this point.

I had a call from a close friend this week on that very topic.  He is a perennial league champ and has his team in the play-offs every year.  He said, “I’m not looking for the next great scheme.  I’m looking at how we coach and prepare our players to face all situations.”  Truthfully that’s what coaching is really all about.  As I type this while watching two distinctly styles of teams (one spread the other double-tight), I believe that truly is the key.  Schemes only a team so far.  Solid preparation by the players and coaches will produce consistent winners.

Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal:

Check out my resources available:

The Zone Offense:  Create a Structured System focuses on this topic.  Preparation, planning, and the details that lead to execution are emphasized in this iBook.

Dan Gonzalez presents the idea of accountability in The Need for Change.  His ideas can help make any system better because of the emphasis on preparation.

Finally, Coaches Edge Game Planning System helps you implement not just a tool for scripting and game planning, but a process for making decisions and properly preparing your players.