One of the things that makes a great head coach in football, in my opinion, is his obsession with the little things. What do I mean by that? Coaches that are focused on winning every play, instead of worrying about the scoreboard. Coaches who pay the most attention to detail.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has always been known to believe in winning each and every play, dominating your opponent on every play, and trusting the process that if you do your job, then the scoreboard won’t be a concern.
Toughness dictates your discipline. Your threshold to maintain the focus to do little things right when your tired and beat up are created by how tough you are! #toughgamefortoughkids— joe mcbride (@coachjmcbride) August 12, 2018
Saban also learned under possibly the greatest coach in the history of football, Bill Belichick, who has always preached perfecting the details and also doing your job. Winning six Super Bowls with the Patriots, Belichick has always taught him team about the importance of attention to detail and working hard on the little things.
"Take care of the tiniest detail, because the little details add up until they represent significant differences. Let nothing slip through the cracks."— FNF Coaches (@fnfcoaches) July 3, 2019
– Bill Belichick pic.twitter.com/4m9pMH4ZFI
Something that Manny Diaz and his Hurricanes didn’t do a good job at this year, was focusing on the little things, because in the end, it was the little things that cost Miami several games in 2019. Take for instance the very first game of the year against the Gators, UM muffed a punt and missed a field goal, two plays that played a role in the 24-20 loss.
⚡️ GAME CHANGER ⚡️— InAllKindsOfWeather.com (@AllKindsWeather) August 25, 2019
Miami’s Jeff Thomas muffs the punt and the #Gators take over at the Canes’ 11! pic.twitter.com/OiJA5zSb2f
It’s baffling that something as simple as chip-shot field goals could play such a role in Miami’s season. Through the Hurricanes first seven games this year, they were 2-6 on field goals from 20-29 yards, plus several missed extra points. Little things like that, that’s the difference in being 9-3 and being 6-6.
I have a stat for you. Miami is 2-6 on field goals 20-29 yards— make some changes (@hurricanesmarsh) October 24, 2019
Diaz and the Hurricanes were so focused on #TNM and winning the Coastal, that they didn’t nail down the details that actually wins you those games. Against Georgia Tech, Miami’s defense missed 29 tackles in the 28-21 overtime loss. Little things like tackling, eventually make up the big things. When those things happen, trust between teammates starts to dwindle.
Miami missed 29 tackles yesterday according to PFF— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) October 20, 2019
If you look at Saban’s teams at Alabama, it wasn’t the complex offense they were running that won five national championships, its been the attention to detail, the art of playing together as a team and winning every play. With this approach, Saban has been able to give the Crimson Tide both the athletic and physiological advantage.
Nick Saban on The Process:— Bryant-Denny Stadium (@BryantDenny_UA) July 2, 2019
“Ignore the scoreboards,
don’t worry about winning.
Just focus on doing your job,
at the highest level.
Every single play.
Wins will follow.” pic.twitter.com/8CZdjAx1ff
And if you look at Saban’s teams, they’re prepared for games. Rarely do you see the Crimson Tide down 28-0 in the first half, or even trailing at halftime for that matter. Repetition of the little things results in being prepared and not looking lost within the first few minutes of a game. Far too many times in 2019, the Hurricanes weren’t prepared for games and it showed in the first and second quarter.
The Canes have had two bye weeks this season. In the two first quarters in games after bye weeks, they've been outscored 38-3.— make some changes (@hurricanesmarsh) November 20, 2019
So as year one for Diaz is wrapping up and they look towards 2020, perhaps more tackling drills and less time showing up on yachts. Let’s get back to the basics, let’s start trusting each other, and let’s start winning more games.