Earlier this month Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer was in town for the Nike Coach Of The Year Clinic. Meyer spoke to a group of coaches from early youth leagues to middle school and high school coaches. To no surprise University of Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong, also a former Defensive Coordinator under Urban Meyer, was mentioned several times throughout the event and there was nothing but tremendous things said in regards to Strong. The former Florida Gators Head Coach makes it very apparent that he holds Coach Strong in extremely high regard.
The centerpiece for the Meyers clinic is what he called ‘Competitive Excellence’. Competitive Excellence is a mixture of components that includes installing excellence, direct teaching, group work, scout work etc.. “Teaching progression for competitive excellence…Some of the great teachers I’ve seen…Like I said, the guy here at Louisville is as good as there is.” Meyer says of Charlie Strong’s effectiveness to achieve that theory.
Urban Meyer also speaks about how important it is to build a successful coaching staff en route to a successful football program. “Hire great coaches. I’ve had the best. I’ve been so fortunate. I want to say lucky, but I’ve been more than lucky.” There are certain components that can make a coach successful and that is something that Urban stresses that not everyone has. Charlie Strong, he’s got that component, and Meyer touches on that. “A genuine love of the player, that’s what you’ve got as the head coach at Louisville. Like I’ve never seen. Now he’s hard, he’ll kill them. Charlie will kill them. But deep in his soul…I’d probably say that he’s the best I’ve ever seen at being genuine, genuine. Not the ‘Hey how ya doing, how’s your family?’ and walk away talking to them. But some of the stuff I’ve seen Coach Strong do, and some of my coaches on our staff do, that goes far beyond what…it’s a parent. I hire guys that are parents.”
A successful coach that is genuine and truly cares will garner respect from the student athlete. That respect will make it easy for the athlete to buy into your system and truly try to understand and learn the fundamentals that you are trying to teach. Not to mention that respect will make them want to try harder for the coaching staff that respects them in return. “Sometimes you have a kid that can’t learn, which I’ll get into that in a second. Maybe there is a respect issue. That happens sometimes. Maybe the kid doesn’t really believe in you as a coach. That goes back to the Charlie Strong theory. Where that kid…why does that kid believe in him? Cause he cares so deeply about him. They know that at the end of the day, that man standing in the front of the room will help me out and has got my back. I’m gonna listen to him” said Meyer.
I don’t know about you, but a guy that receives remarks and that high praise from a guy as highly touted and recognized as Urban Meyer, is the kind of guy I want to be a part of my program and you do what you can to hang on to the guy. Whatever it takes. Hang on tight, cause this is only going to get better.