Michigan Football: The other 90% The Final Product ... The Continuation

ErocWolverineSenior Writer IJune 6, 2008

The Other 90% - The Final Product: Develop the Program, Develop the Athlete

Management results can be observed on the field, but in most cases it is the management that happens out of public witness that accelerates program development. Those tireless meetings months in advance that gather new cutting edge techniques, that gathers more knowledge about the opponent than the opponent has about itself, that maximizes time usage, and systematically and sequentially improves players in all game facets at a faster rate than the competition. The ultimate goal of management is to not only speed up development, but ultimately to surpass the total sum of the competition.

Take anything necessary to succeed in college football; the playbook, physical drills, practice regimen, scouting, player evaluation, game preparation, hosting recruits, whatever, and strong management will increase production. Great, not average, management will result in an edge for the good guys. At this level of competition it is very hard to get any edge. But superior management is a resource that can be controlled by the staff, when funding, facilities, past history, and other impediments may be temporarily out of a head coach’s control.

The venture of program development through sound management is not glamorous, nor is it fun. But with the high level of competition, management becomes a prerequisite for success. Results are frequently seen as increments, where steady progress is made and then there is a plateau period. A good program demonstrates improvement, plateaus off slightly, and then climbs again. The process is repeated until the very top of the pinnacle is reached. At this time, the toughest management challenge arises, keeping the team at the very top of the competitive heap. Peaks and valleys in program success (winning) is an indicator that the competition likely has a leg up, assuming the talent gap is not overwhelming (a typical occurrence in high school programs that rebuild every year or two).

And so, the age-old and tested success skill of management becomes paramount. Somewhere along the line it will be the difference between victory and defeat. Somewhere along the line, the extra effort expended to cover every base, think of every possibility, prepare for every scenario, and leave nothing to luck or chance pays off with big dividends, perhaps even a national title. So, who in the Big Ten has found the most success with the management model? It is painfully obvious.

Never doubt the difference maker the mental side of athletics truly is. It is the hope of the author that the four articles have been informative and have shed some light on the complexity of the mental side of sports.

Yogi was right; the other 90% is mental. What would Yogi say about the need of management for success and change? Probably something like this: “You need a manager in baseball.” And you do in everything else as well.

written by Doc4blu