1. It’s not going to go the way you think it’s going to go. Prepare accordingly.
  2. You are always on. Everything you do and say has an impact.
  3. They won’t believe in what you do if they don’t believe in who you are.
  4. Never blame your players.
  5. They will forgive your mistakes. They won’t forgive you for being fake.
  6. Be direct and honest – always. They want to play for a coach who gives it to them straight.
  7. Give them the space to take ownership. The program isn’t yours, it’s theirs.
  8. To get an honest read on your culture, don’t ask your seniors. Watch your freshmen.
  9. If you aren’t modeling the behavior that you are preaching, stop preaching it.
  10. The quicker you get over yourself, the better head coach you will be. Every turnover is not a personal attack.
  11. It’s always okay to say “I don’t know.” But they will always know when you are unprepared.
  12. The more questions you ask of your players, the more invested they will be.
  13. Admit your mistakes and show them who you are. Vulnerability creates a safe environment to lay it all on the line.
  14. Sometimes the horn goes off in practice. It’s not a nuclear missile crisis.
  15. Saying one thing and doing another is the quickest way to lose them.
  16. Stay under the two-minute mark for all pre/post practice and post game comments. After that it’s just noise to them.
  17. If they can’t execute a play in a game, it’s your fault, not theirs.
  18. It’s your life. It’s still a game to them.
  19. Practice time and score every day.
  20. The greatest reward you will get is a text five years from now saying “Thank you for holding me accountable.”

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