Book Review: You Win in the Locker Room First--Consistent Communication


In this series of blogs, we are reviewing the new book from Jon Gordon and Mike Smith, You Win in the Locker Room First. This is a great book filled with tips, reminders and suggestions about how to build a team culture and create a winning attitude with not just players and coaches, but the entire organization.

The first blog in our series focused on the first two C's the book mentions, Culture and Contagious. This blog will highlight the next two C's in the book: Consistency and Communication.

Both Mike Smith and Jon Gordon talk about how consistency is the key to building trust among your organization. Staying true to who you truly are and being fully present in the moment with players and staff on a consistent basis will help you build the foundation for a strong culture. One of the best ways to remain consistent is to continue to try and improve and show your team your commitment.

Communication forms the foundation of any relationship. And when there are voids in communication, negativity has a tendency to fill those voids. The goal with communication is to have healthy and honest conversation. Being able to listen is extremely important as is being able to ask the right people the right questions. Both Mike and Jon talk about the importance of communicating on a one-on-one basis as much as you can with every member of the organization to get their buy-in and support.

Mike advocates creating themes in messaging for the team and then echoing those messages over and over. He suggests making sure to model the messaging as well as verbally repeat it to really hit home with the players. And sometimes it doesn't hurt to bring in outside voices to reinforce the message and present it to the organization in a slightly different way.

The next two C's in the book that we will tackle next week are Connect and Commitment.

Huskers Use C2P During Spring Game


Two seasons ago, Nebraska became the first collegiate team to use the GSC Coach-to-Player practice systems and have been using them in some capacity since. With the second year of Mike Riley as head coach, Nebraska again used the C2P systems throughout the spring to help specifically in the development of their quarterbacks, but they've discovered that the systems have helped the team as a whole with cleaner practices and more repetitions.

GSC's Alex Shada integrating the C2P systems at the Husker Spring Game.

GSC's Alex Shada integrating the C2P systems at the Husker Spring Game.

This past weekend, the Huskers used the C2P systems during the spring scrimmage with Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf using the system for play calling while continuing to mentor his quarterbacks.

The GSC team came in and set up the system to be integrated into the existing coaches intercom system. This allowed for the play caller to call the play to the QB while the other coaches could hear the call as well. Keeping everyone on the same page.

One of the advantages to using the C2P system during practices like this is that the team is able to realize consistent play by all of the QB's. Because they are able to listen in on every play, they are able to hear instant feedback from the coaches and make adjustments during that practice. They don't have to wait until the following day and can learn from coach’s instruction provided to the other QB's. 

With the ability to get more repetitions during every practice of spring ball, GSC's C2P systems not only help the QB's develop themselves, but can help the entire team.


Communication is key

One of the key skills successful coaches need to have and continually improve upon is the ability to communicate well with their athletes. Clear communication can pave the way not just for success on the field but for a successful relationship overall, ensuring team cohesiveness and cementing the culture of the program.

Communication is a two-way street. It's important to not only communicate to the players your goals and expectations, but also to listen to what they are observing and noticing. Having a coach that will listen to concerns or suggestions helps create a "buy in" for the player.

There are two different types of communication: verbal and non-verbal.

With verbal communication, consider choosing words that will resonate with your team. Keeping your messages concise and on target will help guarantee your athletes will listen, pay attention and understand what you are saying.

With non-verbal communication, make sure that your body language, facial expressions and method of communication are matching the tone and the message of what you want to express. Telling a player that he's done a good job with a frown on your face  just isn't as effective as saying the same thing with a smile in front of other teammates. 

If you are noticing that you are not getting what you want from your athletes or if they just don't seem to be "getting it," you could be sending too many messages, or they might respond better to a different method of communication. Ask your fellow coaches what they might be observing from player behavior and listen to what your players are saying. The answer for the perfect communication strategy is there. You just need to discover it.

GSC at the Super Bowl

GSC at Super Bowl 50

When it came to getting our Coach to Player systems ready for Super Bowl 50, our goal was to make sure that everything was business as normal.

The GSC team flew into San Jose on the Tuesday before the Super Bowl. With many Carolina and Denver fans on the flight, you could really sense the energy of the upcoming weekend. 

GSC sideline at Super Bowl 50

Our objective when setting up our Coach-to-Player communication systems was to make sure the installation and execution was consistent with every regular season game. We wanted the teams to be able to rely on our systems just like they are able to every Sunday of the season.

For the GSC team, the biggest difference in providing our systems for the Super Bowl was all of the prep work ahead of time. With all the additional media representation on the field, there were many radio frequency requests. We wanted to make sure our frequencies were clear and uninterrupted by other users. So we tested and tested and tested again. It was important to make sure that all bases were covered and even our back up plan in place was working. 

With all of the amped up energy in the stadium, GSC's Coach-to-Player systems were something that players were glad they could rely on as a constant. Since they are so familiar with GSC's C2P systems, it allowed them to concentrate on the task at hand. Players were able to trust in the technology and follow through with the game plan.

With so much that can happen throughout a game, we heard from several sources that they were pleased with the consistency of our C2P systems. Coaches know that with GSC they don't have to worry. They know GSC can be trusted and depended upon to eliminate any additional communication headaches on game day.

Broncos Helmet Super Bowl 50

Overall, the Super Bowl was a huge success for the GSC team. We were able to meet some great people on and off the field. We're already looking forward to the 2016 NFL season and helping more teams #Hear2Win.