Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inside the Mind of a New NFL Coach: Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys

"Be great today.  That's what it's about.  You have to be good each and every day in everything that you do, and if you continue to do that, the right habits will develop and hopefully the results will come.
"We don't talk a lot about winning games. We talk about doing things the right way and then being prepared to play the best you can play."
--Jason Garrett.  

Garrett, in his first game as the Dallas Cowboys' head coach, led his team to a 33-20 upset victory over the favored New York Giants.  It was their first win since late September.  The Cowboys entered the game with a 1-7 record, after beginning the season as a Super Bowl favorite.    

Though he encouraged his players to enjoy the win, Garrett was already thinking about the next opponent:  the Detroit Lions.  

"It's hard not to get your mind going on the next one," he said. "You're challenged so much in this league. Detroit is going to be a great challenge for us on Sunday afternoon."

Garrett wants the team prepared as much as possible, because he's a firm believer that each work day incrementally determines the outcome on Sunday.

The Cowboys played inspired, energetic football in beating the NFC East-leading Giants.

"Like Jason said, and it's kind of boring, but you're trying to put good days upon good days," backup quarterback Jon Kitna said. "And hopefully it gives you a chance to win on Sunday and then you perform well on Sunday."  

Kitna was forced into a starting role since a shoulder injury sidelined starter Tony Romo.   Kitna, in his third start, threw for 327 yards off of 13-of-22 passing with three touchdowns. He had six completions of at least 25 yards, including four plays that went for over 40 yards each.

"You have to constantly prove to the players that what you're telling them is the right stuff," Garrett said. "I think a big part of that is having the right kinds of players, players who are receptive to coaching. We have the right coaches here, we have the right kind of players here."

"Certainly winning the ballgame on Sunday is an important part of credibility for coaches," Garrett said. "And that's whether you're a new coach or if you've been coaching a team for a long time. … The business is a bottom line business. You have to win games. You have to perform on Sundays. But I think the best way to go about doing that is taking care of the process along the way. So I think our players understand that."

  • One day at a time, one game at a time
  • Establish credibility
  • Foster positive work habits
  • Have players with receptivity to coaching 
  • Build on success
  • Focus on results  

What is your mindset?  Are your teammates responding?   

Excerpts from (November 15 &16, 2010) 

For more on the Dallas Cowboys franchise, click on Dallas Cowboys:  Peak Performance Case Study.  

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