BUILDING A PROGRAM

Former U.S. National Football Team coach: Culture starts with trust

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Editor

Bill Williams of Hartshorne, Okla., is a USA Football Regional Director, Master Trainer and US National Team coach. The motivational speaker and author is a former member of the United States Marine Corps. He shared his tips on creating a culture of winning with FNF Coaches.

What are the first things a coach should do in a new job to establish a culture?

“I believe when you walk through the door and you’re in charge, you have to build a foundation. Most people throw around the word, ‘culture’ like it’s a mystery or an idea. My whole platform has always been to build a foundation. The way I’ve been able to do it, you have to look at what you’re turning out. Are you turning out football players or men? A man will leave your program. For us, the foundation of our culture is truth. If I lie, you can’t trust me. If you can’t trust me, we can’t have a relationship. If we can’t have a relationship, then we can’t have a program.”

What happens once you have their trust?

“It starts with telling the truth, and that spill over into character. We define what we mean out of character. It’s the mental and moral qualities of an individual. We want each of our players to make sure he’s being honest with everyone he comes in contact with. We want him to respect himself and others. You can’t outperform your own self image. If you have a great self image, you have great self-respect. And then you can respect others.”

How does it translate to the field?

“It builds toughness. It’s all mental toughness. It’s going to take us to the next level of culture. When kids know and understand that you care about them, their lives change. We have to learn to push kids — not pull of when they’re tired. If they trust you, they’ll keep pushing if you tell them they can do it.”

You can hear more from Coach Williams on Justin Grandenetti’s Online Coaching Clinic.

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk