Tag: joe ehrmann

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 7 – Case Study – How A State Championship School Built A Trust-Based Program

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Coach Wooden often shared that ‘Love is the most powerful four-letter word.’ When building a championship culture, love and trust have to start at the top. Do your players trust that you have their best interests in mind? The answer to that probably comes down to whether you truly do have their best interest in mind. When it comes to loving your players and having them trust you – it has to be real. Do some introspection for your program – here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you truly care more about the kids or about winning?
  • Does each kid feel like they are special? This takes a lot of effort, but each kid should feel they are special and have a special role that contributes to the success of the program.
  • Are you distracted by cell phones or thinking about other things while you are coaching at practices or games?
Case Study – One of the most impressive programs I have observed live out this philosophy of loving their players is Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville Tennessee. Drew Maddux and Ingle Martin lead their basketball and football programs, respectively. They specifically have built a program based on Joe Ehrmann’s philosophies. It didn’t happen overnight, they spent two years having weekly studies of Joe’s books with their coaching staffs. They brought in outside mentors/advisors, Randy and Scott Hearon from the Nashville Coaching Coalition, to help guide them through the process and keep them accountable. You could write a book on all of the things they are doing right – but here are 3 that really jumped out at me:
  • ‘To be a man, you have to see a man’ – Coach Martin focuses on developing himself and his coaching staff to be the type of men that the boys should emulate
  • Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team:
    • Tell a childhood story that defined them
    • Tell a recent story that defines them
    • How does the public view them
    • Who their private self is
  • Build a program not a team – If you have Varsity, JV, freshmen – various levels – treat them all as part of one program. Talk to each kid every practice and call them by name. Coach Maddux has a state championship program- but they don’t do cuts. If a kid wants to be in the program, then he is.
CPA is a program that is all-in on loving kids and developing future leaders. It starts at the top and it requires a deep desire for the kids to succeed, not for the coach’s winning record to look good (however the culture they have produced has led to remarkable achievements on the field and court, consistently competing for and winning state championships over the past 5+ years.)
So commit to truly loving the kids you coach. Recently I interviewed Coach Randy Jackson, a successful high school football coach in Texas, and he shared with me:
 ‘A child’s chances of being successful are vastly improved if they know 5 people truly believe in them. As their coach, are you going to be 1 of the 5?’
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Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 2: Who are we?

Who are we? Establishing Program & Team Cornerstones
10 years ago one of my good friends Byron shared something life-changing in our adult Sunday school class. He shared a family crest he had developed with his family. It was pretty simple artistically speaking, but eternally powerful. His family had brainstormed and created 4 or 5 values that represented ‘Who we are.’ This provided the foundation for making decisions in the future – they just bounced them against their cornerstones. My family has adopted this same philosophy. We have an annual session where we brainstorm about who we are. I’ve attached the latest rendition of what we came up with. We keep it fun and sometimes even silly, so please understand the ‘Dog-botherers’ comment is an inside family joke and we love animals. 🙂
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Now we all know that if you try to focus on 10 or 20 things you will focus on nothing. So we then decide as a group on 4 or 5 of these values that will be our cornerstones.
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The more I talk to great coaches, the more I see this same type of process happening in great programs and teams. It starts with the coaches establishing the cornerstones of the program. But equally important is getting the buy-in from the team, so doing this type of brainstorming session with your team captains every year will establish your identity as a team. Here are some of the great ways I’ve seen this implemented:
  • Andres Montana – Learned from Bruce Brown at Proactive Coaching – Gather the coaches and 3 captains in preseason and define your Core Covenants – who are you going to be that season. Brainstorm by throwing words up on a board, then narrow it down to 2 or 3 that are going to define your team. Then you can order the livestrong-type bracelets that have those words on it. Check out Proactive Coaching’s guide to creating Core Covanants: First Steps to Building Successful Teams
  • Ken Stuursma’s program core covenants – from Raising a modern day knight:
    1. Accept responsibility
    2. Lead courageously
    3. Reject passivity
    4. Expect a greater reward
  • Chris Stricker’s program core covenants: CALI – Commitment, Accountability, Love, Integrity
  • Drew Maddux has Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is
  • Rob Elwood’s team have 2 cornerstones:
    1. Gratitude – We thank our parents, the referees, our coaches, our teammates
    2. Be organized, everything has a place
  • John O’Sullivan – Great teams don’t have rules – great teams have standards.  Rules are meant to be broken – standards are expectations that the team agrees upon and holds each other accountable to.
In his book Inside-out Coaching Joe Ehrmann shares the goal: ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach.’ It starts with your cornerstones.
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The Experts’ Reading List

The Experts’ Reading List 
One of the great things about interviewing talented coaches from all over the world is getting to pick their brain on where their mind is being fed. So we’ll take a break from our coaching series this week and I’ll share a great reading list that I’ve compiled from my podcast guests. Then next week we’ll start up a new series on Building a Winning Culture.
I’ve read 12 of these, how many have you read? My challenge to you is to pick 2 or 3 to read in the next 6 months, that is what I’m going to do. I’ve just ordered Pete Carroll’s Win Forever, Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus, and Patrick Lencioni’s The 5 Dsyfunctions of a Team.
I’ve included hyperlinks to all of the books on Amazon, so just click on the name of the book and order it today! Don’t wait or you won’t do it. No excuses.
Also – my friend James Leath published a post with his reading list – check it out for some more great recommendations – Link
  1. Pyramid of Success by Coach John Wooden
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – the story ‘Father Forgets’ is timeless
  3. The Gold Standard’ by Coach K. – story of bringing together the Dream Team
  4. Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis – story of bringing a boy into manhood
  5. Lead for God’s Sake by Todd Gongwer
  6. Inside-Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann – ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach’
  7. Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx – about Joe Ehrmann
  8. Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski
  9. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
  10. The Best-Laid Plans of a High School Basketball CEO by Randy Montgomery and Matt Kramer
  11. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard – about Teddy Roosevelt dealing with defeat by challenging himself to a huge audacious goal
  12. Teaching to Change Lives by Dr. Howard Hendricks
  13. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
  14. The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey
  15. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone ‘Never cut anything, never dilute greatness, never pull back on your horsepower, and never put a limit on your ambition, drive, and passion. Demand obsession of yourself and all those around you.’
  16. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  17. What a Coach can teach a teacher by Tharp&Gallimore – Followed John Wooden and analyzes the % of his communication
  18. The Sports Gene by David Epstein
  19. Mindset by Carol Dweck
  20. The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon – Get the energy vampires off the bus and surround yourselves with energy-givers and life-givers
  21. Double goal coach by Jim Thompson of PCA
  22. The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Siegel
  23. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  24. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  25. Coaching Made Easier: How to Successfully Manage Your Youth Baseball Team—A Step-by-Step Guide to a Rewarding Season by Rod Huff
  26. Coaching Basketball Successfully by Morgan Wootten
  27. Win Forever by Pete Carroll
  28. The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
  29. Positivity by Barbara Frederickson – Great book for self-talk
  30. The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine
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WYC 059 – Youth Basketball – Drew Maddux talks Manhood Mondays at CPA and Elite Hoops Basketball

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Drew Maddux shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Drew Maddux is the Head Coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville. Maddux has a combined record of 240-44, while being ranked in the Top 10 each of those seasons. In 2008 and 2009, Maddux lead his team to the Region 5AA Championship. Maddux has acquired many coaching accomplishments being named the NBCA Coach of the Year in 2008, 2011-2012 District 10-AA Coach of the Year, 2012 Tennessean Coach of the Year, and 2012 Nashville Civitan Coach of the Year. In the 2011-2012 season, he lead to Lions to their first ever State Championship and finished the season an impressive 37-2. In 2012-13, Maddux lead the Lions to another State Championship with another 37-2 record. 2013-14 was yet another great season for Maddux and his program as the posted a record of 34-3 and went to the Final Four Drew has coached 4 Mr. Basketball award winners, 19 players that received college scholarships, and 1 NBA first round draft pick.

From 1994-1998, Maddux was a four year starter at Vanderbilt University where he scored an impressive 1689 points in his career, good for 11th all-time at Vandy. There he received several individual awards including All-SEC Freshman, USA Olympic Festival Team, First Team All-SEC, and Honorable Mention All-American honors. Off the court Maddux was just as impressive being an Academic All-SEC member as well as being recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1998. During his junior year, Maddux averaged a team best 16.8 points 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as he lead his team to the NCAA Tournament.

Drew Maddux first started working with Elite Hoops in 2009 as a Camp Co-Director. Since then, Maddux has been instrumental in growing the Nashville market and in 2014, he will direct 6 NIKE Basketball Camps with over 600 players in attendance.

Twitter: @DrewMaddux; @EliteHoops

Facebook: /EliteHoops

Instagram: /elitehoops

Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Career decisions

  • Drew had the opportunity to lead a large sales organization, but felt the calling to leave the business world and become a full-time coach

Identity being tied to athletic performance

  • As an athlete growing up, Drew felt he was only as good as his last sports performance
  • ‘My total mission in coaching is to release that identity-driven performance bug out of the lives of our kids and out of their hearts, and that they would understand and be able to perform with freedom and be able to experience all that they have been provided with.’

Joe Ehrmann’s 3 big lies being told to our kids

Coach Maddux teaches the boys he coaches about the 3 big myths/lies being taught about masculinity:

  1. Ballfield – a man’s worth is based on his athletic performance
  2. Bedroom – a man’s worth is based on his sexual conquests
  3. Boardroom – a man’s worth is based on his business successes

Coach Maddux contrasts these myths by teaching the real truths about what being a man is all about:

  1. Man was built to be in relationships with God, themselves, and others
  2. Man was built to be part of a cause that is bigger than themselves

To see more details about this see here: winningyouthcoaching.com/3-big-lies-2-truths/

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • In Drew’s early years he remembers still being too focused on outcomes and placing his worth on the team’s win/loss record
  • ‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Creating a Winning Culture


  • Jim Collins book – Good to Great
  • Every aspect of your program becomes about excellence – Coach Maddux began an early morning regiment with his coaching staff
  • Jon Gordon – The Energy Bus – Get the energy vampires off the bus and surround yourselves with energy-givers and life-givers
  • 4 Word Mission statement: ‘Christ-centered, Others focused.’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • ‘It’s not what I know, it’s what the kids know.’ So keep it simple. Be great at 1 or 2 things instead of trying to be great at a bunch of things.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Boundaried Freedom – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding


  • Life happens in the gray – every kid we serve have unique situations and unique families
  • Long-term transformation only happens when you create the right habits
  • Shared sacrifice with shared accountability



  • Coach Maddux does not do cuts – if you want to be on the team – you are
  • Coach has a goal to call every kid’s name to them at some point of every practice
  • During circle time they’ll call out a few of their leaders to speak a blessing about another player on the team.  This creates the culture built on loving each other, complimenting each other, encouraging each other.
  • Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team:
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is


  • Excellence and the pursuit of greatness should be a goal.  The scoreboard doesn’t define this.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Billy Donnovan, former Florida Gators and current Oklahoma City Thunder coach, the way he sets up his practices and team to be great passing teams.

Best Book

The One that Got Away

  • Drew lost his last game his senior year for the state championship in overtime
  • Drew lost a game at Vanderbilt to Kentucky at the buzzer
  • Lessons learned: to keep the game in context, the sun does come up the next day

Elite Hoops Basketball

  • Located in the Southeast – elitehoopsbasketball.com
  • Teaches basketball skills and life skills – to live an elite life
  • 3-on-3 leagues, camps

Parting Advice

  • ‘Pick up the trash’ – Use the opportunities given to leave people, places, and things better than we found them

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WYC 027 Youth Football – Mike Frederick talks High School Football, the NFL, and Joe Ehrmann

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Mike Frederick shares coaching stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful coach.

Mike played 5 years in the NFL, including a Super-Bowl run with the Tennessee Titans, 1 year with the original Cleveland Browns, and 3 years with the Baltimore Ravens. He is now the head football coach at his alma mater, Neshaminy High School in Philadelphia.  Mike is married and has four children.

Neshaminy H.S. on Twitter: @neshaminy

Neshaminy H.S. Website: neshaminyfootball.com

NFL Player article on Mike: nflplayerengagement.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘The reason I coach is to make each player feel valued – from the top player on the roster to the bottom’

click to tweet!

The Music City Miracle

  • This was a play they practiced every week all season – so the team was prepared, the coach did not panic, and even though it didn’t go exactly as planned – the players were prepared and executed the play successfully.

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

  • Pulling players immediately after they make a mistake – you teach your players to play in fear instead of aggressively

My ‘Ah-Ha Moment’

HUGE IDEA #1: ‘The best time to implement change is after a win’  – players are in a good mood, your voice will come across less irritating, studies show kids are apt to listen more after a win.  After a loss is when you need to be more encouraging.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Each kid responds to different types of teaching – and the only way to figure it out with each kid is trial and error
  • Change things up: Play loud music during practice(learning to communicate in a loud setting); set fun goals: if our running back out-rushes their running back then we get ice cream(great goal b/c it affects the offense and defense)

Best Stolen Idea/Advice from another Coach

  • ‘The reason I coach is to make each player feel valued – from the top player on the roster to the bottom’

Recommended Resources

  • HUDL – allows him to watch film with his coaches while at their own home.  Also they exchange 3 films with each team they play- so they physically don’t send any scouts to any games.  You can also track how long players have been on HUDL – so they try to catch their players doing something right and recognize players that are putting extra time in.
  • Other coaches – if you’re struggling with something – call up some other coaches and ask for a few tips


  • 4 step process for a player who has a concern or is upset:
  1. Talk to your position coach
  2. Talk to your coordinator
  3. Talk to the head coach
  4. If there is still a problem – then the head coach can pull in the parents if needed

Reward and Recognition

  • Mike asked the players if there were any ‘entertainers’ in the group (artistic, musicians, rappers, etc.) – told them to prepare something  – and on the last 3-a-day of the summer – they skipped the last practice and let the players ‘entertain’ the team

Inspiring Story

  • Joe Ehrmann has been a personal mentor to Mike, and Mike has implemented Joe’s philosophy of how to love these kids.
  • Mike shared a story of a kid from Haiti who didn’t have much money or insurance, but when he turned 18 he purchased his own 4-month insurance rider and is playing for their team his senior year.  Very inspiring to Mike and the whole team.  ‘That’s why I coach’

Winning/Goals for a Youth Coach

HUGE IDEA #2– Priorities for a Youth Sports Coach:

  • Top priority: teaching safety techniques
  • Next priority: Avoid specialization – play multiple different sports – not only are their mental benefits(keeping things fresh) but also there are physical benefits(mixing up which muscles you are using)

The One(s) that Got Away

  • Mike shares a high school memory of fumbling on the goalline in a game they lost 7-6.  The thing he remembers though is ‘I am glad it was me.’
  • Mike also shares a story from college football at Virginia where they let a game get away from them against a team they normally should have beaten.  The QB got hurt and the backup QB came in and did well – b/c his team had done all their preparation for the starting QB.

Favorite Quote/Book

Parting Advice

  • Embrace the differences in kids and keep it fun – make them love the sport! The majority of kids stop playing sports by 3rd grade – we’ve made it too serious and taken the fun out of it.

Interview Links / Promotional Partners

Hudl cover pictureHUDL



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