This is basically a reply to put to Troy Hufford's fun read. It relates to the development stages for all athletes and teams and I thought some of you might like the information.
I use the same stages for the development of all my athletes. Check it out and get back to me with questions or comments. Enjoy!
Winning is a mindset and a culture. Thats why we see draft picks from winning colleges tend to go to winning teams. They have already been exposed to what it MEANS to win. Green Bay and Pittsburgh tend to draft from performing colleges, for example.
Then, this young team needs to play together, and learn to TRUST each other and PLAY for each other, and then learn to WIN together.
OK, this might be a long post, but I will try and give you cliff notes.
There are 7 stages in the development of athletes that I like to use or are used by many coaches that develop athletes:
1/ Active start: A very young kid is given a football and learns to play with it, and starts gaining an interest in the sport.
2/ Fundamentals: That same kid is put into organized program like Pop Warner and starts to learn the fundamentals of the game.
3/ Learn to Play: As the kid gets older, they learn the strategy and concepts of the game and how the fundamentals pertain to that.
4/ Train to Train: The players start ascending into middle school and high school football and start learning the concepts of what it takes to make it to the next level. Training becomes more intensive and focused as a springboard as to what to expect in the coming years of their POTENTIAL careers.
5/ Train to Compete: Now that the players have the concepts of good training practices/ characteristics that will lead to elite performance, they start focusing on what it takes to be successful between the lines and introduced to concepts that allow them to win in the future.
6/ Learn to Win: Now that the players no how to compete at an elite level, the focus goes from acquiring the necessary physical and psychological skills needed to compete to starting to be results based driven and they start to gain the knowledge needed to WIN in the sport.
7/ Train to Win: Think where the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots are, or elite players like Rodgers, Manning and Brady. The players and team now have all the necessary skills to be the best in their field, and the singular driving force is for wins.
Once the players graduate from College to NFL, they will need to take a step back, maybe 2 steps back, in their development.
Consider Tim Tebow. With Florida, he was in the TRAIN TO WIN stage. That was Florida’s whole focus. They had a successful system, were drafting the cream of the crop form high school, and had a coaching staff that was elite in what they were doing to.
Now Tebow is in a different part of his development phase. He is probably graduating from the train to compete, into the train to win stage.
Now, relate this to the whole team, and that is realistically where our whole team is. The good news is that some of the key parts we wish to build around have come from WINNING cultures in college, so they only need to get comfortable in their new environment, and get their physical and psychological skills up to a NFL level to continue to grow.
This is why I always use the Green Bay Packers as the perfect example of how to DEVELOP a team LONG TERM. You have all heard me say this multiple times, but the year that Rodgers started the team went 6-10, but lost 7 of those games by a combined 21 points. This team was Training to WIn, and those close losses were actually the catalyst for ELITE performance the year after, where the Packers became a player in the NFL. They used those COMPETITIVE FAILURES as a development tool to spring board the team into a TRAIN TO WIN phase. The team was a young team, with some key veterans that were used as mentors both from a skills acquisition and winning culture stand point.
This is what EFX is trying, and I am confident, will create in Denver. We have young guys in KEY POSITIONS from winning cultures, with a great mix of veterans who can mentor the young guys and be the rudder to steady the ship.
If EFX is smart, they wont be judging our young team and players based on wins and losses, but whether they take the leap from the TRAIN TO COMPETE stage into the LEARN TO WIN stage.
Fans, we all need to be patient. The team is moving in the right direction, and I urge all of us to look at the DEVELOPMENT of this young squad, rather than the Win and Loss Column.