Always Be Advertising

Want to move up in the football business?

Let Nick Saban explain how he made his decision to hire a new assistant coach.

Saban was talking the other day about how found his new assistant offensive line coach Brent Key.

What stood out to me was that Saban interviewed the guy three years ago, but didn’t hire him because he didn’t feel like it would’ve been a great fit for the staff. Still, he was very impressed with Key and kept his name on a list for the next time a position was available.

The end result?

Saban didn’t hire him until THREE YEARS after the first interview!

In other words, Key made such an impression on Saban that the next time he was looking for an offensive line coach, one of the first names to pop into his head was Brent Key.

That’s what advertising is all about, folks.

Executives at Coca-Cola aren’t expecting you to bolt out the door and buy a Coke the moment you see an ad on TV.

Nope, they want to make such an impression on you that the next time you’re thirsty, the first name you think of is “Coke.”

ALWAYS BE ADVERTISING

In the old days if you were just breaking into the business, you had to hope that the head coach knew enough people who might need someone like you.

Now, thanks to the internet, it’s easier than every to get your name out there.

You’re really only limited by your imagination, but here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Start a blog and talk about what you know
  • Write a book on a football topic and self-publish it.
  • Contribute valuable information to a message board regularly and become a trusted name
  • Start a Twitter account and post video clips of you breaking down a play
  • Start a podcast and talk about football-related topics

Once again, ALWAYS BE ADVERTISING.

The next time someone is looking to hire a new coach, you want your name to be the first one that pops into their head.

There are plenty of ways to do it, but if you’re looking to stand out, get online and get your name out there.

Speaking of advertising…

I’ve got a newsletter coming out soon, where each month I break down an offense against a defense in college or the NFL, “Every Play Revealed” style.

How did Wade Phillips put the clamps on Cam Newton and the Panthers offense?

Find out when the first issue of the Every Play Revealed newsletter comes out on April 1st.

(The anticipation is killing me)

– Alex Kirby

Come Up With a List of Stupid Questions (And Start Asking Them)

Let me tell you about one of the shortest jobs I ever had.

A while back I was hired to work in a warehouse stacked to the ceiling with boxes, and the company had a very inefficient way of counting inventory and making sure everything was in the right spot. I quickly found out that it wasn’t uncommon for employees to work six days a week to get orders filled, and all because they wasted so much time counting everything by hand. By the third day I was making a habit of asking a stupid question that got on the nerves of my boss.

“Why?”

I was asked not to come back for a fourth day.

Thankfully the coaching business is exactly the opposite. Every offseason coaches spends lots of time and money asking and answering questions on all kinds of topics. Often times however, consciously or unconsciously, we hold back from asking basic, foundational questions about the game out of a fear of looking like an amateur.

Want to be a successful coach? You first have to identify your strengths, but more importantly, your weaknesses.

The quickest way to do that is to ask “stupid” questions. » Read more

Two Words That Will Get You Where You Want To Go In Football And Life

With all the talk of what the economy will or won’t do in the next year, it doesn’t seem like the best of times to be working or looking for a job. This is especially true for football coaches and those who aspire to enter the profession.

This is aimed more at the younger and aspiring coaches out there, but anyone can benefit from what we’re going to talk about. It may sound like I’m being pessimistic or negative in this post, but stay with me, I promise there’s a point to all this.

Coaching is an extremely competitive field, and like every other industry out there, it’s filled with good bosses and bad bosses, good coworkers and bad coworkers, good-paying jobs and (more often) poorly-paid jobs. There’s long hours, rampant nepotism, and everyone in the stands thinks they can do your job better than you.

If that’s not bad enough, for every coaching job out there, there are a hundred guys waiting to fill it. So how does a young coach with little to no experience or connections stand a chance, and not only stand a chance, but thrive and advance in a field that’s as competitive as any other?

What if I told you there are just two words you need to know to put yourself ahead of 95% of the job candidates out there? Would you believe me?

Are you ready? Have a pen and paper handy, because the two words I’m going to give you here will absolutely blow your mind. » Read more

Gregg Popovich’s great advice to young Coaches

As you’ve probably heard by now, the San Antonio Spurs made history yesterday when Head Coach Gregg Popovich hired Becky Hammon to be the first full-time women’s coach in NBA history.

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I have no idea how well this sort of thing is going to work out, though it’s hard to see Popovich hiring anyone if he didn’t feel they were qualified. The point of bringing up the USA Today article which covered the hiring wasn’t about making history, it was about something else in the article, a quote from a year ago when Hammon had been working with the Spurs after Popovich discovered that she wanted to coach after leaving the WNBA. » Read more

Fred Farrier on Networking and Managing your Career

One of the best tools for younger coaches at the convention is the first-timer’s meeting. The presentation is full of useful information, not just about the convention, but on the coaching profession in general. This past convention in Indianapolis was not my first, but I wanted to attend the first-timer’s meeting again because I had been so impressed with Coach Fred Farrier and what he had to say the year before in Nashville. Read on to get some great advice on networking and creating a positive impression with potential employers. » Read more