Most people around the age of 59 start to slow down into retirement. They may go on long fishing trips, sight-seeing vacations or some prefer to not do anything and just enjoy the spoils of hard work and dedication. Acquiring the position Director of Football Operations for Ohio State University may seem like a challenging prospective for any person regardless of age, let alone a once retired grandfather of five.
Todd Alles, Director of Football Operations for Ohio State University spoke at IMG Academy on the topic of "How to build a winning team". Through his extensive knowledge and experiences with some of college footballs best like Jim Tressel and the Ohio State Buckeyes, Nick Saban and Trevor Moawad, Alles sheds light on what it takes to build a winning team and what key variables keep that team going strong.
"Every knows their role" says Alles as the first step to building a winning team. "Everyone knows their role and performs their duties. There is no better way to help your team do this than by providing them with visual and physical stimuli." Holding up a thick 3 ring binder folder filled with paper Alles announces I give you "The Winners Manuel." Jim Tressel has implemented and executed this amazing motivational tool in the Ohio State locker room and front office. You must have it at all times, at all meeting, practices and anywhere where you think your going to need it, bring it.
Before you even open the folder the cover and the spine posses quotes and acronyms that invoke team spirit, positive thinking and the utilitarian attitude. For instance the cover says "With tradition comes responsibility", the spine has the acronym's "FUN" (Fierce Urgency Now), "WAYT" (What are you thinking) and "NR" (No Regrets). On the inside the folder covers everything from American History to the concept of 360 leadership (being a leader all the time, leading from the ranks), to emphasizing a specific type of effort (do your best and be the best all the time whether it's in the weight room, class room and preforming drills), to fill in the blank phrases that cause the athletes and staff to reflect on whats really important (for example: I'm thankful for _______. I'm grateful for _____.) and it has a chart to benchmark goals. The folder speaks on how each day the opportunity clock rings, not the alarm clock but the opportunity clock rings it's the individuals chance to make first good decision of the day so they should take advantage of it.
Mr. Alles imparted his experiences with Coach Woody Hayes and how Coach taught him to take the game of football and use it as a vehicle to mold positive men and women for the betterment of society. "I learned and saw first hand that the things the guys where taught on the field and from them seeing the examples set by the coaches, how it can make a positive impact on their lives and choices" says Todd Alles.
Working with University of Alabama prior to going to Ohio State, Alles remembers the feat that Trevor Moawad accomplished. "If someone was to bet me if certain players would be on the team five years from now and play in the National Championship Game, I would have taken that bet that none of them would be on the team because their attitudes where not right. Trevor worked with those individual guys trying to change their mentalities and I know it wasn't easy but his work and their commitment has given them an experience that they are not likely to repeat, winning a college national championship."
Mr. Alles has been around his fair share of winning programs and is currently at one so knowing and speaking about building a winning team is right up his alley. Alles' ending statement was "My job is to make Jim's job easier, when the coach doesn't have unnecessary things to worry about all the focus goes into the team and winning."