In Episode 89 and other episodes this summer, we are taking a break from our normal programming to share with you some unreleased episodes from the Coaching Character Podcast, which Phil recorded with Coach Roz over the past couple years. This is...
In Episode 89 and other episodes this summer, we are taking a break from our normal programming to share with you some unreleased episodes from the Coaching Character Podcast, which Phil recorded with Coach Roz over the past couple years. This is great content that we wanted to ensure got the airtime it deserves. This episode shares an interview with Coach Sauers, who is doing some simple, life transforming things with his American football youth teams that we know you’ll learn some great lessons from.
Resources and Links from this Episode
Phil: Welcome back to how soccer explains leadership. Thanks again for being a part of this show. as We talked about in the season six post-match show, Paul and I are taking a little break this summer to get some really cool ideas brewed up for the next season and for the next year. And so this summer, we thought we'd share with you some last episodes from the coaching, that character podcast, that we actually released a few of those episodes early on in how soccer explains leadership. So we thought this summer take some of those episodes that because the coaching character podcast actually never
Really got off the ground for one reason or another. There were, there were several reasons we don't need to get into today, but we wanted to share that content with you because there were some really good interviews. And then when we have for you today is with coach Sauers. He coaches American football in Tracy, California.
And he's doing some really cool stuff. He has some amazing things to say that I have no doubt will [00:01:00] help you in your coaching, in your parenting and other areas of your life. So without more from me right now. We're going to share this coaching character podcast episode with you today.
[00:01:13] Coach Roz: Welcome to Coaching Character. my name is coach Roz. I've got my partner, Phil Darke with me, a podcast about, helping coaches, helping athletes, helping parents. We're excited about our episode, Phil. Let's get this thing going. Yeah, I'm
[00:01:27] Phil: excited. I'm excited today. This is again, a friend of yours, that, you've known for a long time has been part of the Playmakers community for a long time.
coach Sauers, coach.
[00:01:35] Shannon: Welcome. Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
[00:01:40] Coach Roz: This is really exciting, Sauers for for Phil, because this is two football players the true game getting to coach up and help somebody who's a, got a soccer background and he, and helping him understand what our game is really all about.
[00:01:56] Phil: We could go on and on about that. We won't today [00:02:00] cuz you know, soccer is a much more sophisticated game and, or the real football as we have said on this show before. But we, we don't have to get into that today. We can we can just focus on the main thing today and that's, that's really you coach Sauers
we're excited. I'm excited to, to learn more about you. I've heard some great things. But I'm excited to not only myself, be able to learn about you, but also our audience to be able to learn what you've been learning, how they can learn from that and how we together can hopefully better ourselves through this conversation.
So. So coach just before we get into the kind, the meat of the conversation I always love, and I know that I've heard from other people out there, they love hearing just your story, just how you got to be a coach, how you got to be, you know, working with play makers and how you just really, how the importance of character and integrity and, you know, life beyond the Xs.
And OS has been such a critical part of your coaching and your life. Yeah,
[00:02:54] Shannon: sure. A little bit about my background. I, I grew up in a small town up on the north coast in Humboldt county. It's [00:03:00] a community of about 8,000 people. When I was a kid, I played football and some baseball.
I played high school football at Fortuna high school. From there, I went to college of the redwoods, a community college up there in Eureka. And then from redwoods, I transferred to Southern Oregon university. So I was fortunate to, to be able to play beyond high school and, and, you know, keep doing what I really loved.
And then as far as coaching, once I graduated you know, it was kind of like, when I was done playing, it was, I would almost compare it to the loss of a long term relationship. I guess you could say I was just devastated. I cried when I was done playing, knowing that, knowing that I would never have the chance to play again.
And from there, I, I had an opportunity to start coaching youth football. I had some buddies that were coaching a team in Redding, California, and it was seventh and eighth graders. And one of the guys I had played with the other two guys were guys that played college ball [00:04:00] and, you know, they were calling saying, Hey, come down and coach with us.
We have a great team. We need a line guy. So my background was offensive and defensive line. I played both sides of the ball in high school. When I got to redwoods, you know, my, my dream was coming outta high school to be a, a division one football player as a defensive end. When I got to redwoods the Juco level, you know, I quickly realized that probably wasn't gonna come to fruition based on my size and athletic ability and speed.
But what they did tell me was, you know, if you're willing to move to center, you could probably start for us. So that's what I did. I, I became a center. So, you know, my background is is heavy into offensive defensive line. So, you know, I joined my buddies. I went down to Redding and I coached with them for two years and instantly found that I actually enjoyed coaching or got more out of coaching than I did playing. Than I ever did playing. So, you know, I figured out that, you know, I can, I can teach kids how to play and, you [00:05:00] know, I would I would just have so much joy in seeing their success and watching them grow as young men and as athletes you know, we had a pretty good team there for a couple years.
we ended up taking our team down to a, a tournament in Las Vegas that we won. So it was, it was pretty exciting. And then from there, the local high school Shasta high school was interested in having me coach for them. So I moved to the high school level and then from Shasta high school you know, I went down to the Sacramento area, which is where I met coach Roz for the first time.
So, you know, we coached together. And then from there. did a few years at the high school level. And then we started having kids, my wife and I. So I got outta coaching for a little bit until my son was old enough to start playing. And then I got right back into it and I've been doing it ever since.
Now I live in Tracy over in the east bay or the valley I'm involved with the Tracy Buccaneers youth football organization. So that's where [00:06:00] I'm at now. That's, that's kind of where I'm coming from.
[00:06:03] Phil: That's great. And that, you know, and one of the things you said in there that. I think you're just stuck with me.
And I think it's what we're gonna mine a bit more in this show today, but the idea that you enjoyed coaching more than you enjoyed playing, or at least that's what I heard.
[00:06:18] Shannon: Why that's the that's exactly right. Well, you know what, it's, it's incredibly rewarding for me. You know, so I can take a, I have a group of 35 kids and I have a chance to go out.
Influence them heavily influence them for at least a few hours a week. I've got a chance to teach them the fundamentals of the game, how the game is meant to be played. And just as important as I have an opportunity to teach them character, you know, what, what it means to work hard what it, what it means to someday, you know, be a man and take care of your family, take care of your business in school.
That's something I actually learned from coach Roz. I gotta tell you my first couple [00:07:00] years before I met Roz, I, I was coming with the attitude of, you know, I know the fundamentals of the game. My players are gonna be fundamentally sound. They're gonna be tougher than the other team, you know, we're, we're gonna win through through fundamentals and playing hard nose football.
Well, I met Roz and you know, this was nearly 20 years ago. So he said something to me that, you know, no one had ever said to me is, you know, he said Hey coach, understand that someday, these young men are going to be, they're gonna be fathers. They're gonna be husbands. They're gonna be employees.
They're gonna be employers. They're gonna be a member of our community. They're not gonna play in the NFL. So what we really need to give them is something they can take with him for the, the rest of their lives. And you know, that's character how to do the right thing, how to pay it forward and be a productive member of their communities.
So absolutely. I, I [00:08:00] really give that equal focus in my practice and in trying to develop my guys as you know, quality young men.
[00:08:07] Phil: Yeah. And that's something we'll get more into. I, I, I got, I got say, it's probably also, it's probably more fun not to get your head hit every time you're going, you know, during the practices, as a coach, you don't have to do that.
Is that, is that part of it too? Yeah. That's
[00:08:21] Shannon: well, that's, that is part of it. Yes. Yeah. I bet. Absolutely. I'm not the one out there wearing the gear and you know, doing the wind.
[00:08:29] Coach Roz: Here's here's an example of a soccer guy asking an office. Why is it more fun to coach than to play? Right. OK. And, and and the other thing is to, to retreat on our coaching experience Sauers, when, when I said these kids are not gonna be in the NFL, understand that, that Sauers and I were coaching a team.
Not only could not win a game. They probably couldn't win an inner squad scrimmage. We, we were not very good to say the least, right.
[00:08:58] Shannon: Well, Hey coach, if you [00:09:00] remember that team, hadn't won a game in several years and we went five and five.
[00:09:03] Coach Roz: I know. Yeah, no, we, we, we, and as time goes by that record gets better.
[00:09:10] Shannon: I I'm pretty happy with the results we were getting
[00:09:12] Coach Roz: there. Coach that's right now, it was, that was such a gratifying year. And you've already said some things that and Phil, I agree with you when he says coaching more fun than playing. And the other thing that he said that, that we may revisit it.
Another time is the game left him very abruptly. And I, and I talk about it's, it's almost like your best girlfriend breaking up with you and dumping you and, and it, and she's not going to date you again, but just the The trauma that we experience when the game is over. And it ends very quickly
[00:09:46] Shannon: that's right. When I got into coaching, that absolutely filled that void for me, that was left, you know, from a it's, you know, the, the final whistle goes off and that's a wrap. There is no more, there's no weight training. You know, there's no getting together with your teammates. [00:10:00] There's no camaraderie. It's over.
And you know, when you're in college it, you know, it's a bit different than the high school experience. You know, you don't have the coaches that are your PE teacher, your history teacher, you don't get to see them and continue to communicate when it's done. It's done. And you know, they're, they're onto the next group of guys.
[00:10:19] Phil: Absolutely. No, that's something that we, I think. That gets lost a lot of times on when coaches don't cover those things in, in high school, in college, you know, it's not something that is part of the training you get at a coach's meeting in high school, you know, you don't hear the athletic director, get out there and say, Hey, you need to talk to them about what it is to be a man, what it is to be a woman, what it is to be a wife, a husband, a whatever it is, right.
I mean, that's obviously from a soccer side, you're not typically coaching women in the, in the football arena, but the idea of. Life after sport and you actually played at not the highest level, but close to it. Right. And Raz, you [00:11:00] know, says he played at the highest level, but there's no records of that anywhere.
I don't think , but it's on microphone, but yeah, it's on microcomputer somewhere. That's true. There might be some black and white footage of, of him, you know, suiting up or something. But no, but in all seriousness, it's something that you got, you both have played at that really high level. And to be able to share that experience with your players is not only important.
I think it's critical so that you can help them as they will likely encounter something similar to what both of you have felt. And I felt as well at a different level and a different sport. Do you agree with that? Is that something that you, that when Roz started talking to you about those things, that it just really clicked like, oh, I actually can go beyond the Xs and O's on a chalkboard and actually help these people
[00:11:44] Shannon: in life.
Absolutely. It did. And you know, like I said, up, up until the point. I started that I met Roz and, and he said that to me, you know, I still remember 20 years later exactly what he said. It has stuck with me. You know, there are a few things from my [00:12:00] football career playing and coaching that, that people have told me that I remember.
And that is one of 'em. So, you know, I'm very purposeful in making sure that part of my team is not only the fundamentals being prepared for the actual game we play, but incorporating character development into my practices. And everybody that coaches with me, all the assistants that I have around me know that that's just as important.
In fact the beginning of the year, I put out expectations of coaches, players, and parents. And one of them is that for coaches understand that character is every bit as important as fundamentals of the game.
[00:12:42] Coach Roz: So, let me, let me dig into that. Just a little bit sours. You put a hundred coaches in the room before the season starts and every one of them will tell us that character is important.
And oftentimes that that lasts right up to kickoff. So [00:13:00] begin to talk with us. So there's there's character in theory, and then there's character in practical application. And one of the, one of the reasons that I wanted to talk with you is you are an early adapter and you are an innovator of what character looks like in your daily and weekly plan.
Talk about that if you will.
[00:13:24] Shannon: Sure. Well, for me incorporating character again, it, it starts before, before we even start the season, is that. The coaches know that it's gonna be important. They know what the standards are gonna be. The boys, I sit 'em down and before we even begin, you know, I go over these expectations.
Some of the character things, you know, I talk to them about is that, you know, we're gonna, we treat each other with family. And it really, it depends on your age group, right? So you really have to take a look at the, the group that you're coaching and see what fits and what's appropriate. But, you know, we talk about we're a family here, you know, we're more than [00:14:00] just individuals.
We talk about what the expectations are on the field. You know, that's being to practice on time, being prepared, having the proper attire, having your, your water. We talk about what it means to build one another up. Never tear each other down. We talk about that that everything we do is with intent and the intent is.
To come together and build a culture of a team and with that will, will come success. It, you know, might not be on the scoreboard every single game, but we are always trying to make progress. We're always trying to grow. We're always trying to be a better teammate. Some of it is I'll pick out kids that it could be, you know, kids that, that might have some troubles that, that give us a hard time that kind of go off the rails and, you know, I'll, I'll develop a, an individual plan for them.
That that's a leadership plan. I'll give them specifics because it is real easy to say. Yeah, character's important. But what does that actually mean? And it's actually really difficult to find. What does that actually mean? You know, if you go [00:15:00] on the internet and look up how to teach leadership, it's still gonna give a very broad strokes of what a leader is, right?
So for the group of kids, I have. They're 13 years old. I have to give specifics. So that could be, you know, Hey, I want you to look for an opportunity to pick up one of your teammates, right? If they have a bad rep I want you to look for opportunities to encourage somebody. And I want you to do that three times today.
So that's what that might look like. Or I want you to get here 10 minutes early tomorrow so that you can help coaches set up. So it's very, very specific. And I think that's important for the younger kids is, you know, be as specific as possible. So if you were to say to them, Hey, you know, I want you to try and be a leader.
That doesn't mean anything to them. You've gotta be very smart. That's like, that's like tackle better. Yeah, exactly. That's like, yeah. When, when a kid's you. Swinging and missing the baseball 30 times in a row. Coach says, keep your eye on the ball, right? [00:16:00] Yeah. And then they go another 30 reps missing the ball.
So Phil here,
[00:16:04] Coach Roz: the, oh, I'm sorry. I'm stopping you just because there's a nugget here. Sure. And, and what you said was I heard you say an individual leadership plan for maybe a kid that is difficult to to get along with now, to me, that's a nugget that we can apply to any sport that we've got. Right?
Every one of us has got a kid that's got more talent, et cetera, et cetera, but an individual leadership plan that takes it from, that takes it from theory to application. And that's a coach going the extra mile for a kid. That to me, that's just life breathing.
[00:16:50] Phil: Absolutely. I mean, I think it's not just sports, but family, organizations, you know, any place where you have people you're gonna have different levels of skill, you're gonna have [00:17:00] different levels of attitude.
You're gonna have different levels of ego. You're gonna have different personalities. You're gonna have all kinds of different stuff, but I will say another nugget there that was implicit in what you were saying was, as you're talking with these players and say, Hey, I want you to encourage three players.
I want you to, you know, come early. I want you to be an example. It needs to start with you as the coach.
[00:17:20] Shannon: It has to start with you as a coach. Yes. So you need to be healthy
[00:17:23] Phil: yourself, right? And I think this is what we've talked about with, with our in other episodes, as well as just the idea of coaches.
You need to not only know yourself, you need to know, you know, be, you need to be healthy yourself too. You need, if you're saying, come show up 10 minutes early, you better not be showing up 10 minutes late. You better be there really with, you know, being ready to practice. Right. So that, and if you've say encouraged few times, you better be encouraging, right.
You better be doing the things that we talk about, the praise in the praise in public and criticize in private stuff that we, you know, sometimes I'm coach than a player on that, but right. I mean, you're, you're starting tie. So I, I wanna come back to you. What do you [00:18:00] think of those? I mean, what, what RA just said, what I just said, what have you seen that and how have you seen that play out in your coaching?
[00:18:06] Shannon: So, you know, that's absolutely correct. You have to model these behaviors for them. And I'll tell you when, when you go to a kid. So, you know, part of the culture that I try and build is I wanna show up with passion every single day and you really have to, and you were, you kind of mentioned that, you know, you've gotta be healthy yourself.
You've gotta show up with passion every single day, ready to go. You've gotta model those behaviors for the kids. And you know, when you, when you take a kid aside and say, Hey, these are some things I want you to work on. You know, that it actually means a lot to him because you know, there's 35 other kids on the team and, you know, coach has taken this time to talk to me.
And I do make it a point, you know, to, to check in with the kids. You know, I'll ask 'em, Hey, how was school today as individuals? You know, they're stretching, I'll walk around. I, I, I know if, try and learn, if you know, they've got siblings or they've got pets or what school they go to, what they're interested in.
And I pay attention to that stuff, you know, [00:19:00] sometimes I'll even write it down so that I don't forget it. You know, Hey, I'm gonna check in with with Julian today, see how school was, or, you know, Hey, how's this new puppy doing. And that really means a lot to the kids that, that, you know, they can see that you really care about them.
And if you, if you wanna get them to do what you need them to do, they've gotta know that you care about them. And part of that is you know, modeling these behaviors. Sometimes I'll tell the kids, Hey, watch what I do, watch what I do at practice today. Where, you know, we're talking about, we're talking about building each other up.
I want you to look for examples of me building up other players today. And then after practice, I'll say, Hey, you know, did, did you see any of that? And gimme some specifics and then I'll say, and what did, what did you do specifically to build up? And I, you know, I want to hear those specifics as.
[00:19:47] Phil: That's fantastic.
I, I, I love hearing that. And I just think just studying your players, studying your team, knowing yourself, knowing others, and you know, I just, I absolutely love that super encouraged by that,
[00:19:59] Coach Roz: you know, [00:20:00] Sauers. Another thing that that Phil was saying Phil has really done some cutting edge stuff in the area of behavioral profiling.
In the, the comment was understanding yourself. You know, we, as a coach have to understand ourselves, I'm an emotional emotive guy. I'm a, I'm a loud guy. And, and Phil a again has done some really, really. Neat work in implementing behavioral profiling, into helping coaches, not only understand themselves, their coaching staffs, but the kids that they're coaching and it has been invaluable to you, Phil,
[00:20:39] Phil: correct?
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we use the disk disk model of human behavior. I've used it with the team that I coach. I use it, my family, I use it with my organization. We've trained people all over the world in, in it. And it's it's human behavior. So, and again, it starts with understand self so that you can understand others.
So that you can make your teams better and we [00:21:00] can have better performance. And so that's really the idea, but it does start with self and, you know, and then being healthy in, in that behavior. But that's something for a conversation for another day which we will have, but I think that it goes to everything we've been talking about as well.
So I wanna switch gears a little bit though. And, and really just talk about, you know, we've been talking about you and your coaching philosophy and how, what you've learned from Raz and, and, and whatnot, but other than Raz and what he taught you, you know, really, you know, in, in your coaching time, when you were a player, what coaches or coach do you really remember that impacted you?
And what was it about them that really left an impression on you that you still are gonna be talking about today on this show?
[00:21:43] Shannon: Yeah, sure. You know, I was fortunate. I had some great coaches when I was a player. You know, I had one at redwoods his, his, his name was Bob Seaman. And. And you know, when I think back of, I, I saw that you sent me this question yesterday, and I was thinking, thinking about this last [00:22:00] night and it really comes down to, you know, it's not the Xs and OS it's, it's the character of the men that were coaching me.
So at redwoods, I had a, a, a great coach in Bob Seaman and he said something that I still use today for my players. And he had a saying, he said if you work hard and do the right thing, good things will happen. So that stuck out at me, you know, with me, as I was thinking about this you know, I've had great coaches that teach fundamentals.
You know, I had a, another coach at redwoods. Was a student of the game and you know, taught me the ins and outs of playing offensive line, the fundamentals. So, you know, he was, he was one that sticks out for the, more of the X's and O's of the game. In high school. I I'll tell you when I really became passionate about playing.
I had a guy, my JV coach, my freshman year when I was in high school, I had a guy that was a coach at, at Fortuna high school for 30 years. He was an old school, hard nose [00:23:00] coach. He was the type of guy that, you know, he, he wouldn't tell you great job. He was more of the guy that. Yell at you and let you know that you know, if you made a mistake, he would let you know.
And it, everyone within a one mile radius would know as well . But anyway so when I really developed a passion was it, it kind of came at, out of an unorthodox way after my freshman year coach Kelly had a couple of older boys, one of em, just finished his junior year. He was the starting quarterback on the varsity team.
And that summer he was killed in a car accident. So, you know, I saw this guy that was just a hard nose football coach and, you know, he was absolutely devastated and it, and it really affected me. He resigned from, from coaching and from teaching. And you know, I kind of decided that. I've seen this guy, his life has completely been turned upside down.
I see how this is affecting him and what he's going through. And so I [00:24:00] decided, you know, I wanna, I want to make our team better for coach and I wanna do everything I can to at least help him feel a little bit better about himself and what's going on. So after that happened we got a few guys together and, you know, we started lifting weights and preparing for the next season.
We had a, a, a guy that would let us into the weight room at five 30 in the morning. And that the core guys that we had decided, we're gonna do everything we possibly can to get coach, to come back and have a successful year. My freshman year we didn't win a game. So that was gonna be his final year, you know, going for, and, you know, we decided we wanted to change that.
And from there the next year we were undefeated, so it started out, we had four or five guys in the weight room within a couple of months, you know, we had 18 or 20 guys all on the same page. So that's really where [00:25:00] the, the camaraderie, the idea that you know, you can have success through hard work came from.
And, you know, I did see those results on the field. You know, I my abilities increased tremendously. And from there it just never slowed down.
[00:25:17] Phil: That's fantastic. That's something that I, I talk about a lot is really whether it's in my organization, that I run, whether it's in coaching, whether it's, you know, just in again, in my family, it's that idea of being on the same page, right?
It's that idea of mission, vision values we always talk about in organizations, but I think sports teams really do themselves a disservice to not do the same thing in their, in their organizations and in their teams. Because if you're not on the same page, then you likely will go, oh, for whatever, like you said, in the team.
And when you are on the same page, you're gonna win games that you have no business winning, you know, when it comes to talent, when it comes to just, you know, if you look on the, you know, on, on paper, but the best teams find ways to win. And usually that's because [00:26:00] they're on the same page. So I mean, what have you seen with that Roz?
[00:26:04] Coach Roz: well, it, what is, is Sauers was telling the story to me, the glimpse that I get is the, the, the times where the game is bigger than the individuals that are playing the game. Where you're taking a difficult life circumstance, and you're using the rally point of the game and the weight room to build character into, into those players, participating the coach, the message that you're sending again.
That's, to me, that's an example of when the game is bigger than, than the individuals playing it. So, that's what I was hearing. Sauers, a question a pile on question to the coaches that influenced you, you played youth football, correct? I did. Did they have youth football at your age? Up there in the, in the Hills?
[00:26:53] Shannon: Freeman
[00:26:54] Coach Roz: football or was it OK, so you played football, high school football, college football, new year, college [00:27:00] football. When was the game the most fun?
[00:27:03] Shannon: For me it was the most fun in high school because, you know, under the lights we had a you know, 50 piece marching band that would come marching out, you know, the, the roaring and you know, I get, I get goosebumps when I think about it still.
Yeah. You know, crisp north coast evenings, the cool air, the fog coming in under the lights, the marching band coming in to me that was there. There's nothing better than. I, I,
[00:27:28] Coach Roz: I, it was interesting. We interviewed Harrison Phillips an episode or two ago, who's playing with the Buffalo bills and, and he was saying it was most fun when I played youth football and we didn't win a game and to share, share your experience.
And I'm an age myself. I still can smell wet, cut grass and chalk. They used to actually chalk fields before. Right. But I still, I still can smell the grass. I can smell a game. [00:28:00] I, I, I just can
[00:28:01] Shannon: I'm sure. Absolutely.
[00:28:03] Phil: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I mean little little known fact. I played football too. I think we've talked about this, right.
Both games, both years I played, I scored touchdowns. So
[00:28:15] Coach Roz: I'm being, I'm just throw it out. Being a, a kicker does not exactly invite you into the
[00:28:20] Phil: I'll say, as I've told you back up running back, so, you know, that's big time. So all that to say I think it is odd that we, you know, all of our guests seems to have not won in high school.
It's kinda weird. Yeah. We gotta get some guests who won in high school and did anybody win? So, apparently every team was O and 10 or what else? So, we gotta get more Folsom high school grads here, and then, then, then we won't have that same problem for sure. But yeah, so I think that the, the. The idea of understanding all of these principles that we've been talking about are critical to healthy teams, right?
So healthy coaches, healthy players, healthy teams, as you talked about the most fun, I think it's important for high school [00:29:00] coaches to remember that that usually people have really fond memories of high school. And I think that's, for all those reasons you set in more, I think it's also playing for your high school.
There's something about that. That is, that is critical, but then there's the other side of it, right? There are in youth sports, whether high school, youth sports cl you know, whether it's clubs and soccer, whether it's the programs that are, you know, these high schools have their youth sports programs, and there's the negative side of it too.
There's challenges. There's corruption. What have you seen there? And, you know, what do you think we need to be doing to changing that? I guess the negative culture of the youth sports that we have going on in our
[00:29:38] Shannon: country, Sure there, there is plenty of negative that we could point at. You know, I've heard about just in the leagues that my son and I have been involved with.
You hear about embezzlement that, you know, the treasurers stealing money out of the pot you know, of a nonprofit organization you've got coaches that are, you know, win at all costs. They'll go recruit the best players in town to be on their [00:30:00] team. And, you know, that's what matters most. You've got parents that that's what matters most, right?
The, the wins and losses you know, getting, getting the trophy it's end of the year by all means necessary. We've had a team in our league last year that was kicked out of the league because they were playing high school kids on their eighth grade team. You know, their kids were playing both high school and youth football.
So I've seen plenty of it. Even in my son's involved with travel baseball and that that's actually where I'm at right now is the, the indoor facility that he trains at. And I'm, I'm teaching weight training to, to baseball kids right now. They're a nonprofit and you know, we go play tournaments last year, we're at a tournament and I hear there's a, he last year he was a 12 U player.
I hear there's an eight U eight U team that got caught with 10 year olds. Right. Because they wanna win that trophy at the end of the weekend. And you know, I look at that and I go, why is this going on? Well, you know, part of it is the, the sense of immediate gratification, right? Like [00:31:00] just, just winning, being on a winning team and winning that trophy is the most important thing you know, to me, and it's, it's the parents, right?
It's not the kids and, and the baseball world. Some of these clubs travel clubs are charging $5,000 a year, you know, and they've got big facilities and, you know, they've gotta show results. If you're a parent paying $5,000 a year, you wanna get the trophy on Sunday. Right. So they've gotta show results.
You know, it's almost like they're desperate enough to cheat to get those results. So what do we do about it? Well, you know, that's a tough one. I, I think it's, you've gotta, you've gotta come into it for the right reasons as a coach and as a parent you know, as a coach, you've gotta have a passion for what you're doing.
You you've gotta understand that it goes beyond the fundamentals of the game and it goes well beyond the results of, of one weekend or one game. You know, you've gotta pick the right circle and you've gotta keep your circle [00:32:00] tight. So you've gotta have the right people involved. You know, I'm very fortunate right now at the Tracy Buccaneers is, is run, run by a tremendous family that are in it for the right reasons.
And you know, they've got people on board that are in it for the right reasons. But that takes time sometimes, right? So sometimes people come along that aren't a good fit and you, you basically have to build a strong culture. You basically, the way I look at it is you build this this circle or this wall around this circle of good people that are in for the right reasons.
And there's gonna be people on the outside picking away at that. But you know, you've, you've gotta not let, not let those people in. And when they do come in, you know, you've gotta you gotta get 'em out or, you know, tell 'em this probably isn't a good fit for you. It's also, you know, goes down to your coaching staff, make sure you've got the right guys on board.
Make sure you're all on the same page. Make sure that they understand your expectations and they have your back. You know, I, what I have always [00:33:00] thought is that, you know, I, I don't necessarily want the guy that played in the NFL at the highest level just for his name. You know, I want the guy, I don't care if you've never played.
If you've never coached, if you've got the right attitude, you can learn what you need to learn to be a great coach.
[00:33:17] Coach Roz: you're exactly right. If start with, just gimme the foundation of, of a coach that cares and loves kids and is willing to learn as much as we try to overcomplicate the game and make it a moonshot.
It's still more about. Making it fun relating to the kids, particularly at the levels that we coach at and a coach being willing to learn. I just believe that's paramount. So if I can Sauers, that leads us into you are a coach now with several years of experience, but if you can rewind the clock to your brand spanking new and there's, and there's new [00:34:00] coaches coming in on a regular basis, Phil and I were in a conversation about, you know, most coaches at, at the youth level get involved, not because of their coaching experience, they get involved because they have a child playing the game.
So they kinda exactly they kinda back into this. So the question in here is if you were, if you had this to do over again, what would you want to know? How could we give a new coach, a headstart in this adventure, into coaching?
[00:34:28] Shannon: Sure. Well I think first of all, you have to sign up for the right reasons, right?
It's, it's gotta be that you have a passion for helping kids and you love the game. I think you have to bring a positive passion every single day. And you know, sometimes that means a lot of hours throughout the week in preparing work on relationships every single day that you're out there, you know, with, with the kids, with the parents, with the the other coaches you have to understand the athletes, you have to understand the game and most important, you have to be able to teach [00:35:00]both of those things.
Right? So that's key. And you know, part of this is that you can't be too hard on yourself. When you make mistakes, it's a learning process. It takes time, you know, still, you know, I, I, I learn things every single day that, that I can do better, that I can implement. When I do make mistakes, you know, I, I let it go.
I learn from it. I move on. So I think also picking your assistant coaches, you wanna pick men with character or, or people with character? Like I said, you know, it, it doesn't matter to me if they played at a very high level. I want guys with character, right? You can learn. We, we have resources for around us now, YouTube.
I I'm constantly on YouTube learning new drills and learning new things and philosophies. So there are resources available, you know, you don't have to come in into it with any experience. Really, if you're willing to put in the work and the time to better yourself every day as a coach learn and grow every day.
Use other coaches as resources reach out, develop a network. So you wanna also state the [00:36:00]expectations of players up front, you know, one thing I've learned the players, coaches, and parents. So that, that's one thing that, you know, I've implemented. The last few years that I've learned is, you know, you're gonna come across parents that are upset or angry, you know, my, Hey, my kid's not a lineman, he's a running back kind of thing.
So, I don't like what you're doing. I don't like the drills you're running. I wanna see more results. So if you put those expectations in writing up front and cover with everybody, you have something to point back to and say, Hey, you know, we went over this at the beginning of the year. You said you understood this, right?
So. You know, just let it turn your child over to us and let us do our job. That's so good. Also, you know, be as prepared as time will allow. So that means you know, for football I put about 20 hours in a week preparing for the next game. So, you know, that involves practice time.
That involves practice planning that involves watching film, you know, watching watching the last game. What do we need to work on this week, watching the team that we're gonna be playing? How can we best be [00:37:00] prepared for them? But you know, it says time will allow. So, you know, I've got a full time job too.
If I could, you know, I would spend all day every day the weekday preparing for those games. You know, I've got other things going on. So
[00:37:11] Coach Roz: one of the things that I've learned from you Sauers is you said something in that's preparation. How many, how many coaches have we stepped out on the field with that come wheeling in five minutes before practice starts, or five minutes after practice starts with no practice plan and they're winging it, it doesn't make any difference what the sport is.
And I know enough about you to know you are a preparer and an organizer, and absolutely, I believe that that's critical to, to what we're
[00:37:44] Shannon: doing. It is absolutely critical. So you want to come to practice with a written plan in hand. So mine, I have every single minute accounted for even, you know, down to the, the two minute water break.
So every, every minute is accounted for. We know what [00:38:00] we're doing. My team can bounce from drill to drill the coaches know, before we, we go to practice what the plan is for that day. And, you know, really that, that starts for me on you know, Sunday after the game is I'll write up the practice plans for the week.
And then as the week goes, I'll adapt them. You know, like, Hey, we need to, you know, we, we need to actually spend some more time in offensive groups because we're not quite where we need to be yet. So yeah, absolutely have a plan. I have it done ahead of time kids like structure, right? And they respond well with structure.
If you show up and try and wing it, you know, Hey, let me say here and think about what we're gonna do. Well, you know, then the kids start fooling around and throwing the ball around and things can go off, off the rails very, very quickly. So absolutely preparation is.
[00:38:46] Phil: So SARS that that's so much, so much good stuff we could, we could spend probably 10 more episodes talk about each of those, each of those little nuggets that you're given to whether it's new coaches or coaches who have been coaching for 50 years.
I think those things that you [00:39:00] said are great, incredible reminders for us. I think one of the things that you said really stuck out to me, and it's something that I, I think about all the time. I mean, what you don't know about me is about 12 years ago, I took over a nonprofit organization or 11 years ago, I guess, and I had zero experience running, anything, let alone an international nonprofit.
And, you know, I actually talked with a. Guy who started an MBA program. He's now one of my mentors, an MBA, not an MBA. But masters of business administration to be, this is a sports podcast. So I wanna make sure you understand that it wasn't the national basketball association. So, but he told me, he said, it's a good thing.
You didn't know what you were doing when you started, cuz you would've tried to Al to do it, how it was always been done. And it wouldn't have worked during the time that you did it because it was such a unique situation. And I think oftentimes we forget that our world is very different now than it was when we were growing up and you know, especially Rahz, I mean, they didn't have TVs and back then, [00:40:00] so, but it's a very, very different place.
And to have perspective coming in as a coach. And as what you said, you can teach the Xs and O you can teach this stuff. You can go on YouTube. The fact that I can now go on YouTube to learn how to not only record a podcast, but how to edit a podcast and their software for us to help this and this and this.
If I can edit a podcast, anybody can coach, you know, different things, especially when you're talking youth sports. It's so much more important to have character and integrity and teaching life. Then teaching Xs and OS and you know what, whoever has the talent, whoever has the, the desire and the will, they're gonna go to those next levels.
But most of the kids who start playing these sports will never go on to bigger and greater things in the sport, but they will go on to be members of our society. And so I think that alone is so critical as we are not only thinking, should we be coaching ourselves, going back to that self-awareness we talked about earlier, but who are we choosing to coach with us?
And what are we holding our other [00:41:00] coaches accountable to those things are so essential that I think get lost. Way too often because we lose perspective and whether it's parents losing perspective, coaches losing perspective, and going back to, what can we do? I think this is something that, that Ross and I are gonna mine a little bit more later, but the idea of we all need to be on the same page in that perspective or else somebody's gonna throw it outta whack.
And another thing that the money that you're talking about with the embezzlement and things, that's a whole nother issue, but I, I really appreciate what you were talking about there just as far as how you're choosing your staff and how you're choosing the people that you're working with. Cause I think that's just, just, just critical.
So any last thoughts you have for us? I know we need to wrap it up. We've been, been going and like you said, we can go for hours longer, but you know, we do have a to keep it to a certain length here. So, any, any last thoughts you'd want to just say, okay, here's some things, if I didn't say this, I I'd be really bummed when I, when I, when we cut off.
[00:41:57] Shannon: Yeah, sure. You know, I think that you know, you, you've, you've [00:42:00]gotta be willing to, you know, RO was talking about, you know, a lot of us get into this because our, our children are playing and, you know, that's why I continue to, to coach right now. It is cuz my son's a player. But even though my son's on the team, you know, I'm gonna give 110%, so you've gotta come into it with passion.
You know, I've got many, many things I learned. So I would say continue to learn and grow every single day pick the right people to be around, you know, before you get into it do a little research on the league and on the team, what's their culture like? Is it gonna be a good fit for you? And then obviously you know, Pick guys to be around you, to coach with you that are, are of character.
You know, the guys I'm, I'm lucky. The guys that I coach with are, are family to me. So I think that's hugely important. There's other things I've learned, you know, that kind of get down to the specifics is you know, setting the expectations of the team and the parents and the coaches ahead of time.
I, I do have learned that I need to keep attendance every single day. And that helps [00:43:00] because, you know, when you, when you have a parent that's upset about playing time, again, you have something in writing, Hey, I wanna show you, your son is missed 10 practices already this season, you know, and we're we're five weeks in you know, we've gotta get that straightened out.
I also keep I take metrics on the boys. The first week. So we'll do you know, 40 yard dash time, a shuttle time, a broad jump, vertical jump. You know, you could do different stations where, you know, how many how many passes are they catching out of five attempts. So again, those, you know, aren't necessarily to decide who's gonna play where I use those things to, to show to parents that come to me you know, upset about playing time or positions that their, their kids are playing.
So, you know, for, for me, I think those were really valuable things I've learned and they help because now you've got a starting point for that conversation. Mm-hmm um, mm. So really, I think also, you know, what I tell parents is. You gotta be in the right mindset. You gotta understand the big picture.
It's not about winning the [00:44:00] trophy at the end of the year or the trophy at the end of this baseball tournament. It's, you know, what do I want for my child? Well, I want them to be a better person, right? I want them to learn the value of hard work. I want them to compete for the best college and the best jobs.
So keeping a perspective of what's really important and, and why you're doing it, you know, and understand you can look up statistics. You know, I don't, I, for NFL, I think the, the odds of getting into the NFL for a high school player is something like one in a million mm-hmm . So, you know, when you look at those things that it kind of does give you perspective as to what should be important to you.
[00:44:40] Phil: Yep. So Raz, before we sign off, what do you got to say?
[00:44:43] Coach Roz: My God What I have to say is why we are going down this podcast road. Just get a vision of your son or your daughter being coached by a guy like Sauers and the vision of what happens if Sauers [00:45:00] is teaching more coaches to be Sauers and what does this look like?
At a large scale with kids being inundated with character, life skills, that's what I'm thinking. Sours. I am so unbelievably proud of you and the, and the work that you're doing and you being on the cutting edge. You are so far ahead of the curve and your message is so important. Keep doing what you're doing.
I am so, so
[00:45:27] Shannon: proud of you. Yeah. And I will say,
[00:45:30] Phil: thank you. I'll say thank you as well for just being, being a part of this show being one of the first guests we have on this. I'm very glad that we were able to have very grateful for what you're doing as, as Raj just said there. I think some of the things you said earlier in the, in the show about what do we do to help change the, the, the negative culture side of youth sports?
I think one of those things is one at a time have coaches like yourself affecting other coaches and being able to multiply that. [00:46:00] So, you know, thanks a lot again. And hopefully you'll be able to get you on the show again sometime soon.
Well, after listening to that again, I am so grateful that we decided to share these episodes with you this summer. Because as promised. Coach Sauers I had some amazing things to share with us. So with everything that we do, I hope that you take what you learned today. I hope that you take other episodes that you've listened to the different resources that are shared the different things that these coaches and.
Players and business people and parents and different people from different walks of life for sharing with us. And you use all of it to help you to be a better leader, to be a better parent, to be a better. Spouse. To be a better friend. And to continually remind yourself that soccer does explain life and leadership.
Thanks a lot. Have a great week.
In Episode 62, we are capping off 2021 and ringing in 2022 with 20 great leadership lessons (plus a couple bonus nuggets) from our interviews over the past year. There is so much more wisdom in the full interviews, which …