Welcome back to The Culture Factory.  A few people who are involved with blogs are telling me the average amount of words people will actually read in an article or blog is anywhere from 400-800 words.  Both of the previous TCF have been 2,000+ words.   I’m not sure how I feel about this because I want to dig deep in The Factory with content you can sink your teeth into.  Being a ‘ready-fire-aim’ guy I will try something different and go with a five-part series for this next topic and see what response I get.  Any feedback you would like to give me will be greatly appreciated.  You can contact me at, @CoachJacksonTPW or on Facebook on the Culture Defeats Strategy discussion page.

Let’s go.



We all have problems or issues we deal with in our programs, classrooms, businesses, etc.  Systems are clear, simple and actionable ways to solve problems.  We all want a great culture, but building one is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a DAILY COMMITMENT to get it done. We talk to our guys every day about something in the mental game.  Question: do you have a daily system of mental game training for your athletes?

Here is our basic system: Our coaches speak to the team about a mental game or culture concept.  This month we are hammering home our daily core values so on Monday we are talking to them about ‘juice’, on Tuesday competition, etc. before we begin our workout.   Our guys are sitting at attention and will have a spiral notebook out to take notes.   In the middle of our workout, we have a “1/2 time” where we take a short break.  During halftime, our guys get in ‘family’ groups and discuss the earlier message.  Each family group has a coach to help with the discussion.  He has specific questions to share with his group.

Topics we have ‘taught’ other than our core values:

  • E+R=O
  • Falcon Fast
  • Push the Rock
  • Everything Matters
  • Grit
  • Commitment Continuum
  • Kaizen

This is a rock-solid aspect of how to build a culture.  We hammer it every day not only with speaking to our team but also allowing them to discuss and have a dialogue with a coach and members of their small group.

I know some of you are reading this thinking, “Congrats, Randy, but I don’t have the time or manpower to implement this system.”  I get it, but that doesn’t give you a pass.  You have to figure out a way to get it done.  I have coaches ask me periodically about how they can build their culture but don’t have an athletic period or the time we have here in Texas.

Here is a great solution for you that I have used in the past and still use even with the system we have in place at North Forney.  One of my personal habits I discussed in the last Culture Factory was listening toThe Success Hotline on my drive to work.   The hotline is a free three-minute recording Dr. Rob Gilbert does each day.  Dr. Gilbert is a sports psychology professor at Montclair State University in New Jersey and has been recording these messages for almost 27 years.  Think about this, he has committed to helping others succeed consistently for 9,830 days!  He is dedicated to helping others thru mental training and anyone with a growth mindset will benefit and enjoy his messages.  I guarantee it.

I began listening to Dr. Gilbert almost three years ago and I have gleaned so much from his messages.  A few weeks ago I recorded one of his messages for the first time with a phone call recorder app (there are several of these apps out there).   A few days later another one of his messages really spoke to me so I recorded it and then had our team listen to it in our athletic period the next day.   We then discussed it and had a great 5-6 minute total leadership lesson.

This is an easy way you can get a terrific mental game discussion going with your team or class that would take less than five minutes total.

Examples of messages from Dr. Gilbert I have recorded in the last couple of weeks:

  • Desire Wins
  • Keep Swimming
  • Is it hard or just time-consuming?
  • Suffer now and be a champion for the rest of your life
  • Are you a 3%er?

Another big advantage of using this to help with your culture is you do not have to prepare anything.  If you decide your team or class would benefit then it is as simple as finding an aux cord and plugging your phone into a speaker to have a virtual world-class guest speaker.

If I were still teaching I would use The Success Hotline to be a ‘bell ringer’ daily for my classes.  It would be the most beneficial 4-5 minutes of their entire day.

In closing, you must be intentional about having a daily system for culture building through mental training.  They want to be brainwashed!!  Find a system that works for your situation to train the mental game for your group, have them discuss and share with each other and also use Dr. Gilbert to be a “guest speaker” for your team or class when you need him.  Today, our students and players need to be ‘poured into’ more than ever.  Speaking life into your team will not only increase your win total, but it will help change each of their lives also and isn’t that what we’re all here for?

“Getting better does not happen on its own without a coaching staff being intentional about it.”  Mike Neighbors Arkansas Women’s basketball coach

“The secret to success is consistency of purpose.”  Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British Prime Minister

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret to success is found in your daily routine.”  John Maxwell

“Everything happens twice, first in the mind then on the field.”

I am a proud 28-year veteran coach and educator and am the head football coach and campus coordinator at North Forney High School in Forney, TX.  NF is a 5A school with 1,600 students that was opened in 2009.  This past season we finished 10-3, the best record in the history of the school. We achieved a few milestones; defeating three teams they had never beaten, avg. 53 points a game (top 10 in 5A Texas history), won first 5A playoff game and advanced to the third round for the first time.  None of this would have happened w/o great players, coaches, and administration support.  But, it also would not have happened if we would not have changed the culture, a holistic approach and a commitment to the mental game.  
I want to share some of the things we did and I want to learn from you out there who are also on this journey.  The bottom line for me is I love coaches and believe in our great profession.  I want to contribute and writing CDS has allowed me to do in a small way.  This newsletter will also, but I hope will connect like-minded leaders.  I plan to learn as much as I give by doing this.










  1. ‪Great job coach. We really struggled with culture as having all our coaches not on campus we would meet kids on field and start practice. I made an effort to have around a 5 minute meeting at the start of practice about culture/leadership and the impacts were program changing. ‬ Later in the year time became a problem and I stopped the meetings and we went back to our old ways. 100% my fault and from that point on I made sure the meetings happened no matter what as there is always time. Of course I borrowed this idea from when I was out watching you at Grapevine and North Forney.

  2. I have truly enjoyed reading your articles . At Taft High School we are implementing a lot of what you speak about as far as creating a culture for a program. I took a lot of the ideas you shared with us at the Coastal Bend Clinic. Changing the culture of our program is something that has been lacking for a long time.

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