I started paying attention to Coach Jackson's stuff about three or four years ago. We were coming off a 1-9 season without a lot of hope for the future. I was ignorant of culture and had the smug attitude that winning teams had a good culture and losing teams had a bad culture.
Morale was bad. There was no confidence, there was no leadership, there was not much fun being had by anyone and there was not much hope things were going to get better.
I read Coach Jackson's book, Culture Defeats Strategy, and implemented many of his ideas. I believe, as a result, we have become a tougher team. We certainly developed leaders within our program and slowly created a culture kids wanted to be a part of. The Panthers became a true team that cared about each other and finally started winning games.
Some of the specific ideas we have implemented:
- Earn your way into the varsity locker room
- Began a leadership council
- Began a book study for players
Each of these has played a major role in building our program. Currently, we have a healthy locker room and players are proud to be Midlothian Panthers.
In 2017, the first season we used his method of core values, we had a 'watershed' moment late in the season. Because of our culture, we stayed together as a team and erased a 17-point deficit and had an unbelievable comeback win in overtime. This win springboarded us to a major upset win in week 10 to give us a 4-6 overall record.
Those two wins, along with the items listed above, led us into an offseason ripe with confidence. The vast majority of our players were all in on our culture and would 'lay in traffic' for each other and the coaching staff. The result was a 9-3 record in 2018. The best record for Midlothian High School in 28-years, the first playoff win in 30-years and only the fifth in school history!
We continued to make strides with our culture in 2019 and finished a playoff team in one of the toughest districts in the state and an overall record of 8-3.
Coach Jackson and I have spoken a few times, I visited him at North Forney, I have read his books and now am using his resources. I believe his way of creating a championship culture has been a difference-maker for us and would be for any program.
Head Football Coach / Campus Coordinator
Midlothian High School
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