The Price for Success (and the Value of Process)

September 6, 2013
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Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 22)“You have to pay the price for success up front. Everybody wants to do it. Not everybody is willing to do what they have to do to do it.”

– Nick Saban

JS Comment:

Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is the most successful college football coach of all time. He is so damn good the fans are bored of winning.

Saban’s impact can be measured not just in wins, but greater benefit to the school. Based on what he has done for U of Alabama, Saban’s $5.3 million annual salary is one of the greatest bargains in the history of college sports. (See this Forbes piece, “Everyone Wants to Go to Alabama.”)

What is truly awesome about Saban is the methodical and process-driven way in which he kicks ass. One could say he is fanatically process driven.

Saban “pays the price for success” by elevating the process above all things… then pours his heart and soul into consistent execution of that process, day after day. The results speak for themselves.

Being process driven to the core, we Mercenaries absolutely love this:

Instead of talking about wins and championships, Saban speaks about the Process. In its most basic form, the Process is Saban’s term for concentrating on the steps to success rather than worrying about the end result. Instead of thinking about the scoreboard, think about dominating the man on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Instead of thinking about a conference title, think about finishing a ninth rep in the weight room. Instead of thinking about graduating, think about writing a great paper for Intro to Psych. Since Saban has won three of the past nine BCS titles (LSU in 2003, Alabama in ’09 and ’11), the phrase has morphed into the mission statement for Saban’s program-building philosophy. After watching the Tide coach raise all those crystal footballs, athletic directors and coaches across the country are trying to replicate his philosophy and results.

The Sabanization of College Football

How process driven are you? What price are you willing to pay?

JS (

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2 Responses to The Price for Success (and the Value of Process)

  1. Gregg on September 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

    reminds me of descriptions I’ve read about Pat Riley, who was pretty above average as a basketball coach. Will check out the linked article. tnx

  2. Edgars on January 23, 2014 at 1:12 am

    HOW DARE YOU SAY SOMETHING NEGATIVE ABOUT MY BELOVED CRIMSON TIDE!!!!I kid, I kid. I’m the biggest Bama fan out there, but this is a pectperive observation. Saban in particular seems almost unhuman in his constant drive, his focus on the next task, his unwillingness to enjoy victory. If you listen to him talk about his job (which I do frequently), he speaks constantly about never being satisfied, always working towards a new goal, taking personal responsibility, etc. He even instituted a 24-hour rule mandating that players and coaches can only enjoy a victory for 24 hours before moving ahead to the next opponent.He is as focused and driven as any person I have ever witnessed, which is why he is a great coach. But I imagine that eventually even he will be worn out by the enormous and constant pressure of the Law. To be successful in college or pro sports, you must be working constantly. It is all about works, winning, and glory. I continue to wonder where the intersection between competitive sports and the Gospel is (other than in defeat), or if the sports I love and the Gospel I profess are indeed antithetical to one another.

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