Wojciech Weekly: The Detox

Before you start reading this edition of WW, please cast your vote to support football’s bid for a spot at 2017 Wroclaw World GamesPlease, share it with your friends use hashtag #VoteFootball and enjoy this week’s column.

If we are talking about voting not sure if you remember my column about “GridIron Gang” I coached, just few days ago it turned out that Celina, who reached our team has been nominated for a Unsung Hero Award – Zwykły bohater . 

It depends can be used to answer nearly all business questions . It is derived from Einstein’s relativity theory “…everything depends on the reference frame…”. Why am I talking about questions, because, periodical evaluation is a vital component to organization success. After the season is over it’s time for feedback from the lower levels of the organization. However when asking difficult questions be ready to deal with inconvenient truth. 

It’s not only about wins and losses, in order to develop teams must perform off the field. Sure, we all know teams that exist just to live another day, on one side I respect these guys for not throwing the towel. However if you don’t make one step forward you make one step - natural selection. The point of reference is equally important – you should compare the results with your preseason goals, year-to-year results and a benchmark team. Finding the right benchmark is probably the hardest part of the process. It’s hard to keep up with Swarco Raiders or New Yorker Lions but I’m thinking more about the “MoneyBall” effectiveness. You have a limited budget and within it you achieve as much as possible. For some teams it may mean going from 2-8 to 4-6, improving the attendance rate by 50% or appearing on local events that increase of your Team FB likes by 300%. Name it, quantify it, analyze. The qualitative improvement of the organization is another important aspect. For players improving their level of fundamental skills, their football knowledge and Football IQ is essential. For teams building a community around the organization is a vital task. 

One of the biggest tasks of the evaluation is complacency. Accepting mediocrity, nothing can be done because it has always been like that and we don’t have money. The other issue is the big fish in a small pond syndrome, sustaining success is harder than achieving it. At the end of the day, you should feel content but as Mick Jagger sang “I can’t get no satisfaction”..  The Process is never over. 

I would rather be a good man, than a great leader. - Thor

The evaluation leads us to the issue of leadership in football organizations namely GM’s and Boards. I have been in this seat before, so I know the blood, sweat and tears you’re dealing with on a daily basis. I understand the frustration with players not paying the monthly fees and/or not participating in promotional events. 

Sure, there always be tensions between Boards and Coaches as well, but in order for the organization to be successful there has to be a clear vision and everyone must buy in, or at least follow. There is one major threat that will face your organization - Discouragement – watch Mike Westoff’s speech anytime you think you want to quit. No matter how much you love football, there will come the day when you have to “focus on tomorrow” until then “enjoy these tonights- because you don’t get this feeling every day” – Thank you Sean Payton for the words of wisdom.

As for all the local starlets, who think that they should get the royal treatment I enclose the picture of Joe Montana taken at the Camp in Trieste earlier this year. The Man with five Superbowl rings on the way to practice holding a bucket - stardom?

Unless your team is super rich you will have to show that extra effort, off the field. To use Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp phrase Roosh Doope - move your butt! You’ll get out as much as you put into .I’ll give you a glazing example - When I was President at Fireballs Poznan, we were able to develop the team despite being little brother to local rival Kozly. Because we couldn’t compete on the field we got involved in a number of promotional event – sometimes unconventional, but the idea was simple if there will be a crowd we can get some new players, the supporters etc. A local Potato Festival, in a Cage during MMA Gala done, and my favorite the annual parade at Polish Independence Day on November 11th. It happens on St. Martin’s Avenue is one of the oldest and most important streets in the city, so there are two good occasions to feast. Imagine having a victory parade with tens of thousands enthusiastic fans and the best part of it you don’t have to win a single game to be a part of it! We have done it three times and each time I enjoyed the experience.

Since Fireballs merged with Kozly in early 2011 no football team from Poznan participated in the Parade. I’m not judging I’m just saying that if you are fighting for economic survival - sometimes you turn the Bear Grylls mode – bite the bug to recharge your protein supplies. 

Now to our two sentence NCAA update: It is good to know that in this chaotic world there are few things certain, death, taxes, and roll tide roll. Last week Stanford upset Oregon just to be upset by USC #Upsetion 

Happy Camper Alert

This weekend I’m heading to Szczecin to learn about QB fundamentals form Coach Phil Hickey. I’ll write about the experience in next week’s column. Also with a little help of friends from NYLions we are setting up #LionsHunt. A development camp for young aspiring polish players – our coaches will be Jose Mohler, Vince Redd, Jakub Malecki and Lukasz Omelanczuk. You are all welcomed to the jungle ! 

During annual evaluation organization should focus on measuring the efficiency of using the given resources both on and off the field. There are various criteria you can apply, the qualitative development is also very important. Then you can prepare the gala and awards evening to share the results of the study. Thanksgiving is on the horizon and such a gala, or practice is a great opportunity to thank all the people involved for the year passing. It doesn’t matter what your record was, you are still here so you have another chance to rebound, take another shot. Final thought before focusing on 2014: 

Never regret, If it was good –it was great, if it was bad it was experience. 

Wojciech Andrzejczak