#InspiredCoaching: Keeping a cool head through chaos

Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State University Head Football Coach Herm Edwards has an impressive gridiron pedigree.

He took the helm of the Sun Devils in 2018 after more than 30 years in the sport at the college and pro level, either playing, coaching or commenting as an analyst for ESPN.

There’s a good chance that when it comes to football, he literally has seen it all. And he still loves the sport and leading a team of young men.Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards

‘Charge the day’

“I get up every morning and I charge the day,” he said. “When players see you every day, and they see your personality and they see how they function, they look at that. They see everything you do. They watch everything you say.

“And I just think: What kind of energy do I bring to the building every day that affects everybody in a positive way?”

#InspiredCoaching partnership

Thanks to a partnership between Amway, USA TODAY and the American Football Coaches Association, Edwards told his story to USAToday.com. The partnership represents Amway’s continued commitment to #inspiredcoaching, highlighting the parallels between winning teams in sports and business.

Just like in the business world, winning at football takes commitment, sacrifice, teamwork and especially leadership to guide the team.

Arizona State University Head Football Coach Herm Edwards

“As a coach, you’re like a teacher,” he said. “You don’t give the players their talent. God gives them talent, but you can give them knowledge, and you can give them information.”

Every player learns differently, he said, “and if you want them to succeed, you have to find ways to motivate them and to stimulate how they learn.”

Playing through chaos

The ability to maneuver through chaos is another key component of success, Edwards said, and he introduces a lot of it in his practice plans to ensure they’re ready for the unexpected during a game.

“(In a game), everything is going smooth, and then all of a sudden you fumble a ball,” he said. “What are you going to do? How do we react?

“I’ve always put people in positions where I go, ‘OK, I’ve got to start some chaos because I want to see how they function.’ … In the chaos, the teams that keep their composure—they generally win.”

Arizona State University Head Football Coach Herm Edwards

Read more

You can learn more from Coach Edwards by visiting the full story at USAToday.com, including his view that “attitude is your best friend and your worst enemy,” and how he encourages his players to focus on the team instead of themselves.

“There’s one emblem on the side of your helmet, it don’t have your name on it. It belongs to the team,” he said.

And learn more about Amway Coaches Poll and the Coaches’ Trophy presented by Amway at Amway.com.

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