Coach McElwain’s Blueprint For Success: Just Do Your Job

“I think the best thing that really occurred in that, when you talk about a common goal, some guys not worrying about the individual stats piece. Because these guys got a lot of people in their ears telling them they’ve got to have this and that but ultimately the people that make the decisions, when you talk about the next level, actually look at how you do your job. And the guys up front, Ivie, Brantley, Cox, some guys just did an outstanding job of doing their job, taking care of their responsibilities, and it allowed some other people around them to really, really play good.”

Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain

Do your job.

Pretty simple, right?

Sounds like it. Seems like common sense.

But is it really THAT simple?

I’ve had the good fortune to work in a number of industries over my career. I’ve owned a construction business, I’ve managed restaurants, bars, retail stores, car rental agencies, and even spent some time in sales management.

One of the most common themes I’ve preached throughout was to simply do your job. 

Nowadays, everyone’s got a formula, an action plan, tricks of the trade, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Companies inundate employees with volumes of paperwork designed to achieve objectives, track performance, map out goals, etc…

Not to downplay any of that because certainly all that is useful, right? Why would they invest so much money, time, and energy if it wasn’t?

But I’m old school. 

My favorite phrase has always been “just do your job.” You can get lost in all of the glitz, the glamour, or the sheer volume of noise in the system and make the first and biggest mistake: you forget to just do your job. 

Want to be successful? Just do your job.

Easy enough.

Just… Do… Your job!

Where am I going with this?

Well coach Mac made a point to open his Monday media season after a blowout victory over Kentucky with that speech. The big picture was that he was talking about his offensive and defensive units feeding off each during that victory because both units played with a common goal. 

And he got down to the root, the most basic aspect of it, and that was players simply doing their job.

“That’s kind of how this thing works,” McElwain said. “Until we get that consistently-that’s when we’re going to have a good football team, when that giving of yourself for the benefit of others, that thought, playing with a common goal, a team goal.”

Football is a team sport. Much like any organization it is made up of various parts which, in turn, are made up of people who are all working towards a common goal. In order for that team or organization to be successful, it needs everyone to do their job.

Sometimes in sports as with organizations, you have people want that maybe want to be the superstar. They want to make the play, or grab the attention and rather than doing their job they step out and do something else that maybe isn’t their job. 

What happens?

The organization breaks down. 

Everybody has a particular role that they play and that role is important even if they don’t get the attention maybe they wish they did.

Everybody can’t be the superstar, everybody can’t make the play, everybody can’t score the touchdown. Some people, their main job is to set up the play, to block downfield, to pass protect, to eat up blocks on the line, etc… Those jobs are just as important whether they get recognition or not. 

Everybody remembers Antonio Callaway’s huge catch and run to beat Tennessee last season, but what was more important was the huge block by Brandon Powell that took out, not one, but two Tennessee defenders. Without that block Florida possibly loses that game and doesn’t go to the SEC championship game.

One of the hardest things to teach wide receivers is to block. Not necessarily how to block but to have the desire to do it. 

Most come out of high school as the superstar at their school and they have to learn to be unselfish. They have to learn the mindset of giving of oneself for the benefit of others as coach Mac said. 

That’s working toward a common goal. Give of yourself for the benefit of your team’s goal.

On Saturday against Kentucky, one of the biggest things that stands out on tape is how well the defensive line did at standing their ground and taking out blockers, allowing Alex Anzalone and others to use their athleticism to make plays.

Yeah some other guys looked good to the fans, got their name called out by announcers, but the unselfish job by those lineman was as important if not more important. 

That’s giving of yourself for the common goal, the team goal.  

The best way to do that?

Just do your job!


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