Like me, both of my guests on today’s episode are lecturers in the Rhetoric and Composition program at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. At App State, we have what is called The Vertical Writing Curriculum, which is a series of four required writing courses for students. The first-year course is called RC 1000 Expository Writing and the second year course is called RC 2001 Writing Across the Curriculum. Each of my guests coordinates one of those required courses.
Ben Good coordinates the RC 1000 Expository Writing courses
Kelly Terzaken coordinates the RC 2001 Writing Across the Curriculum courses
Today’s guest on the Torg Stories Podcast is the new head coach at Mars Hill University, Coach Emry Tsitouris. Mars Hill is located just north of Asheville, North Carolina and competes at the Division II level as a member of the South Atlantic Conference. Coach Tsitouris was hired in the spring of 2022 and was previously an assistant coach at Catawba College. Tsitouris played college basketball at both USC Aiken and Belmont Abbey.
I came to reading this book after starting on a path years ago of trying to learn everything I could about New England Patriot Coach Bill Belichick. Some of my reading and viewing stops have included reading Benedict’s The Dynasty, Demasio’s Parcells: A Football Life, O’Connor’s Belichick, Wickersham’s It’s Better to be Feared, Lombardi’s Gridiron Genius, and watching the documentary films Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching and ESPN’s The Two Bills. I enjoyed each of the books and films in that list.
Here are some of the lines I picked out from the book:
“Your toughness is a direct reflection of your conditioning.”
“It’s difficult to overstate just how important that first year is to establish a culture after taking over an organization.”
From Villanova’s Jay Wright on the importance of team building: “We were getting good players, but I don’t think I did a good job of structuring our roster.”
On when to start working with players on their leadership skills: “Saban worked to develop players like Julio Jones and Mark Barron into leaders the moment they arrived on campus. He believes you can’t wait until a player is a junior or senior to start preparing him to be a leader.”
I always enjoy reading about how coaches work together: “The daily meetings Kiffin was required to attend at 7:30 am frustrated him, as did the regimented approach Saban preferred. Kiffin was more of a freethinker, an artist whose work was beautiful play calls. Ken Smithmier, the president of P3 insights, identified Kiffin as a people (intrinsic) dominant person while Saban was a vision (systemic) dominant person…Kiffin fell under the fast domain and preferred intuitive, fast decision-making while Saban as a slow thinker wanted a more deliberate approach.”
Try to erase negative self talk: “In basic terms, negative self-talk could be self-defeating and had a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
It’s easier to get a commitment from the players and staff if the head coach is all in: “He’s never taken a day off, never missed a second of a meeting, never missed a second of practice. -Keaton Anderson on Saban.”
“Saban would guide ‘what if’ meetings in the lead-up to games where his staff could throw out scenarios that could pop up and then debate what they should do.”
What players should play in the game? “Saban is very open about the fact that he’d play a well-prepared yet less talented player than a talented player who hasn’t put in the work to learn the playbook.”
“You never want to waste a failing.” And it’s companion phrase: “So what? Now what?” We failed; now what are we going to do about it? What’s the plan?
Parcells on truth telling: “You have to tell them the truth about their performance, you have to tell it to them face-to-face, and you have to tell it to them over and over again.”
“You can’t just do a one-off message; it has to be reinforced.”
“He lays out very clear job responsibilities and expectations for everyone in the organization, a skill he traces back to his time working for Belichick in Cleveland.”
Bears coach Matt Eberflus on Saban: “I’ve learned to define roles for everybody. This is what Coach Saban did for coaches. For each individual player on a given play, (they know) what their role is. Not only in terms of execution, but what it takes mentally and physically how we’re going to play the game.
After finishing up this book, I’ve downloaded a sample onto my Kindle of Phil Savage and Ray Glier’s 4th and Goal Everyday: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.
During the summer of 2022 my family took a trip to Disney World in Orlando. Before I share some of the resources I used to plan our trip, here are some relevant details:
When did we go? We decided in April of 2022 to visit Walt Disney World starting Sunday August 7th
Who went on the trip? Myself, my wife Megan, Charlotte age 16 and Izzy age 14
Had we been before? Just once, ten years ago in 2012.
What kind of vacations do we like? We mostly like to be on the go when it comes to a vacation. We thought about flying into Seattle, renting a car, and driving to Los Angeles but the high cost of plane tickets made us look for an alternate trip. You might say my wife Megan is the best at knowing how to relax. My daughter Izzy and I are the ones who really like to go from one thing to the next. Izzy is the most adventurous amusement park rider. My wife and I can both get motion sickness.
Here are some of the questions I remember facing pretty quickly in my planning. I’ll get to answering them in upcoming posts:
How many nights should we stay?
Which hotel resort?
Would we go to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT?
Should I purchase the park hopper option?
What about Genie+?
Here are some resources I found helpful for the planning of our trip:
Purchased access to the book’s accompanying website TouringPlans.com. This included access to their Lines WDW phone app. I used this app constantly during our time in Orlando and found that its estimated wait times for rides was more accurate than what was posted in each Disney Park.
Downloaded and started to get familiar with the Disney World phone app.