Nick Saban’s Mediocrity Allergy

I am excited for the college football championship game tonight. It features two really good football teams and two outstanding head coaches. Nick Saban, head coach of Alabama, and Dabo Swinney, head coach of Clemson, have each done fantastic jobs building their programs into championship caliber programs. In fact, this is a rematch of last year’s national championship game in which Alabama defeated Clemson, 45-40.

I’ve written several times about Dabo Swinney – Dabo Swinney Blog Posts – because I love his leadership style. He outwardly and openly shows his players how much he cares about them. He is high energy and full of enthusiasm and the players seem to love playing for him. He works intentionally on building a championship culture.

I have also written about Nick Saban a couple times –Nick Saban Blog Posts – because he has been so incredibly successful. Tonight, he will lead Alabama as they chase an amazing fifth national title in the past eight seasons.

I recently heard an interview with Ryan Clark, a retired NFL player who played for Saban in college. The interviewer asked Clark what makes Saban so successful. Clark’s answer was that Coach Saban is “allergic to mediocrity.” I had never heard this expression before, but Clark explained it as Saban expects excellence in everything the team does. He will not stand for average, for mediocrity, and this is what drives his teams to greatness.

Think about the performance of your team. Are you accepting of mediocrity? Or do you push for excellence in everything they do? Do you look the other way when the results are average? Or do you motivate the team to pursue greatness? When you are “allergic to mediocrity” you won’t rest in your pursuit of excellence. And the end result, will be a championship team of your own!

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle, and share my blog with others who love learning about leadership and positivity!



One thought on “Nick Saban’s Mediocrity Allergy

  1. Good thoughts Jim. I’m a Dabo kind of guy and do admire him but also respect Sabin for his unrelenting drive for excellence. No accident that these guys are champions. Hope all is well with you. Our mutual friend Ron seems to be doing well in retirement

    Sent from my iPhone


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