It’s been almost a year since head coach Brad Collinson took over the reins of the Concordia Stingers football team, and while his early work was focused on familiarizing himself with his new team and getting through the 2018 season, more recently he’s been able to build out his vision for the program.
“It’s all about excellence in all facets,” he explained, “not just on the field.”
It starts with bringing in people with good values to help develop a new culture.“I feel we’ve hired good coaches who have had a lot of accomplishments in their careers both as players and coaches,” said Collinson. “They are teachers and they know how to bring the best out in everybody. They are committed to building a winning culture at Concordia.”
Collinson and his staff went on a retreat in the spring where they worked on a framework. They talked about their vision, mission and core values. They have a plan to build an elite program that focuses on a high standard of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Players who understand the team is always the most important thing, who understand they must achieve their individual goals within the team goals and come prepared to compete at the highest level everyday will succeed.
Work ethic is featured prominently in Collinson’s plan. You have to be willing to outwork your opponent to achieve goals.
“There is a commitment we’re demanding because we want excellence,” said Collinson. “We’re holding everyone accountable for all facets. You have to sacrifice.”
Pieces are falling into place that will help the football players excel.
“We’ve set up study hall and we have tutoring available to our student-athletes on a weekly basis in English, math and science,” said Collinson.
There’s also more accountability when it comes to preparation and several strength and conditioning programs have been set up to improve it.
“Lifts and runs are mandatory in the winter and summer,” Collinson said. “We have to be bigger, stronger, faster.”
There’s always resistance to change. It can be difficult and not everyone will buy in or be willing to make the commitment.
“We can’t change everything overnight,” Collinson said. “But we started implementing changes in January. Once the players understand what we’re about and see the results, they will buy in. No one is bigger than the team, myself included.”