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Oct. 19, 2021

Winning Championships by Being Intentional with Treatment of Kids

Winning Championships by Being Intentional with Treatment of Kids

Shane Jacobs has arguably the most unique title in education: Principal/Head Football Coach. Given his unparalleled success on the field, Peabody High School (Trenton, TN) decided to promote Coach Jacobs first to AP, and most recently, Principal.

On the gridiron, Coach Jacobs has won state titles in 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020, and at the time of recording, had his team on a 43-game win streak. Coach Jacobs's philosophy is cemented on his belief that every teacher and coach has an obligation to treat each child as if he/she is their own. It is that culture that Coach Jacobs is now striving to infuse into the entire community of Peabody High School.

Show Notes:

Coach Jacobs on Twitter

Peabody High School

My Contact Info:

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LukeMertens44@gmail.com

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IG: LukeMertens44

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Transcript

This is the "I" in Win podcast, episode 11.

Shane:

The identity of this program is not state championships and it's not winning the identity. Of this program, this football program is teaching and kids learning.

Luke:

All right. Thanks for listening to The "I" in Win podcast. We have a special guest today and he's special because he's our first guests from the state of Tennessee. We welcome in coach Jacobs. Who's also the principal of Peabody high school in Tennessee coach. Thanks for coming.

Shane:

Yeah, thanks a lot for having me looking forward to the conversation.

Luke:

So I always thought that I had a very unique title. And then I was an English teacher and a head football coach because a lot of football coaches are PE or social studies. And I always got the question, man, how are you? An English teacher and a football. Well, congratulations because you've trumped me. You're a principal and a head football coach, and honestly, that's the first combination I've ever come across. So tell me a little bit about your, your path to school administration and become a head football coach.

Shane:

well, so I was a similar to you. I was actually a math teacher. And so I learned early in life that, you know you always want to have options. And so I knew I wanted to teach and coach. Maybe I didn't want to teach and coach forever. So as soon as I got out of college, more bachelors, I began working a master's in, uh, visually earned my doctorate degree in higher education. And so I've had the administration degree for a while and in the school district where I am I've just made a lot of connections, a lot of great relationships and became assistant principal didn't apply for the job was just asked to do it. Um, and I think February this year, a long time principal retired and the superintendent, uh, again, I didn't apply for the job. The superintendent came in and asked me to be the principal. And I was very nervous about the role of being principal and head football coach. But, uh I gave him the opportunity to build a administrative team around me, similar to how you would build a coaching staff around you and. With the administration staff I have here at the school and the assistant coaches I have here at the school. Uh it's it's actually been a really smooth first year trying to juggle both.

Luke:

All right. So let's talk about your school and your community. Again, it's Peabody high school, which is located in Trenton, Tennessee. Give us a little snapshot of both. your community and your.

Shane:

so the community's a very tight knit community. We have about 6,000 people. It's the seat for our county, uh, Gibson county. And so, uh, we had the courthouse here and, uh, have a little bit of industry give bit of industry for, uh, uh, town of our size. Um, you know, it's, uh, it's, it's where buddy is on Friday nights, the kind of stereotypical small town, Friday night football lights, that sort of thing. We have roughly 400 kids in the school, will graduate anywhere between 95 and a hundred. Uh, kids a year, each year. It's a very blue collar school makeup. Uh, the ratio we're about 65% economically disadvantaged, 65% white, 35%. African-American. And, uh, You know, everybody's just very close. A lot of our students here, their parents went here. And so once you have a student, you have his younger brother and then his younger sister. And, you get to know the families extremely well. So it's a, it's a great community, really just to work in general and especially coach football.

Luke:

So few know the commitment it takes to be a head coach at the high school level, other than the coaches and their significant others. Few know the commitment it takes to be a principal at the high school level as well. So how do you find the time to be a high school principal? Be a head football coach and also be.

Shane:

well, it's, it that's been the biggest struggle is how do I juggle the time? And, you know I found early, early on in my family was, was the ones getting the shaft. And if anyone's going to get shattered, it can't be my wife or my kids. And so I had to find a way. Prioritize them. And so, every Saturday, my phone is shut off and it's all about all, about my family and spending time with them. And then Sunday morning. Sunday school. I'm a deacon at my church. And so Sunday mornings are all about our family and our, and our church family, and trying to make sure that my kids are raised right in, in church. And that's very important to us. And then when churches out on Sunday afternoon, it's it's football from Sunday from about noon, uh until very late into the evening, Sunday afternoon. This is really the last time that I see my family again until Saturday. Except for some opportunities when you get home in time to tell them goodnight. And then, uh it's a it's football all day, Sunday, and then it's a school. Like my day gets started around 5:00 AM. And so school from 5:00 AM until about two o'clock. I leave school an hour before school ends. And so a lot of the things that I missed out on between two and three when school ends and anything that happened after school, I have to get here early in and. Sort of catch up on emails, catch up on some things that may have happened in the afternoon. And so I get school down between 5:00 AM and 2:00 PM and then football again, you know, it's 2:00 PM, 2:00 PM until late at night, watching practice, film and planning the next day's practice and meeting with the coaches and, and that sort of thing. So, uh, trying to be very organized, one more time, trying to be very intentional with how I'm spending my time is, is what I found to be effective.

Luke:

So one of the biggest challenges that many coaches and teachers are facing today. Is just being overburdened, sometimes feeling under appreciated. So you just laid out a pretty busy schedule. One that many people will not be able to maintain. So how do you keep it going? Like what motivates you to work basically seven days a week? I mean, the hours are countless, as you just said, how do you keep it going? How do you motivate yourself to keep it

Shane:

Yeah. That's, you know, the old saying that they'll say, you know, such and such is older than seeing, they'll say it's older than dirt. And then something will say older than sand, but you know, one thing that's older to then see, and this is work and I believe God created work before he created CN before Adam at age seven in the garden, they worked the garden. And so I think work was created to be a good thing. Uh, anything created by God was created and be a good thing, created a, be a positive thing. And so. That motivated because a truly believed that, um, that I'm doing what I was called to do and I'm, and I'm called to work and work hard. And, uh, that's the only thing that helps me sleep at night is knowing that I'm working as hard as I can possibly. Uh, our players, our students, our families, this community, and that's all the motivation that a need. And, uh, you know, you spoke on maybe not being thanked or people not being appreciated and, um, you know, being, being appreciated. I appreciate it when people appreciate me, but. Uh, that motivation it's, it's really trying to do the very best that I can to do what God calls me to do. And I think that's a work as hard as I possibly can every day and give as much as I can to my job. And I think no matter what you do for a living, if you're a football coach, your administrator, your teacher, uh, your Streetsweeper, uh, your garbage man, your bike teller, whatever you do, I think you need to do the best you can for the company, for him, you work. And, uh, and I think that's our calling. I think that's everyone's job.

Luke:

And let's talk just to the classroom right now. What are you hearing or seeing as frustrating pieces for the teachers in today's.

Shane:

well, I think in the school we're fighting the same thing that, uh, everybody or Americans fighting ethic, we're fighting a great sense of apathy. COVID shut down the world, essentially. Uh, several months and then a lot of people have had a hard time. Jump-starting a, you go to any drive through, it seems like drive-throughs are taking longer. I told her football team yesterday, it takes me 30 minutes to get. Uh, biscuit. We have two teachers that haven't returned from fall break yet because we have pilots that won't fly planes. And so there's, there's apathy, there's controversy. There's, there's fuss in an argument. And, uh, I told them, I said, I can, I can see this world two different ways. I can see where gentlemen you're, you're growing up in a more difficult world in which I grew up because social media and, and you have a lot more temptations than what I dealt with in the nineties when I was growing up and I said, but. The same token. It's easier because there's a lot of people that won't work. And if you want to be successful in this world, I promise you, you don't have to be the smartest guy. You don't have to have the highest GPA. You don't have to be the best looking guy. You don't have to be the biggest guy. You got those outwork people. And we have a group of guys, and this is what I'm telling them. We have a group of guys in here that will absolutely outwork any group that I've ever been around. And if you'll get up and you'll have a. You can be successful in anything you choose to do as long as you keep this work ethic. And so I think that's the challenge is to motivate our students to, to help them to understand the why, why am I doing this? Why is this work important? My schoolwork important, why studying important? And if they can understand the why, then I think they'll do the what, uh, if you focus on the why they'll do the, what if you focus on. What we're asking them to do, then that's where the apathy sets in. And the, and the motivation is like,

Luke:

let's now transition to extracurriculars and athletically specifically, what are some of the challenges let's just assume apathy is one of them, but what are some of the challenges in addition to apathy that coaches are facing.

Shane:

Well, the, the distractions, uh, you know, when I was growing up and when a lot of older coaches were growing up, you played sports or you didn't have anything to do. You went home and there was absolutely nothing to do. And now there's, um, you know, there's social media, there's the internet, there's all these other forms of entertainment, uh, which coaches against which coaches are competing. And the problem is the entertainment. I guess we're competing. We shouldn't be competing because those forms of entertainment are not educational and they're not beneficial at all to the students. And so we have to try find ways to help them understand why joining the basketball team, why being on the cheerleading squad while participating in the band, why being in the art club, why participating in these extracurricular activities are far more effective in terms of your growth as a person. Then going home and watching TV or watching YouTube videos or Tik TOK videos, because none of that stuff was going to advance you as a person. And none of us going to help you in the future.

Luke:

And overall, are you seeing, like we're seeing up here in Chicago land a little bit of dip in numbers and extracurricular activities because of these districts.

Shane:

we, we did initially and, uh took it upon myself, um, you know, as the athletic director last year, and I passed that title off on. Uh, one of our assistant principals, but as the athletic director last year, that was more of my main goals is we're going to increase participation now in a school of 400 students, we have 82 students playing football. So, um, you know, we have right around 40% of our males that are playing football on this high school, which is four times the national average, the national average is going to have, uh, 10% of your population playing football and. Uh, 40%. And so I looked at what are we doing in football to get our participation up, to get, to get guys involved in football, which we think is very important in terms of, as I said, their personal growth, how can we replicate that and teach basketball coaches and the band director and, and the, uh, and all of the teachers that we have run a numerous clubs. How, how can we replicate the success in terms of participation that we've had in football? How can we do that across all of our programs? Uh, here at the high school. And so we're seeing our numbers pick up. Our band has nearly doubled in size this year. And, uh, our clubs, every single student at our school is required to be in a club. It's not an option. So you have to join at least one club and sports not included. So if you play football, you still have to join a club. You still have to be in beta club or FCA or FCCS. Some club here. And, um, and so we, we found ways to, to increase participation is still a battle that we fight just like everyone else. But I do think that we've done a good job here at our school doing that.

Luke:

That's really cool that you're the first I've talked to you that that does that in terms of having to join a club. There's such benefit to that personally for a kid and also for the resume of getting into college. So how has the reception from parents been on that one? Any push.

Shane:

well, we've not, we've not had any, uh, we've not had any pushback. Uh, you know, as I said earlier, the, the parents here are extremely supportive and this is my 10th year here at the high school. I started here in 2012. Uh, an algebra one teacher and the defensive coordinator. And, my, my job title is as changed three or four times over the 10 years, but my mission has, and so in these 10 years, I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of the community leaders. I know all of the community leaders extremely well, uh, know a lot of our parents extremely well on a first name basis. And so. I think once parents and the community gets to know you and they, and they truly understand your motivation for why you're doing some of the things, a great deal of trust begins to develop between the school and the community. And, uh, when you, when you asked the community to do something or you're asking your students to do something, uh, they trust your why they and their own board. And so it's been a, it's been a really good process here that we've had going.

Luke:

So we've discussed these challenges that teachers and coaches that are in your community that are facing at points in their career. How do you, as a leader of both the school and the leader of the football team, how do you stay positive and how do you encourage and motivate those you lead. You know, keep plowing ahead. And the work we do as teachers and coaches is so important and we are having the impact, even though, maybe at times, you don't realize that.

Shane:

Uh, you know, I hate to say this. I think it's my opinion, and I hope that I'm wrong, but I think it's a natural inclination of the average person to find a negative negativity and, and almost everything. And, uh, and that's. The intentionality is, as I shared with you, uh, I think off the air, the, the book that I'm, co-authoring an intentionality, that's one of the that's. One of the points that I make in the book is we have to be intentional to find the positives in what a kid is doing or what the team did that day or what the club did that day. Um, something negative is going to happen and every single practice and every single session of practice and every single. Something negative will happen. And I think those negatives need to be pointed out and I think they need to be a teachable moments, but those positive moments need to be celebrated twice. As much as the negative moments are, are pointed out. And, uh, I think as a coach, I have to be intentional doing that. And then as an administrator, I have to be intentional in teaching our teachers and our assistant coaches and, and, uh, all of our support make sure that as you're pointing out the negativity, make sure that you're actively seeking the positive things that are going on as well.

Luke:

Let's talk about your, why you've, you've already touched upon what your, why is, but had ever been moments that because of the negativity that you've had a down day and you've lost your why a little bit, or you've been a little bit more negative, you'd like to be. How do you get that back? How do you remember your, why? How do you get back to that? That positivity? I know you said celebrate the positive throughout your day, but sometimes as a leader, you need to be picked up. So how do you get picked up?

Shane:

Yeah, absolutely. I, you know, my wife is my, my best teammate, my best supporter. And so, um, you know, she gets some of my negativity. I do everything that I can that than if I am having a negative moment or a negative day, I'll do everything that I can to put on my, um, you know, I, I tell her that I'm an actor, you know, a lot of times I'm not in a very good mood and I have had to deal with negativity and negative conversations. I've just had to suspend a kid and I've just had, you know, maybe a little vandalism was going on around the school, we just dealt with the national trend of this tick tock challenge of kids, vandalizing restrooms. And so, um, you know, I find myself on the hour, every hour Dylan in some sort of negativity and I'm human and it's gonna drag me down as well. But, you know, as I, as I started saying earlier, it's almost like you're an actor. You have to, uh, you have to face each, uh, each opportunity each encounter and not let the last. Uh, ever hound negative at was affect the next encounter that you have because that student or that parent, whoever it is in your office deserves your best, deserves your positive energy and deserves your positive outlook on things.

Luke:

So one of the challenges I faced as a leader is making sure that every kid that I was in charge of felt important, felt that we had a relationship. I wanted to know something about that student. I wanted to know something about all the players on my team. How do you, as a leader of both a school and a football team, how do you build those relationships? How do you get to know each eye on your team, each individual, and how do you make each one of those individuals feel important, even though there's only one.

Shane:

Well, I have four kids and all four of my kids are, uh, three of them are in school today. And so my son is sitting in a classroom with 30 students and, uh, if he stopped being serviced the way that I feel like he should be serviced, and I have a conversation with the teacher and the teacher says, well, you know, I have 30 students in the room as the. I'm not concerned about the other 29 students. I'm concerned with how my child is being serviced. And so our philosophy here is treat every child and teach every child and get to know every child as though you want those teaching your child to do. And so with every single young man in our program and every single student in our school, Uh, w we try to teach our, our coaches, our assistant coaches and our, uh, our teachers that even though this child may be one of 400 students in the school, uh, that job may be one of one child in a family, and they needed to be treated that way. And, uh, they needed to be talked to that way and they need to be understood that way. And so I think that's very important. I think there's one of the most basic fundamental things we teach here at our school.

Luke:

And this is going to put you on a spot a little bit, which I apologize. But if someone's listening to this podcast right now, and they're like, man, that that's that's teaching and coaching goal, I completely agree with coaches talking about right here. They may not know how to do that. What are some simple strategies that you could tell our listeners that they can impart in their classroom or on the athletic field? Make every kid feel.

Shane:

If you're a coach or if you're a teacher, whatever you do, uh, let's say if you're a coach, what are 10 things that you want your players to learn from your program? And you write those 10 things down. Now, there is no one paying better attention. Then a group of young men fixing to play a football game on Friday night. So coaches have a pregame talk on Friday night. You must be very intentional about that pregame talks. So you're going to get 10 pregame talks a year, and hopefully more. If you go into the playoffs, write down 10 things that you want your players to learn from you. And out of those 10 things develop. 10 lesson plans. So there's five days in a football week for most teams. Most things are going to practice Monday through Thursday and play on Friday night. So if one of those things is a work ethic and that's one of the most important things that we're going to teach, then I'm going to write down five lesson plans. Work ethic and five stories in a, and I'm a history guy and SOF ran a lot of, um, I've read a lot about world war II recently. And so a couple of weeks ago it was Western Churchill and we were talking about work ethic and that sort of thing. So there were five lesson plans in the fifth lesson planning, culminated in the pregame speech because that's when those guys are listening the most. And so you turn it into, it's a motivational speech, it's a raw deal because everybody wants that and pre. But you've spent that whole week talking about work ethic and then the next week was talking about you can't be neutral. You have to pick a side and that's kind of getting them to a long story of, of what our lesson plan was, uh, the next week, which was last week about, uh, you can't be neutral as the title of the lesson. So that's how you're, that's how you're intentional is that you write it down. What are the things that you want them to take? What are, if you're a basketball coach and you play 25 games, you know, maybe, maybe it's, it's gonna look different than football, but you're intentional about what you want them to take away. A kid that plays basketball for you or give that's in your math class or a kid that's in your band program when they complete that program, when they graduate high school. You are successful if that young man or that young lady is a better person because they were in your program or they were in your class. So what makes them a better person write those things down and then create lesson plans around those things just as you would, if you were a classroom teacher and then teach that in those programs, be intentional about those lessons.

Luke:

Let's talk about that point of making better people. Cause I wholeheartedly agree. And at least up in the area I'm living, I feel like that's being lost a little bit. And that's how I got connected to you. I came across a tweet that you put out and it had to do with a great high school football player, Thai Simpson. And he was playing catch, which I believe was your with your son. And you said in that tweet, he's a great player. But as a parent, we're much more worried about raising great kids. And that's why quite frankly, I reached out to you. It stuck out to me as maybe you guys down there are experienced in some of the things that we're experiencing, a pair that his parents were getting lost in recruiting stars were getting lost in how great our fifth grade baseball team is and what we're ranked nationally. And we're forgetting about the role of schools and athletics, and let's go make better people. And that's part of why I started this podcast because I feel like we've lost that. Why overalls the society and coach feel free to tell me I'm completely off. So when I saw your tweet, I'm like, man, maybe, maybe that's happening with coach down there as well. So what, what are your thoughts to that?

Shane:

well, I, I agree a hundred percent and I'll tell you, Thai stepson's a five star recruit committed to Alabama is the biggest recruit that's come out of west Tennessee. You know, maybe ever it's hard to get bigger than a five-star quarterback. Only the university of Alabama with the run that they. And, uh, my son, my 10 year old son has been on the sideline of every single game since I've been a head coach, Amanda, uh, I'm in my seventh season as head coach. And he's been a ball boys since he was three and there's no 10 year old in the world. More hate up with football. I'm from Alabama. So I'm an Alabama fan. And so I have a 10 year old mini me. That's uh, also an Alabama fan. And so we're going to play a kid that is. Committed to the university of Alabama going to be the starting quarterback at Alabama, uh, presumably in a few years. And so that Friday night we're going to play Ty Simpson. My son has a travel ball, baseball game. He never has a, he never has a baseball game. On Friday night. He has a baseball game, the very first game he's ever gonna miss a mine. And that's when we're playing tie Simpson. So I reached out to kind of Simpson's dad and I said, I've got a, a ridiculous request, but is there any way my son could come meet, uh, your son? And I went through the story and told him, you know, told him the deal. And he said, coach, absolutely. And, uh going up there, I didn't, I didn't know, Todd personally, I just knew him as a player. And uh, so the first person that I met when I went up there, it was Ty's mother. And I could tell just in 10 minutes of conversations, she is. She's a genuine mother of a young man. She's not a mother of a quarterback. She's a mother of a young man whom she's raised for 17 years. He plays football, but he's not a football player. And there's a big difference in, in how do you see yourself? So she sees him as a, as her son who plays, who plays football. And I think sometimes. Parents get lost and that their son is a football player. Now your son is a person who plays football and there's a huge difference. And, uh, tie acted like my son was the five-star tie acted like it was a big. Uh, to meet my son. And he said he was a genuine young man. Now, when we played west view, I don't know what our winning streak was at. It was a, it was a monumental winning streak. And of course, Todd wanted to beat us and we wanted to beat them. But 24 hours before the game, it wasn't about that for me. And it wasn't about that for Ty. And I could tell quickly that that's how you, that's, how you raise a kid and you don't have to raise a kid the way some parents are raising kids to be files that you raise your kids to be good kids. And if they're five stars, they're five stars because God blessed them with unbelievable talent, but you're not going to raise a five-star kid and you, you can raise a kid. That's a good kid that can become a five-star because God made him that way. I truly believe that. I was just blown away with how good of a good task Simpson was, uh, how great of people his parents were. And I just thought. You know, the next night was just a very fun nod, a playing football between two teams that wanted to win the game more than anybody's ever wanted to win the game. But at the end of the game, I shook Ty's hand and said, I really enjoyed the opportunity coaching against you. And I'm glad I never have to do it again. That truly meant it.

Luke:

a great point that you bring up in talent. You know, you're raising a son, you're not raising a quarterback. I love that analogy. And this is a tough question. Um, it just popped in my head when you said that, how do we bring it back? Because you agree with me that we're losing perspective, a little bit of, of what sports are about and the lifelong lessons. And we all should just be focused on raising better people and the teachers and the coaches should be working hand in hand with the parents. I feel like we're getting a little bit more divisive in that approach. And I don't know if that's the right word, but you know, parents have an agenda and it's not always in alignment with the teachers and the coaches. So any ideas of how we could get it back to the lifelong lessons and what sports really should be about. And again, I understand it's a tough one and a pretty big question, but just curious as your thoughts on this.

Shane:

you know, Teddy Roosevelt predicted this at the turn of the 20th century, Teddy Teddy Roosevelt said professional sport. It's the worst thing that's ever happened. And, and Teddy Roosevelt, one of the greatest presidents ever, I would put element, uh, probably number three behind Washington and Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt was a, was a reader. Uh, he was known to read two to three books every single day. But he said that any loved sports there's no president that's ever lived that loves sports more than Teddy Roosevelt, but he said, professionals. Are going to take away from what sports are about. And so what's happened now that we've seen in our generation is that professional is trickled down to college. And now college is trickling down to high school. And in some pockets of the country, high school has trickled down to middle school. Now how I solve that statewide or now. I don't think I have the ability, but I have the ability to solve that in my community and a football coach around your area has the opportunity to solve that in his area. And, and I, I think that's all we can really do. So we're going to have two to three parent meetings a year, and I'm going to explain that to them. This is high school football. If you want your son to play in this program so that he can go play division. I will release your son and I will help him go find a program that is geared towards doing that for your son. But these are the lessons that we're going to teach this year. And I showed them the 10 things that we're going to teach this year. I show that to them. This is what your son sign should and will get out of our program. Now we have had several division one players come through here. We have three. But those three kids that we have this year is not because of me, uh, is, is because they were born with natural God-given ability. Their parents took them to camp. And I think that stuff is fine. I think it's great. Uh, I think it's great that they're going to get their school paid for. I'm not against it at all, but it's not our mission and it's not what we're focused on.

Luke:

So let's get to the success you're having on the field. That's pretty remarkable. A state championship in 20 14, 18, 19, and 20. You're undefeated this season, you're on a 43 game win streak. How do you stay grounded as a head football coach and not lose your wife? Despite the fact of all the success, because, and you brought up Alabama and you know, obviously how Alabama has unparalleled success in football and Nick, Saban's talked about, it's harder to stay on top than to get to the top. And now you're the guy on top and everyone's looking to knock you off and they want to be this school to end that wind streak. How do you not lose your why as the head football coach and how do you just keep it about the kids despite man, I I'm sure you're competitive. And you do want to keep.

Shane:

There's nobody that wants to win more than we do. I mean, we are, we are competitive and I don't mean to come across. Like we're not competitive. You can't have success if you're not, if you're not competitive, there's, there's no way. But I think. The, what you focus on and, and you know, the things on what you find importance is what's most valuable to your program. So when I talk about these things that we're going to learn, that we're going to teach, and our players are going to learn this year, nowhere in there, nowhere in our goals is winning a state championship is winning a region championship is going on a feed. Um, That stuff is great and I hope it happens, but there's a big difference in hoping something happens and focusing on it. What we focus on are so many little things that we think that focusing on these little things then success will happen. And, and, and how do you define success? I don't, I don't find, I don't define success in winning. I define success, you know, Practice plan. I met with the coaches this morning. And so success for us today is that our is that our players understand what we, what we plan to do Friday night. They understand the goal of today. They understand the tempo with which we want to practice. They understand that we need to get back into shape coming off the, uh, fall break and, uh, and about week. And so having success is meeting these goals that we have in front of us today. It's it's October state championship game is going to be played in December. We're not going to win a state championship today, and we're not going to win a state championship tomorrow. And these are 15 to 18 year old kids. So we're talking about what do we need to do today to be successful and tomorrow will take care of itself tomorrow. We'll set new goals. So for us, uh, at some point where the losing streaks going to come to them, Uh, we're not going to win a state championship every year. I'm resigned to that fact. And I'm fine with that fact, uh, it's, it's, it's going to happen, but that's not what, that's not the identity of this program. The identity of this program is not state championships and it's not winning the identity. Of this program, this football program is the same identity that you had in your classroom as an English teacher, it's teaching and kids learning. And if teaching and learning is occurring inside our program, that's success.

Luke:

Well, I love your philosophies and I hear a lot of it coming out through books that you read. And I too am a big reader. What are some resources that you could recommend? Some books you could recommend to our listeners if they want to. Become better leaders or professional development for themselves in the classroom or on the field.

Shane:

I think one of the greatest leaders of all time, probably the greatest leader of all time is Winston Churchill. I would challenge every single person. Who, who is not a reader to become a reader. And once you become a reader or you are a reader, do not read anything that's as recent within the last 10 years, because everything that's been written in the last 10 years is so caught up in the moment and oftentimes has so little perspective. On what actually happened. I was watching a baseball game the other night and I'm a big baseball fan and, and I've always thought books show Walter has one of the greatest baseball minds ever. I don't know if buck show Walter accidentally said this, but he said leadership is defining reality for those around him. And I thought that is unbelievable and I rewound it to hear it again. And then I wrote it down leadership as defining reality. Uh, to those around him. So if I'm a leader and everybody's losing their mind, we've got all this adversity going on or all these bad things going on. If I'm a leader, I need to, I need to have the ability to establish some perspective of what's actually happening right now. Well, I can't establish perspective of what's actually happening right now. If I don't understand some history and I can't understand the history, if I'm not reading history, if the only thing that I'm reading. Is what someone put on Twitter 10 minutes ago? Well, what someone put on Twitter 10 minutes ago, 99% of the time has zero perspective, therefore zero relevance on anything. So to understand what is actually happening. You need perspective. And so leaders must have perspectives. Leaders must define the reality to those who are around him. And that came from buck show Walter, just doing random, a baseball game. And as I said, I don't know if he read that somewhere. I wrote it down or it just came up and I thought that is as profound of a quote, as I've heard in a long time.

Luke:

Well, I love the recommendations and I love the Winston Churchill piece. Uh, my whole. Is, uh, Winston Churchill fanatic. Uh, we always kinda dig out them a little bit. Cause every Christmas we're buying them some book that has to do with Winston Churchill. And I was like, man, how much can you read on one guy? So, uh, he definitely shares in, in your love for Winston Churchill and his leadership role. My brother said almost verbatim what you said, that he is the greatest leader in the history of the world. So. So interesting to hear that perspective again, and thank you for sharing that. And as we wrap up this interview, I, I hear your school bells going off, and I know how busy you are. So thank you for spending this time. with us today. Tell us just a little bit about your book before we end up. And I know you mentioned the name of it, but just tell us about what we could expect to see in there and when it's going to be released and where we may be able to find it.

Shane:

well, so, you know, the book is, the book is for me and I, and I release it and it, myself, But the, uh, the motivation for writing the book is is for me to learn. And I think you, you learn through reading and you can learn even more whenever you start riding and riding makes you think, and that's why I'm doing it. And, uh, I hear football coaches all the time. I go to clinics and I, and I, um, get on the internet and watch online clinics all the time. And I hear football coaches all the time. Talk about how their programs. Prepares their players for the real world. And we get into all these cliches about how, um, you know, football is a microcosm of life and everything that happens in a 48 minute football game is going to happen in your life and good times and bad times and how you handle adversity and how you stay positive through adversity. And you're all of these cliches. But I think sadly, too few of us are being intentional about actually making those connections. These are 15 to 18 years. Young men. And so we're expecting them subconsciously to make a connection from, I just fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter to lose a football game. How does that connect to my life at 35 when I lost my job and I've got three kids and a wife to feed, how, how is that the same thing? And I don't think these 15 to 18 year olds are making those connections. Like we football coaches wanna want to say that they do in these clinics. So. We need to be intentional in making the connections, because I believe the cliches are true. I believe what all of the coaches and all of the teachers in the classroom, everything that we're saying is right, but we're missing the most important piece we're missing. How are we being intentional about teaching the exact connection of this is what it actually looks like in real life. And, uh, so. You know, the, the book in a nutshell is, is being intentional about making connections and about teaching things that we say that we're teaching. We are teaching them, but I don't think the kids are getting it. Like they need to.

Luke:

And when you anticipate that book being.

Shane:

Well, I've been riding it for over a year now. So during football season, it's, it's really hard to, you know, when you write, you need a, you need a large block of time. Writing is not something that you can grab 30 minutes to 60 minutes here and there, and just sort of ride you need several days in a row. And so probably getting back into that will be January. So I would like. Uh, hope that by the summer I could be done with it. But as I said, it's been over a year and then I get to a point where the season is getting cranked up and there's no way that I have time to ride with everything else. And so, hoping next summer, but probably more real realistically looking at around 2020.

Luke:

All right. Well, keep us updated. Cause um, I know I, for one will definitely be purchasing that book. I'm really excited to read it because I agree with you. We are way too caught up in slogans in this profession and we have them on t-shirts. We have them in the hallway. And it really doesn't mean much to me. People misuse the term culture all the time, which is what you're speaking about. Culture to me is a verb culture to me is action. And I always like to ask people when I read their mission statement or look at a slow ground or t-shirt, what does that look like? What does that mean in your school? If I walk in, will I see this slogan and action, because if you can. Then I agree with you. Sh it's just words. So, uh, awesome point, completely agree with you and look forward to tracking your progress, not just through the football season, but also through the, through the writing process and really excited to get my hands on this book and in wrapping up, if one of our listeners want to get in touch with you, can you share some contact info for your on Twitter, Facebook, your email, whatever you'd like to share.

Shane:

yeah. Um, I'm on Twitter. I'm not very active on Twitter. I have a Twitter account because that's how 95% of the recruiting process works for a players. And so that's. Coach's contact me. So I'm not very active on Twitter, but, uh, you know, I have an email address which is Shane dot Jacobs at Trenton SSD to work. And, uh, obviously I'm being an administrator and very active on the email, but if anybody listening that would have further questions would want to talk, I'm always excited about the opportunity to talk about education because it's something that I'm very serious about very passionate.

Luke:

Well, it's very clear from our conversation that you are quite passionate about these things. So thank you so much. I know we even went over our time and I know how busy your day is, so really appreciate you. At your time and sharing your thoughts with us and look forward to tracking your success and best of luck keeping the wind street going. I know it's not the objective, but it still is pretty awesome. So best of luck to you, coach.

Shane:

Absolutely affects a lot. I really appreciate you having me on today.

Luke:

It takes a special person, willing to be a head coach at the high school level. It takes a special person willing to be a principal at the high school level. So what does that say about coach Jacobs that he's willing to take on both roles? You heard his work ethic. You heard what his week looks like and what's the evidence of its work. I think it's pretty clear there's the results on the field, but there's also the results off of the field. What really blew me away was the statistic that 40% of the boys in his school play football. Think about what that says about the experience that coaches providing, because kids aren't just joining because they want to. They're joining for the experience he is providing. And that experience is coming out of the fact that he treats each kid as if it's his own and the more that teachers and coaches take on that mindset, it becomes a better experience for both the adult and the kid. And before we go, I have one last exciting announcement due to the growth of the podcast. We now have our own website called theiinwin.com. Again, that's theiinwin.com. I did this for one main reason. So you could directly link to me and there's three ways to do that. There's contact forms, where you could directly send me emails. There's also a voicemail. If you look in the lower right-hand side, you'll see an icon where you could actually leave me a voicemail, which is a really cool function of the website. Finally, there's also comment boxes. So based on the content of a certain episode, you now can leave comments on that content and hopefully interact with not only me, but other listeners as well. So again, it's called theiinwin.com. Please check it out. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you so much for the growth of the podcast. And as always remember, the more eyes we impacted as well. The more everybody wins. That's the "I" in win!

Shane Jacobs Profile Photo

Shane Jacobs

Principal/Head Football Coach at Peabody High School (Trenton, TN)